December 10, 2017

Sydney's Bat Mitzvah Yesterday

Our grand daughter Sydney, from 3 lbs 13 oz to a talented, strong, smart, beautiful young lady.  She was discharged from the NICU to home on Christmas Eve 13 years ago.  That is a regular bottle of wine for a size comparison.

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Yesterday, at her Bat Mitzvah with Rachel, John, and brothers Henry and Callum:

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She was very confident and comfortable - and has a terrific singing voice. A wonderful day for our family!

December 8, 2017

FIT Class #13 - Watercolor Painting of Models

We painted all of the model poses this week and I'm uploading only one painting from class.  Three models were painted simultaneously in a 20-30 minute pose and I didn't get to finish the third model.  This was my first experience using PhDrMartin liquid watercolors, and it was fun.  I bought 3 primary colors and mixed what I needed.  However, I hated throwing away even the small amount of mixed colors on my palette and would hate carrying them around when painting away from home or the classroom.

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December 5, 2017

Collage as Fashion Illustration

Collage as Fashion Illustration:  Week 12 we sketched 4 models and then selected one to turn into a collage.  Our professor demonstrated how to trace the big shapes, and then to cut around the shape from the tracing paper and collage paper simultaneously, in one layer.  We brought black, white, and one other color, either gray or brown.  This collage was made by gluing my shapes over my drawing. 

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Next Week:  My first experience using Dr. Ph Martin liquid watercolors. 

December 1, 2017

Tuesday Art Day

Benedicte, Pat, and I met at the Jewish Museum when it opened and spent several hours in the Modigliani Unmasked Exhibit (closes Feb 4, 2018).  It is a wonderful collection of art on paper, paintings, and sculptures.  Here is a video from the exhibit:  http://thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/modigliani-unmasked#video

I loved how he explored African Masks in drawings, and then modified his portraits over time to lengthen the face, nose, and neck.  He also did many drawings of caryatids, and fallen caryatids, for a second series that was well represented in the exhibit, moving from drawings to paintings.

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I also sketched the photo of a Russian poet who modeled for him, and with whom it is alleged he had an affair in Paris.  

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After lunch we walked down Madison Ave to Van Doren Waxter Gallery to see Richard Diebenkorn: Works on Paper (1922-1993) - through Jan 20, 2018.  I love his figure drawings, and took a photo of my favorite in the exhibit. Richard Diebenkorn was an abstract expressionist in the 40s and 50s, and then turned to figurative art in the 50s and 60s.

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We ended the day at the Met Breuer Museum to view Edvard Munch's paintings:  Between the Bed and the Clock (through Feb 4, 2018).  If you only know Munch because of his "Scream" paintings, you need to see this exhibit: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2017/edvard-munch

This is my photo of the painting for which the exhibit was named.  My favorites were his many self-portraits.

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November 28, 2017

Two More Weeks of Fashion Illustration at FIT

We continue to learn many mediums for doing Fashion Illustrations during this course.  And our professor brings in classic examples from some of the great illustrators and designers.  During the last two weeks we used markers one week and brushes and India Ink the next.   

Drawing with Markers:

I found this very difficult because I rarely use markers, and of all the drawings I did that night, this was the only one that I managed to both be loose and elongate the image.  These sheets of paper are all 18" long.

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Drawing with Brushes and India Ink:  I felt much more comfortable using a brush than markers.  The illustration on the right was done by my professor, Janis B. Salek, who is amazing.  She wanted to demonstrate the technique she uses with ink and dilutions of the ink - in a bold, elongated figure.  She sat down at my easel and just drew this in several minutes!  I then tried to use a similar technique for the next fast pose as drawn on the remaining paper on the left.

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My Next 2 Fast Drawings of the same model:

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This is one of many subsequent drawings  - we had 5 models rotating continually - alone or in groups.  It is one that I was  most pleased with.

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Next week - Collage! 

November 25, 2017

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving

We catered Thanksgiving for 19 adults and 9 children (ages 2-14).  We cooked at our apartment on Tuesday, took 3 boxes and 3 bags of stuff to my daughters apartment on Wednesday morning, where I made potato leek soup with Henry (our 14 year old food loving grandson) and my husband prepared a 25 lb fresh turkey while our 8 year old grandson Zach from around the corner watched.  When we finished cooking, and were waiting for the soup to cool enough for the fridge, Zach and I "did art."

We copied a cartoon turkey drawing from "Art Projects for Kids."  Zach took his home, but here is mine, entitled Ghosts from Holidays Past."

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Zach told me he wanted to draw with me, and described the method for "Exquisite Corpses."  I had to email Pat because he didn't know the name and I couldn't remember it.  We divided a piece of copy paper in fourths, and hid our drawings from each other as we moved down section by section.  We did 6-8 different ones, and saved this one as a friend for my imaginary character Axel.  He drew the head, and marked the neck lines at the top of my section.  I then drew the neck and chest and marked the waistline at the top of his section.  He drew hips and legs to the knees, and marked the leg lines, and then I drew calves and feet.  Only then did we have a big REVEAL! 

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The Surrealists popularized Exquisite Corpse drawings as a parlor game.  We did it at MoMA one time when they were providing the paper and posting the results in the main lobby and online. 

November 20, 2017

Michelangelo at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Michelangelo exhibit opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week.  It is quite wonderful!  And it is VERY CROWDED!  There are 133 drawings from 50 institutions and 3 sculptures by Michelangelo.  Most of the drawings are in red chalk, and there is a ceiling reproduction of the Sistine Chapel in one gallery, with preliminary drawings for this monumental work.  I actually visited with friends for several hours on 3 different days and enjoyed drawing there after finding tiny little places to stand out of the crowds. 

Here is a link to the Exhibit which will be at the Met until February 12, 2018

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2017/michelangelo

 

I sketched his statue called Apollo-David from two views, and also a few of his drawings.   The first is a frontal view, with a few copies of hand drawings from one of his Sistine Chapel drawings.  The second is a side view, when I could stand with my back to a wall, out of the way.

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The head of the prophet Zachariah - who is painted at one end of the Sistine Chapel as a fully developed figure.   Each of the drawings are accompanied by a small photo of the finished painting in the Sistine Chapel, and a diagram where you can find it.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all who celebrate this Holiday! 

November 17, 2017

Drawing at the Fall Art Auction Previews

In the Fall and Spring, Sothebys and Christies auction houses hold BIG auctions of Impressionist-Modern-Post-War and Contemporary Art, and attending the previews for the auctions on the days leading up to them is like going to a new museum every 6 months.  I went to previews at both places last week and enjoyed the art immensely.  I always try to draw something for my sketchbook to remember the day and lately draw more sculpture than drawings or paintings because translating 3D to 2D is better exercise for my brain.   

Rodin Maquette of Andrieu D'Andres, one of the now famous Burghers of Callais.  This piece had so much emotion that I was immediately drawn to it.

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Degas Ballet Dancer - A Composite Drawing:  I loved a small Degas dancer sculpture at Christies and sketched it because Degas really "nailed" the position.  So many of his other ballet sculptures don't have enough turnout or extension.  When I painted the dancer I surrounded her with collages of my quick drawings from a recent working rehearsal of the New York City Ballet.  I only can sketch for a few minutes when the dancers are warming up on stage before the lights go down.

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November 14, 2017

Sketching in Classes at Houston Quilt Festival

I sketched each of the class teachers during their introductory remarks.  This is Glennis Dolce, who taught us about real Indigo dye, and set up a dye vat for us to use for the day.  I selected 3 of the fabric samples to photograph and collage on the page: 

Top Sample -pole wrapped shibori dying silk. 

Bottom - Stitched shibori in which we hand stitched and "gathered" the fabric before dying, The fabric resists the dye where stitched. 

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Cindy Lohbeck:  These photos were from one of the two classes I took with her.  We folded and clamped fabric between two identical shaped plastic templates, and then dyed them with a synthetic Indigo procion MX dye.  The yellow tinged areas are actually white, but I couldn't maintain that when photographing.

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Lisa Louise Adams:  A bookbinder from Hawaii.  I loved the book that we made in class, but also was inspired by many of the various types of her books that she  brought for us to examine and photograph. 

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Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

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