Tag Archives: New York City Ballet

Friday’s Thought – Dancing on the Edges of Time

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”

(Rabindranath Tagore)

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Filed under Cartoon Illustration, funny art, Funny Illustrations, Humorous Illustration, inspirational quotes, New York, New York City, support the arts, wise quotes

Why I Love What I Do…

(Even though it’s a balancing act sometimes!)

As a musician and illustrator, I work very long hours.  When I’m not “on the clock” officially, I’m always busy trying to improve – whether that means putting in extra time sketching at my drafting table, or standing in front of my music stand practicing the viola.  The beauty of loving what you do is that you can lose yourself in a state of flow where time seems suspended and work doesn’t feel like work.  And the advantage of wearing two hats (in my case, as an illustrator and a musician), is that when the going gets tough in one arena- and there WILL always be difficult days – you can retain some sanity by focusing on how you will move forward in the other.  On the best days, both loves serve each other fueling focus, creativity and smart time management.

How did I develop my passion for both music and art?  In the music case, it was easy.  I grew up in a musical house where both parents were heavily involved in music.  Playing an instrument was a part of my upbringing.  Fortunately, I did love music, and I was even one of those rare kids who actually took lessons in piano and also music theory from both parents.

My love for visual art, drawing and illustration evolved more organically.  I always drew as a kid, but it wasn’t until I got engaged and designed my own engagement ring that I discovered how much I loved drawing, and, initially, designing jewelry.  Those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning will remember the year where I posted a new jewelry design (rendering) a day.  If you’re new to this site, type “A Design a Day” into the search bar and you’ll see my jewelry designs…there’s 365 of ’em.  Enjoy!

I like to think of my path from jewelry designing to my current cartoon illustrations akin to the zig-zag pattern of how pilots pilot airplanes.  As the years have passed and I’ve put in my hours, I’m zeroing in on my illustration focus – or how best to say who I am and what’s important to me in my art.  Creating visually compelling art has always been a love.  These days, finding the humor in the everyday and adding that into the mix has taken my work a step further.  I figure if I make you smile or laugh, we’re both better off!

You can find my illustrations here.  And if you’re in the New York City area you can hear me playing this coming week at these locations:

New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center and New Jersey Symphony (Morristown and the NJPAC)

 

 

 

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Filed under Cartoon Illustration, Do What You Love, funny art, I Love What I Do, Joana Miranda Studio, motivation

From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

The New York City Ballet fall season started up today, and I headed back to Lincoln Center for a full day of rehearsals on Swan Lake.  The pace at NYCB is always in high gear (opening night is tomorrow!), and to top off 5  1/2 hours of orchestra rehearsals, I then headed off to the Empire Hotel to support my husband who was acting as emcee for an evening of music and talk with some of the choreographers of the new works being put up this season.

Not being as youthful as I once was, I found myself fading fast as the evening wore on.  A big hint that I had reached my limit was when my black ballpoint pen ran out of ink and it felt to me like the world was ending.

Note to self: Get more sleep and carry around a spare black ballpoint pen!

I did manage this sketch of a patron listening in rapt attention to the music.  (She actually WAS wearing a striped shirt in shades of blue!)  So…

It’s all good!

She listened to the tune,

Which ended all too soon.

Then my black pen up and died,

And I left feeling fried.

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Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, Humorous Illustration, illustration, ink sketches, New York, New York City, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook, weekly sketch project

Friday’s Thought – The Colors of the Night

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”

(Vincent Van Gogh)

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Filed under Friday's Thought, New York, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

Through the Lens of My Camera: Winter Storm Jonas

I headed down to Lincoln Center this afternoon for the first of two shows with New York City Ballet, only to learn that both had been cancelled due to Winter Storm Jonas.

Taking photos at Columbus Circle was a challenge since the wind was whipping snow into my face and camera…

Columbus Circle statue during Storm Jonas

Lanterns in Central Park during Winter Storm Jonas

So I headed home where I spent the afternoon gazing out the window at the few passersby.

Upper West Side pedestrians during Winter Storm Jonas

woman with multicolored snow gear

Though the storm showed no signs of letting up, in the early evening I went for a walk…into a city that was eerily quiet and magically transformed!

Central Park during Winter Storm Jonas

Sparkly street lights in Central Park during Winter Storm Jonas

snow covered tree with little lights during Storm Jonas

Parent and child walking in Winter Storm Jonas

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Filed under nature, New York, New York City, photography

My Favorite Things – A Quiet Afternoon at Home

My low-energy funk last week didn’t last too long.  Between rehearsing and performing shows with the New Jersey Symphony and the New York City Ballet, there hasn’t been much time to loll around this week.  And in addition to my musical work, I’ve also been busy at the drafting table.  Occupying my time is a fun multi-piece, custom jewelry design project for a new client.  Ironically, it’s the work that’s energized me and also given me a sense of calm and focus.

Today after walking home from Lincoln Center, I took time to brew a pot of Rooibos tea and enjoy one of my homemade Almond Flour Chocolate Oat Chip cookies with Orange (recipe follows below).  

afternoon tea

The light streaming into our apartment was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist taking some photos of my magnificent orchid.

My orchid in bloom

My orchid in bloom Jan 2016

And since I was enjoying being in the moment, I finished my afternoon tea hour by lighting one of my Lisn Japanese incense sticks

teapot with incense ribbon

Joana’s Flourless Chocolate Oat Chip Cookies with Orange

Ingredients:

1 cup packed almond flour

scant 1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (I use Kerrygold Irish butter)

1/2 cup non-fat dry milk

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup candied orange peel

1 cup semi-sweet (or 70% or higher) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two baking sheets.  Combine the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, dried milk and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.  Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly blended.  Stir in the rolled oats, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.  Drop heaped teapsoonfuls on to the prepared baking sheets, spacing about an inch apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just browned on top.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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Filed under My Favorite Things, New York, New York City, photography

From My Sketchbook – Week 23

I’m afraid I don’t have much to show from my sketchbook this week, although, if you’re following Joana Miranda Studio on Instagram, you’ll know that I HAVE actually been doing a lot of practice sketches.  But those have been done in my hotel room (thank God for AC!) and from my imagination, not from live subjects.

However, yesterday my husband and I had a lazy day off together in Sarataga Springs, NY where we’re in residence with the New York City Ballet for two weeks.  After a decadent and delicious brunch at Max London’s , we did some window shopping before stopping in for a refreshing iced tea at Putnam Market.  It was there that I whipped out my pen and sketchbook while my husband sat patiently as my model.

He’s even more handsome in real life, of course…

Andy's head side view sketch

(But then again, I’m biased.)

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Filed under Art, Drawing, education, From My Sketchbook, illustration, Influences, ink sketches, New work, practicing drawing, sketchbook, travel