The Art and Opinions of Heidi Celeghin, Aesthete

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Milan Kundera

I am currently in NYC and just purchased Milan Kundera’s (somewhat) new book Encounter.  I had already spotted this book yesterday but had decided to hold off on the purchase.  However, I am a chronic book-shopper and found myself at said bookstore today.  My eyes lighted upon Encounter again except only one copy was left!  I immediately knew I had to purchase the book today.  So I battled through the crowd and managed to sneak my arm between two strangers and grab hold of the book.

I am excited to start reading it and think it is a book particularly relevant to artists.

Moreover, the book itself – as an item or object – is quite tantalizing.  The cover is simple and the blue/orange/black text scheme is very tasteful as well as different than the usual profusion of colors, fonts, and (photoshopped) imagery.  The texture of the paper is not smooth and its slightly corrugated feel is a reminder of less industrialized times – something less mechanized.  I particularly like the unclean cut edges of the actual paper inside the book as it reminds me of those 19th-century publications I have spent so much time pouring over.



Drawing after David

On Sunday, at the Glassell, I quickly produced this sketch based off of David’s painting Patroclus.


Several of my students in my Storytelling class are currently grappling with figure drawing.  I wanted them to see how, in the absence of a model, doing quick studies of Old Master paintings can be a great exercise.  The goal is to familiarize yourself with anatomy and become accustomed to rapidly capturing a pose.

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Drawing after Burne-Jones

While teaching Animation today at the Glassell, I did a quick drawing based off of a Burne-Jones’ painting.



I want students to think about free-flowing lines as well as capturing the figure quickly without depending on the eraser.  Looking at drapery and form is also important.  Having expectional draughtsmanship is essential to the animation process and learning how to optimize figure drawing is a crucial step to becoming a good animator.

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Madame Butterfly Graces Houston

Last week, I attended Madame Butterfly at the Houston Grand Opera (HGO).

Here is a YouTube video posted by the HGO with some more information about the opera and the Houston production:

It is exciting to see the level of thought that went into creating this version of Madame Butterfly.

The show was truly outstanding.  When the curtains came up and the set was revealed, I was immediately transported into another world.  The stylized tree branches reaching over the stage gave the impression of a Hiroshige print.


The decision to employ a “sliding wall” as it were to indicate the house was also a brilliant idea.  At first, I was afraid that the constant moving of the wall would be a distraction but the overall effect was not distracting at all.  It allowed one to create indoor and outdoor spaces which were constantly being reversed and violated.

Ana María Martínez’ was magnificent.  She truly captured the subtleties of Cio-Cio-San’s character and her voice was beautiful.  Her performance was powerful and heartfelt.   Moreover, her voice worked very well with Joseph Calleja’s (playing Pinkerton).

HGO Website: