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April 28, 2014

Two Exhibit Visits

When I go to my class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), I can see some of the student exhibits this month.  There is currently an extraordinary bird exhibit done by first year students.  Pairs of students selected a type of bird, studied it in depth and then recreated the bird on a very large mannequin, using thousands of feathers.  I LOVED the flamingo and took approximately 5 minutes to sketch it walking through the exhibit on my way to class.  The week before I took a photo of it and I've posted that here too.



There are about 20 enormous birds in the exhibit - such creativity!! 


Saturday morning I read about the opening of a New York City exhibit on ArtDaily.org.  This is a wonderful daily news site about exhibits opening in museums and galleries around the world - with a daily short educational video as well.   

Mnuchin Gallery at 45 E. 78th St. currently has an amazing exhibit of approximately 30 20th Century bronzes by all of the big names of contemporary art ("Bronze in the 20th Century: Casting Modernity" April 24-June 7, 2014).  None of these large pieces were obviously for sale - many came from museums and private collectors.  My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the installation in this magnificent townhouse gallery and I sketched two sculptures and painted them when I returned home. 

MAX ERNST  King Playing With His Queen



April 25, 2014

The Need To Play

It is almost 5 years since I retired and one of my major concerns was finding friends who might share my interests - especially art.  I always loved drawing and wanted to learn to use watercolors and keep sketchbooks - especially travel sketchbooks.  And I'm delighted, as most readers of this blog know, that I found the best friends to share this newest passion. 

On Tuesday evening, Teri, Benedicte, and I decided to get together the following afternoon, around my dining room table, to play and "make something."  Pat is currently in Barcelona with Gwen Diehn - an honorary member of our group - making art all day, everyday, for 2 weeks.  Teri proposed that she could bring some supplies and we could try to make abstract figures from an article in the current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. 

From left to right:  Benedicte, Teri, and Me


The article by Theresa Plas is called Abstract Figures - Building Layers with Tape Masks.  I usually avoid any process involving acrylics, but thoroughly enjoyed these several hours during which we made collage papers with Gelli plates, painted several layers with different artist tape masks, added collage, and then pulled out a figure from the paper with Sharpie Paint Poster pens.  All 3 of us enjoyed the process immensely - and just used whatever we had - making it a low stakes art experience.   

Here are our 3 paintings.  The phone camera changed the colors, but it hardly mattered because we were "just playing" and enjoying an afternoon together.





Mine:  Definitely the least abstract - but expected with my interest in figure drawing!


April 21, 2014

Back to Figure Drawing

I love drop-in figure drawing at the Society of Illustrators, but missed it for months because of a conflict with my FIT class on Dye Painting Silk.  Here are my drawings from last week - it was so good to be back, at least during my Spring Break from my class.  All of the drawings were done on 12 X 18" paper and photographed instead of scanned.

For anyone who might be interested in the importance of figure drawing for artists, I recommend the very readable book called The Undressed Art:  Why We Draw by Peter Steinhart.  I bought it in the Museum Shop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - and found it to be informative and a wonderful review of the topic. 

I recently enrolled for and watched a free Craftsy miniclass called Figure Drawing Atelier by Patricia Watwood and really enjoyed it.  



Two Minute Drawings #1


Two Minute Drawings #2: 


Five Minute Drawings: 


Ten Minute Drawings:


Twenty Minute Drawing:


Twenty Minute Drawing:



April 18, 2014

Picasso and Humpty Dumpty

This morning I went to Christies Auction House for the viewing of the upcoming auction items.  It is a great way to see art that is rarely on display since it usually goes from one private owner to another.  I went to see the upcoming exhibit of Prints and Multiples, but chose to draw a Picasso ceramic to remember my visit.  This is my photo of the 16.5" diameter plate.


I love the simplicity of Picasso's lines and frequently copy them trying very hard to embed his techniques in my brain.  My drawing was done with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.


 I forgot that there were several hundred artist eggs placed around New York City and found dozens of them displayed around the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink as I walked to Christies.  The "Big Easter Egg Hunt" in NYC is sponsored by Faberge, and the artists range from the famous, i.e. Jeff Koons to local public schools.  Here is my favorite egg.  



It was done by the Prince's Drawing School and is signed by Prince William and Princess Kate. As I type this, the current auction bid for Humpty Dumpty is $16,000.






April 15, 2014

Simple Pencil Portraits

We spent last weekend celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of Daniel who is one of our closest friends' grandson.  We met his grandparents in 1969, even before Daniel's father Ben was born.  His birth may be one of the factors which made us more ready to start our own family.

I did these 2 portraits on blank 3 X 5" cards with a disposable mechanical pencil that was in my purse - while listening and watching the service.  They are now collaged on a page in my sketchbook to highlight the lovely event.


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