Friday, January 16, 2009

Chasing Sunlight in the Plazas, Dodging the Cold in Museums

So, it's been a few days. I don't know how I am going to be able to keep up this posting business, especially without my trusty scanner. My tablet is a little out of sorts today. Luckily, I was able to complete most of the new header (!) before it stopped working. I hope to change the header every so often. Here are some of the sketches from my time here in Madrid, as promised.

These palm trees were drawn at el Parque de Rosales, by the Templo de Debod. I was trying to catch a bit of sun on a park bench. I thought I'd be able to fend off the frigid conditions by rendering some tropical flora.

I was able to catch one of the last remaining days of a Rembrandt show that was at the Prado. I lined up for about 40 minutes (bbrrr) until admitted into the museum. I wish Canadians were as stoked about art as Spaniards. I really loved Rembrandt's intaglio and later paintings. I've been increasingly interested in drawings and intaglio prints lately. All my idiosyncracies really amplify in the printmaking studio, which is why I choose to avoid it. I feel like Pig-Pen when it comes down to the meticulous nature that printmaking requires. But seeing wonderful prints like Rembrandt's makes me believe that I will get back on that intaglio saddle in the near future.

The museum was pretty busy that day. There was no point in squeezing myself between tour groups to check out the Goyas, so I snuck up to the second floor for some quiet time. I sat on a bench facing a bronze sculpture of Queen Mary of Austria dressed as a widow. I wasn't able to successfully render her facial features, so I quickly drew another sketch that properly defined her nose and included the archways in the background.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza, a museum housing a great variety of paintings, had a temporary exhibition called 1914! The Avante-Garde and the Great War. The focus of the exhibit was based on works made during the First World War. I forked over money eager to see some Kirchner, but was dismayed to hear that all the stuff I wanted to see was actually being shown at a free, off site show at the Fundación Caja Madrid. These are super quick doodles of the guards and a sculpture by Wilhelm Lehmbruck called Seated Youth.

Yesterday I wanted to evade the misery that is our cold, dark flat so I went to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia to keep warm. I sat in a room screening Néstor Basterretxea's film, Operacion H, and drew two benches.

More to come when I return from Firenze!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I too wish Canadians were as enthusiastic about art!

    The inviting grassy space with the bridge was in the town surrounding Carcassonne, this medieval very fortified French town in the Aude department.

    Your Euro travels look amazing! I'm dreaming of doing more!