Sunday, May 10, 2009

Drawings of Highlandtown, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Highlandtown is a small neighborhood in the eastern side of Baltimore. As the name suggests, it is on a ridge with great views of sunsets, the Baltimore Harbor skyline, and the Independence Day fireworks. Originally settled by Germans, then Poles and Italians, its most recent residents are Latinos. These families come from Mexico and Central America. Many do not speak English well, but they learn. And their children learn even faster and help out their parents.

These drawings, done in winter 2009, show a neighborhood in transition. In the spring they were exhibited at the High Grounds Coffee Shop in Baltimore, and they were included in a fundraiser for the Patterson Park Public Charter School, also in the city. I’m happy to report that they raised quite a bit of interest and money.

Eastern Avenue, I

Eastern Avenue, II

Eastern Avenue, III

Colorful Corner, with children’s mosaic

Cinco de Mayo

Pinatas and Peppers

Di Pasquale’s Italian Market
(Mural in adjacent alley)

Canton Library
This image now appears on a coffee bag at High Grounds!

Looking Out the Window

The Fine Art of the Nap

Thursday, May 7, 2009

England and Scotland, October 2008!

Here is a series of drawings I did while we took a trip to England and Scotland in October, 2008. They are a mere 5” by 8”, all done on the spot. I used a pen for the black line, then water soluble caran d’ache crayons for the color. A brush and water dragged across the color dissolved it into a watercolor wash. It is very convenient to add the colors after I return indoors. It challenges my mind to remember the colors too.

Now that I have talked about technicalities, I’ll mention why I wanted to do these travel drawings. First of all, they require a lot of focus and concentration, even though they are small. I like the danger of drawing with pen…there is no room to be tentative. I love the excitement of capturing the moment and the feel of a place, both at the time of doing it, and later when they are completed. And then, I like to share them with others, as a way of communicating both my love of art and of travel.

Pub lunch - mushrooms, chips, and veg

The view from our hotel window - walled garden

The view from our hotel - the extinct volcano called Arthur's seat, so close to the city center

The view from our hotel room - down the steep hill and across the Firth of Clyde

The view from our hotel room - a Victorian era pub called The Chester Bells

The view from our sitting room - the half-timbered Prince of Wales pub
is about ten feet across the cobbled lane

Our tiny sitting room - sofa, window bench, and gas fireplace. Video tapes and books of poetry.

The church at the top of the lane, where we attended Harvest Service

The ancient church of St. Michael and All Angels

Ledbury Hops Fair, traditionally held at the end of the growing season. The 15th century
market hall on stilts in the background with our little lane on the far left

View from the inside of Sudeley Castle - Cleeve Hill and farmers’ fields

View from Cleeve Hill of the Cheltenham valley, the Malvern Hills and Wales in the distance

A happy accumulation of our favorite British snacks