M. Ward at Revolution Hall

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things after an intense few months of traveling (and moving). This summer we spent some time with my parents on Cape Cod, visited friends in Boston, then flew to Westport Ireland. Shortly after returning from Ireland, we set out on a cross-country drive to Portland OR, where we now reside. Leaving Brooklyn was a difficult decision and continues to be an adjustment, but there's a lot to love about Portland. 

Portland Japanese Garden © Carly Larsson 2016

Portland Japanese Garden © Carly Larsson 2016

Last weekend was a milestone birthday for me, so Saturday we checked out the Portland Japanese Garden and had dinner at Bamboo Sushi (amazing), then saw M. Ward perform at Revolution Hall on Sunday. Above are the two drawings I got in at the garden before they told me I could not use ink or COLORS? I was going to buy a membership because the BBG's Japanese Garden was one of my absolute favorite places to draw, but this was a huge bummer so I didn't. 

Telekenesis opening for M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

Telekenesis opening for M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

Sunday we saw M. Ward at Revolution Hall, which is in an old high school auditorium (formerly Washington High School, built in 1906). There was no photography per the request of the artist, and it was really nice to be at a show where everyone was present, watching the show, and nobody was on their phones the whole time (honestly, when does anyone actually watch those iPhone videos they spend entire concerts filming?) Luckily, drawing was permitted, *unlike* at the aforementioned garden (can you tell I'm not over it?) A band called Telekinesis, pictured above, opened. They had maracas and got people dancing, which made drawing them great way to warm up.  

M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

When M. Ward came on I was surprised how different he sounded live than on his albums. Not in a bad way - it still sounded like him - more in the sense that it felt like he was playing around, improvising and trying new things. I like that. 

M. Ward & his fluffy-haired bassist at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

M. Ward & his fluffy-haired bassist at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

I was happy he played some older favorites, like Chinese Translation from Post-War (drawing below). He also played a few covers, including Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly, and John Fahey. I was improvising too, since it was pitch black in there and I couldn't see what I was doing. It was a pleasant surprise when the lights came on and the colors I was blindly grabbing out of my box of pastels were similar to the colors of the lights!

M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

He is an unbelievable guitarist and was joined by some equally talented musicians, all from Portland. There was a lot of focus on the instrumentals and a few amazing solos. I love how he is able to incorporate influences from so many decades and genres, making them his own. That's something I aim to do in my own work. After all, it was Picasso who told us that "good artists borrow, great artists steal." 

M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

Drummer for M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

Drummer for M. Ward at Revolution Hall © Carly Larsson 2016

Montefioralle Winery

Wishing a very happy anniversary to friends Jenn + Nick Vigliotti! I am honored to have been commissioned by Nick to do this piece for their first anniversary. It is based off a photo taken on their honeymoon at Montefioralle Winery in the village of Greve in Chianti, Italy. Apparently this winery has a painting contest every year - artists meet at the winery, partake in a complementary wine tasting, and spend the day painting the premises. Winners receive cases of wine and their work reproduced on a limited edition bottle. I know where I'm going on my next vacation! 

Labor Day

© Carly Larsson 2015

© Carly Larsson 2015

Happy Labor Day! This summer flew by, and was a busy one for me. While I didn't get much  vacation time this year, I'm grateful to have had a few opportunities to slow down and do some drawing just for me. Here's a quick sunset painting from early August, at one of my favorite spots in Pocasset, on Cape Cod MA, where I grew up. 

Happy Birthday, Melville!

In this same New Bedford there stands a Whaleman’s Chapel, and few are the moody fishermen, shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific, who fail to make a Sunday visit to the spot.
— Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"

In honor of Herman Melville's birthday today, here's a drawing I did last summer of the Whaleman's Chapel (aka the Seamen's Bethel) from Melville's Moby Dick. The Seamen's Bethel was built in 1832 as a nondemoninational church for the many whalemen to whom New Bedford was home port. It was tradition that one would visit the bethel at least once before setting out to sea. Melville himself came to New Bedford in December of 1840 and stayed until January the next year, attending many services here. 

Jury Duty

I was called for jury duty the first week of July. I was displeased, but instead of complaining - OK, along with complaining - I saw the people-watching opportunity for what it was. I grabbed a sketchbook and some pencils and arrived at the Supreme Court in Downtown Brooklyn promptly at 8 AM. An hour later, people were still trickling in, and nothing was happening.

This guy had the snazziest suspenders / haircut / color combo going on.

This guy had the snazziest suspenders / haircut / color combo going on.

Essentially, it was hours upon hours of waiting in "central jury" before being shown a cheesy informational film about how AWESOME and FUN jury duty really is. Most people had something to read or were on their phones and tablets, which made secretively drawing them a breeze. When people notice you drawing them they generally either a) get really uncomfortable and glare at you or b) act like they don't notice and start posing. 

Next we were ushered into the courtroom for a few more hours of waiting. Except this time, there were no books, beverages (i.e coffee) or recording devices allowed, and all cell phones/tablets had to be shut off. This is when the juror's body language (boredom and fatigue) started to get really good. I wish I had drawn more during this part, but wasn't sure if my pencil counted as a recording device. The police assigned to courtroom security were NOT the friendliest, and I was pretty intimidated...

The guy above gave zero f**ks. He would nap for a while, pop his head up briefly, look around, then resume napping. He also was an amazing shape and a lot of fun to draw.

Some guys sneaking onto their cell phones in the court room before the judge returned from lunch (30 minutes late).

Some guys sneaking onto their cell phones in the court room before the judge returned from lunch (30 minutes late).

I think the body language of the guy below pretty much sums up the entire jury duty experience:

NYC Marathon

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

Every year I intend to get out and draw the NYC Marathon, but for one reason or another it never seems to happen. I live a block from the marathon route, so there really is no excuse! This year I was able to catch the tail end of it and get a couple quick drawings in.

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

The Charles W. Morgan in Boston

As I've mentioned, I spent the summer with Dalvero Academy doing a reportage project on the Charles W. Morgan, the world's last wooden whaling ship. I really need to go through all my drawings so I can do a more in-depth blog post about the events, but for now here's a quick one of the Morgan docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston this past July.

The Charles W. Morgan docked in Boston MA at the Charlestown Navy Yard, July 2014 © Carly Larsson

The Charles W. Morgan docked in Boston MA at the Charlestown Navy Yard, July 2014 © Carly Larsson

My friend Despina just shared her gorgeous drawings of the Morgan's return to Mystic Seaport, CT. Can't wait to share mine from that day - coming soon!   

Subway Portraits

Yesterday I took the subway to meet a friend in Queens. It was rush hour, so there were plenty of great characters to surreptitiously draw. 

A very serious man reading the newspaper on the G train © Carly Larsson 2014

A very serious man reading the newspaper on the G train © Carly Larsson 2014

Some men on the G train. I was inadvertently gracious to the guy in the front - he was about 20 years older than I drew him, but he moved so I had to fudge it a little ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Some men on the G train. I was inadvertently gracious to the guy in the front - he was about 20 years older than I drew him, but he moved so I had to fudge it a little ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Man on the 7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Man on the 7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Girl on the 7 train. Loved her puffy jacket and floral handbag. © Carly Larsson 2014

Girl on the 7 train. Loved her puffy jacket and floral handbag. © Carly Larsson 2014

Drawing on the train really makes the ride fly by. There have been times I missed my stop because I was so focused (luckily that didn't happen this time!)

When I showed my friend Siyeon the drawings later on, she knew exactly what train I saw each person on without me telling her. I thought that was pretty funny - It's so true that there are different types of characters that frequent each subway line! 

This cute little guy on the G kept peeking out at me. So cute in his little Converse sneaks. © Carly Larsson 2014

This cute little guy on the G kept peeking out at me. So cute in his little Converse sneaks. © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Chic ponytail lady, G train © Carly Larsson

Chic ponytail lady, G train © Carly Larsson

I loved the shape of this guy on the 7 train - so round! © Carly Larsson 2014

I loved the shape of this guy on the 7 train - so round! © Carly Larsson 2014

I must admit, I drew this kid out of aggravation. He was playing his soccer game with the volume on full blast. 7 train. © Carly Larsson 2014

I must admit, I drew this kid out of aggravation. He was playing his soccer game with the volume on full blast. 7 train. © Carly Larsson 2014

Brooklyn Bridge Park

One of my favorite places to go draw lately has been Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. It's a short train ride from my apartment, there are great views of the bridges and the city, there's a carousel, lots of people, etc. etc. Here are a couple of drawings from one of the first times I drew there in August.

The Manhattan Bridge as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

The Manhattan Bridge as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

The Brooklyn Bridge with the Freedom Tower in the back, as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

The Brooklyn Bridge with the Freedom Tower in the back, as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. © Carly Larsson 2014.

Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. © Carly Larsson 2014.

This is Jane's Carousel, formerly known as the Idora Park Merry-Go-Round, created in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and originally installed in Youngstown Ohio. The carousel features 3 rows of 48 hand-carved and painted wooden horses as well as 2 chariots. When Idora Park closed in 1984 the carousel was sold at auction and brought to Brooklyn for restoration. It opened at its new location on the East River in Brooklyn September 16, 2011.

Houseplants

Some studies of my parents' houseplants from a rainy Labor Day - soon to be a new pattern! I'm so drawn to houseplants (no pun intended), probably because I can't have any of my own (our cat eats them). I'd be more specific about the types of plants these are, but to be honest I have no idea. When I texted my mom to ask, her response was: "I'm not good with plants. That one is already dead. Very happy you captured it in its prime." Haha!