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February 27, 2010

Winter Olympics and Challenge 261

I love watching the Winter Olympics and spent large blocks of time glued to the coverage.  Probably because of my lifelong interest in dance, and specifically ballet, figure skating is one of my very favorite events.  As I was getting ready to watch the Women's Short Program, I was surfing the NBC Olympic website and found this photo of Mirai Nagasu.  I fell in love with this perky, skilled, 16 year old while watching her skate at Nationals several weeks before.  Although she was being considered the US hope for the future, she appeared to be in a group with other world class skaters already.  I loved the entire coverage of the Women's event and have never been so impressed as I was with Kim Yu-Na's free skate on Thursday evening.  But I was even more thrilled that Mirai finished in 4th place!!   



February 22, 2010

My Third Watercolor Journal with Dye Painted Book Cloth

I made my 3rd watercolor journal with another piece of fabric that I dye-painted - this time striped using corn dextrin resist with procion MX dyes.  This is  a 6 X 8" watercolor journal containing Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press paper - 6 signatures with 2 folios each.  The bookcloth was prepared by fusing my fabric to Thai mulberry paper using Wonder Under - see more about the method here.


I used color-coordinated MiTientes paper as end papers. 


There is still one more piece of fabric that I made in this first batch, and since I'm now using a big roll of Fabriano Artistico paper, I will make a 4th book to gain more experience handling the big pieces of paper instead of the usual 22 X 30 inch sheets.  There are 48 single pages in each book so will have enough watercolor journals on my shelf to last 5-6 months!

February 20, 2010

EDM Challenges #258-261

I still enjoy completing the EDM Challenges because they take me out of my comfort zone and help me decide what I should draw/paint for at least one of my daily sketches each week.  However, I regularly complete them 1-2 weeks after the challenge was published, as I try to settle on a specific image.  This time it was Challenge # 259: Draw a view from your pet's perspective.  We don't have a pet!

Challenge #258: Draw your closet

I sketched one half of my clothes closet.  We live in an apartment building in New York City - with the types of closets that were popular in 1926, i.e. no walk-in closets.  However, we are luckier than one of our sons who lives in a house from the late 1800s in Capitol Hill, Washington DC.  They have only a single closet in the original house and rely on armoires as in the past.  Here is my sliding door clothes closet (part of a post-1926 renovation), with only half exposed.



Challenge #259: Draw a view from your pet's perspective.

Although we don't have pets, I realized that my 5 month old grandson spends his days being moved from one place to another by the grown-ups in his life.  And he has a limited view from some of these spots, much like a pet.  It took me longest to decide how to answer this challenge.  Here is 5 month old Zachary's aquarium view when he is in his bouncey seat.


Challenge #260:  Draw your suitcase packed for a trip

This is my small suitcase that I take away for short train or car trips, but it is not yet packed for my March trip to Washington DC.


Challenge #261:  Draw an Olympic Event

Although the ice skating events are my favorite, I really love the "soaring" ski jumpers, with their extremely clean lines. 


February 16, 2010

The Drawings of Bronzino

I just came back from a morning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - wandering and drawing in the current exhibit of drawings by Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572).  The exhibit, which is believed to contain nearly all known drawings by or attributed to this Florentine artist, is wonderful for anyone who loves drawing figures.  Since I have so much trouble drawing hands and feet, I sketched from those drawings to day - and imagine that I will return for two more days before April 18th, one for faces and one for nude figures.    

Here are two pages - four sketches that I did with a watercolor pencil, although no water was added.



The last time that I was so excited by figure drawings was when I first saw drawings by Il Guercino (Giovan Francesco Barbieri called Guercino) at the Courtauld Gallery in London.  I remembered that he was also an Italian artist, but when I looked him up he was born almost 20 years after Bronzino died - and was from the Bolognese school. 

Sketches that I made from Guercino drawings can be seen here and here.  You may need to scroll down since both previous blog entries contain several drawings.


February 12, 2010

More Bookbinding Adventures

I just finished making my second watercolor journal using book cloth that I made from dye painted fabric (procion MX dyes and corn dextrin resist).  The first one can be seen here.  This 6 X 8"book is made using 140 lb Fabriano soft press watercolor paper and consists of 6 signatures with two folios in each.  I'm thrilled to complete another one.

The Book Cover - made with blue and purple dyes.


The End Papers



 Australian Reversed Piano Hinge Journal

I made a second watercolor journal this week - using Gwen Diehn's instructions for a sketchbook with removeable pages.  EDM Members can access these instructions in a file on the message board.  This looked like a fun technique to know - even though I like working in journals that can be numbered and stored on a shelf.

Exterior of 5 X 7.5" Book:  Made with Fabriano Artistico (8 folios in 4 signatures) and TexLibris bookcloth.


Open Book - showing the spine:  The watercolor paper was used as end papers to insert the page block into the cover, so only one of the folios in each of those two signatures are removeable.


The Concertina and Flat Hinge: 

There is supposed to be a peper hinge which goes through the concertina tunnels to hold each folio in place.  I just happened to be in the New York Garment District, and saw the perfect size "bones" to use instead.  Here is a photo showing the bone passing through 3 concertina tunnels and fixing the folio.  Each folio makes 4 pages in the book.


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