Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Mossy Cat, An Intriguing Building

P and I and J went to a concert at the Asheville Masonic Temple this afternoon.  This is the second time we've gone to hear Pamharmonia play Baroque music at this place, and this time the concert was held upstairs in teh third and fourth floor theatre that has hand-painted drops painted in 1915 by Chicago artist Thomas Moses.  This little theatre looks like the inside of an elaborate diorama from the 19th century.

While walking from the car to the building, we saw a moss-covered topiary cat outside a shop, and I was unable to pass it up.  It gave me the idea of making a moss topiary inside the rusty child form! What a great thought!  What a lot of moss it will take!  And how odd it will look- - -

Before the concert J and I walked down to the third floor (we were sitting in the balcony, which you enter from the fourth floor) so he could take some photographs.  I sketched a roofscape while out in the hall a man repeated "the third floor is completely full now.  You can walk up to the fourth floor or you can take the elevator"  at least 200 times.  I felt very sorry for him.

I drew one of the violinists during the first number, and then I did a warm-up sketch of the stage with its painted drops.  The concery was performed from the middle of the floor with seats in a horseshoe around it.  I was fascinated byu the three-dimensional effects of the layers of drops.  It was impossible to tell what was painted and what was real.

After the intermission, during the wonderful Brandenberg Concerto, I drew the backdrops for real.  I had gone down to get a close look at them during intermission and saw that they were gigantic pieces of canvas with some elements attached to pieces of string netting with one-inch squares.  For example, the griffon figure on the right is cut out from its background canvas, which allows the canvas behind it to show.  We walked behind the last backdrop and found another one and around 30 rolled up ones in the ceiling.  What an enormous undertaking to build this theatre.

Jacob decided to go sit across the balcomy from us and our friends so that he could unobtrusively take a few photographs of the musicians from above.  I meanwhile sketched them as they played.

Here's Jacob standing on the stairs in the corner next to the proscenium arch.  He took a lot of photos but I haven't seen them yet.  Check his blog at Jacob Diehn Photographer to see his pictures.  It might be tomorrow before his new posts appears since he has to go to school tomorrow and get a little sleep tonight.

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