April 21, 2014

Back to Figure Drawing

I love drop-in figure drawing at the Society of Illustrators, but missed it for months because of a conflict with my FIT class on Dye Painting Silk.  Here are my drawings from last week - it was so good to be back, at least during my Spring Break from my class.  All of the drawings were done on 12 X 18" paper and photographed instead of scanned.

For anyone who might be interested in the importance of figure drawing for artists, I recommend the very readable book called The Undressed Art:  Why We Draw by Peter Steinhart.  I bought it in the Museum Shop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - and found it to be informative and a wonderful review of the topic. 

I recently enrolled for and watched a free Craftsy miniclass called Figure Drawing Atelier by Patricia Watwood and really enjoyed it.  

http://www.craftsy.com/class/figure-drawing-atelier/459?_ct=sbqii-sqjuweho-qbb&_ctp=459,1 

 

Two Minute Drawings #1

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Two Minute Drawings #2: 

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Five Minute Drawings: 

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Ten Minute Drawings:

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Twenty Minute Drawing:

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Twenty Minute Drawing:

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April 18, 2014

Picasso and Humpty Dumpty

This morning I went to Christies Auction House for the viewing of the upcoming auction items.  It is a great way to see art that is rarely on display since it usually goes from one private owner to another.  I went to see the upcoming exhibit of Prints and Multiples, but chose to draw a Picasso ceramic to remember my visit.  This is my photo of the 16.5" diameter plate.

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I love the simplicity of Picasso's lines and frequently copy them trying very hard to embed his techniques in my brain.  My drawing was done with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

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 I forgot that there were several hundred artist eggs placed around New York City and found dozens of them displayed around the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink as I walked to Christies.  The "Big Easter Egg Hunt" in NYC is sponsored by Faberge, and the artists range from the famous, i.e. Jeff Koons to local public schools.  Here is my favorite egg.  

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It was done by the Prince's Drawing School and is signed by Prince William and Princess Kate. As I type this, the current auction bid for Humpty Dumpty is $16,000.

 

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April 15, 2014

Simple Pencil Portraits

We spent last weekend celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of Daniel who is one of our closest friends' grandson.  We met his grandparents in 1969, even before Daniel's father Ben was born.  His birth may be one of the factors which made us more ready to start our own family.

I did these 2 portraits on blank 3 X 5" cards with a disposable mechanical pencil that was in my purse - while listening and watching the service.  They are now collaged on a page in my sketchbook to highlight the lovely event.

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April 11, 2014

Recent Sketchbook Pages

My oldest grandson was singing in the Middleschool Choral Festival on Wednesday.  I arrived early and listened to each individual school practice and sketched the center altar in the church they were using for the concert.  I sketched in pencil, then Tombow black marker, and then added water with my waterbrush.

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Yesterday I went to see two exhibits with my friends Bendicte and Pat.  There is an amazing exhibit at Neue Galerie on Degenerate Art as designated by the Nazis and featured in Munich in an exhibit of the same name right before WWII. 

http://www.neuegalerie.org/content/degenerate-art-attack-modern-art-nazi-germany-1937 

Many of the works shown at Neue are done by my favorite German artists.  I sketched a sculpture by Ernst Barlach called  "The Reader."  It was considered "degenerate" because of the book which they considered the sign of an intellectual!

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On our walk up Madison Ave to lunch I found this beautiful bloom at the top of a trash can and took it to paint during while we ate.

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We spent the afternoon at the National Academy Museum seeing an exhibit by the famous Swedish Artist Anders Zorn.  His etchings and watercolors were brilliant and I'm posting photos, not sketches - which would have been impossible. 

http://www.nationalacademy.org/anders-zorn-swedens-master-painter/ 

A Zorn Watercolor (from my photo):  This also appears in the link I included.

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A Zorn Etching:

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April 7, 2014

Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group

Yesterday we had a gorgeous day for outdoor sketching and our group met at Belvedere Castle in Central Park.  We had approximately 45 minutes to move to location, sketch, paint, and then gather to show our sketches.  Over 3 hours we shifted position 3 times and here are my 3 sketchbook pages.

Belvedere Castle - from the rocks overlooking Turtle Pond.  I sat in bright sunlight and listened to tourists search for the turtles - both swimming and sunning themselves below us.

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Instead of working more on my castle drawing, I sketched and painted another member of our group during the 2nd session.  She had beautiful hair which fell naturally, covering her face while she was drawing.  But I could always see the frame of her red glasses.

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We moved to The Shakespeare Garden for our 3rd session and I fought with a painting of a very small purple flower - one of the few that were blooming.   I couldn't capture the exact purple color or show the variation from intense color at the ends of each petal to white in the center.  I tortured these 2 small blooms - and finally said - "I did my best and have lots more to learn."

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April 4, 2014

New Projects

Before I decided to enroll in the "Studying Under the Masters" Online class this winter, I bought Veronica Lawlor's book One Watercolor a Day so I could play with loose watercolor exercises during the dark winter days.  It is designed for 42 days (6 weeks) and this week I started the book and did 4 exercises in my 9 X 12" 140 lb Watercolor Strathmore Visual Journal.  Here are exercises from 2 days.

Day 3:  Red Monochromatic Painting of a Dreamscape

I was inspired by a mosaic in the Lincoln Center Subway stop and used scarlet red, permanent alizarin crimson, and these mixed with gold gouache and Payne's gray. 

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Day 4:  Color Studies

In this exercise I needed to paint the same still-life using 3 different color combinations.  I used Van Dyke Brown for the Monochromatic painting, Yellow, yellow orange, and yellow green for the Analogous painting, and blue, yellow-orange and a 3rd color which was supposed to be red-orange.  My other mannequin models are a pencil drawing and a vellum paper drawing in analogous colors - just to continue to play....

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The rest of the days I painted tulips twice - trying to paint the petals wet-on-wet - and one brushes/paint still life.  We are so ready for Spring in New York City - and yesterday the tulip plants in front of my apartment were 3-4 inches high.  I painted this week from tulip photos that I took last year.

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March 29, 2014

Gauguin Metamorphoses

A big and unusual Gauguin exhibit recently opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Although there are several of his oil paintings - mostly done in Tahiti - the focus of the exhibit is on his experimental works across mediums:  ceramics, wood sculpture, wood cut prints, watercolor and gouache monotypes, and oil transfer drawings.   

The MoMA website is quite good - and you can both learn about Gauguin and see many examples of these works.  The first link is to the MoMA website, the second is a description of the exhibit from ArtDaily.org.

http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2014/gauguin/home 

http://artdaily.com/v2/PhotoGalleries.aspx?GalleryId=6

I loved learning about his experimental techniques - his monotypes and oil transfer drawings.  But when I wanted something to sketch, at the end of our visit, I selected one of his wood sculptures.  They were beautiful!

Here is a photo of the wood sculpture called "Nina"  - taken with my phone from the exhibit monograph (done in the Museum Shop because No Photography was permitted.

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And here is my copy of Gauguin's simple self-portrait and the image of "Nina" from the wood sculpture. 

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March 28, 2014

More Sewing With Sydney and Zach

Sydney (age 9) has a few more days of Spring Vacation and asked if she could come to sew with me.  She specifically wanted to make another fusible applique placement - with lots of satin stitching on the machine. 

When our children were very young I bought them hand crafted animal placemats in a store in Ghiardelli Square, San Francisco.  Each animal was represented with a head, feet, and tail.  I've designed many more since then.  Yesterday we had to create a drawing of monkey, and dragged out my previous paintings to copy them. 

Here is a painting that I did in Feb 2006 of Sydney's "Lovie" - the one in the center. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2006/02/edm_challenge_54_someone_i_lov_1.php 

She was 13 months old then and Monkey still sleeps with her and is a bit of a world traveler.   The other two "Lovies" belong to her big brother Henry and her cousin Robbie.

Syd picked out the fabric and thread colors for her newest placemat - and here she is sewing and then with her finished placemat!

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I promised my son's child Zachary - age 4 - that we could make him a new Zebra placement!  So I had to design a zebra head, legs, and tail placemat for him and today he worked with me to trace the pattern, and learned about fusible.  And then he sat on my lap and did an amazing job working the foot pedal as we stitched his zebra.  

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March 24, 2014

Figure Drawing at The New School - Parsons

I haven't gone to a Figure Drawing Session since my FIT Course ended last semester.  The Holidays were busy and then I started my Silk Dye Painting Class on the night I always went to the Society of Illustrators.  So I was a little apprehensive about attending a new drop-in location on Friday afternoon, but my friend Judy paved the way. 

They have 3 models who rotate the different sets of poses.  The first model did 20 one-minute poses.  YIKES!  These have never been fun for me - and she struck such bizarre poses that in the middle I just drew her head.  If you look at the right of these heads you can see that she literally threw herself on the floor and lifted up onto her shoulders with her feet in the air!

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I already sketched the 2nd model 3 previous times - two at the Society of Illustrators and once in my FIT class.  Familiarity, however doesn't necessarily make it easier. 

Here are 3 five minute poses of Blaine - and one 20 minute long pose.

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The 3rd model did some of the longer poses.  Here are 2 ten minute poses - and then one of approximately 15 minutes at the end of the session.

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All drawings were done with a Derwent Sketch and Wash pencil - so I could add water if I wanted to after the session.  There are on large paper and were photographed, not scanned.

April 2014

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