Sketches from Paris

I was recently in Paris for two weeks and made a lot of time to draw.
Some of my favorites:

Along the Canal St Martin

Out the window of a bistro in Montmartre

The historic yet unassuming Lapin Agile in Montmartre

Steps near Sacre Coeur. There are tons of steps to get up and down from Montmartre.

Sketches and painting of a window. The architecture is lovely and picturesque but surprisingly complicated to draw. Mostly I needed preparation to deal with the perspective due to looking from the ground, and a variety of grey-yellows to model the details with any depth.

Aperol spritz! With record high temperatures, these were a big feature during the trip.

Tiny sketch from a picnic when I learned to combine Schweppes Agrum’ soda (mixed citrus) with red wine for a sort of super-simple sangria

Canal boat navigating the locks on Canal St Martin

Window in the Latin Quarter

Doughnut peaches for breakfast

Rooftops drawn while taking a break from the heat

Antique chair

The cluttered interior of a lovely cafe where I had a little longer to draw

 

EYEO Festival visual notes

I recently attended Eyeo Festival for the second time, in early June. This time, instead of my separate sketch and written journals, I took notes all in my multimedia sketchbook. This meant that for almost every talk I attended, I ended up with at least one page full of important quotes and memorable visuals. Some highlights:
01 alexis lloyd
Alexis Lloyd on the history of robots and androids in our culture and our relationship to them. The video of her talk is up here!
02 tega brain
Tega Brain on her amazing IoT-type art projects she called “post-scary media arts”. She’s an inspiration. View the talk here.
03 patricio gonzalez vivo
Patricio Gonzalez Vivo on synchronicity and his AMAZING projects. Check out the talk here.
04 ben fry
Ben Fry, head of Fathom Information Design and co-creator of the fundamental computational drawing tool Processing, telling it like it is about “data visualization… and its hip cousin, “data-vis!””. See the whole talk here.
05 gene kogan
Gene Kogan presented so much fascinating info about style transfer and machine learning that I literally wrote off the page. He’s the only presenter I had to use more than one page for. Somehow I still managed to get some visual representations of his slides in too! They help me remember the presentation since I’m mostly visual. And since the video isn’t up on the eyeo channel yet—soon?
I’m not sure if you can tell yet, but Eyeo was -extremely- inspirational. I’m in love with all the projects here, and I’m so glad I have my notes to remind me what I want to strive for. I’ve already had a hand in some style transfer experiments using my maps—keep an eye out for a post on that soon!

Art Seen: Governor’s Island

Some highlights from the recent Governors Island Art Fair in New York:

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I’m a huge fan of works that take advantage of the architectural setting. The installations are all in decaying governors’ quarters on the island, and the best ones really meld with and play off of their surroundings.

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There’s some beautiful outdoor installations as well:

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And the beautiful day and gorgeous views definitely don’t detract :) 20150905-IMG_4002 20150905-IMG_4018

Art Seen: September

First we saw a map/diagram art show at the Center for Book Arts in New York:20150901-IMG_3868

Inge Bruggeman, the infinite between us, 2011

This piece was incredible; it was a music box whose tape feed was a chart of weather data; when you fed a tape through the box, it mechanically “played” the weather.

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Sarah Bouchard, Weather Box, 2014

It was very simple and conceptually fascinating. I’d love to make something like that at some point.

We also went to the Brooklyn Art Library, home to the Sketchbook Project archives. I requested a mappy sketchbook through their system—and randomly received the sketchbook of Clint Fulkerson (who I’ve followed on Instagram for a while) as well! That system is lovely.

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Saw some of my favorite street art too—the huge fish/city mural inside Jackbar in Williamsburg.

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And I couldn’t miss communing with de Chirico at MoMA. I’ve been inspired by that kind of uncanny-valley dreamlike Surrealist architecture for a while. I think it’s not unrelated to the feeling of seeing a map that could be real but isn’t…

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August Travel: ICELAND

My last trip of the summer was definitely the biggest—I went to Iceland with a group of eight friends, staying in AirBnBs in Reykjavik and the Golden Circle and seeing all sorts of things. It is quite an otherworldly environment. I’ve finally gone through my photos and posted some favorites to Flickr. It was really tough to narrow them down since basically anything you can photograph in Iceland looks fantastic!

From Flickr (click to see all 200+ photos):

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And some sketches from Instagram:

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Painting and sketching from life

I recently rediscovered my travel watercolor set and have been having fun figuring out techniques to quickly capture my environment on paper. A couple sketches from New York:

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I tended to get pretty detailed with these still, so I tried painting by putting down wash for the main areas and filling in some details:

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When it works it works, but when it doesn’t work it’s pretty disheartening.

Last weekend I was in Providence and stopped by the RISD store, where I found a perfect travel painting set—a bound multimedia sketchbook and a case of watercolor crayons, both small enough to fit in a purse. Along with my water brush (which is magical) they make a really ideal travel set. I did a number of little paintings there:

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The paper is a little harder to work on than watercolor paper (you can’t really wet an area multiple times) but it’s actually nicer to draw on, and I don’t get as precious with it, which is the goal. I’ve got some more travel lined up this summer and I’m excited to see what I make with this set!