When I was a young girl, growing up in Brooklyn NY, I rode the Utica Avenue trolley car (and later, on the bus when trolleys no longer ran) up to Eastern Parkway. That’s where I went down into the subway station where the IRT (Interboro Rapid Transit) line ran. I took it to the Brooklyn Museum, where, every Saturday morning, I took art lessons.
I remember the art teacher always urged the class to “feel” the subjects we were observing, and just let the lines flow.
One time, we were in the rotunda, overlooking a round stage below us. Dancers were performing; they wore flowing skirts and their movements were very fluid. We were experimenting with “conte” crayon. A light brown square crayon that looked almost like charcoal or pastels, but was more dense (not as fragile) and was a little oily. That’s how I remember it. And it was easy to use – it “flowed” on the heavyweight art pages.
Another time, in the Spring, when the weather was balmy and sunny, the class was taken to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – next door to the museum. We were introduced to the Japanese Gardens. And I was introduced to my favorite of all places. It was so peaceful, and I breathed it all in. The beauty! A new world appeared before me. Bushes, bridges over water, still ponds, lily pads, colors.
It was difficult to take it all in. In my young age, I had not experienced anything like that on which my eyes feasted. And the best of all: the trees.
After I no longer went to the museum for art classes, I still would take the IRT to the Eastern Parkway station and, with my pastels and art pad, I would meander through the gardens and put colors to paper and draw my heart out!
[images from bingdotcom]