Monday, June 30, 2014

My Fathers Day Date At The Delaware Art Museum.

Every once in awhile I feel the need for a day spent just with me; an "Artistic Date With Myself."

This recent Fathers Day was one of those days. I headed off into a sunny morning to first of all have breakfast at "Hanks Place," in Chadds Ford, the heart of Wyeth country. One of my cherished memories is having had a conversation with Andy himself, and an introduction to his muse, Helga, at Hanks.

I had decided most of this day was going to be spent wandering the galleries of the Delaware Art Museum, in Wilmington. I had an hour to kill before they opened at noon, so I stood in the shade and drew this bronze guy, the "Crying Giant". If he could stand he would be about 30 feet tall. Imposing, but he is a gentle giant.As I drew I truly felt empathy with him, and even more so when I read the sculptor, Tom Otterness, had created him in response to the 911 events.

I constantly remind my students painting and drawing is, first of all, about "shapes." And of course that is even more so when creating sculpture. The "positive" shapes are usually the subject itself, but equally important are the "negative" shapes, the spaces surrounding the subject...or in the case of three-dimensional sculpture, the spaces that weave in and around the art. The beauty of sculpture is those positive and negative shapes/spaces change as we move around the piece. This wonderful pile of  geometric shapes is welded Cor-Ten steel with a beautiful weathered patina, about 25 feet tall.

Once inside the museum I almost immediately encountered, and fell in love with, this elegant female named "Ruth."Ruth is a life-size pearly white sculpture carved from marble by her creator, Randolf Rogers. The actual title of this piece is "Ruth Gleaning," referring to Ruth from the Old Testament.

One of the reasons I wanted to visit this gem of a museum is because of the incredible collection of  works of American Illustrators. There are many wonderful images by Howard Pyle, considered to be the "Father" of American Illustration. N.C. Wyeth, patriarch of the Wyeth clan of artists,was one of Pyle's most famous students.  

In total contrast was this wondrous and captivating piece by Tony Oursler, "Sybil and Me."
Projected onto an eighteen inch ball is a very detailed video, a closeup of an eye, wrinkles, eyeball and eyelashes subtly moving, as the artist continually watches the 1976 film, "Sybil." Although I did not capture it in this sketch, if one focuses on the eye, you can see vague images of the film. Erie, surreal,
and I thought wonderfully creative.  I am constantly dazzled by my fellow artists.

When the museum closed I headed for one of my favorite places to draw, eat, sip a Manhattan, and end this date with me. "Buckley's Tavern", in Centerville. has long been a favorite hangout for Wilmington locals.

I could not resist one final stop; one more indulgence, before heading back to Bala Cynwyd.
Just as they are at "Hanks," lines are always long at this ice cream stand on Rt. 202.

When I finally got home I was greeted by our next President, Ms. Hillary. My son had given her to me the night before as his gift.. All in all a most enjoyable way to spend, and end, this Father's day.  


  1. Fabulous!!!!..and what a good idea, an art date with yourself.

  2. A fabulous post Bill, I enjoyed every minute of it. I have dates with myself too. They are so enjoyable, we can do exactly what we like and don't have to worry about pleasing anyone else. Yup, it looks to me like Hillary will sort the lot of them out, both sides of the Atlantic, if she gets a chance.

  3. Comments from two of my very favorite and admired female human beings...not to mention wonderful artists.