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January 13, 2015

Drawing the Masters

I love to draw from Master drawings and paintings, and try to do at least one drawing from each gallery or Museum visit.  The styles of these artists are so different, that I feel as if each is a challenge for me.  These are 4 drawings that I did in the last month - Andrew Wyeth, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, and Edgar Degas.  I was thrilled to see the actual sculpture of Dancer of Fourteen Years by Degas and I've included a photo that I took of this remarkable piece.   

 Andrew Wyeth  Lovers Study  Adelson Gallery New York 



Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - detail from Print in Museum of Modern Art Exhibit


Amedeo Modigliani  Elena Pavlowski     Phillips Collection  Washington DC


Edgar Degas - National Gallery of Art Washington DC

This is the clay-wax sculpture made by Degas, complete with clothing.  She is beautiful!  The sculpture was in Degas' studio when he died and more than 30 copies were cast in bronze posthumously, and are owned by museums around the world.  Xrays studies show that Degas used old paintbrushes to support the armature within the arms. 



January 11, 2015

Matisse Studio: Beyond the Cut-Outs

This wonderful program at the Museum of Modern Art ends today, although the exhibit continues into February.  Because I missed regular days over the holidays and while we were in Washington DC, I went to the Studio to "play" on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, including the Friday evening party marking the end of the program.  Some of my previous collages, including a fabric collage, already were posted to my blog in Oct, Nov, and Dec. 

On Wednesday I started a new series of collages - made by freehand cutting of figures and shapes in solid colors and on a solid background.  I used some advertisement cards from my ballet studio to select figures in motion, and then just began cutting - making arms, legs, torso, head etc as separate pieces.  I loved the experience and my series of 5 collages ended with a bigger piece that was cut freehand and glued during the party in 45 minutes.

Here are the collages in the series.  The first 5 collages were either copied on a color copier in reduced size at the Studio or scanned and resized digitally at home.  The last one was on a large sheet of brown paper given to each of us and had to be photographed and resized.








My group of art friends, who regularly met at the Studio, are going to have withdrawal, much like when MoMA Print Studio ended in 2012. This Matisse program was popular with both adults and children, creating a new, young group of artists who were as enthused and playful as we were.  Everyone of us stretched our minds and skills during these sessions and remain forever grateful to the Education Department at MoMA for creating the Studio.  Thank you Sarah and Allison and your dedicated studio staff.



January 6, 2015

Basic Bookbinding Class at FIT - Part 2

I love books and was basically a self-taught bookbinder because I wanted watercolor sketchbooks with specific paper at affordable prices.  But then my interest grew and I spent 2013 teaching myself to make one new book structure per month.  It seemed like a great idea to take a Basic Bookbinding course at FIT to learn even more - and now the semester is over.  These are the books that I made during my Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) class.  There were 9 structures, but I haven't finished the last one (several folded books), so only 8 different types of books are pictured here - some with two copies made the same way.  


The first 5 types of books were already posted to the blog. 


The following photos are of the last 3 types. 


Book #6: Japanese Stab Binding - with two stitching Designs.  These are easy books to make, but the binding doesn't allow the pages to open flat so I don't like them for drawing or painting.   



Book #7:  Album Binding

This book is designed with extra room between the signatures, which are stitched to a book cloth hinge using a 5 hole pamphlet stitch.  A book board hard case is made and the hinge is glued to the front and back cover.  End papers are then glued to the inside of the front and back covers.  This is a great structure for a travel sketchbook because it opens flat for drawing or painting and lots of ephemera can be glued in without overstretching the binding.


My book has 140 lb watercolor paper in the signatures and paste paper for the end papers.


This is the view from above showing the spaces that left between the signatures where they attach to the spine - for later expansion. 



Book #8 is a Screw Post Portfolio, the only book structure that we made with single pages.  Two boards are covered for the front and back of the book.  Holes are then punched in the covers and pages and metal screw posts are inserted.  The pages don't open flat, but the structure is a good one when putting together pages, photos, drawings, paintings that are on single pages. 

The number of pages can be increased at any time by buying longer screws for the posts. 



My book only has two pages in it because I just wanted to make a template for punching other pages. 


January 4, 2015

Art Goals for 2015

January 4th is the 9th anniversary of my blog and it is a good time for me to think about how I will spend the next year improving my skills and interacting with artists online art community and locally. 

Long Term Goals: Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

Goals for 2015: To sketch and paint everyday, and to blog twice each week These activities give my retirement life some structure and provide enormous inspiration within an artist community. 

1. Take more classes online and in person to remain inspired:

I’m already enrolled in this year’s "Studying Under the Masters" course, but didn’t plan to start it until January.

I am registered for two Craftsy Classes one in Drawing and the other Watercolor.

I will take the Strathmore Class on Hand Lettering and Calligraphy, but have little interest in the other two this year.

I will register for Sketchbook Skool Semester 4 as soon as it is announced.

I will register for the Spring Semester at Fashion Institute of Technology, but won’t know which course I will take until registration day in January.

2. Continue to draw and paint locally: I meet regularly with the Central Park Drawing and Art Meet-up group, the NYC-Urban Sketchers Weekday Group, and my good friends Teri, Benedicte, and Pat. I would feel very isolated without them! There are multiple drop-in sites for Figure Drawing in NYC and I will attend one of them at least monthly.

3. Make watercolor sketchbooks, for daily drawing and painting and travel:

I will continue to make books - lots of books of different types.

I am registered for a Craftsy class on Dye Resists for making new bookcloth for my sketchbooks. I already have used many of the resists on a regular basis, but this class will restart my "dye lab" for 2015. I’m down to my last piece of dyed cloth!

I also need to make another batch of paste paper to use for covering bookboards and/or as endpapers.

All of these goals are really just a continuation of my goals for the last several years. I love the variety in my schedule and each of these activities brings me enormous pleasure. There will be other opportunities that I haven’t even imagined yet, and I will remain flexible and open to taking small risks! 

I'd love to read what others are planning.... 




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