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February 29, 2008

Recycled Book #5

I love making recycled books in order to replace the text block with watercolor paper.  This is another one of my $1.00 books and is the perfect size for me - 5.5 inches X 7.5 inches.  And it is portrait orientation which I really prefer.  I was only able to buy Arches 140lb HP paper the day I went to Pearl Paint so I used it for books #4 and 5.  My next book will have Fabriano 140lb HP so I'll be able to compare.  Someday soon I hope to teach myself (or take a one day workshop) to learn how to make my own covers.  I love traditional book covers and by the time that I recycle them, they are wonderfully worn and unbelievably sturdy.  I also really enjoy having pages from the original book included - it adds a certain charm that I love.  I don't know what material I would use if I made my own covers.



This book is a series of lectures by CP Snow on Science and Government.  Seemed really fitting for my career in science/medicine since I've depended on government funding for programs in the medical school my entire life.  Here is the original title page - the book was published in 1961 and is >50 years old like my other forgotten, almost discarded, recycled books.   


I selected end papers of E.H. Shepherd's original Pooh drawings.  Our daughter's house in London was not far from A.A.Milne's home, CP Snow is from the UK, and Pooh's befuddled, bemused expressions seemed to  fit the theme of politicians wanting the best science, but always cutting the government science budgets to train physicians and support research.    


  I also used the Pooh paper to cover the small gaps between signatures.  I actually love working on those pages and will probably always add these pieces, even if I get better at sewing the signatures together.         




February 27, 2008

The Baby Quilt is Finished


We're expecting our 5th grandchild in 3 weeks and I just finished hand quilting the baby quilt!  I used to love to hand quilt in the evening and now I spend much of the time playing with my sketchbook.  Last year Callum's baby quilt was unfinished when he was born in London 6 weeks early - so I'm pleased that I was able to meet my deadline this year.

February 23, 2008

Museum Visits in New York City

There are many, many museums in the city and I love to visit the art museums to see the exhibits and sketch from the Masters.  We saw a Leon Kossoff drawing exhibit at the National Gallery in London and I was impressed with his return visits to sketch the same few works by Masters many times during his career.  I thought it might be fun to try this, in part to see how my art skills evolve and how my familiarity with the painting may change my drawing over time.  The Galleries for 19th- and Early 20th-Century European Paintings reopened on December 4th after renovation - so on my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008, I sat in front of Cezanne's Card Players and sketched it.  I am concentrating on sketching figures again in 2008 - with faces - so this seemed like a good painting to revisit again and again.  Please don't let them move the bench from in front of the painting!  Pen and paints aren't permitted in the Met, so I took a photo and plan to paint it soon.


We visited the Museum of Modern Art with out of town house guests several weeks ago and while my husband toured the 5th floor Painting and Sculpture I exhibit with them, I spent 25 minutes sketching.  I love the view from a window in the Picasso room on the 5th floor of MoMA of the top floors of a townhouse across W54th Street - and have many photos of it that I took during previous visits.  This time I spent 15 minutes sketching it - again in pencil because of museum rules.  Yesterday I found a full charcoal drawing of the same house in Drawing magazine (Winter 2008).  Artist Anthony Mitri wrote that his drawing of the house and surrounding buildings took 6 months!  I will redraw this house soon and try to do it justice. 


After sketching from the window, I did a quick sketch of Cezanne's painting "Turning Road at Montgeroult."  I love views of rooftops and always was attracted to this painting in the permanent exhibit.  I painted it at home in several sessions trying a yellow underpainting and mixed complementaries for the color of the houses and roofs.  Watercolor and oil paints give very different results, but I had fun with this and I think learned a lot from copying his composition.


This week I made a quick visit to the Morgan Library and Museum to see their current exhibit entitled Michaelangelo, Vasari, and their Contemporaries: Drawings from the Uffizi.  I chose a simple drawing by Baccio Bandinelli to copy and except for the tilt of the head managed to capture the rest of the lines and the type of shading used.  This drawing was a study for his Hercules sculpture that is opposite Michaelangelo's David in front of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.  There were many other wonderful drawings, but it was crowded and I had to select one that I might copy quickly enough while standing and trying to manage sketchbook, pencil, bag etc.




February 20, 2008

EDM Challenge #159: Draw Your Favorite Kitchen Tool


I have two favorite kitchen tools.  My 36 year old Kitchenaid was posted on this blog in 2006 when I was doing my color project during yellow month.  So this time I sketched my 30 year old Cuisinart!  They are very reliable machines and have been used regularly for many years.   We don't cook as often anymore, but the Kitchenaid was used twice recently when Sydney, Henry, and I baked cookies.

February 17, 2008

EDM Challenge #158


This was a really, really hard challenge for me.  I'm not sure that any piece of my popcorn has "volume" and due to the lighting in my favorite painting place, I also don't have shadows.  At least the popcorn-eating was enjoyable.

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