Monday, July 29, 2013

Twin Warriors Golf

 Just north of Albuquerque, NM, is the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and the Twin Warriors golf course, a PGA rated course that hosted a PGA qualifying tournament several years ago. I got an email notice from them advertising a Sunday, 5 pm, Big Hole event featuring a greatly reduced price ($38), double-sized 8" cups on the greens, and Best Ball rules (everyone hits from the location of the foursome’s best shot).

Cousins/pals Jan and Willie joined me at the resort and our partial foursome was rounded out by Greg (former-total-stranger-now-golf-buddy and a dang good golfer to have on your team).

The course was spectacular. The weather was perfect. The jackrabbits were cute. Gotta say it was a  great Sunday afternoon.

View of Sandia Mountains and the Twin Warriors driving range from the golf cart path that leads to the club house and golf course. 

Standing on the forward-most tee, looking towards the fairway across an arroyo. Today I was lucky enough to get the ball to the fairway.

Willie aims for the flag. 

Greg takes a practice swing while enjoying the scenery.

The green is way down there somewhere. My shot went into the desert hills on the right.

Jan's ball in mid-flight. It's a low trajectory, but to the middle of the fairway. Nice.

There's a green waaaaay down there. And several giant jackrabbits munching on the lush grass.

Jan drives over the arroyo and onto the distant fairway.

Sandia Mountains in the background, a large and beautiful green, and a giant, oversized cup.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lely’s Venus

During the recent London visit, I sketched a marble statue of Venus in the British Museum, which was included in a recent post. Lely was an artist and collector during the reign of King Charles I; the sculptor is unknown.

I decided to work with the Lely’s Venus drawing and see if I could transform it into a color print. My goal was to combine the traditional character of the original sketch with a contemporary style, abstract coloring contrasted with muted and subtle colors, and graphic boldness. 

I didn't really know that was my goal, but I’ve decided it was since, in my opinion, it pretty much turned out that way. 

Lely’s Venus
Archival Digital Pigment
28" x 40" 

Lely’s Venus detail. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Since getting home from London I’ve been going through photos and picking a few from which I can create some canvases and experiment with some techniques and styles.

Detail from a digital painting based on a photo taken in Le Pain Quotidien, a coffee shop near Goodge Underground Station where we started each day with a latte.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

London Sketchbook

We’re back in Santa Fe and mostly back to normal, although it does seem strange to not hear sirens during the night or to not walk to the nearest Le Pain Quotidien for a latte in the mornings.

I’ll wrap up this trip with the London sketches. There’s several new ones, plus better copies (clean scans) of the other drawings that have already appeared in previous blogs as marginal quality iPhone photos.

Averaging a drawing per day is better than I usually can do while traveling, so I’m happy with that. Add to that average at least 100 photos a day and it was a busy and fun 12 days.

Sketching a beautiful woman at Heathrow airport, London. I hope she’s on my flight.  

The flight home. We were lucky enough to have an empty seat between us, which gave us some extra room and gave me a better view of the model.

Sketching at Grosvenor Square (misspelled above), surrounded by embassies, including the US Embassy.

Another sketch in Grosvenor Square, and another misspelling.

For better or worse, I’ve permanently stamped those curtains into my memory.

The Black Friar pub, a beautiful art-nouveau masterpiece and location of the weird “Polly” story related in a previous post. 

No matter what the nationality or accent of a waiter in London, the most common greeting is “Hi guys!” Tour group leaders are heard saying “Wait up guys.” American expressions are used by everyone. While sharing a group table in the cafe area of the British Museum with several teen Japanese girls. one was chattering away in Japanese, suddenly interjecting “I was all like...” then finishing the thought in Japanese.

At least now I can say I’ve studied drawing at the British Museum. 

Still too tight. Gotta loosen up.

Inspired by London, Lichtenstein, and Robin.

Amazing bronze art at St. Pancras train station. 

St. Paul’s from the Tate Modern coffee shop.  

Sketching in the cellar bar area of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, near Fleet Street, while waiting to rendezvous with Robin. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One Last Sketch

I didn’t get everything posted, but close enough. The British Museum closes in 15 minutes and I have to meet Robin at the hotel in 30 minutes so we can tube to the National Theatre to see Othello.

It was an inspiring trip for me. I saw a lot of great art. I don’t know if anything I saw will influence my drawing in any way, but I kinda suspect it might.

Somethin’s Not Right...

Remember this guy from an earlier post? Saturday afternoon, after leaving the Tate Modern Lichtenstein Retrospective exhibition, we crossed the Thames to have a drink at the beautiful, art-nouveaux pub, Black Friar. It was more crowded than usual due to the crowds that were in town for the London Marathon. We ordered drinks and stood around hoping a table would open up. As Robin admired the artwork on the walls, a 75-year old guy sitting by himself started talking to her and after a few minutes we joined him at his table. Terry was a very nice guy, on his way to a talk about something weird, crop circles kind of stuff. 

After he left we had an empty stool. A big burly guy, sort of like the drawing above, handsome enough, Scottish accent (I think), wearing a seaman kind of cap, on crutches with one leg missing, amputated near the hip, appears a few feet away in the stream of light that made him a dramatic silhouette, like a movie director planned the scene.

Robin motions him over to take the empty stool. He sits down and gives me a twenty asks me to buy him a pint of Becks while he goes to the loo. How he got down the small winding stairs, and back up, I don’t know. So I buy him a pint of Becks and ask his name. In an accent so thick I can barely understand him, he says “Paul, but you can call me Polly!" then roars with laughter almost falling off the stool backwards.

Then he says, as he glints at us with one eye, “Didja evah walk into a place and think somethin’s not right?” He launched into a ten-minute story that sounded like a combination of a drunk Popeye and an insane pirate. We understood only an occasional word, like “boat” and “tractor” and “bar.” It sounded like “Aarrrgghhh farrrgghh whargh sharg boat groarghhghg margasharga tractor blarghghg.” Every sentence or two he’d stop to roar with laughter. Robin was laughing so I figured she understood him. No, she was just humoring him. She occasionally asked him to repeat something, but it was garbled and totally not understandable. We think he was telling us about losing his leg, and it had something to do with a tractor in a bar. 

After about ten minutes he leans over, puts his hand on my leg, and says “Ya know what he says to me a couple of years later?” I shake my head in disbelief and awe. “He said, ‘The next time you have one of those feelin’s, would ya let me know?!’” Then he roars with laughter like never before.

Robin says “We better go meet those people for dinner.”

He says “No, aarrghh, one more drink, grrrrr arrghhg.” As we say goodbye I shake his hand and it felt like I was holding a ham hock. When we left the bar Robin said “I hope he doesn’t try to follow us.” “Don’t worry” I said. “I'm pretty sure we can outrun him.”

I’ll always remember him when I think about the Black Friar pub and wonder what the Hell that story was about.

Black Friar bar station. 

A very nice pub.

This is the spot where Polly appeared. Creepy but fascinating. 

So beautiful.

Great artwork everywhere.

Robin buys some nuts glazed with something tasty. You can always find these treats around the Millennium Bridge.

Robin has wine and waits for a table to open up.

More Tuesday Stuff

The Globe from the top balcony. The actors are milling around on the stage for a few minutes before the play starts. We once saw a production in which the actors came on stage early to put on their costumes and makeup. 

It must be 5 pm.

A gate next to St. Paul’s Cathedral, on the way to the St. Paul’s Tube station after seeing The Tempest.

St. Paul’s from the other side of the gate, earlier that evening, on the way to the Globe. 
After leaving the Globe, it’s a nice walk over the Millennium Bridge to St. Paul’s station.

We happened upon a BMW dealership earlier in the day and stopped to admire the BMW Vision.

This could look nice parked next to the Mermaid Tavern in Santa Fe. 

My Fav WiFi Spot

It’s Wednesday, we leave tomorrow for the US, and I’ve come back to the British Museum’s Great Hall to use the good WiFi connection here and to hopefully catch up on getting some photos uploaded before we head for Heathrow airport in the morning.

To get to Uxbridge on Tuesday for Robin’s meeting with her PhD supervisor, we made the short walk to St. Pancras station so we could catch the Picadilly line straight to Uxbridge. Next door to St. Pancras station, the British Library has this poster on its wall. Brilliant.

A nice tree along the road between downtown Uxbridge and Brunel University campus.

You guys are amazing! 

Robin and her supervisor, Bill Leahy, say fare thee well, anon, happy trails, etc. after their lunch meeting. Bill, as usual, had great feedback, wise advice, and supportive encouragement for Robin.
Retro Tube signage.

The Picadilly Line goes to Wembley Park, home of the iconic Wembley Stadium.

It’s nice when you happen to catch one of the new trains. There’s no door separating the cars and you can walk from one end of the train to the other, if necessary to find a seat.