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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A City Park Sketch...

A WPA Sculpture!
I grew up near City Park. I fished there. I played ball there. With my friends, we use to get dressed up and play army there in and around the lagoons, hiding in the large oak trees waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting enemy we imagined. As we grew up, we'd rent the paddle boats and have races and then, stop by the Casino, as it was then called, to have a Barq's and some chips.

Nowadays, whenever I have the need, I will go and visit the park and reminisce about those good times and maybe mosey over to NOMA to revisit the old classical paintings and sculpture there or pick up on a new exhibition. The last time I was at the museum was to see the Leah Chase exhibition, where an artist spent a few months back in the kitchen of the famous chef at her Dookie Chase restaurant, documenting her life as a cook. The show was okay... not great, but okay.

But, having visited the park, I later on, returned with sketchbook in hand to just sit and draw and soak in some rays and vitamin D. Drawing with a larger tip Pentel forces one to be more shape oriented and not so into the details. It makes for a bolder look. For someone like me, who is a rather timid draughtsman, drawing faint lines either on paper or in my head searching for the right line, this is a definite challenge.

Many of the lagoons in City Park are spanned by bridges created by the WPA back in the late '30's and are quite decorative. This sketch is of a flowered concrete vase on top of the end pillar of a concrete wall that borders one of those bridges. In a world full of desperate hard times, it constantly amazes me how imaginative, creative and, at times, delicate the workmanship and design could be. It makes one wonder why we can't have this kind of design today. Makes me wonder about a lot of things!

I don't know why I don't come here more often... it is such an inspiration!

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III