Friday, February 27, 2009

Gladiators on Parade

From a trip to Rome just before Xmas 2006. The slashing brick buttress demands almost all one's attention, with only a little left over to notice the remnants of marble on the arch.

Whether the middle image is a chimney or a buttress, it is representative of the piles of tiles stacked on top of each other to protect brick and mortar from excess moisture. 

The lonely abandoned villa sits within, above and among Roman ruins that got there first. Maybe someday other villas will come to keep it company and make a new neighborhood behind the Campidoglio. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No Homes at Home Depot

Took a short drive to Home Depot, located in an industrial zone, near a strip club (Cadillac Lounge) to get some bark mulch to create a dry path in our muddy yard. Since it was a sunny but cold day, I thought I would dash off a few sketches sitting in my car in the wide open parking lot. The first one is looking over a line o' sheds and beyond to some nice brick factory buildings with some cool wind vanes on top. The second one is looking a little to the right and shows the semi-parabolic roofed Post Office - normally a goofy building in a neighborhood, but somehow appropriate for an industrial area next to the railroad tracks. to the far right is the marble dome of the State House, with the 'Independent Man' sculpture triumphantly on top.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pawtuxet Village

Pawtuxet Village means 'Little Falls' in the native language and Little Falls Bakery is where we went to get out of the cold. The members of the Pawtuxet Naragansett tribe used this area as a feasting ground, and so did we. The bakery has excellent pizza, so I order a couple o' slices and began to draw the church across the street. I managed to get all the way through painting and decided to check on my slices. Oops! Burnt. No problem, work on some details while waiting for new ones.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Head Tide Chapel in Maine

Went up to Damariscotta Maine to look at a potential project and after the meeting went back roads to Gardiner to visit a friend. After passing some lovely houses and barns and examples of 'real' Maine (including a hamlet that was self-titled 'Cowshit Corner') we missed a turn and stumbled into the hamlet-and-a-half called Head Tide.  Only a handful of houses, but there was the remnant of a corner store, very much occupying the corner with tenacious and resolute presence. Past the big house, little house, back house, barn combination, a hard left at the aforementioned  ex-corner store, over the bridge and straight up a hill on a  secondary road  perched this classic chapel. The simplicity and pride of this building speaks to a hope that was present in 1838 when it was built, but remains in spite of the long slide to beautiful oblivion begun in the 1920 when floods destroyed the local mill.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wickenden Street Horse Providence

Across the street from my favorite pizza place  (Fellini's - to the right of the building above) is a gas station where I usually get my paper before pizza. This time I filled my car up with gas and saw the horse framed in between the buildings and prancing across the sky. The horse is made of metal mesh, and is one of a series of art pieces on the telephone poles along Wickenden Street. This area is known as the funky zone of Providence, with restaurants like Cafe Zog (named after the 7 foot king of Albania) the Brickway (great for breakfast) and various antique, tattoo and adult sundry stores scattered amongst the more prosaic stores.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Newport Castle Hill

A lovely afternoon last summer, sitting outside in a bar overlooking Narragansett Bay - drawing, drinking, painting, drinking.......

Friday, February 6, 2009

Duxbury Art & Commerce

We first visited the charming modernist (I know, usually a contradiction) Art Complex, built by the Weyerhaeuser family. There was a show of paintings of cereals and breakfast beverages ( that made me hungry. Much of the museum was closed for a new exhibition setup and roof repair (oh, those modernist roofs), but we plan on coming back in the spring and spend more time sketching in the woods and at a Japanese teahouse they have somewhere.

Then we stopped (literally in the middle of the road) at the classic New England village center. It was one-sided, with head-in parking that backed right into the 2 lane main road (and it seemed to work fine). The loose collection of buildings included civic, retail, office, housing and boat storage yard. The buildings didn't face the water (retail is best contained, or as Bob Gibbs says "Fish don't shop.") but there was still an awareness of the water. 

The French Bakery had a great Financier (almond cake) and croissants that were flaky, crunchy and buttery. Ce' magnifique!

I don't know if I like it, but it's Art.

After being locked inside our house by the bitter winter winds, M & I looked for somewhere to go within a 45 minute drive where we could see water, sun, architecture, urbanism and I could have seafood.  A google search led to Duxbury, that I hadn't visited for 20 years but was a easy drive our Rt 44.  We found this little cove with ducks (in Dux) that was bathed in a beautiful crisp light.