On Sunday I took a drive to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco to see an excellent show, Arthur Szyk: Miniature Paintings and Modern Illuminations. Arthur Szyk was an Early 20th Century illustrator from Poland and is best known for his highly detailed, miniature paintings that were created for books and medieval manuscripts, using transparent/opaque watercolors.
Also exhibiting at the Legion was Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave. De Borchgrave is known for using paper as a medium forÂ recreating historic dresses worn by Elizabeth I, the Medici family, Marie-Antoinette, and many others. To construct these costumes, paper was delicately painted by hand and meticulously sewn together as if it were real fabric. The finished gowns were then posed on manikins in the same manner as the old master paintings that inspired them, recreating the painting and bringing it to life in three dimensions.
After viewing the exhibition, I felt my trip to San Francisco wouldnâ€™t be complete unless I did some sketching, so I exited the museum and looked around for a good place to draw. After walking the grounds, I decided on the museum itself as my subject, with a lion statue in the foreground. But soon after I was settled, a soft rain from the greying sky above rendered my marking pen useless, and with my sketchbook getting wet, I decided to head back home.
Walking back to my car, I paused for a moment to admire an impressive view of the Golden Gate Bridge almost obscured by the rapidly changing weather. It would have been a shame to pass up an opportunity like this so I looked around for a place I could sketch without getting wet. Not far behind me, I saw a stump under a tree on which I could sit, paint, and be sheltered all at the same time. Pulling out my art supplies once again, I painted watercolors wet-into-wet in order to capture the mood of the hazy bridge.Â Although I stayed relatively dry under the canopy of trees, a breeze carried the little droplets of rain that dotted my drying painting and made it look like snow.