Happy Fourth of May! Why is this day special? It’s when Star Wars enthusiasts (like moi) celebrate the greatest movie ever…and say, “May the Four-ce be with you”! Yes, I saw all three of the new trilogy films on opening day. And I used to have the original figurines. Oddly, I have never been Princess Leia for Halloween. (Mental note to self–it’s about time)
On to other artistic matters…like my design class in NYC with the one, the only, Heather Ross! I was more than a little apprehensive about my lack of Photoshop skills when Mom and I departed for the Big Apple. We stayed at the Chelsea Lodge–it’s very cozy, quaint and the best deal in town. It’s a small collection of brownstones that have been converted into a B&B (in this case, short for Bed and Bath, not Bed and Breakfast). We roomed in a slightly subterranean efficiency apartment, complete with a stove, fridge, coffee maker and toaster. The area is residential and perfect for walking around to explore. You’re close to SoHo, the Village, and other places that I could name to pretend to be cool.
OUR LITTLE SUITE AT THE CHELSEA LODGE
Heather is super nice, funny, personable, so smart, creative and awesome! I was blown away with her talent and exuberance. She brought in a great tech expert, Ava Herceg, who was also wonderful and sweet. The first day had me hooked. I bought an Intuos tablet (bit of a splurge for the medium size, but SO worth it!). Our class was being held at Tekserve in the basement classroom. What a remarkable place! They had phenomenal collections in the classroom! Vintage, antique cameras, microphones, Apple computers, iPods, Star Wars collector plates, Star Trek collector plates, a signed Blade Runner poster (signed by Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, and Ridley Scott!!!), and other ridiculously cool techie things. Not to forget the top-of-the-line Macs we were using with the latest software. Hookin’ it up, Tekserve.
ME, HEATHER AND AVA
Heather got us started sketching on paper first, then scanned them into Photoshop. She gave us printed directions, but I preferred listening to her teach. She boils it down to the bare essentials. My first sketches were an idea taken from Patrick’s love of “lopsters”. He used to draw them with mittens for claws. And I made him a lobster Halloween costume one year. So I drew a dancing lobster and a crab as a companion. I worked on the dancing crustaceans for hours, giving them flamenco outfits, etc. On the second day of class, we took a field trip to the New York Public Library to learn about their rare book collection, both online and in person. They have amazing things scanned into their system! Cigarette cards, phenomenal hand-etched, hand-painted books on flora and fauna, fabric sample books from the 50’s and 60’s. The best part…they allowed us to take lots of photos (sans flash, naturally).
INSPIRATION FROM THE NYPL
The third day of class, we took a trip to a vintage clothing and fabric archive. Everything is for sale curiously enough. Sadly, photos were denied. (Though I snapped a few before I found out this tidbit) Apparently, this archive has a larger mothership in Los Angeles and caters to stylists, designers, etc. That explains all the retro collections we see from the likes of Prada, etc. 😉
Mom and I enjoyed our time outside of class. We walked all over Soho, the West Village, the East Village, Chelsea. Arlene Bowman, in her eponymous boutique, recommended a little bistro named Philip Marie and their special portobello fries with spicy guacamole sauce. OMG! Heavenly! Around the corner from the Chelsea Lodge, we enjoyed a little place called DISH. They had good comfort food and a wide variety of yummy things. Heather treated everyone in our class to appetizers at a fantastic place called Kelley & Ping. Delicious Asian food in a sensual setting.
ME AND MOM AT PHILIP MARIE
Hmmm…this trip was too much to condense into one post. More to come in the next few days…
p.s. I need to also acknowledge the passing of someone very special. MCA, aka Adam Yauch, of the Beastie Boys, died today. Their music was the soundtrack for my high school and college years. I still have such fond memories of the Ill Communication show at Lakewood…the massive swarming mosh pit that roved all over the grass lawn in a fit of utter brilliant hysteria, dancing and shouting the lyrics till my voice was raw, and getting kicked in the stomach by some jackass. RIP MCA, you brought great joy to so many lives.