Sunday, March 17, 2013

New York--quick and boring write up

So a couple people wanted to hear about my New York trip, and I wanted to tell you all about it. But one of the effects of the New York trip was that I am now VERY behind on my homework, so finding the time to do a good thorough job of it is just not possible. This is the best I can do. Truth be told, no effort has been made to make this report at all interesting. I basically just looked at the itinerary and wrote a couple lines about each place we went.

The first place we visited after our flight was the National Portrait Galleries in Washington D.C.. It was here that I started my method of museum-viewing that I used throughout the trip—don’t worry about running through the whole museum to see the famous pictures, don’t worry about appreciating every single piece of art there, just walk around until a piece catches your eye. Take a closer look, try and figure out why it caught your eye, maybe take a picture or a sketch, then move on. The portrait gallery was really fun, it was really interesting to see all the different types of art there.

Afterward we visited some of the monuments, which was fun, but I’d already seen most of them at least once on my previous trips there.

The next morning we went to the Delaware Art museum, where I got to see lots of Howard Pyle originals. It was SO COOL. Howard Pyle was amazing. There was also some work by other artists that was fun to see as well.

Right after that we headed to the Brandywine museum, which have a lot of the Wyeth’s work (N.C., Andrew, and Jamie). The N.C. Wyeth gallery was closed at that time, but Bethanne, being Bethanne, talked to the people in charge and got them to let us in anyway, which was awesome. The N.C. Wyeth gallery was probably the highlight of the trip for me, I wish I could have stayed longer but I’m glad that they let us in at all. I also really liked some of Jamie Wyeth’s paintings, he was a great colorist. Before leaving I bought a couple postcards for myself of N.C. Wyeths paintings, I chose those that I thought had the most accurate color reproduction (since I had just barely seen the originals, I thought that that was probably the best time for me to make that kind of call :-). I only realized later that the two illustrations I had chosen were both from Treasure Island...but that's not surprising, since that's probably N.C.'s most well known work. 

After the Brandywine museum, each of the 3 vans went their separate ways to get lunch. We decided to get snacks at a grocery store just to tide us over until we could get real Philly Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.

Finally, we headed over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My favorite pieces there were probably those I saw by Monet and Cassat—I guess I just kinda have a thing for impressionists.

Then, we went to get our real Philly Cheesesteaks. We went to a place called Genos, which is apparently one of the two places that claims to be the originators of the Philly Cheesesteak. The sandwiches were delicious (if a bit expensive).

Thursday, we drove to New York. Our first visit was to Blue Sky studios—you know, the people who made Ice Age and Rio. They gave us a tour and then we got to eat lunch with all the BYU alumni (/Mormons) who work there. It was really fun and inspiring to see how much art and work (and artwork) goes into making movies.

Next we visited Bob McGuiness, who was just the nicest guy. We all crammed into his studio and we talked about art. It felt kinda like we were visiting someones grandpa or something (which I guess we were, haha). 

The next day started with a visit to a certain bakery, the name of which has slipped my mind. But we got the thickest, richest, creamiest hot chocolate I have ever tasted or probably ever will taste. It was seriously amazing. I was surprised at first that one small cup was 6 dollars… then I understood.

Our first visit was to Abrams Books. I was pretty sure that I had walked into heaven. I mean, this was a place filled with books, book lovers, and book makers. And they gave us cookies and picture books and were just really nice in general. Yeah. I used to want to be an Editor… I know that I would have loved that, but illustrating is so much fun. Yeah. Anyway. I guess we've established that as long as books are a big part of my future, I'll be happy.

We went to the Society of Illustrators for lunch and oh my do they have a whole lot of awesome art there. Definitely a feast for the eyes, and they fed our mouths as well. It was basically a buffet style thing and it was all delicious—my favorite was the cuscus salad. Yum.

Then we visited an artist’s agent, Richard Solomon. They talked a lot about what they do and what they look for in artists they represent, etc.
Then, the Museum of Modern art. They had some interesting stuff there, and also stuff I didn’t quite understand… I got to see some famous paintings in person though, which was cool, including Christina’s World, The Scream, and Starry Night, among others. Afterward we got street food for dinner and visited the Strand Bookstore, where I was sorely tempted to by so many things but I didn’t :D.

Saturday morning Rebecca and I went and bought tickets to see The Mystery of Edwin Drood. We were late getting to the box office but it turned out being a good thing because their servers were down and they weren’t able to sell tickets yet. We waited around for awhile, and with the help of some really nice people we were able to give them our names and number, so they could call when the system was working again. We walked around, saw a cool church which we explored, and they called Rebecca back and we were able to buy our Student tickets for 32 dollars. Success all around!

Then we visited Sam Weber’s studio, which  was way cool—he was a really nice guy and we got to look through his originals, which I’d seen in print (both in book covers and art books) but it was interesting to see what the paintings looked like before he altered them digitally.

Next, we headed to Paul Zelinsky’s studio, which may have been my favorite studio visit of the trip. He was really nice and accommodating, and we got to look at the originals of his Rapunzel picture book, which won the Caldecott a few years ago.
After that, we headed straight back to Broadway to see our play. We got a delicious torta from a street vendor outside the subway station which was possibly the most delicious thing I ate on the trip.

The show was fun. The singing was amazing and there was a lot of fun comedy in the show. The voting at the end for the detective/killer/etc. was also fun. So overall, the play was a fun experience but it wasn’t particularly moving or life changing as other Broadways (or equivalent) I’ve seen. But it was worth the 32 dollars, so I'm happy :-).

Sunday was a bit of a rest day, as it should be. We went to the YSA ward at 11:30 and afterward headed to the Met. By this point in the trip (actually well before this) my feet were feeling pretty abused and complaining fairly loudly. Fortunately, the Met is one museum we visited on the trip where most rooms are well supplied with benches. I continued to use my wandering method of museum viewing, adding a long sketching period in front of paintings I liked which also happened to have a bench in front of them. It turned out to be a very fun and restful way to experience the museum.  Afterward Bro. Barret took us walking through some fun sites to see in New York, including some murals by Maxfield Parrish and Dean Cornwell.

Monday morning we visited Peter de Seve’s studio, which was fun. He’d actually forgotten we were coming, but was very friendly and accommodating anyway. He offered a lot of good thoughts and insights about the industry.

Afterward we visited Brett Helquist’s studio, which was wonderful. He showed us a bunch of his original paintings and gave us some really inspiring and sound advice about how to go through school and get started as an illustrator.

Then, we had free time until 4, when we would have to head to the airport. I got Rebecca and Stephanie to come with me to a Filipino restaurant I’d found by searching online. I got to have Sisig and they tried Tocsilog and Bangsilog. Then we wandered around Soho, looking at random shops, my favorite of which sold all kinds of fancy and exotic foods. I got a pear-almond tart, which was delicious.

Then, we headed to the airport and home.

And lived happily ever after.