Thursday, September 12, 2013

Can I Possibly Draw While at a Spa?

This evening I went to a pre-wedding women's spa party for a good friend of mine who is getting married tomorrow.   Fourteen of us gathered to celebrate and help our friend prepare for jumping over the broom with her partner of 38 or so years.  I had spent the day running around, working, driving, and had not done a single drawing.  So I had no recourse except to roll my sketchbook and pen up with my bathing suit inside a towel and take them along to the spa.

On the left is a messy, incomplete sketch of one of the many labyrinthine hallways at the Grove Park Inn, home of this Disneyland of spas.  I arrived a little early and couldn't find the others, and the women at the spa desk told me to go get dressed in my bathing suit and spa-issued enormous terrycloth and satin robe and plastic clogs and sit in front of the fireplace in a puffy stuffed chair and wait.  So while I waited I sketched the ginormous rock work that is the hallmark of the GPI.  There were some pretty fireplace things in front of the hearth (which was big enough fit my bedroom inside of), so I drew them too.  Then I spotted another lost-looking woman in a large robe sitting in a puffy chair eating nuts out of a little plastic cup.  I sketched her quickly. ( Later she turned out to be another early-arriving member of our group, and we had a fine time getting to know each other.)

Before too long a brisk little woman swept us up and told us she was our concierge and would give us a tour. (Okay, I confess to having a small and petty mind, and any use of the word concierge outside of its original French context of a small hotel or apartment building makes me want to run screaming from the room.  I mean really-- concierge doctor's practice?  concierge car wash?  concierge spa attendant??)  So anyway, on the left is my incomplete sketch of our concierge, complete with ear bud and haughty demeanor.  Her job seemed to consist of assigning us locker numbers and teaching us how to create a pin number so that we could lock and unlock our lockers.  Once we all assembled and ate some sushi and spring rolls that our friend had brought, we sat in various pools and jacuzzi things and under fake waterfalls and paddled around in salty water, all of which felt really nice.

On the right, my friend is teaching us how to sing a song she wants us to sing with her tomorrow.  This was drawn just before we were gently admonished by one of the concierges to stop singing in the pool area.
On the left is a rough sketch, done in the dark practically, of the pool area.  As you can see, it is paved with enormous stones.  Fake waterfalls cascade from rocky platforms near the ceiling, which is as high as a cathedral clerestory.  The water pours down into a small pond that people aren't allowed to sit in, but it can be seen from the adjacent salt-water paddling pools.  There is a large skylight as well as discreet, hidden, cave-like lights tucked into the stones that form columns.  Swimming around in the pool next to this I felt somewhat like I was in the seal pond at the Camden Aquarium and half- expected to see noses pressed up against the glass doors at the far end.

On the right: my friend standing in the water quietly singing to us as she taught us how to sing a song for tomorrow.  The waterfalls made so much noise that we were finally able to sing undetected.

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