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September 30, 2014

Meetup Central Park Drawing and Art Group - Saturday

Last Saturday was the first meetup group I've gone to since June and it was nice to be out with a big group of sketchers, all selecting views that were in the same areas.  We met at Central Park South and 5th Ave in front of the Plaza Hotel.  We draw for about 45 minutes then spread our sketchbooks for viewing and then move to the next location - for three 60 minute sessions.

My husband and I were married when we were both in medical school - in different states - and while living on student loans.  We had 12 guests at our wedding, a lovely lunch, in NJ, and then we came to NYC for 3 nights at the Plaza for our honeymoon.  Someone Saturday asked if we had a room overlooking Central Park, and I laughed and told them we could only afford a room looking at a wall!  This is just the entrance façade.

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The group then walked into Central Park where I sketched two chess players in the Chess Pavilion and the near roofline of the Dairy Barn Visitors Center - which is a quirky painted building.  I sketched in Tombow brown marker and then painted with watercolor.

 

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September 26, 2014

Terracotta Daughters

Today my friend Benedicte and I went to see a unique sculpture exhibit at an unfinished commercial space near the 9/11 Memorial. 

Prune Nourry created Terracotta Daughters to reflect upon gender selection and the preference for male children in China.  Eight Chinese orphan girls were selected as models for the sculptures.  If I interpreted the movie correctly, Prune Nourry made clay models of each of them to use to make molds.  Then the molds for  heads, torsos, and legs were mixed and made into terracotta sculptures to make 108 unique daughters.

 

                                                 Prune Noury Terracotta Daughters

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These sculptures will next be seen in Mexico City and in 2015 they will be buried in China, like the original Terracotta Warriors.

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In 2030, the Terracotta Daughters will be dug up, at the time when the greatest gender imbalance will exist in China.

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Benedicte Sketching her favorite girl

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My Drawings 

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September 23, 2014

John at Battery Park City Figure Drawing

I started attending drop-in figure drawing sessions at the Society of Illustrators in New York City on September 16, 2009.  This was a huge step for me, mostly because I had just retired and was finally ready.  But I asked a friend to accompany me so she could ease me into a setting that she already knew.

 

I loved it and set as my goal one session per month and was able to keep on that schedule until 2013 when I replaced my monthly drop-in sessions with a weekly Figure Drawing class at Fashion Institute of technology.  Since then I have combined drop-in sessions at Society of Illustrators, Battery Park City (from May through Oct), and even Parsons.

Last week at Battery park City we started with 30 second sketches for warm up and then did 10 one minute sketches of John.  We usually begin with 2 minute sketches at Society of Illustrators and I was pleasantly surprised with my quick 1 minute gesture drawings.  I couldn't do this before, so progress is being made!!! 

 

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September 19, 2014

My Fall FIT Bookbinding Class

I am taking a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Design and Communication basic bookbinding course.  Except for one 8 hour workshop on how to make a cased-in book, I am essentially a self taught bookbinder, and even studied and made a different structure each month in 2013. 

It is wonderful to have tips, ideas, and new variations from a professional bookbinder and have already made 3 small books for her to teach us basic skills.  Each book was made with copy paper, so they are only 6 X 4.25 inches.  And each has a soft cover - for which I used white Canson 2-ply Smooth Bristol Board.

This book has 10 folios and was made with a 3 hole pamphlet stitch.  After I made the book I used watercolor to paint the paper.

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The cover was cut 5 X the width of the book.  The front piece folds back on itself and then wraps around the book with the flap inserting in the double folded front cover.  I love the structure because it makes a very sturdy, inexpensive little notebook. 

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The second book is a double pamphlet book, which I've made before and have a tutorial on my blog. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/06/making_a_simple_sketchbook_the.php 

It was made with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch, and then painted. 

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Book #3 is a Flat Back Multiple Signature Book.  We used 50 sheets of copy paper and made 10 signatures.  Learning how to cut all 50 sheets at once is a skill that I will never forget!  We used a herringbone stitching pattern, which I've not seen listed in any of my bookbinding books, and then glued the spine.  

My cover was made with my last strip of the Bristol paper which I made as paste paper - on a whim - because I had a little paste left after making a new batch of paste paper.  And I made a flap just because I felt like it at that moment.

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This week I made nineteen 14 X 17" sheets of paste paper to replenish my stash and this was my favorite piece. 

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I was reluctant to start making books, even though I love books in all shapes and sizes.  But in 2005 I couldn't find 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks and eased into making them by recycling old orphan books.  

When Moleskine made their watercolor sketchbook, I tried them and really disliked the landscape format.  So I took the 2008 workshop to learn how the professionals made sturdy covers and started making my own cased-in books.  Now feel like an amateur bookbinder which brings me great pleasure.  

For anyone who is interested in seeing the many types of books I've made, scroll down the page - and on the right to the category section of my blog.    

September 16, 2014

Christie's Previews and Exhibits at the Met

Pat, Benedicte, Teri and I went to Christie's Auction Previews for Asia Week on Friday - primarily to see the Contemporary Asian Art.   I am beginning to have several favorite artists and I'm always surprised by the contemporary sculpture.  This time I of course gravitated toward the Elephants - the subject of my winter project several years ago. 

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On Sunday I spent an hour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art sketching Tiepolo Caricatures before the exhibit ends.  I discovered that I LOVE Tiepolo drawings - father or son - at several drawing exhibits at the Morgan Library and Museum.  And the five caricatures by Tiepolo the elder did not disappoint.  Here is a composite drawing of 3 of them.  There were many more drawings by Tiepolo the younger - all of Punchinella in a life story arc from birth to burial.  But I didn't attempt one of these detailed drawings.

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On my way out of the Museum I saw that the Rockefeller Primitive Art exhibit was almost closing and LOVED this seated male wooden sculpture from Mali - 18th-19th C.  So I tried to capture his wonderful face. 

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