Saturday, January 29, 2011

Paris Ballet Sketches

Paris, je t'aime!

I love the Ballet, and these sketches of Parisian ballerinas.

They are the work of the American artist Rufus Dryer (b. 1880 in Rochester, New York). In 1901 Dryer studied in New York City with the artist Robert Henri, and in 1908, went with him to paint in Europe.

Dryer settled in Paris in 1910. He had his studio there for twenty years. He studied at the Academie Julian, and exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and Salon des Independents. These sketches must date from that time.

The three sketches above seem to show the influence of Degas' sculpture "La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze" (Little Dancer of Fourteen Years) of 1881.

Rufus Dryer returned to his native Upstate New York in 1930. He and his sister, Leora (also a gifted artist) maintained a studio at their home Highacres, in Geneva, NY. When he passed away in 1937, the Geneva Historical Society was gifted with a monumental Aubusson carpet which had once hung in his Paris studio, an impressive collection of his paintings, and a death mask of the artist. I first encountered this artist, and his work, when I visited the Museum as a young graduate student. I was looking for a subject for a final project, and I became fascinated by the story of Rufus Dryer. It was thrilling years later to unearth these sketches in a little antiques shop in New York State.

Here is a bouquet from me to three of my favourite Ballet kindred spirits, who appear regularly in the blogsphere: Catherine from A Thousand Clapping Hands and Boxes and other Structures , and Anita from Castles Crowns and Cottages, and of course, Ballet News .


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aqua Vitae - Monterey Bay

Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a glimpse of what lies beneath.



and Gossamer

Sea Sprites perform

a Hypnotic Ballet.

Teeming with Life,


and Endurance,

...They dance and swim against a backdrop, as ornate as a 19th century Victorian fish bowl.

Meanwhile life on the top of the Bay goes on...

Still Riding the Waves,


Thursday, January 6, 2011

The White Deer of the Senecas

Driving down Rt 96A in Upstate New York, along the 24 miles of chain link fence of the old Seneca Army Depot, you might get lucky and see a white deer.

The Depot, now retired, was a storage site for weapons from WWII to the Gulf War. The mysterious white deer were first spotted in 1949. Growing up, we kids imagined the deer's colorless fur was due to exposure to some nasty chemical compound. Actually, the deer are not albinos, they do not have red eyes. They are a recessive form of white-tailed deer. The Seneca herd which numbers about 200 animals, is the largest of its kind in the world.

White deer are part of Native American oral tradition, and were known as "Ghost Deer". I prefer to think of them as "Snow Deer", roaming the wintry landscape.

"It has long been predicted that there would come a time when a white male and female deer would be seen together, and that this would be a sign to the people to come together." Lenape Indian Prophesy

Hoping this prophecy comes true,

P.S. If you would like to read more about the white deer, click here.