Brazil Trip: Back to Sao Paulo

October 1, 2014 | 1 Comment

After my 6 days in Rio I headed back to Sao Paulo for the last few days. Back to the same hotel and back to the lovely Jardins area. Coming back to a familiar area when you are travelling has a slight ‘home’ feeling. Not so much that it feels like home but more that you feel at home. I really felt happy to be back!
AND I felt really happy that I got a chance to sketch the MASP building by Lina Bo Bardi (more about her in the next Brazil post)
I just love this building – the dramatic form, the red elements, the reflections in the glass… but mostly how it sits in the context of Ave Paulista. I sketched this from the comfort of a chair in Starbucks early Monday morning (I was still having to take things slowly). I was so in awe of the strength of this building form that I was just a fraction scared of drawing it and getting the perspective right (simple buildings are harder than richly decorated ones as there is nowhere to hide a stray line) So I decided to start with paint – the shape of the red frame. I was very pleased with this approach… and used it a number of times later in the day.

I didn’t have the energy to sketch a view of Av Paulista but I did do this very quick sketch of one of the iconic buildings in my area – one that I walked past every day. This was done very quickly – drawing the shape of the areas in shade first with a water-soluble grey ink brush pen.

Inspired by the ideas from Richard’s Alomar‘s activity at Paraty, I drew a very rough cross section through Av Paulista. It isn’t to scale but it is a very useful record for me – a prompt of the feelings I had walking done this main axis through the enormous city of Sao Paulo.
Due to a mix up in communication, I had more time to sketch before meeting up with Ronaldo (local USKer and part of the Paraty organising community) So I got to sketch the building and gate opposite my hotel. It wasn’t anything fancy and not something that I would normally be interested to draw (there were a lot more interesting gates and gardens and entrances to buildings in the area) but I am really pleased to have this sketch in my book. It captures the essence of this area for me despite not being the best example.

I still had some waiting time spare so I rushed out and did this quick sketch of the nearby park. I had sat here on two Sundays reading. (BTW no Sunday pages at all this trip – I wanted to totally rest my hand from any use –  including writing) This park didn’t feel quite as nice during the week as it did on Sunday when there was lots of people walking their dogs. So I moved on quickly….

Ronaldo took me to “the Niemeyer Park” – its real name is Ibirapuera Park. A lovely park with a few special buildings… special as they were designed by Oscar Niemeyer. He is the big name Brazilian architect whose work I hadn’t managed to see at all on this trip so far. I couldn’t visit Brazil without having a few Niemeyer sketches under my belt – could I?

This is the very striking Ibirapuera Auditorium – with a tongue or flame entrance canopy. I had a similar response to this building as for MASP –  strong forms and pressure of nailing the perspective… so I did the sky first!!!

One of the really nice features of this park is the huge sweeping covered ‘breezeways’-  the Marquise – that links the various buildings. It was very quiet on a Monday afternoon… but at one end we saw a group with an easel set up. Ronaldo asked “are they sketching?” so we went up to see…
“I know these guys” was my exclamation! It was Caio and Rodrigo who I had met on my first day in Fernanda’s workshop. What fun!

We needed to get moving but I wanted to ‘do’ one more Niemeyer…  Lucas Nogueira Garcez Pavilion – known as Oca –  using the same approach …and working very quickly.

The afternoon ended up with a delightful catchup with Fernanda (one of the main organisers of the symposium- and still with a smile on her face!) at a great tearoom called Tea Connection…

Need I say more… I had a grand time.

And finally finished the day with a very nice dinner at Santo Grao with Claudia my fellow Sydneysider (who grew up in Sao Paulo) and had been in Rio with us. It is nice to have a friend from home and I am looking forward to a full post trip catch up soon! This was sketched in very dim lighting.


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