Sketch of the Day: Art, Babies, and Beer

Your caption here. "The Water Mother", by Kai Neilsen 1919-21, in the Winter Garden Rotunda at the Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum.

“The Water Mother”, by Danish sculptor Kai Neilsen 1919-21, best sculpture of the day, in Carlsberg’s Glyptotek Museum., Copenhagen. There were more babies to draw, but the museum was closing. Pencil in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine Sketchbook.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a Copenhagen museum founded by the Carlsberg brewing family, with sculpture being the main attraction, but they also have great French Impressionist paintings, a tropical garden in the main rotunda, a nice cafe, and today, a surprise choral group in the marble-columned music hall singing heavenly music straight out of the Middle Ages. I wasn’t the only one sketching there today- a drawing class commenced in the Egyptian room, and individual sketchers occupied the Classical Antiquities Hall.

Sketchers draw in the Egyptian Room at Copenhagen's Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

Sketchers draw in the Egyptian Room at Copenhagen’s Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

The Glyptotek encourages artistic visitors and even hands out folding seats. I beamed with gratitude, sat down, and drew an Athenian Soldier, circa 330 BC, followed by the most amazing mother and child free-for-all ever sculpted.

Cheers, Carlsberg!

Babies! At the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen.

Posted in archeology, Art, Artists, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Drawing, Exhibits, figure drawing, history, museums, Sculpture, Sketching, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sketch of the Day: Rainy, with a twist of sun

Sunlight at the Copenhagen Botanical Garden.

This is what art is truly good for: catching sunlight on potted plants in August to save up for a cold rainy day in September. These agaves are planted in formal urns along the balustrade of the grand Victorian iron-and-glass hot-house at Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden. Come to think of it, the Victorian hot-house could be a dandy spot for some upcoming Danish winter-weather natural history drawing. At least it’ll be warm. Watercolor and pencil in Moleskine 5″ x 8″ sketchbook.

Posted in Art, Drawing, Nature, garden, Sketching, Environment, Weather, architecture, Denmark, Copenhagen, urban sketching, Urban Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sketch of the Day: Rest and Roll, Royal Horses

The Royal horses catch some rays, enjoying a warm fall morning by standing in the sunlight looking regal, and by pawing, then rolling, in the dust of the Royal Riding Grounds. At Christiansborg Palace, which also houses the Parliament.We just started watching Børgen and are totally hooked.

The Royal horses celebrated today’s warm sunshine by grandly lowering their clean white butts to the dusty ground, rolling around in the most undignified manner, and rising again as horses of a different color: taupe. Happily for the Royal Grooms, they shook themselves clean afterward. Watercolor wash over pencil, Stillman & Birn Alpha Series 8 1/2″ x 11″ Sketchbook.

Posted in Art, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Drawing, field sketching, Horses, Livestock, mammals, Sketching, Stupid Critter Tricks, Urban Nature, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sketch of the day: Vestamager Birch Forest

A fine stand of delicate birches fringe the edges of Vestamager, a big flat area of fields and marshes to the south of Copenhagen.

A fine forest of birches fringes the edge of Copenhagen’s Vestamager nature reserve. While we picnicked on rugbød (dense ryebread- a Danish staple) cheese and small hard sweet apples, Antman scribbled weighty thoughts in his notebook and let red dragonflies perch all over his body, and I sketched. Vestamager is a neighborhood in the south of Copenhagen, a landscape of meadow and marshes dotted with wild geese, fat woolly sheep and black and white belted cows. Also surprisingly close to the city and accessible by bike. We rode on wide asphalt paths and the awesome new pedestrian/bicycle bridge Cykelslangen-which just opened in August, and crossed the harbor on its gossamer curves. It’s a fine bridge, but don’t get caught behind a little girl on a tiny pink bike, unless you don’t mind blocking for her. Scariest two minutes of my day. Watercolor over pencil, Stillman & Birn 8 1/2″ x 11″ Alpha Series Sketchbook. Updated Note: that Cykelslangen video is wonderful and I did NOT take it- I just linked to it on Youtube.

Posted in Adventure!, architecture, Art, bicycles, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Environment, landscapes, natural history, Nature, nature journaling, plein air, Pop culture references, self-indulgence, Sketching, Urban Natue, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Friday Sketchbook: All the King’s Horses

Every morning the Royal steeds get a workout in the huge riding ring behind the castle, practicing their teamwork skills, keeping in shape for ceremonial coach-drawing, if that's a word. Come to think of it, it's a great place to sketch. T

Every morning the Royal steeds get a good workout in the huge riding ring behind Christiansborg Palace in Central Copenhagen, practicing their coach-drawing skills, staying in shape for Royal events requiring equestrian services. Come to think of it, it’s a good place to practice my coach-drawing skills, too. According to a sign at the entrance to the Royal Stables, these beautiful white horses are Kladrubers, a breed from the Czech Republic. They are born dark gray and age gradually into their white coats. Some still have some gray dappling. Pencil and watercolor wash on Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook.

Speaking of coach-drawing, here's the Royal Coach, all fitted out in gold, with The interior has plush tufted pearl gray seating. Underneath is an elaborate spring suspension system. The big painted wheels are rubber coated. Everything is built for luxurious comfort, but it can’t possibly cushion the blow of a cobblestone pavement.

Speaking of coach-drawing, here’s the Royal Coach, all fitted out in gold, with plush tufted pearl gray interior and an elaborate suspension system beneath. The big wheels are rubber coated-but they can’t possibly cushion the ride entirely over Copenhagen’s cobblestone pavement. I imagine the Royal Family likes to keep these trips short. Maybe just lunch and a little shopping. Pencil on Moleskine 5 x 8 Sketchbook.

The Marble Bridge, Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, where the King's coaches have rolled into town since 1744.

The Marble Bridge from Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, across which the King’s coaches have rolled to town since 1744. Watercolor wash over pencil, 8 1/2 x 11 Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook.

A team of two white horses draws the little rig and driver. I don't know what the official name for the vehicle is. A buggy? A mini-coach? cabriolet? sulky? practice- phaeton?

A team of two white horses draws the little rig and driver. I don’t know what the official name for the vehicle is. Buggy? Mini-coach? Cabriolet? Practice-Phaeton? Whatever it was, it was lovely to watch them work. Pencil on Stillman & Birn Alpha Series sketchbook.

The actual Danish Royal Stables, Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen. At their height, they housed 270 horses. Today they hold about 20. But walking in here, the first thing that hits you is a strong feeling of well-being and the sweet scent of hay and horses. Nothing else like it.

The Danish Royal Stables at Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen. It once housed 270 horses, back in the day before cars (and bicycles, probably) had been invented; today they hold about 20 horses. The first thing that hits you when you step inside is a feeling of great well-being, along with the scent of hay and very well-cared-for horses.

Any day that begins with horses is a good day in my book.

Happy Friday.



Posted in Art, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Drawing, field sketching, history, Horses, Livestock, mammals, Sketching, travel, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sketch of the Day: This wasn’t drawn in France

Not to toot my horn, but we should be sashaying around Montpellier, France, this evening.

Lure blowers atop a pedestal by Town Hall (Radhuset), Copenhagen. A “lure” is an ancient Norse horn, dating back to 1800 b.c. or so. That would be The Bronze Age, a substance which, as luck would have it, the statue is made out of. Although these lure players are truly awesome, today we should have been in Montpellier, followed by another two days in Arles. I could have sketched in the unsteady footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh. Or watched flamingoes and wild ponies from the nearby marshes of the Camargue, or haggled for sea salt and leather jackets in the open-air market of Arles. But Air France is experiencing a mashup of their own, mon Dieu! and cancelled all flights, c’est la vie. Instead, we will enjoy the gracious lure blowers and the rich pageantry of Danish life in the great city of Copenhagen. Rather than lollygagging unprofitably about in the south of France, I got my hair cut, bought light bulbs and found a pair of cute pink flip-flops, 50% off.

Had tea today in an 18th Century tea room. I think that was the last time they redecorated. It was founded as part of the Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society in 1443. Honest. I love Copenhagen.

Also enjoyed a pot of jasmine tea this afternoon in a tea room dating back to the 18th Century, which, I think, was the last time they decorated. It’s within the Copenhagen Museum in a building once occupied by the Royal Copenhagen Shooting Society, founded  back in 1443. Time just flew.


Posted in Adventure!, archeology, Art, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Drawing, museums, Sculpture, self-indulgence, Shopping!, Sketching, travel, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sketch of the Day: Ganymede and Jupiter’s Eagle

The story goes: Jupiter abducted the shepherd Ganymede and put him to work as cup-bearer for his pet eagle. Makes sense. Bertel Thorvaldsen, Denmark's great sculptor of the 19th century, turned the motif into an evocative marble sculpture. It's displayed in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen, next door to the Castle.

The story goes like this: Jupiter abducted the handsome shepherd boy Ganymede and put him to work as cup-bearer for his pet eagle. Denmark’s great sculptor of the 19th century, Bertel Thorvaldsen, turned the myth into marble and titled it, “Ganymedes med ørman” which means “Ganymede with eagle”. Pencil in Moleskine 8″ x 5″ sketchbook.

Posted in Art, Artists, bird art, birds, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Drawing, Exhibits, figure drawing, history, museums, Sketching, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments