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May 14, 2012

More Pre - Venice Sketchbook Pages

Last summer, the Morgan Library and Museum had a great exhibit about "Lists."  I was really intrigued by a sketchbook list of one artist's packing for a trip.  You can see the watercolor page here on the museum website.

So I decided that I needed to try it - and had a great deal of fun drawing and painting the items going into my suitcase or being worn on the airplane.  I think his trip was shorter than mine.  But then again, men probably pack less than women. 

I'm always guided by my suitcase - and must fit everything I take to wear in a 24" suitcase - including my small leather backpack.  Of course my art supplies, camera, book, etc go into my small carryon.  I don't even take a separate purse - a leftover from the year we traveled back and forth to London regularly when all carry-on bags were SEVERELY limited. 

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I'm going to try to post to my blog from Venice, but we still don't know whether we will have WiFi access. 

May 11, 2012

Venice 2012

We will be leaving for our Venice vacation within the next few days.  I'm obviously very excited to be returning there to celebrate yet another wedding anniversary with my husband and friends.

I recycled a book called Italian Dreams this winter and posted a tutorial for bookbinding on this blog.  And I did some watercolor paintings from photos from my 2002 trip to Venice to get my brain, eyes, and fingers ready for my travel sketchbook.

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This week I started to put entries into my travel sketchbook.  I love to have pages already done by the time we arrive, making it easier to just continue filling the book.

The first page is a tribute to Mari Le Glatin Keis. Here are the powerful ideas that I took from her book and added to my first page.

The Art of Travel With a Sketchbook

Sketching is not about doing "good" drawings or paintings. It is about being in the moment, about putting aside expectations and judgment and letting the hand record what the eyes see with whatever tool you have available.

It is not the aesthetic. It is only about the experience!

Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to be fully in the moment.

In sketching, there is no expectation, no performance, no good or bad. There is just the pure pleasure of describing life as it is. Trust yourself and play. Behind every page , there is a moment, an emotion. No matter how "good" or realistic your rendering is, a simple line or color will bring you right back in the moment. You will be able to see, hear, feel, and smell....Instead of saying "I like this page," I say, "I loved this day."

Mari Le Glatin Keis

My second page shows pencils, pens, easers and brushes in my pencil case.

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My third page is a sample of the watercolors I will have with me: 

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1.  My small palette of Winsor Newton paints.  This palette is small enough to fit into my small backpack or can stay in the apartment and used there.

2.  My Daler Rowney travel watercolor set which easily fits into a pocket.

3.   My 20 selected watercolor pencils which I can carry in a light, flat zipper pencil case - and use in museums where pens may be prohibited.

I am going to try to post some entries during our trip, but we won't know about the quality of our wifi connection until we arrive. 

 

 

May 7, 2012

Venice Preview Sketches #14, 15, and 16

I made an accordion-folded watercolor "sketchbook" for me to practice sketching scenes in Venice before our trip and these 3 pages complete my Venice Previews.  All of the sketches were done from photos that I took in 2002, before I started to keep sketchbooks or travel journals. 

A blog reader said that they would like to know what my experience is like - after arriving in Venice - based on my preliminary sketchbook painting.  Even before I leave, I feel as if I have more confidence in my ability to paint water and the crumbling texture of the plaster over brick walls of the buildings.  I also know how difficult it is to make accurate drawings of the ornate columns on the most famous buildings.  But most importantly, I have a wonderful sense of freedom because I will always have these 16 journal paintings that will be part of my Venice experience - and I will now be more spontaneous and sketch my daily sights and experiences, "in the moment."

San Maggiore from Piazza San Marco:

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Details - Ca' D'Oro

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A Random Canal, Tower Photo I took:  Maybe I'll recognize the Tower when we arrive in Venice

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May 5, 2012

Drawings From Christie's Impressionist/Modern Auction

I found several drawings that I loved at the Christie's Auction Preview last week and was also able to photograph them.  It is almost my favorite part of the previews - the room full of works on paper which are 90% drawings.

I loved this Van Gogh charcoal drawing and and just knew that I wanted to draw it.

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But I have NEVER used charcoal!  I hate the feeling of my charcoal pencils on paper and never even tried the sticks/vines.  This posed a dilemma - but I discovered that a 6B charcoal pencil was soft enough not to make my teeth vibrate.  So I took a very small piece of my watercolor paper (4" x 7", 140 lb soft press) and did a quick sketch just to see if I could quickly capture the image. I used a large graphite blending tool - probably incorrectly - for shading! 

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THIS DRAWING SOLD AT AUCTION ON MAY 2ND FOR $722, 500 - DOUBLE THE AUCTION ESTIMATE THAT WAS PRINTED ON THE CARD!

 This is a Matisse that I'm saving for a rainy day drawing:

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THIS DRAWING SOLD AT AUCTION ON MAY 2ND FOR $122,500.

May 2, 2012

My Love Affair With Cezanne's Cardplayers

There are many, many museums in the city and I love to visit the art museums to see the exhibits and sketch from the Masters.  We saw a Leon Kossoff drawing exhibit at the National Gallery in London (2007) and I was impressed with his return visits to sketch the same few works by Masters many times during his career.  

I thought it might be fun to try this, in part to see how my art skills evolve and how my familiarity with the painting may change my drawing over time.  On my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008, I sat in front of Cezanne's Card Players and sketched it.

I sketched it annually and then sketched many of the preparatory paintings in a big 2011 Cardplayer exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   

 Cezanne did 5 oil paintings of the Cardplayers - one with 5 figures, one with 4 (owned by the Met), and 3 with two figures.  The 2011 exhibit at the Met was unable to reunite all 5, but there were many preparatory drawings and paintings of individual figures.  I sketched some of them on 3 occasions.

I was thrilled to learn that a previously unseen preparatory watercolor of Paulin Paulet, a gardener from Cezanne's family estate, was being auctioned at Christie's NY by a private collector.  He is the only figure that appears in all 5 paintings.  There was a full page picture of the painting in the NY Times on Friday and I painted it in my sketchbook.

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On Saturday, at the auction preview, while many people were viewing the painting, I sketched the head again with a watercolor pencil.  I may never get the head tilted like Cezanne!

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And then waited until I could get an angle for a photo without reflections of the spotlights.

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Last night this watercolor sold for $19.1 million dollars!! 

 

  

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