Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day one of London with Sophie

It has been easter break here in London, but has so far been an easter holiday of separate travels: Steve and Duncan headed off on a 3 day trip to Alton Towers Theme Park and Water Park.  I am hanging out here with my Michigan friends!  Sophie (who arrived earlier this week), and with Orit and Dan (who arrive tomorrow) and Petra (who arrives Friday). Alex has the gift of hanging out around the house, working out at the club, and hanging out online with his friends at night.  a perfect world.
As for Sophie and I?  While waiting for Orit, Dan and Petra? Two days of adventure on our own.

The first day we went to the National Gallery for the 11:30 taster tour:  6 fabulous paintings! (Jacopo di Cione's "The Coronoation of the Virgin with Adoring Saints"; Leonardo da Vinci's "Virgin of the Rocks"; Titan's "The Death of Acteon"; Reuben's painting of his own estate in the morning light; Hogarth's "Marriage a la Mode"; and Degas, "Combing the Hair").  It is always interesting to see what they choose to show on that taster tour... i have been on it several times, but have never been shown the same painting twice!  Hmmm.... maybe the fact that they have 2300 paintings makes that less than surprising.  :-) [he did tell us that the queen has 'more' paintings than the national gallery, but that the ones she has are 'not as good'.  hahaha]

Gentileschi, "Finding of Moses"
After the taster tour, we ran down the hall to get a seat for the 1pm "Draw and Learn" class.  Arta and I did this once before and it is just so much fun!   There are comfortable (director style) folding chairs for the first 40 to get there.  You have a short lesson on a particular painting, and then are given a drawing task. 

This time, the painting was Gentileschi's "Finding of Moses".  (you can click on the link to read more about the painting, or to take a virtual tour... which would give you a sense of how very large this painting actually is!

my contribution to the world of beauty...

The artist-guide gave us papers and pencils, along with old slide frames... only with no photos in the centre

The goal was for us to hold the frame out like a little window, and find a small part of the painting (hands, feet, heads).  
Sophie's elegant artistic interpretation

We were to then use the frame to first draw a small window shaped box, and then to try and draw the small part of the painting that would fit in the frame (when our arms were fully extended).   She told us we could connect the boxes later, if we wanted... 
Sophie's work of art!

Now, neither Sophie nor I claim to be great artists, but we had a great time sitting there trying to draw.... and laughing at hand that ended up looking like ducks, and things like that!  You know... realizing that we drew the same parts of the painting, but that neither resembled the other (nor the painting itself for that matter!) 

However,... we were both happy, and may end up getting our works of art framed... as a way of marking our brief excursion to the world of the artist!  :-)

so... we left the world of art, and headed off to Marylebone Street to spend an hour or so browsing in Sophie's favourite bookstore, then had a relaxing meal at le Pain Quotidien, and then rushed back to the Southbank to spend a couple of hours with two standup comedians named Shave and Dave ("The Umbilical Brothers") doing an insanely funny "mime" show (which reminded me of the Arete Mime Troup guys that I used to go to with my siblings.... anyone remember "The Apology... by Gainsborough!").... check out the first 3.5 minutes of this link to see a bit of them.

There you go.... day one of London with Sophie!



1 comment:

  1. How could a day in London be more perfect. First the National Gallery. Then that little bookstore that I used to frequent on Marylebone, and then back to theatre.

    Life, every day, should be like that!

    And can be, if a person is retired and back in London, as I will be soon.



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