October 24, 2009

Oktoberfest 09 Waterloo Park

Waterloo Park | Austin, Tx | Oktoberfest 09 | graphite | pen and ink | 10.24.09
copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Caught a set of Guy Forsyth followed by Nakia and His Southern Cousins...always a great set! I particularly like the relatively huge size of the band (10ft at least) as well as the mammoth hugging couple in the middle. Was sitting up closer to the stage when I drew those figures...so....Doh....proportions be damned...!

October 11, 2009

New Mexico Feeding the Artist's Soul Tour '09

The next couple of days following the epic balloon | Tram adventure were low key explorations of Santa Fe with sketches of the courtyard of The Shed restaurant and the Palace of the Governors in the historic Plaza district. Countless shops, galleries, and museums make this area an exploration of the dynamic pulse of the Santa Fe creative arts.

The Shed Courtyard, Santa Fe | 10.7.09 | Pen and Ink, Watercolor
copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

The Palace of the Governors | 10.8.09 | Graphite, pen
copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

sketching in The Shed Restaurant

Spent an afternoon touring the Georgia O'keefe Museum. This tour provided a wonderful exploration of the artist's philosophy regarding the creative spirit and abstract art, her strength of conviction regarding her art, her technique with pastel, acrylic, and abstract color...and an in depth biographical glimpse into the artists love affair with NM. The exhibit displayed quotes and biographical information painted on the exhibit walls accompanying her works, along with stunning historic photographs, several taken by Ansel Adams. Wandering exploration of the historic plaza area...weather turned a bit chilly for outdoor sketching but absorbing a lifetime of images and influences for inspiration and future reference....

San Miguel Church
Oldest church in the US

Santa Fe sunsets/sunrises are stunning

New Mexico Feeding the Artist's Soul Tour '09

Madrid, Turquoise Trail | Higher and Higher | Epic Day of Adventure

Floating down the Turquoise Trail after epic heights of adventure we soak in the gorgeous landscape on display along this drive and stop as the sun begins to set. Madrid is a mining ghost town nestled on the northeast side of the Sandia Mountains. We stopped for a stroll through this small village of about 400 residents, revived by artists. Dotted with shops, galleries, bed and breakfasts, and The Mineshaft Tavern, we stopped for refreshments with the locals and ghosts of Madrid.

The Mineshaft Tavern

One unique gallery after another

We ride into the sunset the sounds of indian flute music and old west ghosts echoing in our trail bringing an epic day of adventure to a beautiful close.

New Mexico Feeding the Artist's Soul Tour '09

Sandia Peak Tram | Higher and Higher | Epic Day of Adventure

Still abuzz from the epic balloon ride we newly anointed aeronauts float to the car and meandered to the base of the Sandia Mountains over which we had watched the sun rise earlier in the day. After having soared in a gentle hot air balloon up to 400ft above Albuquerque amidst the distant surrounding Sandia mountain range...we now boarded the Sandia Peaks Tramway for an intimate bird's eye view of the mountain landscape.

The world’s longest aerial tramway transported us above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain a distance of 2.7 miles. The vantage point from the observation deck atop 10,378 foot Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest afforded an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment.

at the base of the Sandia mountain range

the tram ascends, looking up at the halfway tower

three quarters of the way to the top.....

All the Views That's Fit To Print...

from inside the tram......

...and from the eagles wingtip

reaching the peak

from the peak (10,378ft)

At the peak the landscape unfolds as far as the eye can see...breathtaking fall color and panoramas to feed the artist's soul. It's at this height that I realize that this epic adventure journey is less about sketching per se and much more about nurturing an immersive artistic connection with the colors, landscape, and creative spirit pulsing around me that will feed future creative expressions in line, color and paint. I will seek opportunities to sketch as they arise,...all the while absorbing like a thirsty sponge the experiences and influences of the landscape, artist community, and creative spirit of NM.

the return ride

back at the foot of the Sandia mountains
copyright 2009 b. scott shaevel | studio712; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Back on the ground....the adventure doesn't get any higher than this. The combination of the balloon and tram rides is thoroughly intoxicating, beyond words and pictures, complete with a big wide perma grin. We round out the epic day with a homeward journey to Santa Fe via the Turquoise Trail, this time with the intent to spend a little time in one of the "ghost town" artist colonies, Madrid, along the way....

October 8, 2009

New Mexico Sketch Tour 09

Balloon Fiesta | RainbowRyders Epic Flight | Epic Day of Adventure

Note: so much adventure, so little time....changing from a day to day format to reflection format...

Surprised that I could sleep at all, up at 3:30am and on the road by 5am for the grand adventure of the trip. Today we're flying in a RainbowRyders Fiesta balloon that will launch with hundreds of others at dawn. We're in high gear and make it to the Fiesta grounds in record time. We sign in, get our flight briefing, and wait briefly to go out to the field where our balloon and crew await.

While standing with new friends who will be flying with us the Dawn Patrol balloon ascends to scout out the wind and flying conditions to give the "go or no" green light to the crews below. Against the pre-dawn moon the twinkling lights trailing from the balloon are joined by the glow of the hot air fire jets as the patrol balloon lights up like a graceful night lite.

Dawn Patrol

Conditions are favorable (!) and we head out to the launch site.... We follow the crew holding a sign with the number of our balloon down the main avenue and all around us crews are readying their rigs, laying out the balloons flat, gondola's laying on their sides, fans sending cold air into the balloons to begin inflating them, opening the envelopes to the bursts of superheated air from the jets....all of this activity sending thrills of anticipation through us, the roar and flare of the jets illuminating the pre-dawn air as first light begins to dawn over the Sandia Mountains.

strolling to the launch site

Flares from neighboring balloon jets illuminate our ride
as it stretches out on the launch site grass.

The high power fans' and hot air engines' roar and flares, the pink grey dawn light, and the excited conversations of hundreds of aeronaut wannabees fills the air sent streaming into the emerging balloons. As the rainbowRyder crew ready's the balloon for inflation, we receive our pre-flight briefing from world-class pilot, Tommy Brown.

pre-flight briefing

As sunrise kicks into gear, so do the crews and the pageantry of the mass ascension blooms. Hundreds of balloons begin to inflate and the roar and light of the hot air jets illuminate and punctuate the action in staccato roars and billowing colors.

Sunrise over the Sandias

oooohhh shiney! Can I fly it?!

The balloon we'll be riding in is 7 stories tall

Pilot Tommy Brown cranks up the heat

Neighbors take off left and right

Ready for launch

pure excitement as we lift off with a roar...

mass ascension from the air....

The balloon ascends...Bear, Barb, and Brad.....rainbow riders all....
with Pops headin' the charge

soaring and floating to the horizon and beyond
with the lighthearted herd of dreams

Balloons to the left of me, balloons to the right,
I am floatin' in the middle with you....!

higher and higher.....

"rush hour" over downtown Albuquerque


The hour-long ride was indescribable and left a lasting full body natural high that emanated from my feet swirled through my belly and left my head floating high above the ground for many hours after we touched ground. The pilot punctuated the epic ride by descending over a 100ft stand of trees, brushing the gondola over the last 3 ft of treetop. The maneuver happened to touch the gondola, inches from my fingertips, next to and under me with a jazz drum brush stroke.....tickling under my feet, and slowing the balloon down as the pilot had intended. This added thrill gilded the buzz as we touched down with a gentle bump, slide, hop, and settle. Rainbow Riders Rule!

rainbow riding aeronauts' epic adventure ride!