NEA Institute: sketches

My friend Dave Perkins, who teaches at Houghton College, went to Europe this summer. He didn't take a camera. Instead, he took a sketch pad, a paintbrush, and a tiny tube of paint. He came back with a notebook filled with exquisite little watercolors of scenes from England to Italy.

He inspired me.

When I headed off to New York, I decided to try the same thing, that is, to leave my camera behind and only draw what I wanted to remember. This plan failed, in part, because, a) I can’t draw that fast, and b) I had a camera phone with me and couldn’t resist snapping a few shots.

Joe Horowitz sketchJoe Horowitz sketchBut I did do some sketching.

Don't laugh! The first and last drawing class I took was in 7th grade.

One of my first sketches is of esteemed classical music historian, Joe Horowitz. He wrote “Understanding Toscanini.” He loves Dvorak and Steve Reich. Joe is brilliant, knowledgeable, opinionated, and has a great face.

After Joe, we met Alex Ross, author of a new book about the history of classical music in America called “The Rest is Noise.” Alex thinks that we're at a watershed moment in classical music. Alex Ross sketchAlex Ross sketchIn the next 10-20 years, he says, classical may go mainstream. He was thrilled last week when Richard Wagner was (briefly) the #1 downloaded songwriter on i-tunes. Ross thinks the history of pop music should be a required course at conservatories.

My drawing of him is rather crude and superficial. He doesn’t really look like an elf.

Finally, I have one more for you from the Cloisters, —described by Germain Bazin, former director of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, as "the crowning achievement of American museology.” It’s the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.

Cloisters Fountain sketchCloisters Fountain sketchAfter 10 days in New York City -- waking up to jackhammers, traffic, and deadlines -- I just needed to sit down in complete silence and draw a 13th century fountain.



Look like early Picassos!

Look like early Picassos! Keep up the good work.