Saturday, November 28, 2009

Drawing group quest.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been beginning to locate and sample the various drawing groups/sessions in Philadelphia, now that we're a little more settled in at home. So far I've only ventured out to two places - Dr. Sketchy's and Studio Incamminati, which has an "Open Studio" model session for the public on Sundays. It's a little funny, because I suppose the format/intent/tone of these two sessions couldn't really be any more opposite – Dr. Sketchy's = FUN! LIVELY! SHORTER POSES! BEER! Studio Incamminati = SERIOUS! SILENT! LONG POSES! BOOZE-FREE! Art nerd (and party pooper) that I am, I actually think I preferred the solemnity and seriousness of the Studio Incamminati session. Also, the seating arrangement at Dr. Sketchy's didn't really allow for very good viewing of the entire model... so I have a bunch of crappy, half-assed half-completed sketches of the top half of the models (who were great, actually, what I could see of them – they were burlesque performers with Peekaboo Revue). So, here's what I came up with at Studio Incamminati – great model, fairly lousy drawing (which was spilling off the page, as usual). I need to re-read (many times over) Sadie's awesome guide to saving a drowning drawing/painting. Sigh.
I look forward to trying the sessions at the Philadelphia Sketch Club and the Plastic Club at sometime soon... stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let them eat (cup)cake.

Wow, I've been promising updates and photos for a while – time to deliver on promises!

So John and I have had some time more recently to explore Philly and all of its various delights. Yay Philly! Let me first let you know that, in terms of culinary delights, there is no shortage of cupcakes in this town. We have amused ourselves (and our palates) by engaging in an informal taste-test of the offerings. So far we've sampled from three different purveyors of fine, fine cupcakey goodness:

- First up, we tried Betty's Tasty Buttons or Betty's Speakeasy or Betty's Buttons or whatever they call themselves. John is a huge fan of their fudge sauces, but I'll be honest – their cupcake offerings were good, but not mind-blowing. On to offerings closer to home...

- Recently opened in Fishtown (our neighborhood) - over at Berks and Belgrade - is Whipped Bake Shop. Now, their cupcake (we sampled the chocolate + chocolate, because we're purists), was definitely high-quality... but even more out-of-this-world was their salted caramel chocolate brownie. Ohhhhhh, good stuff. Here's John sitting contentedly at the Schuylkill River Park post-brownie:

- Thirdly - and also not far from us - was Brown Betty Dessert Boutique. Again, a quality chocolate cupcake - but the real knock-out was the fruit-filled pound cake cupcake – ours was lemon. Mmmmmmmmm. (Side note: what's up with all the Bettys making cupcakes? Hm.) Anyway, two frosting-coated thumbs up for cupcake offerings in Philly! Whooo!!

Aside from cupcake sampling, we seem to have found ourselves in several cemeteries and parks of late. I guess that means we're giving fair time to both death and (plant) life, right? Or... something. Here are some photos, first of Palmer Cemetery, which is also in our little neighborhood in Fishtown (they're our local dead):

Down in Society Hill, we found the cemetery for Old St. Mary’s Church, where Commodore Barry (among other Revolutionary War-era and 19th-century luminaries) is buried:
For some more history sans dead bodies, here’s Penn Treaty Park:
Here's another shot from the park – looks like the coast of Maine or something, no? In fact, no, it's just the "coast" of Pennsylvania.
We ran into a great community garden at Schuylkill River Park (where a nice French lady shared some of her chives and sage, yay!) There were still a surprising number of plants still hanging in there, including this tomato:
Overall, man, autumn in this city is just great, I forgot how much I missed it. And as for art? Of course, there’s been art! I’ll get to that in another post, including in-depth coverage of my Goldilocks-like quest for a drawing group that's juuuuust right... in the meantime, here are some more photos of Fall in Philly:
It's gingko season AND slippery rail season. Stinky AND slippy.
Here's a view from our bedroom window. A tree grows in Fishtown!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Love, Triangle.

Sending some love out to the (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) Triangle!

First off, John and I went to the National Women's Roller Derby Championships this past weekend here in Philly – unfortunately, we attended only the last day thereof, and therefore we missed the Philly Rollergirls playing (and, well, losing) on Saturday. Sadly, our beloved Carolina Rollergirls didn't rank high enough in the Eastern Division to compete in the event... but we did get to see Carolina player Eva Lye, who was at the event selling her awesome jewelry. Plus, John and I wore our Carolina T-shirts in solidarity with our original favorite team. Yay Rollergirls!

Roller derby! At the Philadelphia Convention Center

Also: I just read this really reeeeally nice post from fellow painter and awesome friend Alia El-Bermani - who I super-duper massively miss now that we're here in Philadelphia. A big shout-out to Alia, who I hope to drag up here to Philadelphia as often as possible until we convince her that she needs to be here permanently. Sigh. Anyway, check out the post - she started a painting of me before we moved, and she added in her AWESOME kitten, who is possibly the best kitten ever. Love that kitten, love that Alia. Sniff!

Painting by Alia El-Bermani: Diane with Kitten, oil on panel, 24" x 18".

Also – while I'm on the subject of great Raleigh peeps, here’s some nice news about the fabulous Megan Sullivan - she will be showing work at Jack Hanley Gallery in NYC as a part of the upcoming show "Four Women." The show is up through December 24, check it out!

Bottle Blonde, 2008, cotton and polyester, by Megan Sullivan

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your Mom.

So we have FINALLY managed to achieve 21st-century-appropriate home Internet access (with absolutely no thanks at all to Verizon - but that's a story for another time.) Which, of course, means that I will be better at updating this here blog in the coming days. In the meantime, though, Philadelphia asked me to pass a message along to you:
Man! It's a harsh town.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Philly updates.

Oh MAN, we've been busy. But in a good way! House = great, city = great, just trying to settle in. More updates soon - in the meantime, here's John with some Philadelphia City Hall looming in the background, looking all nice and all: