Once again I managed to brave the heat to make it out to Coney “no shade in sight” Island to draw Nathan’s annual Independence Day tradition, the hotdog eating contest, except this time, I had backstage passes, aka a better view to draw from. Why? Because my friend Yasir “Doggybag” Salem had finally qualified for the event, and was on stage with the likes of Joey Chestnut and Eater X. All drawings seen here were done in real time on location, and colored in later using Photoshop.
I try to make it to at least one free play in Central Park every summer, and this year I decided to join some friends to check out New York Classical Theater‘s plein-air production of Moliere’s super-entertaining 17th century Vaudevillian slapstick classic The School for husbands. Central Park becomes both stage and auditorium for these productions, and the audience follows the actors as they move from scene to scene, and sometimes the action simultaneously takes place in front of and behind the spectators. This is a neat way of keeping everyone engaged, though at an hour it is a mighty quick and high energy production anyway. The following illustrations were all done on location.
The gorgeous 2011 Studio 1482 calendars have just arrived from the printer, and sandwiched between some unusual drawings by yours truly you can let artwork by my fellow Studio 1482 artists accompany you through 2011! To order, please visit the Studio 1482 website today!
Here are a few more recent drawings from the rehearsals of the New York Repertory Orchestra. I used a quill pen and a reed pen with india ink for these, and I am really happy with how these came out. They really capture the feeling of the music and the atmosphere in the church and in my heart that evening…
The first one is of the cello section, which includes the classically beautiful first cello, the old-school “godfather” second cello, as well as the my collegue, whom I usually do not draw for fear of making him feel self-conscious. I adore the sound of celli, perhaps because their pitch is so close to that of the human voice..
The second one is a drawing of the entire orchestra. I was thinking of German Expressionism while I was doing it.
This third one is a portrait of the orchestra’s soloist, Olivier Fluchaire, performing the gorgeously jazzy melodies of Piazzola’s Four seasons of Buenes Aires. And the last drawing is of the “papa” of the cello section again, his gorgeous face merging with that of his precious instrument…
Who knew that my testosteronic salesguy-collegue harbored the soul of concert cellist? Certainly not I. Originally I had started coming to his orchestra’s rehearsals to get some much-needed drawing out of my system, but soon enough I found myself enveloped by the breathtakingly beautiful sounds he and his fellow musicians managed to coax from their instruments under the starry dome of the elegant mid-town church where they rehearsed.
I was especially intrigued by the sliding dissonances in a deliciously asymmetrical piece by Argentian composer Piazzola, who is known primarily for his tango compositions. The piece in question was his interpretation of The Four Seasons, and the conductor made the musicians rehearse the dangerously off-kilter melodies over and over, until even I could hum along to what at casual listen would surely sound like a slip. This internalizing of the formerly heart-stoppingly dissonant gave me an intense happiness that made me return week after week to see the same pieces dissected in myriad different ways. New each time, and increasingly familiar. Last week I stumbled into the first rehearsal held with their immensely talented soloist, which opened up a another, completely different dimension of the music, and I had to pause my drawing at some points because the sound was just too overwhelming.
On a recent trip to California I stayed in a classic Old Hollywood haunt called the Culver City Hotel, an idiosynchratic red brick wedge of a building that towers over the diminuitive Epcot-esque Art Deco buildings around it. The hotel lobby greets visitors with august, dark-wooded, faux-Patrician charm complete with piano bar, wooden globe, and enormous furniture, next to which the tiny check-in desk disappears almost completely.
From my window I had the disconcerting view of the somewhat crusty top of one of those grandiose golden balls that sit atop 1930ies buildins like cherries, which was cringey in that way that spotting a balding patch on the head of one of your friends is when you’re not sure if they themselves are aware of it.
I also made a few drawings at the farmer’s market, which is held right next door to the hotel, between the mansion from Gone with the Wind (really!) and a Trader Joe’s supermarket, and saw what I am reasonably certain are real hippies, which excited the anthropologist in me quite a bit. I also bought some unbelievably tasty organic apricots there.
Despite thunderstorms earlier that day I found myself seated in the heart of Times Square to attend the premiere of Mad Men season four, an hour ahead of the rest of the country. I was later upgraded from puddle-seat to VIP area (admittedly way comfier than the wet bleachers (thank you V!). The majority of the drawings were done during the pre-show costume contest, and my personal highlight was seeing the “falling man” intro of the show at the bottom of Times Square signage canyon.
It is hard to believe that it has really been five years since we held our first Studio 1482 meeting at 1482 York after a long day at the Metropolitan Museum of art. The intervening years have brought us a few cultural phenomena (Twitter and Twilight , to name just two), yet we are still here (thanks to your support)!
As my official work to celebrate the five year anniversary of Studio1482, I have decided to draw a five dollar bill. This is not the first time I’ve created work around the theme of money: Below is a piece from my silkscreen series “American dream”
For more information about my work or Studio 1482 or money or Epiphany cards or anything else, please contact me at Kati@studio1482.com
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“1791″, named for the year of the Haitian Revolution, which resulted in the abolishment of slavery. This is an ink painting on paper, done with pen and brush. Hand-signed prints of this piece are available for donations of $50 or more to CARE. Please visit our blog Onedrawingaday for more information on how to participate in this fundraiser.
All three images in this post were created for a book about a man who was born a slave on an 18th century plantation in Haiti who grew up to become one of the most admired citizens of the new world. (age 7 and up, fully illustrated). For more information on this project please contact me at email@example.com
above: “Haircare for ladies”, below: “George Washington’s inauguration”, both from “The barber of New York” by K. Nawrocki, copyright 2010 by K. Nawrocki