Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cars and Trucks in Rockland

Rockland with J and my new Moleskine watercolor book, waterpens & a small paint box instead of my usual colored pencils.  Dinner at the Park Street Grill, a walk along the harbor, and music at Rock City Café, which is also a 2nd hand bookshop and a bar by night.  The music was hard to hear, so we wandered into the bookshop. I found an out of print copy of Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters, his memoir of the changes in his life after his wife became paralyzed and of his discovery of seeing/drawing.

On Sunday, the ideal spring weather day, I sat on the old fashioned veranda of the Limerock Inn reading his book. I had encountered some of Gregory's themes years before through The Zen of Seeing and other books of Frederick Franck.  A timely reminder: I am happy when sketching, whether I keep or share the drawings or not.
A group of giant construction trucks (on holiday) were plunked in the middle of a road. In a practical sense, they were a nuisance, visually they were, for me, adorable.  I never drew trucks, I never even noticed trucks until I worked with young children who loved Diggers and Dumpers. To me they still seem like GIANT TOYS. I got lost in trying to record the proportions and perspectives of the "BOMAC" roller above. Nevertheless, I  got to see it more clearly than if I were  just "whipping by", in Gredory's words. I wonder how I'd like driving the big old BOMAC. Ironically, J was at a nearby car show. Had I gone, I would have had lots of opportunities to sketch vehicles!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Children's Museum Exhibits and Language Learning

An exhibit, exposition, at Musée de la Civilization in Quebec City on fairy tales. Like visits to les bibliothèques (previous post), children’s shows are a source for my French learning (not to mention just plain fun). Here children got to wear fairy tale costumes and play in fairy tale structures including a mini witch's cottage. My notebook, le carnet, served as a place to jot down expressions and vocabulary as well as images. At the museum in Québec, signs in the exhibits are usually in English and French, so it's like reading French with a large bi-lingual dictionary!
When practicing a new language or traveling abroad adults can return to a childlike state, experiencing freshness and newness which, in turn, opens the senses. But refugees learn new languages out of necessity rather than for play. The film Mao’s Last Dancer beautifully portrays the communication struggles that immigrants can experience, along with culture shock and other difficulties. My family of origin learned new languages for survival in harsh circumstances, as well as for delight. 
When I return from a trip where I have had to work hard communicating in my other languages, I marvel at the smooth and fast way that English rolls out of my mouth and at how I shop, ask directions and do business with such ease! I relish the way I can effortlessly read books for adults where I only have to look up an occasional word rather than what, in a French book, can be quite a considerable number. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Close to Home

The start of a new blog. I closed my other blog and focused on some drawing skills, continued my sketch journals,  traveled a bit... I'm starting close to home, & in this blog I will wander here & there... I'll share some sketches, drawings & notes, from near & far...
I would love to know you visited, so please do join me & leave me a comment!