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March 11, 2016

Wonderful Art in NYC Week


Art on Paper Art Show:  Some weeks there are major Art Shows all over the City.  Last weekend we chose to go to the Art on Paper show because of the number of drawings and watercolor paintings they exhibit.  During the show, Laurence Villieres sat on the floor and built this giant gorilla from pieces of cardboard she collects from the streets of Montreal.  Impressive!


Sotheby's Auction Preview - Modern and Contemporary South Asia Art:  My friend Pat and I love this Sotheby's Auction preview which is part of NYC art Asia Week.  While Pat was copying a Matisse-like painting on her iPad, I sketched two of my favorite figure drawings - adding paint later.




After lunch we went to member previews at the new Met Breuer and spent several hours viewing their opening exhibit -Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible.  The paintings and drawings selected included work as early as Titian, and as late as Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein.  I especially loved seeing the many paintings that still had their underpaintings and drawings visible, with nearly complete oil painting on the rest of the surface.  The amount of information on each identifying card was both a wonderful extra, but also a problem in an exhibit that will be so crowded after the official opening.



There was live music in the lobby gallery all day and I couldn't resist standing in the crowded space listening to jazz and drawing the bass player right before I left. 

March 8, 2016

My Fiirst Abstract and Acrylic Painting

Weeks 3,4, and 5 of My Abstract Painting Class - using a limited color palette of acrylic paints.  I was very far out of my comfort zone, but I drew on some of my dye painting experience, and thoroughly enjoyed playing. 

My Color Palette: Cad Red Light, Cad Yellow Light, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White.  I mixed orange and then combined it with its complementary blue and varying amounts of white.  The hardest part was just starting! 

Class 3:  The Beginning: 



Class 3:  The End.  Our assignment was to paint the entire canvas board with a thin layer of paint.  I just worked intuitively and varied the brushstrokes and directions. This was the end of the first class.  I enjoyed making some drips!



Class 4:  Our assignment was to add another layer of paint, even if it changed the painting completely.  I liked the first layer enough that I didn't repaint it completely.  But I did add circles and and other brushstrokes using the same color palette.



Class 5: I looked at the painting at home for a week and decided to add another, bigger circle, a few more smaller ones, and some lines.  And then I made a decision that I was done!  Next week we have a group critique.



I was very uncertain about taking this class, and although I probably won't use acrylic paint very often, I'm glad that I have this opportunity to try something new.   


March 4, 2016

Figure Drawing on Top of Watercolor Background

Yesterdaty was our Figure Drawing Day at Battery Park City.  I brought some small pieces of watercolor paper (6 X 10") that had watercolor on them from other projects, and used them for my drawings.  My mindset for these Wednesday afternoon sessions is to "play and loosen up." Yesterday I decided to draw the figures in pencil over the paint and then to paint the figures with more watercolor.  Here are 3 five minute poses and 1 ten minute pose.






My other 10 minute pose was drawn over a dark brown block of watercolor and I decided to draw in pen and not add any other paint. 


I also used a General Sketch and Wash pencil for our final 20 minute pose - drawing with the pencil and then adding only water to pull the graphite to shade the figure.



March 1, 2016

Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC

On Friday my friend Eunice and I went to the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum - my first visit since the major renovation.  We loved "Beautiful," the Triennial Design Exhibit.  There are many types of articles: jewelry, clothing, furniture, textiles, books, ceramics, wallpaper, drawings, and calligraphy to name some.  What makes the visit even more enjoyable are the number of ways you can interact with the designs.  When you enter you are given a wand - with a stylus at one end and a scanner at the other.  The scanner allows you to upload information and photos of each item in the exhibit to a personal account by touching an icon on the exhibit card.  With a unique password on your ticket, you will then be able to open "your virtual tour" when you reach home.  The stylus lets you create designs on many flat computer screen tables that are scattered throughout the exhibits. 

I loved a wallpaper design from the exhibit which was created by "Studio Job" a company founded by Nynke Tynagel (Amsterdam) and Job Smeets (Brussels).  Here are 3 of their wallpapers strips - each 29 feet without repeats! 



This image was drawn from my favorite - the strip in the middle.  The background was a wet-in-wet watercolor page and the face was drawn on top of it and then painted after it dried.



There are several other current exhibits at the museum, and I want to return soon to really carefully look at the Pixar exhibit and the Design Lab.    

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