October 22, 2016

Barcelona Travel Sketchbook - 1

We returned from Barcelona this week, and I wanted to start posting some of my travel sketchbook pages.  Today I will post recurring features that I make part of each of my travel sketchbooks.  Then as I finally paint the rest of my drawings, I will add them to my blog.  I have photos taken of the site for each ink drawing, so I can remember the colors.  My husband is very patient, so I always have 15-20 minutes to do a drawing on site, but I don't want him to wait while I paint.  Sometimes I paint during lunch, or a late afternoon glass of wine.  But this time I returned with more unfinished pages than usual.  This plan will help me finish a travel sketchbook that I really enjoyed making, otherwise I may get busy and forget about my overall plan. 

I always draw Mickey in his bread dough plane (from Maurice Sendak) on the title page for overseas trips, and I add every piece of information I can think of to make sure a lost sketchbook will be returned to me.


Before we leave I create a calendar on several pages, so I can fill in our activities at the end of each day.  This is an example from 3 days. 



I also make a series of 2 X 2 squares that I can fill in daily, adding some image that will allow me to remember a highlight of the day.  Here are the squares I painted during the entire trip.

BCNGrid1SIZE.jpg BCNGrid2SIZE.jpg

A View from our hotel window.  I am far behind in Liz Steel's Buildings online class, but wanted a quick sketch of the top of the back of this beautiful apartment building in Eixample, Barcelona. 


October 7, 2016

Art Wednesday - October 5th

This past Wednesday I attended a Collage class at MoMA.  Before I went I gathered some recent mail, and two drawings I did in ballpoint pen on index cards.  I cut out or ripped headlines and photos from my mail, looking for a theme.  I had items from the newspaper and a magazine, and even a return address on a manila envelope from Hillary Clinton.   The bowed head I sketched represents to me one of the muslims that Trump wants to keep out of our country.  The news headline "Art of Frustration No Matter the Form" made me think of the stress of this election, where a totally incompetent, sociopathic candidate like Trump could be nominated by a major party.  I  interpreted this quote literally as ART born from frustration and included images of a dancer, singers, my drawing, Dubuffet's painting, and a photograph.  "Be Creative, Get Active," and stay sane, is my mantra until Nov 8th.



I went to Figure Al Fresco in Battery Park City in the afternoon, but only stayed for part of the session.  Here is a quick sketch of Regina between poses and a ten minute pose drawn with a soluble graphite pencil and shaded with a waterbrush. 


October 4, 2016

Drawing Practice

 I'm just posting a few drawings that I did from photos today.  Last week was too busy and I very distracted from art.  The photos used for the hand drawings are from fashion ads and drawn with a colored pencil.






I drew these heads from TV when I paused a show during a phone call.  Drawing in ink.


September 30, 2016

Flowers, Stuart Davis, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 9/11 Museum

These are a few of the sketchbook pages I created in the last 2 weeks.  I walk through Wagner Park on my way to Battery Park City Figure Al Fresco, and occasionally draw single flowers.  These are a few of the flowers that were in bloom on a single day.   

I love drawing single flowers and have many sketchbook pages that look like this during the Spring and Summer months.  I have no idea what the lavender flowers are.  I've never seen flowers that have NO leaves.


My friend Kathy was visiting from San Antonio and I finally got to see the Stuart Davis exhibit at the Whitney Museum.  I love several of his more representational paintings in the exhibit, especially his Manhattan and Paris paintings, and sketched one at the museum and painted it later. 



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is one of my favorite German Expressionist painters.  There is a new exhibit at the Neue Galerie and I was inspired to sketch one of his paintings from the permanent collection from the exhibit. 



Kathy and I spent hours at the 9/11 Museum - 2 days after the bomb blast in Chelsea.  We got an emergency text right before we arrived at the 9/11 museum with the name of the bomber and a New York Times Breaking News email while there telling of his capture.  It is a very emotional museum visit and another terrorist event in the City made it even more so.  I sketched a badly burned firetruck and then Fireman Dan Potter, from a photo taken while he was sitting thinking about his wife who was on the 81st floor of the North Tower.  But she survived!


September 27, 2016

Painting Class at FIT

I am taking a painting class at FIT this semester - using either oil or acrylic.  After using acrylic for the first time last semester, I was happy to get more experience with it now.  In my first week, I selected a still life from among 4 that our professor set up, sketched it on the 18 X 24" canvas, and then painted it in monochromatic colors.  I used raw umber mixed with a little yellow ochre. 


During the rest of the class, we added color over the underpainting. 


Last evening was week 2 on this painting, and I spent my time repainting the flower on the right, and then continued to add paint/color to the background.  I still don't have a feel for acrylic paints, but hopefully I will end this semester with more skills.




September 23, 2016

Experiments at Figure Al Fresco

I did some more experimentation at figure drawing this week at Battery Park City.  Drawings 1-4 were done with a General Sketch and Wash pencil, with or without added watercolor paint.  As I draw faster, I have more time to play, even during the shorter poses.  Poses 1 and 2 were 5 minutes and 3 and 4 were 10 minutes. 






Poses 5 and 6 were drawn with an 8B graphite pencil, and then ink.  The backgrounds were prepainted wet-in-wet watercolor paintings and then more watercolor was added near the end of the 10 minute pose. 



Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

October 2016

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