The june session of Desenho Cru didn’t have performers. Or better still, the sketchers present acted as performers, each posing for ten minutes for their counterparts. Each had to bring an object and pose with it, but only a couple of tonight’s performers had actually brought them.
The warm summery spring night favored an outdoors session, in the nice patio that the studio has just outside the usual sketching room.
Keeping the colors right was a challenge, because of the outdoor lights. The yellows and greens tended to vanish under them. The sketching itch had to be fully scratched on the subway back home. In the summer, there are people riding the subway right until it closes at 1am.
Puxada is a Portuguese word that means “pulled”. It also used to describe the incredible entanglements of power and communication cables fixed on the façades of most buildings in Portugal. Some puxadas are true works of art, testaments to the improvisation capability of our tech people. Whether you’re changing your internet provider, or you’re upgrading your switchboard, another layer is added to your puxada in a process that will allow future electronic archaeologists to know exactly what were your options in terms of commodities.
A few years ago, I challenged the Urban Sketchers Portugal community to sketch puxadas, as they are a tough, intricate subject.
The day before yesterday, I became a human puxada! I was scheduled for a sleep study, for which, the clinic staff took an hour an a half to attach, glue and connect all the 15 terminals that were to record my sleep patterns. I stopped considering going home by subway halfway during the installation. And I was right, given the people’s reaction during the short walk from the clinic to the taxi. It was a restless night. Hope it doesn’t tamper with the results. The next morning, I spent another hour and a half dissolving the glue on the terminals with acetone in a process that is still going on, as I keep finding tiny crusts of glue in my hair.
It’s been a month now since Marina Grechanik’s workshop in Lisboa and it’s still kicking in. I’ve been experimenting a lot with ecolines, waterwashes as sketching base, big contrasts and form simplification. There’s actually not much story about these two spreads. Just a bunch of people I don’t know from the subway, the tram and the street.
And a bunch of people I do know, in a bar. In a mixture of techniques very unlike me. Oh, and a couple dancing lindy hop. Or jitterbug. I keep forgetting which.
Have a colorful weekend everyone!
The sketch meeting in the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo was a nice excuse to get away for the weekend.
In the debate of architecturally neutral museums and museums that parttake in the exhibitions within, this one falls in the latter category. It goes back and forth, down and up, meandering along an exhibition of real life ships and objects of life aboard a fishing vessel, plus many many shells and a fish tank with a few unfortunate cod fish.
While during the sketch meeting, everyone was pretty much focused on their sketching activity, it was only later in the day that everybody started to mingle, just before the museum ended. The meeting gave place to a visit to a nearby illustration exhibition of one of the participants.
Sharing sketchbooks and techniques is an inevitable part of any sketch meeting. And so it happened with the fine people of Aveiro Sketchers and I, around a late lunch table of pizza in the fishing town of Gafanha, of the south bank of Aveiro’s lagoon.
In Portugal, the winter has been mild. Sunny afternoons with a touch of chill in the evening. It’s a food-galore period! Lunches and dinners go on for hours, and there are very short periods in-between them. Different parts of the family meet up and go about in a very organic schedule, everything flows in a chaotic order, as in the traffic of an Indian road junction.
The gastronomical selection is ample, but follows a strict years-old rehearsed order. Dinner on the 24th is boiled cod-fish (bacalhau cozido) sided with potatoes, green cabbage, eggs and chickpeas, and lots of olive oil. Lunch on the 25th is farrapo velho (old rags), a recycling of the previous night’s recipe, shredded down to a rugged-looking mixture of whites, greens and pastel yellows – add olive oil for bright colours. In the evening comes the roasted turkey with potatoes and chestnuts, swimming in – you guessed it – olive oil.
This year, we had a bonus meal on the 23rd – a delicious roasted duck with rice in a country house on a top of a hill in the great Algarvian outback (insert banjo riff).
Desserts are also a highlight of the season. Bolo-rei, fritos, aletria, mexidos, queijo da serra, the regional D. Rodrigos and doces finos algarvios. But the star product is the Rabanadas – bread slices wrapped in egg, sugar and cinnamon. I used to eat tens of these in my childhood! Nowadays I can only manage one or two, tops. Still, it’s my favourite feature of these evenings. Here’s a proper recipe from a foodie friend of mine.
The most awesome thing about christmas this year was the newest addition to the family: a one-month old dachshund, sister of the four year old one, who goes by the name of Viviane, although I was rooting for another name.
Happy holidays everyone!