Coffee Sketch Podcast

140 - Coffee Chats and Sketches: A Journey through Rome's Pantheon

December 23, 2023 Kurt Neiswender/Jamie Crawley Season 5 Episode 140
Coffee Sketch Podcast
140 - Coffee Chats and Sketches: A Journey through Rome's Pantheon
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Show Notes Transcript

Coffee and Sketches: A Laid-Back Artistic Discussion and a Visit to the Eternal City

In this relaxed conversation, Jamie and Kurt discuss their day-to-day happenings and their favorite coffee of the day. Jamie describes his Birds of Paradise coffee from a local grocer, while Kurt shares his experience with Little City Folk's Brasil Sitio. The talk then transitions to their shared love for sketching and art, particularly focusing on Jamie's remarkable sketch of the Pantheon in Rome during a rain shower. They discuss the brilliance of ancient Roman architecture and how the dome's design commands a sense of awe and wonder. Jamie further compares the Pantheon's coffered and oculus-laden interiors with a modern marvel, the Sphere in Vegas.

00:00 Introduction and Casual Banter
00:15 Discussing Authenticity and Vocabulary
00:31 Dark Christmas Specials and Thirsty Nights
00:52 Market Tap Experience and Stout Tasting
01:41 The Art of Saying No to 12% Stouts
01:55 Exploring the Menu and Coffee Talk
02:57 Episode Planning and Miscommunication
03:45 Coffee Du Jour: Birds of Paradise
05:15 Coffee Du Jour: Little City Folk
08:58 Transition to Sketch Discussion
09:08 Appreciating the Pantheon Sketch
16:19 Comparing the Pantheon to Modern Marvels
21:02 Sketching Techniques and Final Thoughts

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Kurt Neiswender:

Hey, Jamie.

Jamie:

Howdy Kurt.

Kurt Neiswender:

How are you? Slurp, slurp, slurp.

Jamie:

Slurp, slurp, slurp. That's the puppy. Gotta hear the animals in the background. Just know we're genuine. Genuine and authentic

Kurt Neiswender:

right here. Authenticism. Authenticity. Yeah. Authenticism,

Jamie:

you were doing so well with the vocab words

Kurt Neiswender:

earlier. I had spelling and vocab and now I have nothing. None of those things.

Jamie:

Dark Christmas specials.

Kurt Neiswender:

I have been thirsty. Yeah. Lately. You know, so last night before we talked about coffee or. Other things there was so I'm, I'm drinking out of my, my favorite market tap stainless steel cup. So, I was at the market tap last night because they had a stouts. With Santa event only one Santa, I mean, there is only one, the one

Jamie:

and only, right? Yeah. There is only one

Kurt Neiswender:

busy. He happens to live a few doors over from me.

Jamie:

Okay. And enjoys apparently

Kurt Neiswender:

his stout. Yes, he did. He did. And I did too. I had maybe one stout too many. It were very long stouts this, this, this

Jamie:

year. Typically the stout

Kurt Neiswender:

does do that. Yeah. Imperial stouts were like 12 percent Oh, in some, in some cases, goodness. Yeah. I didn't have, I didn't have too much. It's hard to, you gotta say no when they're, when they get to the 12%, you're going to just kind of politely. Pass. You can just get flights too. Small, small portion. Anyway.

Jamie:

Let me, let me explain the menu last night.

Kurt Neiswender:

You don't need to get into all the detail. But Oh, I got to set up the the little just a little, a little update. Or do you want to talk about coffee? Get, get that update going and then

Jamie:

go into. Yeah, I think this is the short episode. This is the 140. So we're just going to go from coffee to sketch. But stay tuned folks

Kurt Neiswender:

with one piece in between,

Jamie:

right? What piece are you

Kurt Neiswender:

talking about? You know, the final reviews I

Jamie:

thought that was I thought that was the 141 like penultimate penultimate. I'm trying to use my vocab words penultimate Like, year in review episode.

Kurt Neiswender:

Oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, okay. Well, we'll leave it. So then we'll just do, yeah, we'll just, I'll, I'll, I mean, we do this on the fly, people. So keep this, keep this

Jamie:

moving. See, this is what happens when you break one episode into two, and you're like, I've got this great idea. And and then Kurt had a whole plan for 140, and I threw a wrench in it. So I am totally to

Kurt Neiswender:

blame. I could have been not paying attention when we were setting

those

Jamie:

two things up. It was me. It was me. It was totally me.

Kurt Neiswender:

So I appreciate your, your honesty.

Jamie:

Well, cause I wanted to slip this one sketch in cause it's one that we, that I did do that is super special to me and I, I wanted to get it in this season. We will get to it in a moment because I do want to know what the coffee du jour is. See, see, there's, there's that French Canadian that I'm not. In there a

Kurt Neiswender:

a maple syrup. Well, I have I had to get the bag because I actually had to write the name myself. What was that? Yeah, there was a

Jamie:

he has to do the work. What

Kurt Neiswender:

I had to fill it myself and then write it, but there, it was bulk bulk coffee at the little

Jamie:

sort of,

Kurt Neiswender:

I don't know what you would call that, that kind of a small grocer here in, in town

Jamie:

and

Kurt Neiswender:

They they carried it in bulk and I believe it's I forget where, where they do the roasting, but it's called birds of paradise as a medium to medium dark. It's not, it's not bad. It's pretty, it's pretty mellow. It's a nice medium roast in our case because I ran out. I ran out of the damn fine from rootless and it was an off day. So I had to, you know, an off day for, for buying more. So I had to go

Jamie:

back up, plan, go off and find some, yeah, no, that's good. I said, well, that's exciting. I mean, like I wasn't sure where you were headed and I didn't know there were props involved

Kurt Neiswender:

tonight. So props. Well, yeah, I needed, I wasn't going to remember the name if I, if I didn't bring it. Fair enough. Yeah. So how about, how

Jamie:

about you? So I similar to you have, have gone to an old standard, but sort of surprise cause I needed some different coffee. So I actually ordered some recently. Cause they are nice about delivery. And it is the Little City Folk. Grackle? No, I did not go grackle. Though I might have bought a grackle. And I just haven't opened the grackle yet. But I did get one of their micro lots. So they, they have some sort of special, it's, it's sort of like seasonal, but it's just, they just don't have a whole lot of it. So they call them micro lots. But it's their Brazil sitio and it's, I'm not pronouncing that correctly, folks. We've, Kurt and I have discussed many a time on this podcast, Jamie's inability to pronounce things correctly much less spell them. So what drew me to it was the flavor notes that they have, and they're really good about theirs and they're usually really accurate. Were ones that I just was like, that's just sounds amazingly different. And I just, I had to try it. So it's caramel orange, which I like, like both of those were right there. Sweet corn. Okay. And then Jasmine. Wow. Yeah. Wow. And? So it's a, it's a, it does, it really has sort of a a floral aspect to it. And. You know, the, the caramel and orange really kind of work, work against one another in a nice way, um, because I think that unlike that Starbucks blend that I got that one time during the holidays, the gingerbread, I don't know what I was thinking. Like

Kurt Neiswender:

it, we all make, we all make mistakes. I

Jamie:

made a mistake. I, I did and I, and I do, I do, I do enjoy the starbucks quite a bit. But yeah, that was a mistake. So this very good. I really enjoyed it.

Kurt Neiswender:

It sounds really good. I'm kind of, kind of jealous.

Jamie:

You talking about care packages again?

Kurt Neiswender:

Well, I think no. Well, I mean, I know where I know where to get it. I know where to order it myself. I like that. It sounds some nice flavors. I don't remember the exact flavor notes in this 1, but, you know I was, I was, I was kind of torn between 2 choices. This birds of paradise, which. Was a you know, this medium roast, it might have a citrus in there and then there was another one that was a French sort of a French Italian roast or something like it was like, no, that's it sounds like too much, but it was like French and something and I was like, well, it's, I think it was going to be too generic. So I went with this 1. So anyway, And you're pleased. Yeah. Yeah. It's it's, it's mild. It's mellow. It's like very all subtle. So yeah, you know, not too

Jamie:

much. Yeah, this, this one is complex, but it's also a light roast. So like, and I'm okay with that. I think if it was, if it was darker I don't know, I mean, I, I typically like a darker roast anyways, but, but with those kinds of notes, I think the jasmine sort of like really brightens it a lot. So yeah, I, I, you know, sometimes you got to mix it up.

Kurt Neiswender:

No, no complaints from me on that one. So, should we go right to the sketch then? Let's go to the sketch. And then, and then, and then, yeah, there's the reveal. Woo, the sketch. Love this sketch. I actually when I saw you, when I saw you post this sketch, um, cause the, so this is the Pantheon in Rome, not you know, something that, something that Jamie has sketched many times before

Jamie:

and not to be confused with the Parthenon or the Parthenon in Nashville.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. Have you been to the Nashville Parthenon? Yes. Really? I don't think I have not. I don't. No,

Jamie:

I've not, I've not been to the original Parthenon, but I've been to the one in Nashville.

Kurt Neiswender:

So, well, I do remember, I mean, well, yeah, while you bring that up, I do remember as a student learning about the Pantheon and the Parthenon and, and the tongue twister that exists between the 2 names and, and often confusing the 2. Once you go visit the Pantheon, you will never confuse the two. Experiencing the dome where the sketch is, is made with the open oculus to the sky, where where you have rain. I actually was there two times and one time. It was a little rainy and we had a little water coming through,

Jamie:

which is super cool and not easy to draw.

Kurt Neiswender:

No, I think you nailed it, but you were there too with with

Jamie:

rain. Right? Yeah. Yeah. 1 time, which is, which is pretty cool. Yeah, no, it is. I mean, arguably my favorite building. And I think because there are, I mean, there are spaces that feel magical. You know, there are, there are spaces that, you know, sort of defy logic. You know, I I've been in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul which, you know, similar kind of feeling of awe, you know, where you're just, it's just, it's, it's a, just a, a marvel of space and construction and design, but. And to be in this particular space whether it's raining or not is, is, it's just pretty amazing. And then when you realize how old it is, and just the, and, and. You know, for, for those who haven't had, you know, the opportunity yet to, to visit it in Rome, it's it's just nestled within the city, you know, within the fabric so much. You know, that's, you know, the Piazza in front, you know, the, the place to get your cappuccino across, across the square or your beer or whatever, you know, and linger a while. These kinds of spaces are just amazing. And, um, yeah, I could draw this building, you know. umpteen times and, and, and either, and A, never get it right, but, but enjoy every, every time that I do it. And and, and in this particular case was, was probably the first time I think I've ever tried to sketch it with, with rain and trying to capture that, those kinds of moments. Yeah, I think it's just something that it was, you know, it's thought provoking from a design perspective for me. To think about a building, even in today's standards, where you allow the elements to get inside with so much ornament, and, you know, amazing finishes, and so many people, and, you know, in the middle of a city, and all that, all that stuff it's just, it's, it's really hard to imagine today allowing something that to occur and, and then to consider how old it is, you know, Is, um, you know, equally amazing.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah. I mean, well, yeah, the Romans invented concrete and that concrete building hasn't crumbled in hundreds of years and, and the Oculus, well, I mean, we've talked about it before you know, or probably bring it up. Every time, but the the access Mooney connection to God right through, which is the Z axis. I think it was like, beat into our heads as students, you know, like, understanding Cartesian or 3 dimensional space, you know, X. Y and Z being the vertical dimension. And I guess the easy examples are using domes things like that, that sort of physically obvious, you know, moving in the upward, you know, the Z direction. And I mean, only to bring, just bring up the fact that again, you know, to like the, the, the dome of the Pantheon is like. The spring line is kind of like, close to the ground plane or the floor plane, which is most domes are like, it's starts much, much higher. So the, the top, the crown of the dome is much closer to you in in the pantheon. Then say St. Peter's or the Domo in Florence,

Jamie:

but it is, but the building and the space is spherical. And, and I think that that's sort of different. It's it isn't an elongated

Kurt Neiswender:

dome. It's not an egg shape.

Jamie:

Right. Whatever. And, and I think maybe the reason why this sort of came to mind when it did was, yes, folks, I did go to the sphere in Vegas. And shortly thereafter you know, did this sketch actually did this sketch in advance of going. To the sphere, but it's been on my mind sort of the parallels between the two spaces and ironically or maybe not, maybe it's purposeful was, um, this sketch really shows all the interior coffers. And sort of how that, that coffered dome really does sort of, you know, force your eye upward as well as makes that sort of sense of eye movement in a sketch that we talk about so much where there's sort of, you know, visual activity that your eye kind of, you know, dances around the drawing. And. When I did go to see you two at the Sphere I think the thing that was sort of remarkable was in the pre show, right, before the band hits the stage, um, and, you know, the, the, you're, you're walking into the space, and the dome isn't dark, you know, the Sphere isn't dark when, you know, it's not just sort of blank, like, like a movie theater, like, blank screen, you know, or whatever. It's, when you walk into the space, or at least when you did, you know, for, for this, for this segment of the performance with, with you two. It, they have set the sphere to basically mimic a coffered situation with an octopus, just like the Pantheon. That's cool. And, and so, you know, and, and as you're, and as you're looking up, like you can almost, you know, and, you know, there's, I've seen it on, on social media where someone, I didn't notice it when I was there, but someone had sort of taken a still shot and said, look, you can see a bird, you know and it it's because it really is sort of a situation where, you know, it is remarkable on the inside of the sphere, the resolution of the screens, the, the You know, the the change in perspective that it really provides you in that kind of environment, and it does sort of create that sense of wonder and and I think that. You know, as I talk about all inspiring experience of going to the Pantheon, certainly the sphere, you know, as a, as a modern Marvel you know, really kind of, you know, ties that back for me.

Kurt Neiswender:

Yeah, that's it. That's kind of a fun comparison anecdote with the sort of paint it or render it to look like a coffered Pantheon interior. The, the other thing, the only other thing about the sketch that we could probably leave on, or, you know, kind of tie this, tie this up in just to be a quick, a quick episode and fun, a fun. You know, sort of catch up on on a classic is the way you rendered the edge or the, or how you faded the drawing out to the paper at the peripheral. So the perimeter of the sketch. So you have detail sort of very focal in the center of the sketch itself, which is near the crease of your sketchbook. There's the most. Intense, you know, pen, uh, and hatch. And then as you got to the edge, it's sort of like in SketchUp, it's kind of, they use the, it's called like the fog overlay or, you know, this sort of like misty, fuzzy edge. And the point I'm bringing up is that I noticed a lot of my students renderings, their computer made renderings. They, you know, they implement, tried to implement this sort of like vignetting or. Foggy misty edge to their renderings and it's just kind of interesting to me. I don't in your sketch it to me. It I mean, as the style of the sketch, right? Where you're not really finishing every single line and it's a short sketch, but when it comes to a rendering that is generally usually generated after tons and tons of modeling, you know, hours and hours of computer modeling and then they're. Kind of like overlaying this fog to like remove detail. It doesn't, it didn't always work in, in my students case. And I'm not trying to knock, you know, cause it's a hard thing to pull off, but it's just interesting. The theme of, or not the theme, but the intention to try and, and replicate some of these. Hand drawn techniques in the computer, and that's something maybe, you know, in the next episode, we're going to talk a little bit about school, but, you know, we could

Jamie:

talk about that. Well, I mean, you know, again, it's not a I, it's not, you know, it, you know, we are talking about techniques, you know it's, it's funny because. You know, as we're having this podcast and hitting our 140th episode, um, where, you know, ironically, you know, or not. So Kurt had an idea a million years ago for us to do a podcast about drawings that you can't see and that we're only going to talk about. And, you know, in, in doing that, it's, it's almost like a prompt, right. For AI. And we're, you know, we're talking about them in reverse. So like I've done the drawing and now we're talking about it. But to your point, you know, there, there is a consciousness about a sketch like this, where I knew that it is a forced perspective, you know, it's a one point perspective. But at the same time to. do a one point perspective on a spherical space, spherical space, that's hard to say you know, where you are trying to emphasize that z axis that you talked about. The, I think the only way to really capture it and, and to give it that magic, for lack of a better term, is to really blur those edges. And the only way to do that in my mind was to really emphasize The focal point, the horizon, and then work detail immediately from that, almost like a cone. So your cone of vision of detail is all through that space, and you can imagine that sort of coming back at you. And, and the detail, and what, the way I implemented that as a technique here is, it's a pencil drawing to start off with. And a very light pencil drawing, the shade and shadow is added to give it more depth and texture and detail. But purposely not trying to do too many lines in pencil, and then all the line work is actually done in ink. And so the line work in where it's added to the drawing is really trying to emphasize that conical vision that Kurt's picking up on with the perspective. And that what that inadvertently does is all the areas where there isn't pen and it's just more sort of saturated graphite on the page is it does sort of feel foggy around these edges and it, It I have tried to do this kind of technique in the past, but not with this particular building. So this is the 1st time I've done it with the Pantheon. And I think it's actually been pretty successful.

Kurt Neiswender:

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I'm glad you because this sketch came out a couple of weeks ago and we almost missed it. We move past it so quickly. And so you reminded me to circle back. So anyway, so thanks. Thanks, Jamie. Beautiful sketch as always. And also with. You know, the, the favorite, the favorite of the show, the pantheon.

Jamie:

So thanks Kurt.