A brief interruption before I post the latter stages of my drawing of the Nikon FE2 SLR to honor the Chinese tradition of Qingming or Ching Ming (清明 – Tomb Sweeping Festival), which has been observed for more than 2500 years and falls this year on Saturday, April 4th. It is a time for Han Chinese to honor their ancestors, usually by visiting, cleaning, and bringing offerings to the tombs of the departed. In lieu of this, I am posting rubbings of the tombstones of my paternal grandparents, accompanied by their English translations.
Traveled recently to Duluth, Minnesota, for the 32nd Lake Superior Design Retreat, sponsored by AIA Minnesota. Enjoyed hearing from a great slate of speakers who were not architects but rather designers in other realms, such as a restaurateur, blacksmith, game designer, and digital fabricator. During a break on the first day there, I wandered outside the Fitger’s Inn, where the retreat was being held, to sketch this view. It was really cold! While the air temperature was 25°, the “real feel” was 11°, but I managed to last about 20 minutes before heading back inside to the warmth of the Barrel Room, seen below.
The Old Grist Mill in Sudbury, Massachusetts, was designed by Philadelphia hydraulic engineer J.B. Campbell and built under the direction of former property owner Henry Ford. Work on the mill began in 1924 and ground its first “grist” on Thanksgiving day, 1929. The mill is part of the site of the Wayside Inn, the oldest operating Inn in the country. The water-powered mill uses two separate grinding stones to produce the corn meal and wheat flour that is used in the Wayside Inn’s baked goods.
Rummaging around some old stuff stored in the basement, I came across more drawings that I did while traveling around Europe after spending the summer as an intern with Wilson & Womersley, an architectural and town planning firm in London. Above is a drawing of Piazza San Marco in Venice, done with a stub nibbed pen in 1965. Below is a similar view done with a fine-tipped nib in 1995. Prior to this, I had believed the only drawing that survived was one done of the Spanish Steps in Rome.
I will be posting a few more over the next couple of weeks.
San Miguel Arcángel was built in the late 17th century in the colonial Baroque style, but in the 19th century, a local builder Zeferino Gutiérrez Muñoz was asked to rebuild the towers and facade that had suffered substantial cracking over the years. He was a bricklayer by profession and so he relied on a postcard of Cologne Cathedral in Germany for inspiration. The result is a massive pseudo-Gothic structure that has become the iconic emblem of San Miguel de Allende, 50 miles west of Querétaro.
This sketch, done quickly as a demo, is an example of how it is possible not to complete every detail or part of a scene, especially when drawing symmetrical compositions. It is often enough to merely suggest one part and then let the imagination of the viewer complete the view.
The Lahaina Jodo Mission is a Buddhist temple founded in 1912 by Gendo Saito with the support of the Japanese immigrants working in the island’s sugar and pineapple plantations. The three-tiered pagoda serves as a columbarium and contains the urns of deceased members.
The celestial buddha, 12 feet high and weighing 3 1/2 tons, was installed in June 1968. On a nearby plaque is inscribed the following: “This image of Amitabha-Buddha was erected here at the picturesque seashore of Lahaina, the capital of the ancient Hawaiian Dynasty, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of Japanese immigration to the Hawaii (sic) Islands…”
Front Street is the main thoroughfare through Lahaina. Now lined with tourist shops, galleries, and restaurants, the street retains the wooden facades and balconies from the mid-19th century, when Lahaina was a thriving whaling port and a hub of Maui’s sugar and pineapple industries.
Just a block away from the Pioneer Inn is the Old Court & Customs House, which was built in the late 1850s on the site of the Old Fort in Lahaina. It opened in 1860 to serve as both a center for governmental and court affairs and a customs house for whaling and trading ships during the Monarchy period. Originally sporting a wood facade, the structure was renovated in 1925 in the Greek Revival style. Behind is the courthouse plaza, dominated by one of the largest banyan trees in the U.S.
The Pioneer Inn, built in 1901, is the oldest hotel on Maui and the oldest in continuous operation in the state of Hawaii. It is situated in the National Historic district of Lahaina, once the whaling capital of the Pacific and in antiquity the royal capital of Maui Loa.