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November 20, 2009

3 Daily Journal Pages From This Week

I am currently taking Kate Johnson's "Keeping an Artist's Journal" on-line class, so I will probably upload daily journal pages more frequently to my blog because I need to also upload them to our class Flickr pool to share with Kate and my classmates.

Tueday:  Busy Day, so I sketched my lecturer at the New York Public Library Tuesday evening.  I did have paints with me, but felt very conspicuous the way the seats were set up.  I decided not to finish painting her as I experiment with different ways to compose my artist journal pages. 



Wednesday:  Melanie Testa and 3 other art buddies played with Melanie's method of tracing images from our journals, painting them, painting a background on WC paper in our journals, and then gluing the two layers together.  These were sea gull images from my summer vacation journal - and a link to the original journal image from my blog in June 2009.  Her method is described in an article she wrote in the May-June 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.




Thursday: Two leaves I picked up from the sidewalk when walking home from nursery school with 4 of our grandchildren.  They were sketched and painted when I came home from babysitting last night.  I have no idea what kind of trees they are, but every autumn I find a few of these gorgeous patterned leaves on New York sidewalks!



November 17, 2009

Keeping an Artist's Journal - Lesson 1

Kate Johnson's "Keeping an Artist's Journal" class started yesterday and the first lesson covers the basics:  Exploring what YOU want and expect from this class, plus practical matters like materials and supplies.  For one of our first exercises, I need to decide what I want from my journal and the class, and plan what will go into my journal. 

I keep a daily visual journal and since January 2006 completed at least one journal page per day.  Some of these pages were in themed journals, i.e. vacation travel sketchbooks or figure drawing practice.  But most daily drawings/paintings are in my chronologic sketchbooks - with dated pages.  The contents of each page vary considerably - from personal moments recorded, to Everyday Matter challenges, to drawing or painting practice.  Journals 1-7 are Aquabee spiral Globetrotters - purchased because they were inexpensive and therefore I wasn't afraid to mess them up.  But the paper wasn't ideal for water media, and I moved to the large Moleskine watercolor journal (pink band) as soon as it was available (journals 8-17).  But I hated the landscape format of the book and Moleskine was polite, but not moveable, when I emailed them multiple times to see if they could make it in a portrait format.  So I took a weekend codex bookbinding class and now use journals that I make.  They are approximately 6" wide by 8" tall and contain 6 signatures, 48 pages, of Fabriano 140 lb, soft press watercolor paper (journals 18-26 - which is the current one).  They have paper backed book cloth on the outside which is very sturdy. I took the photograph on some fabric that I just painted with corn dextrin resist and thickened procion MX dyes.  One of my goals is to paper-back some of this cloth to see how easy it is to use as book cloth.


Here is the inside of my current journal, beginning with the double page spread showing my journal, palette, and current art tools.  This will be the first page for Kate's class, but before it is over, I will be using Volume 27.


This is the first half of the drawing, showing my journal and current palette.  I use 3 triads of primary colors to mix watercolors that I want - plus a few miscellaneous extras.  I also have a small commercial travel watercolor kit made by Daler-Rowney which has different colors.


I just realized that I mislabeled the brown on the right which is burnt umber - the burnt sienna is in the bottom triad on the left with yellow ochre and Payne's gray.

This is the second half of the spread, showing my leather pencil case and examples of the tools I carry in it.  I have only one, sepia tone, watercolor pencil in my daily pencil case.  The other 39 are in a separate pouch, which I take only when I can't use wet media - for example at my neighbor the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.



November 11, 2009

Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators

Last night was my 3rd figure drawing session at the Society of Illustrators in New York City and I came home with 19 sketches, even though I really didn't like one of the two models.  This was a new experience and I had to convince myself that I didn't need to like the model or their poses - it was all an opportunity to practice drawing.

The standard format is 10 two minute poses, 4 five minute poses, 2 ten minute poses, and 3 twenty minute poses, with breaks, over 3 hours.  I'm posting one from each group.



This is the other model - small, really skinny, shaved head except for a circle of bright yellow short hair in a circle on the top of her head.  However, it was the contorted positions that she took which I didn't like, except this one.




I loved the setting, really enjoyed the live piano and double bass music throughout the evening, and appreciated the glass of red wine while sketching.

November 9, 2009

EDM Challenges #246 and 247

EDM Challenge #246:  Draw a Pair of Gloves: 

I love my black shearling mittens, especially when it is really cold in New York City.  But they just looked like two black blobs on my journal page, so I sketched my black leather gloves instead.


EDM Challenge #247:  Draw Something Creepy

Approximately once each year our local TV channel shows footage from surveillance cameras in fast food restaurants - and after the restaurant is closed, the camera captures the image of rats in the kitchen.  It really creeps me out - and also makes sure that I never visit that fast food chain - because of course I can't remember which branch it was in this big city.



November 7, 2009

Visual Journal Pages

I signed up for Kate Johnson's Visual Journaling Class and I'm trying to focus my sketches on my daily activities for several weeks.

I sketched and painted a detail from a beautiful stained class window at the Museum of the City of New York during a visit there this week.   


The following day we took care of our newest grandchild and I sketched his "lovey" - a British Jellycat animal called Scrumpty Elly.  My daughter-in-law takes his picture with this animal every month to see Zach's growth.  I sketched him with my non-permanent Varsity pen and then just wet the elephant to create the color.


I made two new codex watercolor journals this week, and while I had my bookbinding equipment out, I made two watercolor pamphlet style journals with waste watercolor paper from a few recent recycled books.  One of them is a gift for a friend, the other may be the perfect watercolor booklet for my grand daughter.


Today we took our oldest grandchild to the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert and I had approximately 10 minutes before the lights went down to quickly sketch the stage.  Henry and I talked about the colors so I could remember them until I got home.


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