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August 30, 2013

New Adventures in Figure Drawing

I watched the Videos in Stephen Cephalo's Strathmore Workshop and then tried his techniques using 9B graphite and white charcoal on toned gray paper.  I used a photo reference for this very experimental drawing.




I am taking my very first art class since 10th grade in High School - and was very nervous about it.  Did I really want to "study" art in a classroom as opposed to learning on my own?  Did I want to have a 3 hour class every week from Aug through Dec?  Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has a senior scholar program, and unfilled classes can be audited for a nominal fee.  I finally decided to take Figure Drawing I and last Monday was my first class.  I used an easel for the very first time and sketched the model on 12 X 18 " paper - both totally out of my comfort zone.  But I think I'm going to enjoy it.

Here are two 20 minute drawings. Next week 18 X 24" paper - YIKES!



Thanks Vicki for suggestions on how I could get the background photograph blue tinge changed to white using Photoshop.


August 26, 2013

Sketchbook Pages From My Meetup Session

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group met in Battery Park on Saturday and I finally was able to draw Pier A - the oldest pier on Manhattan island.  It was built in the 1880s as a home for the New York Harbor police and was landmarked in 1975.  It is currently being renovated, with a projected opening in May 2014.  It will have a high end restaurant, food court, event space, and a tourist information center.  That area definitely needs a few more restaurants during peak tourist season!  Here it is - all newly painted!  The clock is said to be an old ship's clock. 

This drawing was done as a double page spread - and this is all I finished in the 45 min session.


The group then moved further north in Wagner Park - to the gardens next to the Museum of Jewish Heritage- and I painted lovely pink flowers. I have no idea of their name, but they were a delicate pink with a yellow "fuzzy ring" and flat yellow green center. Can you tell that I am not a gardener and never have been?



I had a few more minutes before we ended session 2 and shared our sketches, so I did a fast sketch of one of the other participants. Some day I will learn how to get a hat firmly planted on someone's head.




During our final session, at the north river corner of South Cove, I sketched gorgeous trumpet vines - being dive-bombed by big black flies that were hovering around the flowers. The weather was fantastic and it was a perfect 3 hour meetup.


August 23, 2013

Beach Weekend Sketchbook Pages

There is very little time to sketch when surrounded by 8 adults and 8 children (11 mos to 10 years).  But I combined some activities and made enough paintings to remember a wonderful weekend.

The first morning I sat with my older grandchildren while they were working on summer homework projects and sketched their favorite shoes.  I sketched Henry's new shoes, but ran out of time to paint it.



One afternoon I was watching my 11 month old grandson, and didn't want to put him down for a nap if he cried hysterically and woke his 20 month old cousin,  So I put him in his comfortable stroller and walked him around the neighborhood so he could fall asleep quietly.  I sketched his really cute, really small crocs and then picked one wild flower and two petal clusters from a hydrangea in order to see if I could reproduce the beautiful colors. 




I brought sun print paper with me for the children to try. They all learned about selecting flat objects to put on their paper and each produced a nice little print.   Five year old Annabelle asked us to take her on our 2 mile early morning beach walk the next morning and we collected some clam shells and sea gull feathers.  In general, shells were really hard to find during our daily walks.  But I decided that I wanted to see a sun print from a small feather and here it is.



I have a few more half-finished pages - and hopefully can finish them before the summer is over.

August 20, 2013

Beach Weekend

We just returned from a long weekend at the Beach - with our children, their spouses, and all 8 grandchildren. I did some drawing and painting, but nothing is scanned.  So I'm posting the annual family photo.   We had to drag the children out of the pool to gather all of us for family photos.  Our grandchildren range in age from 11 months to 10, so there was lots of activity and fun every day!

I'm the grandma with the gray hair and outfit....



August 17, 2013

Bookbinding for August

I selected the "Two Sewn As One", or Double Pamphlet, book for August.  It can be found under both names.  Two signatures are created, and then opened with one sig valley fold down and the other valley fold up.  The 3 (or 5) holes are punched together, through both folds at the same time, and then sewn using a standard pamphlet stitch.  There are two folds visible on the spine, but essentially no thread. 

If you want a cover, the paper is folded in half, and placed between the signatures, with 1/2-1" of the cover mountain fold to the right of the sigs center folds, and the rest of the cover to the left.  It can also be punched at the same time as the signatures and sewn with all 3 layers together.

Here is my book, made with a cover and center mountain fold between the sigs.  It was so plain that I stitched on a print of a collage I did that was inspired by Venice.


You can see the placement of the cover fold, and the flaps I added, in this photo.  Imagine that you were going to open both signatures and the cover - moving them all the way to the left at the same time, and you will see how they are layered for stitching.


I then wondered if there was another way to attach a cover, and made the following small samples. In the book on the left, I added the cover after the two sigs were sewn together by going through the holes from the back sig to make another 3 hole pamphlet stitch.

In the book on the right, I stitched a decorative paper in, wrong sides together, as I did with the orange cover in the first book.  I then attached the book to the cover by gluing on the decorative paper on as end papers.


These are very easy books to make and can be bigger than the usual pamphlet stitched book. Does anyone have a source for large sheets of sturdy, cover weight, decorative papers? 

This month I also made another fabric book cover.  The idea and the measurements came from a Quilting Daily Webinar presented last week by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland.  I used some of my New York City fabric, and red lining fabric, for this cover which fits a Moleskine Cahier notebook.  I really like it and can see it as a perfect small gift.



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