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April 10, 2009

EDM Challenge #217 (Umbrella) and Signs/Hopes of Spring


Our weather is currently bizarre, with April showers, several snow showers, and teaser days for Spring.  We just returned from a morning of play in Central Park with 4 of our grandchildren and while they have quiet time, I thought I would try to upload a few journal pages from one week ago. 


While two of my grandchildren painted and colored at our dining room table last Friday, I played with my grand daughter's Sargeant watercolor pencils - obvioulsy hoping for lots of tulips before long.  The magnolia blossoms were partially open this morning and I see tulip buds in the huge beds of tulips in my neighborhood.


Last Sunday there were beds of daffodils blooming in Central Park - and they still looked very fresh this morning.  My 2 year old grandson doesn't understand why I won't let him pick all of the pretty flowers he sees!

April 5, 2009

More Sketching at the Met

I live close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and my membership card  is used almost as much as my Metrocard.  We visited the Raphael to Renoir Drawing exhibit again last Sunday with weekend guests and I sketched from another Guercino drawing.  I first learned about this 17th C. Italian artist at the Courtauld Gallery in London - and I'm thrilled to see two more of his beautiful portraits in person.  I don't know if I ever linked back to my first drawing "copying the Master."


I sketched this as part of a two-page journal spread celebrating the birth of our grandson Callum in London while his parents and siblings spent a year in the city.

Here is my second Guercino drawing from the exhibit at the Met.  I posted the first several weeks ago.



I covet the book of the exhibit - and wish that it were in soft cover.  I will probably not be able to resist it during one of my many trips to the Museum Store and can then draw with the Masters for many days after the exhibit closes. 

Yesterday I met several NY artists for a mini-Sketchcrawl at the Met.  We started in the Modern Art section on the mezzanine, and I experimented with my watercolor pencils by drawing the Chuck Close painting called Lucas.  I drew the entire painting with 10-12 Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils and then added water at home.  The Met permits pencil sketching only, although lots of pen sketching is done, and I assume there are other exceptions with special arrangements

Here it is as photographed in the Museum with natural light:



Here it is after adding water at home and a link to the original painting which is done as small squares of color.  If I sketched it again, I would increase the size of the forehead - I'm just glad to have "played" so intensely with my watercolor pencils in 30 minutes!



We moved to different sections of the Museum for two more 30 minute sketches and my favorite of those two locations was the Petrie Sculpture Court.  Here is my sketch of Sappho, done by Comte Prosper d'Epinay in 1895 - with the contrast increased in Photoshop - because the original colored pencil lines were not dark enough.


We then had a lovely leisurely lunch in the Petrie Cafe and shared our sketchbooks and experiences.  Our new group of women who want to sketch together is having fun and we hope that we can meet monthly for our own mini-sketchcrawls.  In two weeks I will sketch with several other group members who had other prior commitments yesterday.

April 3, 2009

EDM Challenge #216: My Inner Critic


This is ME with my Internal Critic pictured in front of my "right brain."  I  tried to assign a particular human form to my internal critic, but I know that it is just a piece of me that I need to deal with. I feel as if I’m fooling myself when I try to create a person to blame. 

My critic likes perfection and can make me unhappy every time I make mistakes. This puts emphasis on product, not process, and I have to remind myself over and over that "play" is an important component of creativity, and perfection should NOT be my goal. Mistakes are a wonderful opportunity for growth to occur.

I also deal regularly with "fear of failure" and it is sometimes strong enough to keep me from trying something new. I think that working small, in a sketchbook, and everyday helps me overcome some of the doubt. But I have to really work hard to step out of my comfort zone and create tricks to get past the Internal Critic in my brain.

What does my Internal Critic look like? Half of my brain? A really small part of my brain? If so, where? Maybe I should have sketched a really small person and put her on my head - as if she were in my brain. When I try to picture her, I see a "bag lady" if I see anything - someone with an incredible number of opinions but no creativity, passions, skills or products of her own - just a mouth, thick frame glasses, and a bag of scripts.  The major scripts that she repeats over and over are the ones listed above.

I really haven’t made much progress changing my perception of my creative abilities. I’ve read enough about creativity, the origin of creative ideas, and how to stimulate creativity - so I am developing skills to deal with my critic. And every once and a great while I do something that even I feel is original.


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