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November 26, 2010

Collioure from Chasing Matisse

I love Matisse and will never forget the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit entitled Matisse: The Fabric of his Dreams His Art His Textiles.  I'm sure that part of my love is his use of colors and patterns.  

James Morgan's book, Chasing Matisse, was a natural for me.  It is about a year long journey for James and his wife Beth following Matisse's steps from his birthplace, through Paris, Venice, then Southern France to Morocco, and back to Nice.  The section of the book about Collioure, France was fascinating because of the light and colors described by Morgan.  Along the Chemin de Fauvres in Collioure, there are 20 reproductions at sites where Matisse and Derain completed these paintings. 

I looked up Collioure on Google maps to find its exact location, and in the process found a photo  which just begged to be drawn and painted. 


November 23, 2010

Never Ending Rice Mice

Henry (7), Sydney (5), and Callum (3) were here overnight on Saturday and two more Rice Mice were born.  Sydney now has 3 and Callum has 2.  Syd was able to sit on my lap and work the foot pedal on the sewing machine while I steered, and then pour the rice into the body using a funnel.  Callum picked out the fabric, the eyes, the tail and poured in the rice.  Both snuggled with their mice and happily carried them home.

Regular readers of this blog know that these mice are very special to me, and many of you ordered the book of pen drawings, poems, and patterns after my last posting.  Thank you.  Ann Goodman Hays was thrilled with the response and proceeds continue to go to the Gunvor Refetoff Art Program at the University of Chicago lab school.


Here is Sydney with her latest mouse.  She selected a piece of hand painted fabric from my quilting stash.



Callum has trouble standing still for a photo, but crawled under a dining room chair to admire his mouse and I was able to take this picture.


Happy Thanksgiving to Americans who celebrate this holiday across the world. 

November 19, 2010

Playing With Yupo in the Journal Study Group

Yupo, a synthetic plastic "paper," was discussed many times over the years on the Everyday Matters message board and/or members' blogs.  However, I never was interested in playing with it until I saw wonderful watercolor paintings, using crayons as a resist, on Yevgenia's blog

You can search her blog using the word "yupo" and see what I mean.  Yevgenia has a good, short,  tutorial on her blog about painting on yupo and she was wonderful to answer my questions by email. 

My Journal Study Group, 4 artbuddies who all keep sketchbooks, make art quilts, and love bookbinding, meet regularly in NYC for afternoons or full days of fun.  While we were on one of our field trips, we stopped in DaVinci's Art Store and I bought a sheet of yupo to play with.  Yesterday we gathered in my apartment and tried painting on it.  At one point, during lots of giggles, I said that I thought that we were at the very bottom of the "Yupo Learning Curve."  I hope Yevgenia isn't horrified by my very first results.

Here is the evidence:




           These are 4 paintings on Yupo that are cut the size of shipping tags.

I don't think that I will use yupo very often, but I truly believe that it is important to get out of your comfort zone and really play - preferably spending the time with like-minded friends who love to laugh.

Next:  My preliminary "lines" with a ruling pen using thickened black dye on fabric:

 My artbuddy Melly is responsible for this departure from my comfort zone and she even brought her ruling pen yesterday to give me another quick, in person, tutorial.  I'll post these "line drawings" after I have a few more.  I'm really excited about the possibility of drawing on fabric with dye and a pen!!  Think about the book cloth covers I'll be able to make for sketchbooks in the future!

November 15, 2010

100 Faces - A Sonheim Drawing Lab

I still draw faces when I'm out around NYC - as part of Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book.  This is a long term project for me, and I probably will still be working on my 100 Faces months from now. 

These are 6 of the recent faces that I drew from life - a security guard at the Social Security Office, a girl on the crosstown bus, audience members at the theatre and at a Textile Study Group lecture,  a page at WABC-TV, and an usher from the NY Philharmonic open rehearsal,


I got bogged down at Lab 36 of the Drawing Lab book and finally skipped it and moved onto 37.  My goal is to continue working through the exercises sequentially now to the end of the year.  And I'm simultaneously reflecting on any progress in 2010 and making some personal art goals for 2011.


November 11, 2010

Figure Drawing and Illustrators Week in New York City

I discovered that they were having a special evening at the Society of illustrators this week after I arrived.  There was a brief announcement the week before that I didn't hear and a listing in the program for Illustrators Week.  There were 4 musicians (instead of the usual two), at least twice as many artists sketching, and an audience full of well-known illustrators (but certainly not to me).  The energy in the room was amazing and the drawings that I could see from my seat were incredible. 

There were two models, as usual, and an illustrator - in street clothes with an added mask, or hat - posing with them for 10 minute poses.  It was difficult for me to draw 3 models in 10 minutes, so I focused on what I could do and just enjoyed the experience.  Here are sketches with two illustrators who were sitting near me - both are fashion illustrators

This was one of the models with Bil Donovan - a very friendly and amusing man.  I sketched in 9B graphite and had trouble increasing the contrast without also increasing the smudges!




The final illustrator modeling (out of approx 10) was Robert Richards.  He sat behind me throughout the evening and almost every other illustrator took the time to come greet and speak to him.  When I looked him up, I learned:  "The New Yorker multi-talent Robert W. Richards started his career as an illustrator for the fashion world; his striking talents delighted the fashion tsars in Paris and Rome. His clients included Yves St. Laurent, Valentino and Gaultier, among others. He drew portraits of Hollywood stars like Cher and Tony Curtis, and worked for years with gay publications like The Advocate and Mandate."


It was a memorable evening - and I will certainly attend if they celebrate Illustrators Week the same way again next year. 

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