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

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. 

Halloween 313's Nightmare on Clinton Avenue

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Halloween 313 performances on Clinton Avenue. Coinciding with the Society for Clinton Hill's Annual Halloween Walk, every year on Halloween crowds gather outside 313 Clinton Avenue (home of Janna Kennedy, "the Halloween Lady") for free live performances. The performances are put together by an incredibly talented and dedicated group of volunteers including professional actors, producers, designers and artists from around Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. This year I was invited to draw inside the spooky parlor and also had the opportunity to draw the performances. 

Decorations inside the parlor of Halloween 313 

Decorations inside the parlor of Halloween 313 

The set of Halloween 313's 2014 performance "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue"

The set of Halloween 313's 2014 performance "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue"

This year's performance was entitled "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue," and is set in "Clinton Hell." Two neighbors, Kat and Thomas wander by the spooky old mansion discussing rumors that it used to be an insane asylum for axe murderers. Legend has it that the proprietor of the house forces the inmates to perform variety shows every year on Halloween.  Thomas dismisses the rumors as hearsay just as the warden of the asylum, Anesthesia Hangbody, appears and kidnaps him.

Kat and Thomas encounter Anesthesia Hangbody © Carly Larsson 2014

Kat and Thomas encounter Anesthesia Hangbody © Carly Larsson 2014

Kat approaches some police officers seeking help in rescuing her fiancée Thomas from Ms. Hangbody, but they report that no one has lived in that old house for years, and are utterly useless in helping her.

The police are useless in helping Kat © Carly Larsson 2014

The police are useless in helping Kat © Carly Larsson 2014

With nowhere else to turn, Kat seeks help from a haunted painting of a man Anesthesia Hangbody formerly abducted.

Eventually, Kat takes matters into her own hands and fights off Anesthesia Hangbody with a little help from the asylum inmates and the talking painting, all of whom are tired of Ms. Hangbody's abuse.

Kat engages in hand-to-hand combat with Anesthesia Hangbody.

Kat engages in hand-to-hand combat with Anesthesia Hangbody.

Some of the asylum inmates. 

Some of the asylum inmates. 

More asylum inmates, and Thomas in the back.

More asylum inmates, and Thomas in the back.

With a fiery pyrotechnic show, the haunted painting and the inmates finish off Anesthesia Hangbody once and for all. Then Thomas, Kat and the inmates celebrate as the former Ms. Hangbody's portrait is added to the wall.  

A pyrotechnics show signifies that the inmates are tired of Anesthesia Hangbody's mistreatment

A pyrotechnics show signifies that the inmates are tired of Anesthesia Hangbody's mistreatment

Charlotta Janssen puts the finishing touches on the painting of Anesthesia Hangbody while the inmates applaud.

Charlotta Janssen puts the finishing touches on the painting of Anesthesia Hangbody while the inmates applaud.

After the portrait of the newly deceased Anesthesia Hangbody has been added to the wall

After the portrait of the newly deceased Anesthesia Hangbody has been added to the wall

It was a great show and such a privilege to hang out with the incredibly talented cast and crew afterward! There are a few more drawings I decided to rework a bit after scanning, so stay tuned for more drawings from Halloween 313.

Paul Revere's House

Over the summer I visited Boston with Dalvero Academy as part of our project following the Charles W. Morgan on her 38th Voyage. One of the places we visited while there was Paul Revere's house at 19 North Square in the North End. Revere owned the home from 1770-1800, where he lived with his second wife Rachel Walker, their 8 children, and his wife's mother (he already had 8 from his previous marriage to Sarah Orne! And the house only had 4 rooms! Can you say nightmare?)

Facade of the Paul Revere House in Boston's North End. © Carly Larsson 2014.

Facade of the Paul Revere House in Boston's North End. © Carly Larsson 2014.

The windows were made with manganese oxide which changes color in the sunlight. People in the 1800s saw this as a defect but I thought it was beautiful! © Carly Larsson 2014

The windows were made with manganese oxide which changes color in the sunlight. People in the 1800s saw this as a defect but I thought it was beautiful! © Carly Larsson 2014

While most of us know Paul Revere for his activity in the Revolutionary War, he was a gold and silversmith, a trade he learned from his father. He also worked as a copperplate engraver during the pre-Revolution depression, and moonlighted as a dentist from 1768-1775, cleaning teeth and wiring false teeth made from walrus ivory or other animal bones. After the Revolutionary War, Revere opened a foundry and supplied bolts, spikes and nails for North End shipyards (including brass fittings for the U.S.S. Constitution), produced cannons, cast bells, and opened the first copper-rolling mill in North America in 1801 where he provided copper sheeting for the hull of the U.S.S. Constitution and the dome of the Massachusetts State House. I was surprised by how much Paul Revere accomplished in his lifetime, how many different things he did, and how little I knew about much of it!      

900 lb bronze bell cast in 1804 by the Paul Revere & Son foundry. On display in the courtyard of the Paul Revere House in Boston's North End. © Carly Larsson 2014

900 lb bronze bell cast in 1804 by the Paul Revere & Son foundry. On display in the courtyard of the Paul Revere House in Boston's North End. © Carly Larsson 2014

The Duffield Street Houses

This past March I learned about the case of the Duffield Street homes in downtown Brooklyn and was compelled to honor their history with a drawing before they are eradicated by the city. The whole row of historic wood-frame houses on Duffield Street are believed to have played an integral part in the Underground Railroad, and many of them have already been demolished. 

227duffieldst

Previous owners of 227 Duffield Street, Harriet and Thomas Truesdell, were known abolitionists who worked with the likes of William Lloyd Garrison and Henry Ward Beecher. There is a sealed off tunnel in the basement of 227 Duffield Street which is believed to be a part of the Underground Railroad. Regardless of a plethora of evidence indicating that 227 Duffield Street and the surrounding homes were an integral part of the Underground Railroad, the city denies that the buildings should be landmarked and the Economic Development Plan (EDC) plans to use eminent domain to knock them down and build a park, two luxury hotels and an underground parking garage - just what we need. The fight to save the Duffield Street homes is still ongoing, and you can learn more about it here.