"Art of the Sketch" in Oxford & London – A few days-in-the-life of a class

Travelogue:St. Hilda's College, Oxford – Day 25 (?)

Okay, some number of days have again flown by — I can barely keep track! As on any transatlantic/many-time-zone-shifting travels, my grasp on days of the week and the pace of their progression grows ever more tenuous. In reality, we're only on Day 4 of the program.... But to judge by any other measure — distances crossed, miles walked, sites seen, and hours spent "on-duty," which span from an early morning staff meeting, through course instruction, afternoon activities, "Community Meeting," dinners out with kids, evening activities, and bedtime check-in from 11-11:30pm — I'd swear that multiple weeks have passed! Such is the Putney pace.

The only way I'm able to write this now... is that my three drawing students are fully immersed in their one-hour-long still life drawing of a bunch of nearly overripe bananas. At first I was uneasy and unsure of what to do with myself during full-on drawing time.... It doesn't take very long to circulate among them, doling out "I-really-like-how-you've-X"s or "now-think-about-Y"s. I've done my best to introduce shading and, today, contour drawing. Yes — for you former art students, we *did* do blind-contour drawings of our hands.

***** My Dorm Room, St. Hilda's College – Day 28

Again, more days gone by. What, from all that has transpired in the interim since I last stole three minutes to write, can I hastily report...? A day-trip to London, during which my Art students and I: had a quick bite at Gail's, an amazing bakery in Notting Hill, and perused antiques on the famous Portobello Road en route to the Museum of Brands, Marketing, and Packaging; Tube-d it to St. Paul's, where we skirted the impressive cathedral, crossed over Millennium Bridge, rambled through Bankside to Borough Market, and picnicked on the Thames; explored and drew in the Tate Modern for a couple of hours before hopping a water taxi-ish boat back to Embankment and re-crossing another bridge to meet our group at the National Theatre. Whew.

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To see more photos from our London adventures, check out our post over at the Putney blog: http://exceloxfordtuscany2013.goputney.com/2013/07/10/art-of-the-sketch-reflecting-on-london/

After breaking for dinner, we reconvened and separated into evening activity groups. THIS is where the day (/night) truly got interesting.... I was with a crew of a few students and a couple other staff members who got to see L'Orchestre d'hommes-orchestres perform covers of Tom Waits's songs using all manner of materials, including both established instruments and many invented out of their jubilant imaginations. Oh, the fun that was had while very respectable music was being made! This was definitely the most evocative performance I've seen in years. And I struggle to hit upon any illustrative comparisons to give you a better sense of what transpired on-stage between those irrepressibly talented four men and two women.... Perhaps it's best if I post the two photos that I was allowed to snap; the first depicts the stage prior to the action, the second..., well, that's the aftermath.

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And a promo video clip (that doesn't do the performance justice of course) just to give you a sense of that it looks and sounds like.

Walking back across to the north bank to meet our bus, I had time to capture a quintessential, London summer eve shot. 20130710-234740.jpg