View from Roby’s Balcony

Montevideo, Uruguay

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Moleskine: Uruguay ’17

Just returned from a couple semanas in Montevideo, where I had a fabuloso time and managed to squeeze in a little sketching each dia.   Here are some images that caught my ojo.

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San Fran Skyline 3

Another house I started to sketch while waiting for my son to get out of school.  Did a few pencil studies over a couple days, plus a couple in ink.  Each time, got a better feel and understanding of the facade’s design.  So much to learn by just paying close attention.

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The Naked Truth

Went to my first live-model session.  Started off with crayons on scratch copy paper.  Then drew with colored pencils and pastels on construction paper.  Finished up with pen & ink and watercolor.  The model was great and stood zen still for three hours.  The other artists were warm and kind, the light in the room so generous and gentle.

 

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Mercury Still Retrograde

Earlier this month, took my son to see LaLaLand, then tried to play “City of Stars” on the ukulele.  That’s when tendons in my carpal tunnel snapped.   Makes it hard to hold a fork, so I used my fingers to hold the chicken while I cut it up this morning for the dog’s breakfast.  That’s when I stabbed my finger.  Mercury turns direct on May 4.  I’d cross my fingers but, well…

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South America Studies

Heading south to Uruguay in less than a month after fifteen years away.  Getting so excited, I’m sketching the place in advance.  Thanks, Google Maps!

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Birds of South America

                                                                            —Americana arrogantus

When summer comes, los uruguayos perch

Themselves on Maldonado’s Punta shore

Like seagulls, each aims a firm, fat belly

Boiled eggs in salted sun.

                                                     Across the border

Beyond the Rio de la Plata’s breeze

Argentinos strut through Buenos Aires

Proud as peacocks, their tilted coccyges

Bent back, cocksure, as if supporting plumes

Of opalescent eyes.

                                                     Over the Andes

In war-torn Santiago, los chilenos cuddle

Nuzzle—all in cooing, kissing pairs

A flock of plaza pigeons, not people

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I mock them all, yes, yes—but I’m regal

Soaring above, a bald-headed eagle

 

Baskets

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Baskets

                                                   —for Annelies

Not the one carried by little red riding hood

Skipping through woods to grandma’s house

Not the metal one screwed to my first bike

Nor the netted one through which I swished

My first free throw:  There’s another basket

One we sit in patiently, tomatoes at a corner store

Each awaiting fingers, a squeeze, a test to reject

We are all tomatoes:  skinny, fat, juicy red

Embarrassed by our flaws, our absent hot-house taste

My own basket, woven now for fifty years

Not made of straw, not woven strips of wood

At some point, we leave our baskets on the street

Outside some corner store, out in the air

Bare for all to see, to poke and squeeze and sniff

Look — See that man skipping down the street?

He’s light as a feather, a strip of straw

A girl on her way to grandma’s house