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September 30, 2009

Long Weekend in Washington DC

We visited our youngest grand daughter, Annabelle, this past weekend and I added more pages to the watercolor journal I dedicated to our visits with her.  Previous pages are visible by clicking on the Washington DC category.


I rarely sketch my grandchildren because it never looks like them.  Annabelle is much cuter than I made her in this drawing.  The small sketch shows her running around the Natural History Museum with us on Friday.


Saturday we had breakfast at Eastern Market and enjoyed the many flower vendors - everything was so bright and fresh.



We then went to Oktoberfest on Barrack's Row, the highlight of which was the childrens' petting zoo.  There were two very small goats there with their Mother that all of the children loved. 


The goat on the left was drawn with a Pilot Varsity Pen, but the watercolor paper in the Cachet Linen Journal was too absorbent and it was difficult to wet the ink to shade the goat.  The one on the right was painted with a neutral gray watercolor wash.

September 28, 2009

Paper and Threads Representations of a New York City Subway Mosaic

I was invited to applique a square for the Empire Quilt Guild 2011 Raffle Quilt.  All of the eighteen 11 inch squares are based on New York City subway mosaics and I was thrilled to be assigned the Chambers Street IRT mosaic of Kings College.  We are a Columbia University family and Kings College was the original college which became Columbia University after the Revolution.

I was gvien an applique pattern that was drafted from a photo in a NYC subway book, but decided that I wanted to make my own.  I photographed many of the mosaics which run along both the uptown and downtown platform walls trying to find one that wasn't too damaged by age.


I drew and painted the mosaic in my daily sketchbook, to try to familiarize myself with the complex design before making a new pattern and selecting fabrics.


I just completed the applique square - which required more time than any single 11 inch square I ever made - mostly because I decided that I wanted to applique every stone of the building on individually! 


September 23, 2009

Sketchbook Pages

Three more journal pages to upload for this week:

On Saturday my husband and I took a wonderful long walk from Washington Square, through the West Village to Hudson River Park and then back again.  We stopped for a lovely, early dinner at Po's Restaurant on Cornelia Street.  The weather was so wonderful and the inspiration came from my new favorite NYC blog - Walking Off The Big Apple.  I could see this table and bouquet of flowers from my seat - just enough to sketch and paint it during dinner.


Monday we visited the Museum of Modern Art with friends and at the end of the afternoon I sat in the room with the new Monet Water Lily paintings and sketched a few of the people as they stopped in front of the paintings.  I had just enough time to make a quick sketch, so I decided to leave them unpainted and put the paint colors from some of Monet's paintings as the background. 



I stopped at Bryant Park yesterday to draw/paint the carousel horse that our grandson Callum rode on several weeks ago.  I had time before the New York Public Library opened and the carousel was not yet open for business.  Perfect timing!


September 19, 2009

Friday Activities

 I spend lots of time thinking about how to maintain a visual journal and some days my life is just too boring!  However, I was inspired yesterday to fill two sketchbook pages.  In the morning I returned to ballet class at Steps Boradway (Manhattan) for the first time in months.  Before I retired, I found it difficult to take class once each week, but now hope to have more flexibility in my schedule and MOTIVATION!  After class, while waiting to pick up our grandson from Nursery School, I sketched several dancers from the NYC Ballet Fall Season brochure.


We walked our grandson back from the Upper Westside to the Upper Eastside through Central Park and watched 9 huge turtles sunning themselve on rocks at the edge of the water at Turtle Pond.  During the remainder of the walk we collected leaves that we wanted to identify and two types of acorns and then had a painting session at home. 



September 16, 2009


I retired on July 1st and last night finally went to my first Figure Drawing session.  If you follow this blog, you know that I was practicing for this moment by sketching figures as 90 sec. sketches of posemaniac images, or 5 minute figures from one of two nude figure photo books for artists that I bought.  I'm very glad that I did the prep work over the last several years because I never felt overwhelmed last evening.

I met my dear friend Istar at the Society for Illustrators so I would be with someone who knew the location and process.  The setting is lovely - very open space, live music, a small bar for a glass of wine during the 20 minute break, and hundreds of inspiring illustations lining the walls on all floors.  We had two models - one short and full figured, the other tall, thin, and beautifully coifed.  I frequently couldn't see below their ankles, but on the short poses, I didn't even have time to worry about it.   

The 3 hours flew by - and I did all 19 sketches - 2, 5, 10, and 20 minutes in length.  I'm just so thrilled to finally sketch live models that I'm uploading a total of 7 to this page.  All of the sketches were done with a Koh-i-noor Progresso 6B pencil  on 8 x 11" paper in a Working Class Studio, bound, sketchbook that I bought for half-price at Barnes and Noble.  I have no idea where I got the pencil, but it was smooth and wonderful on the paper. 

Two of Ten 2 minute sketches:




Two of four 5 minute sketches:


Both 10 minute sketches:




Two of three 20 minute sketches: 



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