Wednesday, August 12, 2015

National Gallery Rotunda

Long before I moved to the DC area, I would travel down on the train to Washington to visit friends. While they were at work I wandered around the public areas of the city, seeing famous things. The National Gallery was an important destination and I took my sketchbook in there so I could draw its majestic architecture and even sketch a couple of paintings. This is a drawing of the Rotunda at the National Gallery, with its noble Ionic scroll column heads and its fountain with a bronze statue of the god Mercury. I sat for quite a while drawing this and no one bothered me.

Nowadays I live only a few miles from this museum and I hardly ever go there. Why, I wonder. Well, there are reasons. 32 years ago, when I did this drawing, the DC area was not as crowded as it is now, it was easier to either drive in or take the Metro which was rather new at that time. And there was not all this paranoia about terrorism which would probably prevent me from sitting at length in a public place doing a drawing. Nowadays I would have to pay a large garage fee (or dash about putting quarters in the meter) to drive in and park, or I'd have to walk a fairly long distance to a Metro station. There must be a way to revisit the Museum, with or without sketchbook. Maybe I can persuade some artsy friends to make it an expedition.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page (what else?), 6 " x 8 1/2", 1983.

In 1983 there was no public Internet, no cell phones, no consumer-available digital photography, and the World Trade Center towers in New York City were still standing.

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