November 15, 2018

Visit to London: Part 3

We rented a wonderful apartment in South Kensington, a charming section of London.  This is the door of the house, one in a row of identical houses, most probably containing multiple apartments.

 

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It was a beautiful day when we went across the Thames to see the Royal Watercolor Society Exhibit at Bankside Gallery.  I loved taking a few minutes to draw/paint the roof of St. Paul's Cathedral.  We then walked back across the Millenium Bridge.

 

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Gloucester Station was our local Tube Station and it was wonderful because the Circle, District, and Piccadilly lines all stopped there.  That meant that we could take the Underground from Heathrow Airport directly to our neighborhood.  There were many restaurants, coffee shops, food stores, and bakeries right around the station - a great convenience. 

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November 13, 2018

Airport Sketchbook Page

I went to the airport very early in the morning because of road closures for the New York Marathon and another one of the early arrivals took a long nap - and I had time to both draw and paint him. 

 

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November 9, 2018

Delacroix Tanner Drawing Painted

Home from Quilt Festival - tired, but happy - and I'm posting a drawing inspired by my visit to the Delacroix exhibit several weeks ago. 

I sketched Delacroix's Tanner with graphite pencil when I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art several weeks ago. His Morocco watercolors are among my favorites, and I finally painted it using the colors he used for the clothing and the background.  Below is the first drawing and the painted version.

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Delacroix Tanner painted.

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November 3, 2018

International Quilt Festival in Texas

I am going to the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas this weekend for 5 days.  This is my 33rd annual Festival - and it has grown from several large spaces at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, when I first attended, to the Convention Center in Houston, occupying 3 floors in this HUGE space.  There are hundreds of Vendors, Quilt, Doll, Clothing exhibits, and lots of classes and lectures - to name just a few activities.  They report 50-60,000 visitors each year from most parts of the world. 

This is where I take classes and keep my textile passion alive.  For many years my classes were devoted to "surface design" which means taking white fabric and converting it into colored decorated fabric using a variety of techniques. 

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I use my hand-dyed fabric for many projects, and even make book cloth with it for my handmade watercolor sketchbooks.  I just finished making this book and a matching pen pocket which I now use with every sketchbook when I'm sketching out of my apartment..  

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These are the end papers and the back side of the pen pocket. 

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Here are Sketchbooks numbered 29-50, and the new one is #62. I need to do another shelf photo.   I enjoy using these colorful sketchbooks, all with 140 lb watercolor paper that I love.

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I'll be back blogging next Friday, unless I can figure out how to do it easily from my phone.  I'd love to show you the art quilts that can compete with the best of the art we see on paper and canvas. 

November 1, 2018

Figure Drawing Class Using Toned Paper

This week in our figure drawing class we used toned paper and black and white media- my pencils were Conte.  We had two models and two poses, each about 40 minutes to draw the two models together.  This was one of my goals, so I'm glad we did it, and I think I learned about how to add dark and light tones - with the paper representing the mid-value.  I actually made myself a sketchbook of toned paper last year and had picked out various types of black and white pencils, and tested them all in preparation for my project.  Then I fractured my wrist and that was a project I deferred.

It was Halloween and the older male model had on devil horns and the younger one had his real Mohawk hair gelled into position.  

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October 30, 2018

Visit to London: Part 2

I'm slowly finishing more of the sketchbook pages in my London Sketchbook   All of the pages were drawn quickly in pencil, then inked with a Sakura Pigma Micron pen.  I was then able to paint them later, using a photograph taken when I was drawing if I needed more information.  Occasionally I can find a place to sit, draw, and paint at one time. 

Oxford Day:  We took the train from London for a visit to University Oxford and visited Blackwell's AMAZING Book Shop when we arrived, to avoid the rain and winds.  But the sun peaked through the clouds just as our University tour began and we finally saw the gorgeous campus and learned more about the history of their 38 colleges.

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Evensong at Westminster Abbey with the Westminster Choir:  It is a beautiful way to see the Abbey during a wonderful choral program.  This was a small area of the choir that I could see from our seats. 

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St.Martins of the Fields Church:  It was a beautiful London Day and fun to sketch the spire from Trafalgar Square after a walk over from Westminster Abbey.  It brought back memories of Christmas Carols in front of the Church on Christmas Eve with our family many years ago.

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Elgin Marble at the British Museum:  This horse sculpture is wonderful, and I just realized that I already painted it in 2006!  I am frequently attracted to the same subjects again....

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October 26, 2018

Raphael and Delacroix: Deliberate Practice

I love to draw, and I frequently copy the Masters in order to improve my ability to "see."  My FIT Professor sent an email attachment of Raphael's painting of Magdalena for us to draw in on graphite, charcoal or Conte as homework.  I was at the Met Delacroix painting exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art again yesterday and sketched another watercolor from his Morocco series.  Here are both of my drawings.  I will add a little watercolor to the Delacroix drawing, but in the museum can only work in pencil.

Raphael: Portrait of Magdalena Strozzi Doni (oil on panel circa 1506)  Drawn by me with Wolff's Carbon Pencil.

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Delacroix:  Portrait of Schmareck, Tanner at Tangier (Watercolor with red and black chalk on paper 1832).  Drawn by me with graphite. 

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October 21, 2018

Urban Sketchers NYC October 20th

Saturday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the Urban Sketchers:  It was the perfect day to sketch indoors in New York City and we started the morning in the American Wing, even though it was partially closed in preparation of a later event.  I sketched two of the sculptures. 

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I also went to see the exhibit "Art of the Native Americans" and sketched a few masks that were made in Alaska between 1870 and 1900.

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October 19, 2018

Visit to London: Part 1

My husband and I just returned from our 10 day London vacation.  We rented a lovely one bedroom flat in South Kensington and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  I sketched at least one page per day, sometimes two.  But I just concentrated on our activities for the day and sketched on site, took a photo, and painted later. 

After we landed at Heathrow we were able to take the Piccadilly Underground to Gloucester St. Station, and then waited at Starbucks for the owner to email us when she arrived.    

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The National Gallery has the Courtauld Impressionist Paintings on exhibit while the Courtauld is being renovated.   It was wonderful wandering around Trafalgar Square area, and seeing the exhibit, before taking a long walk all the way back past Harrods to our flat. Cezanne did 5 card player paintings, one with 5, one with 4, and three with 2 players.  I painted the Met's Cezanne painting of the 4 Card Players several times, and then painted some of the individual players from Cezanne's preparatory paintings.  And here is another one from the Courtauld.

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After lunch in Shoreditch we returned to Sloan Square by Underground and walked the whole area in Chelsea where our daughter and her family lived a decade ago.  At the end of the afternoon we stopped on Fulham Road for a glass of wine across from the gym where our family went and our little grandchildren took swimming lessons.  

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We had never been to Shoreditch, but wanted to try a new restaurant that was described in the New York Times.  The area had lots of graffitti and murals painted on walls.  This Rooster was painted directly across the street from the restaurant.  Fun adventure and lunch at BRAT was delicious. 

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We spent one day in Oxford, one hour by train out of London.  We made all the arrangements for the train and a University Tour weeks ago, and it was the worst weather we had in 10 days.  However, Blackwells Book Shop, which began in Oxford, was a wonderful place to stop, browse, and have coffee and lunch in Caffe Nero in the bookstore.  The sun came out just as our tour was beginning, and the rain began again almost as soon as we stopped for dinner before our train ride back to London. 

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Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

November 2018

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