Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday in the Park with...

Max visits Laduree Max eats macarons, watercolor, 9" x 12"

After seeing the extraordinary exhibit at MOMA of Georges Seurat's drawings there was no question. I had to see the new revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s “Sunday in the Park With George". We were lucky to snag seats on the last row of Studio 54, but seeing in that small theater was no problem.
At the exhibit there were 4 handheld sketchbooks. You could turn the pages and get an idea of how Seurat saw things and then captured them on paper. Quite a number of dogs fill those pages. You can turn the pages online if you visit here.Westminster Beagles prefer French macarons                        Beagles prefer macarons, watercolor, 9" x 12"

Painting a piece of cake is much easier than painting a dog. I love the way Seurat captured the dog's livliness and animation with such simplicity. I admire even more so his skills after my attempts... He made study after study of the individual elements for his masterpiece, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, before he brought them together in perfect harmony. In the final painting they are all so well integrated, like pieces of a puzzle locked together in a moment of afternoon sun. The dogs add animation and wit to the grand gesture of the painting.Photo by Sara Kulwich for the New York Times Photo by Sara Kulwich for the New York Times
British director Sam Buntrock (formerly an animater) uses 21st-century technology to convey 19th-century Pointillist
Seurat's vision. These two blank canvases are animated with drawings of scampering dogs that jump and leap and come alive as they do inherently the painting.  The finished Seurat work - which you understand much better after seeing the play.Photo by Sara Kulwich for the New York Times Photo by Sara Kulwich for the New York Times
The grand finale of the play bursts forth with light, warmth and energy.
A painting brought to life!  There's a grand finale at Studio PB, since my new hounds of Baskerville have arrived.

21 comments:

  1. Oh I am envious. Sounds like a wonderful weekend. The MOMA and the REVIAL. I love That painting by Seurat, but have never thought about HOW he went about doing it, now you've peaked my interest.
    I have seen "living pictures" in Laguna Beach at the Pagent of Masters and that was awesome but not about just one Artist.
    Looks like your managerie is growing. Love the paintings.

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  2. Anonymous10:21 AM

    I'm so jealous, Carol! You got to see that--good for you. I'd have loved to see that. I saw Bernadette Peters and Mandy Potemkin in the original, but on PBS, not in person. I always loved it. Wonderful post, and beautiful the way you incorporated your dogs here. That sketchbook must've been amazing to see first-hand. Thanks for sharing this with us! Your dog paintings are wonderful.
    sue

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  3. WOW! Where to begin!
    As one who has been keeping sketchbooks since 1974 (approx 1 1/2 yrs to fill each) I'm now almost done #40. Mine record events in the life (and death) of my family. I also am a 10 minute walk from the Barnes Foundation, home to some wonderful big, and small, Seurats, and to one of the worlds greatest collections of Impressionist and Post Impressionist art.
    Exceptional post today!

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  4. How beautiful and lovely is all that you share.
    Love Jeanne

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  5. OH I like these new additions to the Miniature family!
    And they all have such good taste too.
    Did they attend a French Lycee?
    I can see their manners are superb.

    Lucy

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  6. concerned about Little Bear's welfare11:56 AM

    Your hounds have learned the command "STAY"!
    HAve they all read Good Dog, Bad Dog?
    Seurat's dogs look a bit more unruly.
    And where is Little Bear in all this shennigans pray tell?
    Oh on a diet I bet...

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  7. Woof woof, a-DOR-A-ble! feed the dears some macarons, they are so well behaved...what a great way to spend the weekend. Thanks for taking us along. I have stood before the great Seurat's , in awe. And saw the Peters/Potempkin performance too. It fascinates me how certain works of art, become cultural icons that resonate in songs and plays and in our minds. There is a central idea that we long for, indeed need.
    Probably best viewed with accompanying macarons.
    All best, Jan

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  8. Oh, fabulous entry, thank you so much!

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  9. Suzanne12:07 PM

    Awwww--Carol, that's cute! Birds, bears, bunnies, and now DOGS! Sweet!
    I like how he's contemplating that macaron!
    Sweet!

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  10. These are a riot--neat that you just have them half-in the picture this way--very engaging. Very sweet.
    (These dogs are well-behaved, too, I must say!)
    This little guy's very dainty the way he's eating that macaron. ;))

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  11. FABULOUS post and as we say in the UK - you can't half paint dogs

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  12. Oh you smarty boot Brits!
    But I have only half-panited the dogs..
    That was bad enough!

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  13. Airedales like cookies, too. :-(

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  14. Maxiiiie, pleeease come back!

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  15. What is wrong with google Blogger? That comment about airedales and cookies was posted last week for an entirely different entry.
    Today, I would like to point out that Airedales like macarons, too.

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  16. I bought my son a copy of "Sunday Afternoon, Looking for the Car". You might enjoy it:
    http://www.amazon.com/Sunday-Afternoon-Looking-Car-Aberrant/dp/0764903624/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203986827&sr=1-1

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  17. Look at all your pooches!

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  18. I love that painting from Seurat! I had a small reprint of it in my bedroom when I was a kid. The dogs are too cute!

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  19. What an interesting idea - to make a painting into a play. I imagine the writer(s) must have daydreamed quite a bit looking at Seurat's painting, wondering what the subjects were talking about, thinking, feeling.

    Your paintings of pastries are always so beautiful and these little dogs are soooo cute. Have you illustrated children's books?

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  20. When you're stuck for life on a garbage scow
    Only forty feet long from stern to prow
    And a crackpot in the bow-wow, rough!
    The planks ere rough
    And the wind is rough
    And the master's drunk and mean and-
    Grrrruff! Gruff!
    With the fish and scum
    And planks end ballast-
    The nose gets numb
    And the pews Bet callused.
    And with splinters in your ass,
    You look forward to the grass
    On Sunday...

    I saw Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in the original Broadway production when I was 6, and my life has never been the same since.

    What did you think of it?

    I'm going to see this revival when I'm home in May but I almost don't want to... the original is too perfectly preserved... and no one, but no one, could touch Mandy Patinkin's performance. Seeing that role played by someone else would be like reading your favorite book rewritten by someone else...

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  21. Oh, this post made me smile. I'm living in Paris for a little while and the last thing I did before I left New York City was to see the revival of Sunday in the Park. The show was my sendoff--my little bridge between Paris and home.

    Thank you for your insight into topics that are close to my heart indeed.

    Laura

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