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March 30, 2010

The Mourners at the Met

One of the current exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is The Mourners numerous alabaster grave sculptures (1443-56) from the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Margaret.  There is a fabulous website with photographs of all of the sculptures.  Each can be rotated 360 degree on the website for full viewing.

"The Mourners from the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy are deeply affecting works of art. Beyond their evident visual and narrative qualities, we cannot help but be struck by the emotion they convey as they follow the funeral procession, weeping, praying, singing, lost in thought, giving vent to their grief, or consoling their neighbor. Mourning, they remind us, is a collective experience, common to all people and all moments in history."

Sophie Jugie, Director, Musée des Beaux-Arts. Dijon

The sculptures are in perfect condition - and so impressive, all lined up in two rows in the middle of the Medieval Hall in the middle of the Museum.  I am most attracted to the ones with the the hoods over their heads and sketched one full figure and one head. 






I'm so delighted that our modem was replaced and we now have internet access again. 

March 27, 2010

No Internet Access No Internet Access for a Few Days

We are without access until the repair man comes, but any comments will wait in my email until I approve them for posting.  Fortunately we have children living in NYC and can plan a daily visit.


March 26, 2010

Journal Study Group

I belong to a small group that meets monthly to explore sketchbook art.  Four of us are quilters and maintain artists' journals.  Two keep sketchbooks and also do larger paintings.  In addition, there is a strong interest in bookbinding shared by many of us.  This week Gwen Diehn joined us and shared several of her amazing hand bound artist journals and books. 

During the afternoon we made personal stamps from fun foam and used them to create a small, folded artist book and envelope.  I selected three images of a pregnant model from my figure drawing session to use for my stamps.

Here is the front (left) and back (right) of my book envelope:


This is the front (right) and back (left) cover of the book (book size: 2 3/4" wide and 4 1/8 " high):


Book Pages 1-6:




We were having fun and working fast.  I'm only learning the intricasies of stamp pads and ink, so mine are a bit messy.  But I loved this model and I hope my passion for the project stands out! 

March 24, 2010

Portrait Drawing

I am still working my way through the Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson and my next project in the book was a full face portrait.  I usually sketch my grandchildren from the back because I rarely can get a real image.  I recently started drawing half-face images from photos which is fun, but doesn't bring me much closer.  Last night, in honor of the signing of the Health Care Bill, I decided to try another tool and sketched President Obama using a grid over a photo.  I now understand why artist's find grids so useful! 

I spent my entire 40 year medical career working as a salaried employee of several medical schools.  In that capacity I supervised care in VA Medical Centers attached to our medical schools and in county and city hospitals.  So I have a great perspective on the lack of health care for indigent patients.  I am one of those physicians who believe that we are now started on the right pathway - demonstrating that we can provide what other civilized countries do to care for our fellow human beings.



March 22, 2010

A Productive Day at the Museum of Natural History in NYC

The Meet-Up Central Park Drawing Group met at the Museum of Natural History yesterday.  During our regular sessions we meet at the entrance, draw in a general region for approximately 30 minutes and then return to a central location to share our sketchbooks.  We then move to a new location and repeat the process again and again for almost 3 hours.

Yesterday we began in the African Mammal exhibits - on the balcony - and I was capitvated by the ostrich and babies.  I also did a quick sketch of a baboon (paint added today).



We then moved to the North American birds section (I'm not a bird lover) and I sketched a golden eagle.


Around the corner was the primate section and the chimp had such a wonderful hand pose, I had to sketch him.



Finally we went to the 4th floor to the dinosaur skeletons and I sketched the head of T.Rex.  The sketch was done in pencil and then I practiced using the dreaded Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a watercolor pencil to finish the painting.


Patti Gregory (1960-2010

Yesterday morning I learned of the tragic death of Danny Gregory's wife Patti.  I only met Patti once 4 years ago, but was really impressed with her smile and energy.  Danny is the author of Everyday Matters, a book of sketches and writing from the time following Patti's subway accident which left her paraplegic.  I was just beginning this journey, which I call sketchbook art, and joined his Everyday Matters online art group in September 2005.  Over the last few years, by following Danny's blog, reading his subsequent books, The Creative License and An Illustrated Life, and taking a "visual journaling class" with him here in NYC, I learned more about them and their son Jack Tea.  My heart is breaking for Danny and Jack. 



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