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December 30, 2014

Progress Toward My Art Goals in 2014

REFLECTIONS ON 2014 -  My main goal is: To develop better drawing/painting skills on paper and with dye painting/surface design on fabric.

My specific goals for 2014 and my reflections on my progress:

Sketch everyday and blog twice each week: Although I didn’t sketch every day, I probably averaged one drawing per day based on some long drawing sessions. I attend many art exhibits with my friends here in New York City and always draw from the Masters. My blog is really important to me, and my group of online friends helps me remain inspired. I think I only missed my blog goal once in 2014!

Take More Classes

1. Senior Scholar Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT):  Spring 2014 - Dye Painting on Silk 3 hrs weekly for 15 weeks

2. One day Paste-Paper class at Center for Book Arts in NYC; an Artist Transfer Paper Class by Lesley Riley and a Thermofax Screen Printing class at Quilt Festival-Houston.

3. Online classes - as a means to remain inspired and continue to learn on my own schedule, I took 5 online art classes, 1 online surface design class, and 2 online university classes on "Creativity" last year and learned something from everyone of them.

Studying Under the Masters with Jeanne Oliver. Each week I copied a Master Artist painting, usually converting their oil technique to watercolor, and then developed a second painting "inspired by" the specific artist we were studying. There is a category which includes each week of the 8 week course on my blog. I LOVED the challenge of this class!

Sketchbook Skool - Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene - Semesters 2 and 3: I chose these semesters of Sketchbook Skool because of the 6 artists that were included and was both inspired and educated by each one of them. I look forward to news about Semester 4!

Strathmore Workshop with Gaye Kraeger - My initial sketchbook drawings and paintings were inspired by Gaye in 2005 and led to my awareness of and participation in the Everyday Matters Group several months later. I’d love to spend a week painting with her!

Beautiful Watercolor Bouquet - a Craftsy class by Mary Murphy. I did this online class with my painting friend Sara when we were at the beach during the summer. We did lots of Wet-into-Wet painting which I love.

The Art of Dying - a Craftsy class by Jane Dunnewold. My first surface design classes were at Southwest Craft Center when Jane was the Chair of the Surface Design section. And I still learn something from her every time I meet up with her - in person or online.

My two classes on Creativity were offered free by Coursera, with faculty from Penn State for one and University of MN for the other. I remain interested in this broad topic and learned some skills to increase creativity and innovation from each of them.

Learn More Bookbinding Techniques - As a self-taught bookbinder I was thrilled to take a Basic Bookbinding class at FIT during Fall Semester (3 hours/week for 15 weeks), and made 9 different book structures and 2 books that I also wrote or sketched all of the content. This was an amazing experience and can be seen in blog posts within the category "bookbinding" on my blog.

Maintain a Community of Artist Friends: Lastly, I look forward to many more art "playdays" with my friends Teri, Pat, and Benedicte and will continue to attend the Central Park and Art Meet-up Group, the weekday New York City chapter of Urban Sketchers, and at least monthly figure drawing sessions at one of several locations. My friends make all of this even more fun.

December 27, 2014

Christmas Eve at Our House

All of our grandchildren and their parents were here for Christmas Eve dinner.  It was 9 months since our last group grandchildren photograph, so we lined them up on our bed and tried to get all of them ready for a short photo shoot.  I'm sure that this is an age old problem whether you have grandchildren like ours who are 2-11 or 8 teenagers.  But I was determined to give it a try. 

Take #1  They definitely weren't ready.



This was Take #2.  Everyone needed to get back in position and it took a minute to settle them down again.    


This was take #3, but we could barely see Annabelle behind her baby brother.


Then it became very difficult to keep all of them still and  William escaped from Annabelle again.  This is take #4.  


Once the tickling began, mayhem ensued, Take #5 - and the final attempt with my camera for this holiday.  


We gave up when it became clear that the children were more interested in dinner than posing for our photo.  My daughter-in-law is a wonderful photographer and I'm hoping that there is a better photo of all 8 on her camera.  We were taking photos simultaneously and every once in a while a split second makes a huge difference. 


December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays!

About 25 years ago, while we were still living in San Antonio, Tx, my Quilting Friends and I made many Christmas ornaments for each other.  We made one for each member of our group, and then my dearest friend's husband made us all these Swedish Wooden Christmas Trees.  We put it up in our dining room in New York City each year, and I love all the special memories associated with those friends.  My grand daughter Sydney puts all the ornaments on each year and someday it will move to her home at Christmas.

I hope you have wonderful holidays and a very happy and creative 2015.  As I finish preparations for our family gathering, I'm already reflecting on what creative things I did in 2014 and what I'd like to do in 2015. 


December 19, 2014

MoMA Toulouse-Lautrec Drawing Session

I went back to the Museum of Modern Art Toulouse-Lautrec Drawing Session again this week and these are 3 of the drawings I did.  The entire 90 minute session is tightly structured and we move from contour, to blind contour, to gesture, to moving gestures, and then some still poses.  These are poses of about 5 minutes duration - each with some change of props to create a café performer atmosphere.  The model is one of the actresses I sketched there before.

The drawings were done with a soluble graphite pencil and a waterbrush, and then photographed because of size. 






December 16, 2014

Christmas Ornaments - 2014

Each year I make Christmas ornaments for family and friends.  After doing this since 1975, we have a full tree, as do our children. 

This year my daughter-in-law asked me to make more angels, and ordered fabric from the San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball team to make Good-Luck angels for another Championship year.  We raised our children in San Antonio where my husband and I were on the University of Texas Medical School Faculty and created genuine fans.




I also made many Thermofax screen evergreen trees while in a class at Quilt Festival in Houston and made them into ornaments with lots of sewing with green and gold metallic threads.  These are some of the color combinations.



I played with different color paints on the screens and liked the effects. 



Here are more as I hung them in the studio as I made them. 



I love my teensy studio - and it is fun for me to have a reminder of how much stuff can fit in one room that is 6 by 9 feet!




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