Sunday, January 10, 2016

Rainy Day at the Coffee Shop 9 x 12 pen & ink

Another wonderful morning spent hanging in the coffee shop on Beacon & Charles Streets in Boston.  Parking is free in the city on Sunday so if you get in around 8:30, the streets are pretty open. I love watching the pedestrians, today pedestrians with umbrellas, walking in and out of the Common. It's so interesting to sit, draw, and listen to the buzz of conversations in the shop.  
I took a few reference photos of pedestrians to use in my drawing, but mostly, I like to try to grab their gesture as they wait for the traffic light.  

I think I'll add a little rainy day hint of color to the distance in this drawing.  I like to think of generations of people walking through the stone pillars at the corner of the Common.   
Rainy Day at the Coffee Shop - start

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Childe Hassam "The Avenue in the Rain" 1917 and the West Wing

We have been binge watching "The West Wing" during this Christmas break.  I love the show, so wordy and fast-paced. I have no way of knowing if the show is an accurate depiction of the White House staff in action.  However, during a scene in the White House, I saw a familiar image in the background and looked it up.  Yes, this Childe Hassam painting, "The Avenue inthe Rain" 1917, is in the White House collection.  Turns out Childe Hassam painted at least 25 patriotic images with flags, many of 5th Avenue in New York.
During the latter part of his career, Childe Hassam lived in New York and had a studio near the 5th Avenue parade route.  In 1916 5th Avenue was the scene of a Preparedness Day parade, showing support for the US involvement in The Great War. The parade of 137,000 laborers, mothers, teachers, businessmen and doctors lasted over 13 hours. 
The flags were the inspiration for Hassam's patriotic series.


"Sunday Morning Coffee" pen & ink 6 x 8

Sometimes I drive into Boston on Sunday mornings, hang out at a coffee shop and either grade papers or do some drawing.  I was sketching today at a tall table, when I looked up and there was a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while.  We spent the next hour catching up, which was a gift on this beautiful morning.