FALL, the most invigorating season in New England. The season of gorgeous color combinations that can make anyone swoon and head over heel. The season of apple harvest, pumpkin galore, beautiful foliage and the crisp air. Fall in New England is extravagant and exuberant. I wouldn’t want to miss one fine day in the fall so to feel its beauty. I would wait for the blue sky and sunshine to go out and take my camera with me. But sometimes I didn’t get the chance to do that and rely mostly on my camera phone. Usually this happened when I was out and about in downtown or around Yale University campus. I pass by the campus many times at least once a week. I love going about there between the stone buildings and admiring the season as it develops. I love the arrogancy of fall, of its splendor that entices my soul and makes me exclaim in delight, “Wow!”
When I feel like it, I sketch. Often times though, even when I brought along my sketch book, set of pencils and pens anywhere, I had to have a certain mood to really want to sketch. Sometimes my hand was already tired from doing a lot of chores, that even when I set my heart to sketch, my hand seemed abstaining from doing anything. So I might ended up sitting somewhere with my sketch book open and blank page. But when those moments came, I could sit for the longest time to sketch. Who would want to care for the dirty dishes or unprepared meal anyway? (Wink).
These are three of my latest sketches and I intent to make as many as I can and create a sketch journal. But I know my limit and my mood, unfortunately. I did my first sketch after my kids, their friends from the music camp and their teachers had a picnic. I cooked some fried rice for them and the picnic went so well and everybody was happy. A friend of mine who also a mother of a student at the camp, and her daughter, and I kept on picnicking under the shadow of some trees at Yale Cross Campus after everybody else went back to their activity. We had a wonderful time chatting and after my friend and her daughter left, I did my sketch. My object was the building of Calhoun College. A few months back, there was a protest wanting the school (Yale) to replace the name of Calhoun College due to the character behind the name, John C. Calhoun, who was a statesman who believed in slavery. Calhoun was a former US vice president.
The sketch book that I use now is my second sketch book. It’s thinner and smaller than the first one that’s already full. The book has red cover. I fell in love with it when I saw it at the arts & craft store. I did my second sketch during our visit to the beach. We live quite near the beach and I promised my younger daughter and son to go to the beach when the weather became cooler one late afternoon. Summer has been crazy for us with several days of heat wave. So while my kids kept themselves busy by playing frisbee and walking to a small island that we could only reach when it was low tide, I sketched. Basically, I was left alone minding my own business. My sketch object was part of the Bradley Point that has several big trees with benches under them.
When one day I took my younger daughter along to find a “good place” to sketch, I told her to bring a book. At first, she was bored, but then she sat nicely reading her book and watching the people who passed by us. We chatted and laughed at some people who looked silly or did something awkward. We were sitting on a stone bench near Sterling Library at Yale Campus. The weather was fine that day. I decided to sketch the Harkness Hall because I wanted to learn again about drawing perspective. It’s been a while since I sketch or draw something in perspective. My skill kinda dull at the moment. By the way, I chose sepia colored pens to sketch because it reminds me of old photographs. I sure hope I will continue to sketch more and create another journal to share.
It’s November again and I have been lacking in writing my journal. The long gloomy days have produced some restless thoughts. Autumn begins to unravel and soon all the trees will be bare. Yet another November comes to mind and the flame that has hidden, arises.
HIDDEN FLAME – John Dryden
I feed a flame within, which so torments me
That it both pains my heart, and yet contents me:
‘Tis such pleasing smart, and I so love it,
That I had rather die than once remove it.
Thy name is Krypton.
Your mantra divulged.
And my soul, my dear soul,
shivered and shriveled.
D. Yustisia 10/01/15
Battell Chapel is the largest chapel in the city of New Haven in Connecticut. Since my eldest daughter has several orchestra rehearsals dan concerts in this chapel, I became aware of its grand stained-glass windows. From the outside, Battell Chapel looks like another ordinary stone building in downtown New Haven, which was the first planned city in America. New Haven became a city in 1784 and has thrived because of Yale College (now Yale University), the 3rd oldest college in United State. Battell Chapel was established through donations of Joseph Battell and his family who dedicated the chapel as a memorial for the Civil War. The style of the chapel is High Victorian Gothic and designed by Russell Sturgis, Jr. I love being inside the chapel admiring the glass works that are shown around it. The designs, motifs and colors of the stained-glass windows are stunning. I usually didn’t stay inside while waiting for my daughter practicing, but the last time the orchestra had a rehearsal, I tried to take as many pictures as possible of the stained-glass windows. My favorites are the windows that I’m putting first in this journal. Among the stained-glass windows that adorned Battell Chapel, one of them was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the master of the stained-glass art (the last picture). Battell Chapel almost always open for public everyday. People can come and astonished by the interior inside this historic building. When the sun shines at certain angles through some of the windows, it’d create a dramatic scene that you don’t want to miss.
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
Street Hall – Corner of Chapel St. & High St., Yale Campus, circa 1864
The bridge of the Olde Yale Art Gallery to Street Hall over High St., circa 1928
Under the arches, the shadow’s lurking,
Giving the ultimatum of the future ahead,
Will it be a better one, or the challenge awaits.
A new perception might come out stretch,
But under the arches it shall remain,
Until one comes to unveil,
the very essence of life itself.
(Yale University campus, July 2013)