Friday, September 28, 2007

Haupt Garden just before sunset

I was killing some time in the Enid A. Haupt Garden waiting for a Resident Associates lecture on the 'Cities of Ancient America'. The slide lecture was given by George Scheper, a professor at JHU. It further whetted my appetite to visit the Mayan areas of Guatemala and Belize. Mostly Guatemala. Someday!!

This sketch shows a few of the towers on the Smithsonian Castle. Well, sort of. I left out a lot of fancy brickwork detail.

(Here is a hand colored "stereoview" photo of the Castle back in the day. There's more here. Neat building! Jumbled, overdone, fussy, and Victorian, it's described as "faux Norman style" in its architecture. I love looking at it! It's so unlike most of the faux Classical and the genuine modern stuff around it. It's like a frilly old lady in a bustle.)

The Enid A. Haupt Garden is fairly gaudy, an apt accompaniment to the building right now. There are some big garish tropical plants enjoying these last few days outside in the sun, lined up in the terrace area around the Castle's garden entrance. They look all wrong. They'll be gone soon!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Experiments with Block Prints and Monotypes

After our one-day workshop with Melissa Hackmann at the Art League on making sketchbooks, I have been playing around with block printing and monotypes. Making messes mostly but finding pithy stuff to turn into cheesy and trite stamps. My inspiration for pithyness is the hallowed Jenny Holzer, who was in town recently incorporating Roosevelt Island and the Potomac River in her latest piece, entitled 'For the Capitol'. She is so cool.

Maybe more monotypes are coming.

This an excellent and inspirational book:
Monotype: Mediums and Methods for Painterly Printmaking, by Julia Ayers (1991)

Corner of Eye & 20th Street Pocket Park

Is it true that all the curbstones in the District of Columbia are required to be granite? Maybe this is an urban legend, but I like it. It lends dignity and majesty. Bravo, DC!