Thursday, August 17, 2006

20th July - Old Town Albuquerque

Early Morning, Alburquerque
pencil and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
In Albuquerque we stayed in a 'bed and breakfast' called Mauger's near the Old Town. It was great - and now comes highly recommended by me!

I sketched both my room (on tomorrow's post) and the view from my window early one morning. The clouds have a very different quality for about an hour or so in the early morning light.

On Thursday morning Louise was up bright and early to attend her coloured pencil workshop at the convention hotel on drawing the figure with coloured pencils. She's an artist who's very experienced at drawing from life and says it was an 'interesting experience'.

Kathy, Gordon and I went for a tour of the Old Town where there are lots of little alley ways with very small shops and galleries. I sat under the trees in the Old Town Plaza and tried to do a quick plein air sketch using pencil/coloured pencils in my Moleskine of the Indians selling jewellery on the sidewalk - very sensibly sitting in the shade as the temperature was just short of 100 degrees. Inevitably this is a composite of several people coming and going. I really don't think I did a terrific job of getting the value contrast right. I'm always perplexed by very light colours in very deep shade as was the case with this particular view. And it simply misses completely the bright, almost fluorescent, flashes of light on the edge of the castellations on the roof. Of course the photos are of no help as they always get the values wrong. But having written that down I'll now remember what's wrong with this sketch! I find if you make a notation on sketches about shortfalls and mistakes it can be really helpful if you want to work the sketch up later on.

Panpipes in Old Town Albuquerque
pencil and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
A chilli ristra

At lunchtime, we mellowed out having a great meal at the Church Street Cafe. Check out the menu! This and other restaurants are listed in the link below. The building which houses it is located at the back of the church and was built in 1706 - around the time Albuquerque was founded . This makes it one of the oldest structures in Albuquerque and New Mexico. The walls are made of terrones (a type of adobe brick used before the swampy area around Rio Grande was drained in 1820). The walls are some two feet thick in places.

The photo is of a ristra hanging at the entrance to the restaurant - the colours are looking rather good against the adobe wall. Kathy and I explored the Turquoise Museum in the afternoon which was simply fascinating and well worth a visit if you're ever tempted to buy any turqouise.

In the evening Louise, Kathy and I attended the slide show at the CPSA convention which I've written about in my other blog, Making a Mark, here - "CPSA entries to the 2006 exhibition"

Kathy, Louise and I had also been to the Convention reception in the hotel where it was based the previos evening. We duly queued and and received our name badges, an envelope of handouts and our freebie box of the new (and interesting) Prismacolor shades for 2006 courtesy of Prismacolor as a CPSA sponsor.

We also had a good look at the exhibitions done by the southwestern branches - which were very good - and the blind auction of small works done by various CP artists. It must be very salutary for artists to see in a very visible way who rates their art and what they're prepared to pay. I seem to remember that Linda Lucas Hardy did very well with the bids against her piece.

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