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October 14, 2011

Drawing Practice

I regularly read that doing blind contour drawings improves your eye-hand coordination, especially if you draw the contour slowly.  I am genetically incapable of moving my pen slowly, but periodically do some blind contour drawings with a pen to loosen up.

My mother is tired of having me sketch her during my weekly visits, so I selected a few items in her apartment and did a blind contour, a partially blind contour, and a sighted drawing of a few objects on tinted paper in a doodle sketchbook.  I then used watercolor pencils for a little color.  Here are two pages from that morning.



This week I selected two small figures that she has had in her living room since I was a child - and sketched them very rapidly (i.e. less than 3 minutes) on the tinted paper, with pen, and then colored them with my watercolor pencils.  When I returned home, I cut out each figure and collaged them on a sketchbook page - over a square of brown wrapping paper.


Sometimes I need to return to basics, especially to loosen up and play with graphite-less drawing.  I usually do a quick pencil sketch, then add pen and finally a watercolor wash.  I think that 1 and 2 minute poses at figure drawing accomplishes the same thing and now regularly find myself completing the 20 minute poses, to my satisfaction, in less than 20 minutes. 

October 11, 2011

Picasso's Drawings - 1890-1921

Picasso's drawings, from 1890 (age 9) to 1921 are currently on exhibit at the Frick Collection.  My husband and I walked down for a quick visit this past weekend and this is a drawing inspired by one of his standing nudes.  The fountain and plant were added later when I sat down with my husband in the Garden Court of the museum.

The drawings combine his early, very realistic style, with an evolving cubist style - and he was a master of both.  The majority of the drawings, and a video about the exhibit can be seen here.  I was disappointed that the one I chose to draw is not one of the drawings that is reproduced.




October 8, 2011

9/11 Memorial and Battery Park Figure Al Fresco

This past week, my friend Teri and I visited the new 9/11 Memorial and then met Pat for lunch and Figure Al Fresco at Battery Park City. 

It was a gorgeous cool, sunny day - with an intense blue sky- much like 9/11/2001.  My daughter was working on the 45th floor of the American Express Building, directly across West St. from the North Tower and witnessed the first plane strike.  She evacuated onto West St after the South Tower was hit, and fled minutes before the North Tower collapsed onto West St., damaging the edge of her building. 

Here is my sketch of the Memorial site showing the placement of the two pools, the Museum and Freedom Tower which are being completed, and the planned Performing Arts space.  The Freedom tower, named 1WTC, is at the 84th floor and still growing. 



Here are 3 of many photos that I took on the WTC Site.  The scale of the pools really surprised me and are quite beautiful - the sound of constant water passing over the falls and then down into the center square felt very calming. 

The South Pool:  Those are tiny little people seen above the edge of the pool to give you some idea of the scale.


The North Pool:  The building on the top right is the new Freedom Tower, which will be the tallest building in the US.  The building in the top center is the building my daughter worked in that year.


Here is the photo I took of 1WTC - Freedom Tower - from several blocks south of the Memorial site. 


Just one page from my figure drawing sketchbook that afternoon.  This was a 20 minute sketch with a watercolor pencil.




October 4, 2011

Our Meet-up Drawing Group - at Carl Schurz Park

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group met in Carl Schurz Park this past weekend.  There are lovely views over the East River from the Embankment - and the added bonus was the annual Gracie Square Art Show.

My first sketch was the view across the East River at 84th Street.  It was an opportunity for me to leave my comfort zone and try to paint trees, sky with gray clouds, and water.  The pigeon sat in front of me on the railing and I quickly sketched him, begging him to give me a full minute before flying off again.



I sketched Amanda, another Meetup member, during our 2nd sketching period.  And was surprised to discover that Ben sketched me while I sketched her.


Ben's sketch of me:


There was a wonderful wire sculpture artist at the art show and I requested permission to sketch his bass player . He said "go for it."  Ron Stattner's website is <www.buzar.com>.  I think you'll enjoy seeing his work.



October 2, 2011

Drawings From the Louvre at the Morgan Library and Museum

This exhibit just opened at The Morgan Library and Museum.  There are very view images from the exhibit on line, so I'm linking to 11 that accompany the exhibit review in the New York Times.

I love works on paper, and especially preparatory drawings by well-known artists.  To remember this exhibit, I chose to copy a drawing by Theodore Chasseriau, a 19th C. artist who was previously unknown to me.  This drawing reminded me of some of Delacroix's drawings from Morocco and I was pleased to learn about Chasseriau's connection with Delacroix which began in 1834.

The original is so lovely, that I'm posting "The Woman of Algiers" by me and by Chasseriau.


My yellow paint didn't scan very well - it is closer to the original than it appears here.


I took this photo from the Exhibit Catalogue which was on display, since exhibit photos were not allowed.

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