Once Upon A Time, I Wanted to Be An Architect

When I was about 8, I knew a new word of “an architect”. I was curious of the meaning and my mom told me an architect is a person whose work is to design a building. I said to my self,”Wow! To design a building?” Since then if someone asked me what I wanted to become when I’m older, I would say,”I wanted to become an architect”. But unfortunately, I’m not really into formulas in math or physics, whereas those two are needed to study architecture. Oh well, I’m more leaning towards the art of the design itself, rather than building a structure. I enjoy looking at a building in details and feasted all the nooks and crannies of it to my heart content. I become a fan of an architecture study. I learn about the style of a building, which era it was designed and how the custom and art background from the architect influenced it. My amazement at an architecture of a building sometimes implemented in the photos I took wherever I go, but lately I wanted to draw it rather than take some pictures of it. That’s what I did and I want to do it more often, if I have plenty of time to absorb all the details that I see from a certain building.

I drew the first sketch during my son’s ensemble class. The class is on the 3rd floor of the music school where our kids have been studying for years. The big window in the class overlooks an old building that I could see from where I sat. It was Fall and the scenery was beautiful with the falling leaves on the ground and the leafless trees. The building itself is one of a landmark building in New Haven, Connecticut. Its called the Kingsley & Havenmeyer House that was built in 1850. Then weeks after that (I drew other images instead meanwhile), I sketched one of the building at Yale University campus.  My object was a building called the Street Hall that was built in 1864. The red stones that becomes a significant of the building looks contrast comparing to other buildings that over all are in grey. While drawing the Street Hall, my son and I were having lunch at Panera Bread across the building. My son became restless, because he didn’t want me to finish my sketch. So I asked him to join me drawing whatever things he saw. Sure did, it worked! That became our first drawing session. Then another chance came to sketch another building, when I took my son to Yale-British Art Gallery. From the huge window on the 3rd floor gallery, I could see the street below and Yale Art Gallery across the street. We decided to sit before the window. My son and I were actually enjoying our second drawing session with some chats and jokes. I added more details at home as much as I could with the help of some pictures I took with my cellphone. I was ecstatic with the image of the bridge that connected the Old Yale Art Gallery with the Street Hall. Nowadays, I can’t wait for another time to just sit and sketch somewhere, admiring a building as an artwork, as of admiring a painting. An architect is somewhat an artist too.

The Kingsley & Havenmeyer House, circa 1850 seen from the 3rd floor of Neighborhood Music School

Sketch of A Building

Street Hall – Corner of Chapel St. & High St., Yale Campus, circa 1864

Sketch of Street Hall, Yale

The bridge of the Olde Yale Art Gallery to Street Hall over High St., circa 1928

Sketch of Olde Yale Art Gallery bridge, Yale

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Phoebe, A Sketch of A Violinist

Phoebe is Phoebe Baron, one among the many talented violin teachers at the music school where my children go to. She led an annual event two Saturdays ago, called Fiddle Fest. My son was participating in the event, who was one of 3 young musicians who joined the senior and more established musicians. While waiting and enjoying the music, I took out my sketch book and began to look for an object to draw. Then I thought, Phoebe would be the perfect object. So I drew her, while she was conducting and playing her violin so actively. It was pretty smooth and quick process. I showed the sketch to her and others after I was done. I even asked her for an autograph as a stamp of approval. She said,”You made me skinny.”

 

Sketch of A Violinisit

Inside Room 301

As the school semester has started once again, so does any activity involving the kids. My Saturdays are now about music ensembles and lessons. Room 301 where the music ensemble that my son has, is my usual place on Saturday morning. Waiting for 45 minutes could be a boredom if you don’t have any interesting to do. Some parent worked on their laptop, some tried to entertain their younger kid, and me, I sketched. Two weeks ago I sketched an Eastern Hemlock tree that is in the corner of room 301, together with other indoor plants. This tree is already reaching the ceiling! Then last week I sketched another plant, the Begonia in its pot. I felt relaxed doing the sketches. My mind was at ease.

 

Sketch of Estern Hemlock Tree

Sketch of Begonia

The Sketch of Saint Lawrence Church

There’s an old church that stands near our house. Its aging red bricks are showing, but they don’t seem to decrease the church grandiosity, which the cornerstone was placed in 1903. The street where we live is where the town’s old buildings located, some that were built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. Sometimes when I walked by Saint Lawrence Church, I would stand for a while to look at its details. It’s always interesting to view a little closer at one structure that still looks strong and stand out, even though it’s been through more than a centennial of changes. One day at a laundromat across the church that I visit regularly, I thought I might as well use my time with drawing while waiting for my load to finish. I chose the old church as my object out of curiosity whether I could translate my perception of this historical building unto paper. This is it.

 

Saint Lawrence Church, West Haven, CT

Sketches of Three Young Musicians

I love to draw and since last year, I’ve become more passionately drawing almost every week, whenever I found my self with nothing to do. This “nothing to do” part is not entirely correct, though. Because at that time, I usually were waiting for my son or daughter, while they practice together with their music ensemble or teacher. All our three children play music instruments. For 30 to 45 minutes I would try to find something to do to occupy my mind, and still paying attention at my kid. Some mothers or fathers who also were waiting, would do their works with their laptop, some were reading or helping their other kids occupied. I was busy drawing.

When I was little, I wanted to draw lots of people. But they never looked as if the were real. I thought to draw people was hard. Then one Saturday, in my son’s ensemble class, I picked up a pencil and started to sketch. My main object was a boy called, Sam, my son’s mate. I was happy with it, and planned to draw more. Then the next week, I drew another kid in the class, a girl named Charlotte who played violin. At the third week, I thought I might try to draw my son. He’s been playing recorder since he was 5 years old, and through my drawing, I might be able to capture how he’s been so far.

Sketch of A Recorder Player

After that, several weeks later, I drew my younger daughter, while she was practicing with her guitar ensemble. Some Sunday could be so boring, when I had to wait for an hour for it. My tiredness seemed multiplying by the time Sunday arrived. So to get away from boredom, I drew again. This was my first attempt to draw my daughter playing guitar. Though, when she saw it, she said that the girl on the drawing didn’t look like her, I was proud of it. I thought, I’ve succeeded catching the essence of my daughter playing guitar.

Sketch of A Guitar Player

It only makes sense, that I should draw all my kids while they were playing their instruments. My oldest’ turn came during her violin group class.  She was standing before me, practicing with them, and I had a huge inspiration. The music that they played, adding such a rush to my mind, that I just draw this, and that, and after several minutes, there she was, my oldest daughter with her hair on a bun, holding her violin, on my sketch book. She looked so tall and mature. It seemed through the drawings, I’ve recorded the way my children are today, and how they’ve grown up so far better than capturing them with a camera. It’s a little bit of nostalgia for me, who’s been involved with the many parts of bringing up three wonderful young musicians since the beginning.
Sketch of A Violin Player

Sketching and Waiting for The Tulips to Bloom

What would be the perfect way to welcome the May Day? I decided to sit around in the backyard and look at one of the tulip bulb. The morning of May 1st was extraordinary pretty and warm. I was sun bathing while sitting on the grass, tried to sketch a tulip. The would be dark-purple-almost-black tulips, are almost blooming and I’m so excited. This is the first time I’m planting tulips, so you can imagine my excitement to see that they are actually growing.When the tulips were just emerging, an animal, perhaps a squirrel, gnawed several of the young leaves, living behind ugly views. As the tulips grow tall, the leaves are a reminder how they survive. I felt really peaceful sketching in the backyard. I’m planning to draw more picture of the tulip as it blooms.

Tulip

Tulip

My sketch of one of the tulip bulb.

Sketch: Tulip