Sketch of the Day: Sunday Afternoon at the Museum

An all-Nordic concert at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen. Carl Nielsen's Helios Overture, opus 17; Edvard Grieg's March from Sigurd the Crusader and a Suite from Peer Gynt. For the finale, Sibalius' Finlandia, opus 26. Rousing brass and wind orchestra- The Herlev Concert Band-performed in the marvelously resonant all-marble concert hall. The conductor had an expressive back, too. Pencil in 5" x 8" Moleskine sketchbook.

Caught a surprise all-Nordic concert at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum today. Carl Nielsen’s Helios Overture, opus 17; Edvard Grieg’s March from Sigurd the Crusader and Suite from Peer Gynt, and for the finale, Sibalius’ Finlandia, opus 26. A rousing brass and wind orchestra, the Herlev Concert Band, played in the marvelously resonant all-marble music hall. I liked the conductor’s expressive back, too. Pencil in 5″ x 8″ Moleskine sketchbook.

Posted in Art, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Museum Sketching, museums, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friday Sketchbook: No More Opera for Okapis

Okapi, Copenhagen Zoo. Apparently, some okapis don't handle Wagner well- in 1994 a nearby performance of Tannhauser by the Royal Opera resulted in the stress death of one the okapis.

Okapi, Copenhagen Zoo. Apparently not big Wagner fans. Watercolor over pencil, 8 1/2″ x 11″ Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook.

While we drew the okapis today at the Copenhagen zoo, my friend told me a startling story. Okapis are rare African forest-dwelling relatives of the giraffe and sensitive animals. Very sensitive. Twenty years ago the Royal Theatre staged a performance at the zoo of selections from Wagner’s Tannhauser. They were just practicing their high notes when one of the nearby okapis, a six-year-old female named Katanda, came unglued.

A little figure-sketching in the chimpanzee house, Copenhagen Zoo.

A little figure-sketching in the chimpanzee house, Copenhagen Zoo The burly alpha male was at the far end of the enclosure, intimidating the other males, but the females were hanging out peaceably. There was a moment when one female hinted to another she’d like a taste of her snack, but dropped the issue when the hint went nowhere. Pencil on 8 1/2″ x 11″ Robert Bateman sketchbook.

Wagner can have that effect on people, too.

Baby hippos!

Baby hippos down for their nap, monitored by a large and vigilant mom. Inordinately cute huge pink and gray babies, and you just want to give them a hug. Pencil on 8 1/2″ x 11″ Stillman & Birn Alpha Series sketchbook

Long story short, the stressed-out okapi expired on the spot. Naturally, I wanted to confirm this strange tale of sturm und drang, and found this from the Associated Press,  and this, too.

White Rhinos

White Rhinos at the Copenhagen Zoo. Pencil on 8 1/2″ x 11″ Stillman & Birn Alpha Series sketchbook

In the enclosure with us a portable boom box provided a little music for the okapis. They seemed fine with the musical choice. It was rock and roll.

Happy Friday.

 

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, Art, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Drawing, Exhibits, mammals, Music, Nature, Pop culture references, Sketching, Watercolor, Wildlife, Zoo Sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Art of the Day: I Must Be Hungry

More Danish food obsession- these are a few things we picked up at Torvehallerne, the farm market in Copenhagen. The little carrots are wonderfully sweet, the garlic is very fresh, but the beautiful ruffled tomato is something of a mystery.

More Danish food obsession- here are a few things we picked up at Torvehallerne, the farm market in Copenhagen. The little carrots are wonderfully sweet, the garlic is very fresh, but the beautiful ruffled tomato is something of a mystery. It’s virtually hollow. Antman cut into one and was sorely disappointed by its lack of center. Perhaps it’s meant to be stuffed and cooked? The small cup is full of dried white beans. Antman is a very fine cook, and would turn these ingredients into a savory soup if I asked him very nicely. Pastel on sanded Artspectrum paper, 14″ x 16″.

Posted in Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Food, Pastel, self-indulgence, Shopping!, Still Life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Art of the Day: Still Life with Akvavit

Denmark, foodie heaven.

A light Danish snack, rendered in pastel. The bread should be thickly buttered and there should be smoked herring and sliced ham in the picture, but you get the concept. The beverage is Akvavit, the potent Scandinavian spirit flavored with caraway. It’s best served syrupy-thick straight from the freezer, preferably alongside smoked herring and buttered bread. The red currents are called “ribes” in Danish, purchased just yesterday from the foodie paradise Torvehallerne, which is a permanent farm market in the heart of Copenhagen and our favorite weekly shopping trip. Pardon me while I sip this akvavit. Pastel on sanded Artspectrum paper, 14″ x 16″.

Posted in Art, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Food, Pastel, self-indulgence, Shopping!, Still Life, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sketch of the Day: A Slice of Noma, Well Chilled

A View of Noma, the world's best restaurant.

The World’s Best Restaurant, Noma, from the harbor quay by Nyhavn, Copenhagen. While I sat sketching this, a car pulled up next to me and the middle-aged driver leaned out the window and warned of the consequences of sitting on cold stone. “The cold will enter your body and rise through your organs, and your health will be forever damaged,” he said, “I should know. I’m a Viking.” I thanked him and said I would consider his advice (which he repeated twice more). After this chat he wished me luck (with my internal organs, I assume) and drove off in his Alfa Romeo, which surely had heated seats. So, back to Noma- it’s supposed to be great, highly innovative, hard to get into, and very very expensive. But I had sketched it from a cold stone on the Copenhagen wharf, and now I’m a wee bit anxious. Watercolor over pencil on 8 1/2″ x 11″ Robert Bateman sketchbook.

 

Posted in Adventure!, architecture, Art, Boats, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Drawing, Food, landscapes, random speculation, Sketching, travel, urban sketching, Watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sketch of the Day: A Fox Hunt in the Deer Park

Only got a couple of sketches amid the action and the elbow-to-elbow spectators.

Although it was hard to draw during the race- the elbow-to-elbow spectator conditions and running from staging area to staging area kind of put a damper on the sketchbook-I found a few moments to sketch. The mounted officials watching from the sidelines made a nice subject, at least until the riders rounded the bend. The racers plunged into the water hazard and one horse came out empty-saddled while the unseated rider scrambled up the bank, dripping. She raised her  hands  in a victory salute as the crowd roared, and she had a camera strapped to her helmet, so check Youtube. Pencil on 8 1/2″ x 11″ Robert Bateman Sketchbook.

No foxes were hunted during today’s annual Hubertus Hunt in the great Deer Park forest at Klampenborg, just north of Copenhagen. In fact, the deer were laying low, too. But steeples were chased, if I’m getting that right, and the race was glorious. The grand horses, the elegant riders, the beautiful fall day all came together with throngs of lovely people and their dogs, too. Someone won, someone else fell off their horse into cold water and someone’s horse stalled at one jump and took courage at the next.

Pre-hunt warmup, a gathering and walk about under the trees near the starting line. Time for the crowd to admire the horses and the riders, too.

Pre-hunt warmup, where riders rode slowly under the trees near the starting line. It gave the crowd a chance to size up the field. Didn’t see anyone placing bets, per se, but there was some action over by the coffee wagon.

The spectators were almost as interesting as the spectacle.

Lots of doggies at the hunt. All well groomed, and very well behaved. No foxhounds, though.

Walking from one jump to the next with the crowd, headed for the next event by the Royal Hunting Castle, the Hermitage on the hill ahead.

Walking from one jump to the next, headed for the event at the Hermitage, the Royal Hunting Castle on the hill ahead.

At the finish line...

More sketches- just quick studies- a great oak tree by the water hazard pond, filling up rapidly with tree-climbing spectators. Lower right, a rider resting her horse, white-gloved hand on its withers. Pencil in 8 1/2" x 11" Robert Bateman Sketchbook.

More sketches- just quick studies- a great oak tree filling rapidly with spectators climbing up for a better look. At lower right, a rider gives her horse a breather, white-gloved hand stroking withers. Pencil in 8 1/2″ x 11″ Robert Bateman Sketchbook.

The view of the day; walking across fields and through forest to arrive at a destination out of time, but with sense of place

The view of the day; walking across fields and through forest to arrive at a destination out of time.

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, Culture, Denmark, Diversions, Drawing, fashion, field sketching, figure drawing, Horses, mammals, Sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friday Sketchbook: Drawing, the New Hot Topic

A passageway between Gammel Torv, the old town square, and Kattesundet, a narrow cobbled street. It's framed by two beautiful arches.

Beautiful arches lead the eye (and feet) between narrow cobbled street Slutterigade (“Prison Street”) and the bustling square of Gammel Torv, backed by the old Copenhagen Courthouse. The imposing structure once housed the town prison. Hans Christian Andersen used it in “The Tinder Box”, a story in which a soldier awaits execution behind iron-grated windows, possibly the ones at ground-level just beyond the second arch. That arch is known as “The Bridge of Sighs” for the prisoners who crossed it on their way to trial next door. Today it’s a nice little shortcut for bicycles and pedestrians and drivers who know where to sneak through.  A painting by Martinus Rørbye depicts the same spot in 1831, when Andersen might’ve been in the crowd. Watercolor over pencil, Moleskine 5″ x 8″ sketchbook.

Urban and travel sketching was in the news yesterday, to my surprise and delight. Luis Simoes, a Portuguese artist, is on a 5 year mission to sketch his way around the world. He talks about his experiences and the purpose of of slow travel via sketchbook:

“What I’ve learned is I have time to see things, to see the culture passing by. I can be in one spot for three hours maybe, it gives me the time to feel more.

Which sums up the practice very nicely. He also talks about sketching as a cultural ice-breaker, which is tremendously useful at times (like the time someone sent a drink to my table in Florence where I was sketching. At least, I think that was the reason).

Frederick's Church, a.k.a. the Marble Church, Copenhagen. Green and gold confectionary dome sketched from the central courtyard of Ameliaborg Castle, where I was waiting for the noontime Changing of the Guard.

Frederik’s Church, a.k.a. the Marble Church, Copenhagen. A sweet rococo confection of green and gold, as sketched from the central courtyard of Amelienborg Castle while I (and a couple hundred other tourists) waited for the noontime Changing of the Royal Guard.

It made me very happy to see sketching, and a great sketcher, featured in mainstream news, and I hope it inspires people to pick up sketchbooks and go for it. You don’t have to travel around the world to make it work, either. You can try this at home.

Happy Friday.

Happy Halloween.

And Happy Anniversary, Antman!

 

 

Posted in architecture, Art, Artists, Copenhagen, Culture, Denmark, Drawing, Environment, Sketching, travel, urban sketching, Watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments