Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Day At the Beach

Last Friday I spent a much needed day at the beach! I just love the sand, the water and being out in the sun. There is something that is just so relaxing about it. I have very fond memories of the beach in general. From the days I spent as a kid at Martha's Vineyard and Florida.

As I sat on the sand trying to soak in the last few days of summer I saw two little girls screaming and running back and forth into the water. They were about six and seven years old. I noticed they were filling up their little beach buckets and running back to the sand to make a little castle. I couldn't help but smile and remember how I use to do the exact same thing. Making that sand castle as a kid was the goal of the beach!

I have a long way to go before retirement age, and I doubt I will ever retire but I'm thinking a warm climate with a beach! It just allows you to be a kid again!-Danielle
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The American South: McManus Family Tree

My sister and I embarked on a massive project that came out of pure curiosity. A family tree. We started with my father's side of the family first. My dad comes from a family of ten brothers and sisters, and he's a fraternal twin. I always suspected my last name came from Irish descent and slave owners especially since my dad told me his family came from the south. ( I just found out my great- grandfather from my mother's side also came from the south)

During our research we were able to find out that our great-great grandparents rented land in South Carolina and they worked as farmers. Since finding out I have been daydreaming about their life all week. What their days were like, what they talked about, what they looked like, what their land looked like.

I drew this a few years ago down in Disneyworld.  It just felt so southern to me! The cabin, the color of the trees, the river. I'm wondering if this is what my great- great grandparents saw?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Notre Dame

Here are another series of drawings from Paris. We got a chance to visit Notre Dame! What a beautiful church to draw!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Marie Antoinette and Versailles

I am officially nocturnal! The last few nights I haven't gotten to bed until about 430am. After flipping the channels for about an hour I started watching this old black and white movie about Marie Antoinette. I thought how fitting since I just returned from Paris and I was able to visit Versailles. I had an image in my head about Versailles before I went there. I thought wow gold and ornate and decorative. BUT NO!!! HaHa! Yes it was all those things but at the same time very oppressive. Still I thought how interesting it was to stand in a place where so much history took place. To me it had vibes. Very strong ones! While watching the movie I decided to do a few drawings of Marie. The thing I loved the most was her hair! I guess sometimes it's worth staying up late!-Danielle

Here is a drawing I did of Versailles during my visit to Paris.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Passion For Both: Paris

As an artist who not only loves to draw but has a passion for acting I couldn't help but draw the Comedie-Francaise theatre in Paris. We (The Dalvero Academy) had a day off in the middle of our reportage class which allowed us to go anywhere we wanted. With no clue of where I wanted to go I decided roaming around might be a good option. My friend and I had lunch together and then we went our separate ways. It was while I was walking around that I stumbled upon this beautiful group of musicians playing selections of classical music. I sat in the middle of it all while the crowd gathered to hear. It put me in such a wonderful mood while I was drawing and listening to the music.

I wasn't able to draw inside the beautiful theatre so I decided to do a few drawings from the outside. It looked so elegant and majestic. It sang to my heart and to my hands. Drawing really allows you to experience things in such a different way. -Danielle

Thursday, August 5, 2010


When I wrote down my 2010 New Year's Resolutions this year one of the first things I wrote was that I wanted to travel. I remember telling my teacher and she smiled at me. (of course she knew at the time that she was inviting me to Paris and I didn't know that!)  :)  I will be honest I was nervous and excited at the same time at the thought of going to Paris. It was something completely out of my element. I had to get my passport and experience jet lag for the first time.  As a kid I traveled with my parents within the United States. We went to places like Boston, DC, Baltimore, Martha's Vineyard and Florida. The idea of international travel was never really a thought in my head.

This year I really knew I had to do something different to change. I will be the first to admit I like comfort. Change can be scary. The school I belong to, The Dalvero Academy, that is one of our major philosophies. The idea of change. I think that's what I like most about it, and the thing I find most challenging. My teachers say change at least every 30 seconds or less when we draw from the model in class.  There is no such thing as going back or getting stuck on one pose. It's one important thing I have learned as I grow older as a person and an artist. The only thing in life that is constant is change, as my teacher put it.  It has taken a lot of hard work  on my part to learn how to appreciate the advantages of change and to go with the flow.

Paris offered something else to me as an artist and as a person now that I think about it.  Everything I saw was new.  I got to see the Tour de France, the Louvre, the  Tuileries, Montmartre, Versailles, Rodin Museum and Notre Dame.   All offering their own individual experience. I mean it was 9 days of "boot camp" drawing and experimenting as artists to see what else we could do and learn. Most days I was totally jet lagged and coffee deprived hahah but my hands and eyes were not.

One place I really enjoyed was Montmartre. I liked the old feeling of it and I fell in love with the church there called,  Le Sacre-Coeur.

I will be posting many of my drawings from Paris during the next month. So stayed tuned! -D

Check out Rosa Lee's post on Art On Location!