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January 12, 2017

My Figure Drawing Artist Book

I love having a January special project for the cold days spent indoors.  Last year I didn't do anything with my figure drawings, as I had hoped, so that became my 2017 January project.  I had a $4.00 used accordion book with black paper which was perfect for my idea - with a full spread of 80 inches.  Each "page" of the accordion was 8" high by 10" wide.  I selected drawings that I did between July 2012 and October 2016, resized them, printed them out, and then carefully cut them out.  They were collaged to the book using a UHU glue stick.


The Cover:  This was a large drawing that I did during a figure drawing class at FIT - my first semester there in the Senior Learner program.  I still need to add a title.


Here are the 8 pages - scanned and uploaded.  I'm thrilled to have completed this project and have so many memories of the figure drawing sessions.  All of the clothed models, except two, were drawn during the last 3 years at the Adult Art Program at Battery Park City. And those two models were sketched at the National Art Club and MoMA. The nude models were sketched at the Society of Illustrators, Drawing New York Meet Up, or FIT.  All of the poses were 5, 10, or 20 minute poses.









January 10, 2017

National Gallery of Art and a Cow

We returned our grand daughter Annabelle to Washington DC on January 2nd and while we were there we made a visit to the National Gallery specifically to see the newly renovated East Building.  When we walked through the underground connector from the West Building and went up the stairs, nothing looked different.  But they added 12,250 square Feet of new gallery space within the existing footprint, including two "soaring tower galleries" and a rooftop space.  An employee also told me that elevators were installed to move up and down in the corner spaces by the towers.  There appears to be a much bigger collection of Modern Art and I loved the collection.  

There was an Alexander Calder exhibit at the top of Tower 2, and I drew my favorite wire cow!  Someday I'll sketch his Josephine Baker Wire Sculpture when there is more time. 



As I went through the galleries I took photos of art that I know Pat and Benedicte, my artist friends, would love and I'm posting them here so they can see them before we meet again for Master Drawing Week.

Another Max Beckmann Triptyck:  The Argonauts  1949-50.  This one wasn't in the recent Beckmann exhibit at the Met in NYC. 


Jean Dubuffet:  Building Facades 1946  This is very similar to the painting the 3 of us LOVE at the Met.  


Another Dubuffet - crazy with color!  La Ronde Des Images  1977 


A William Kentridge Accordion Book:  Portage 2000  Torn Black Paper on Encyclopedia Pages



Pat and Benedicte - hope you enjoyed the small virtual exhibit of some of our favorite artists!  Hurry home from France Benedicte.  We need to go on our annual Master Drawing Pilgrimage here at the end of January. 

January 6, 2017

Deliberate Practice: Drawing Hands

Deliberate Practice:  I know that I need to practice drawing hands, and over the last several years I've drawn many hands from photos, even from an American Sign Language website.  When drawing models, few of the poses are long enough to spend much time drawing hands, but occasionally I can now do it!

"To learn any new skill or gain expertise you need to practice, practice, practice. There isn’t much debate about that.

But here’s what you might not know: scientific research shows that the quality of your practice is just as important as the quantity.

And, more interestingly, these scientists also believe that expert-level performance is primarily the result of expert-level practice NOT due to innate talent.

This concept is known as deliberate practice, and it’s incredibly powerful."  This is the introduction to a good article describing deliberate practice.  http://expertenough.com/1423/deliberate-practice

These hands were drawn with a Caran d'Ache mahogany watercolor colored pencil, using the New York Times Style magazine advertisements for inspiration.  I recently started selecting photos with two hands, instead of one. 




January 1, 2017

Blog Anniversary and Art Goals for 2017


Art Goals for 2017:  January 4th is the 11th anniversary for my blog - and it remains an important part of my creative life.

My main goal is to develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric. At the beginning of each year, I like to define new projects which will help me progress and then remain open to new opportunities. Beginning in childhood, I was a person who needed "to make things" and I always made time in my life to fulfill this need. Now, after retirement, I have much more free time and I added "Art on Paper" to my other passions.

1. Take Classes: Current plans, but I hope to add additional opportunities as they arise. Sketchbook Skool Semester 7?: I think Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene have created a wonderful model for art education and a committed community of artists, new and old. Latest word from them - Semester 7 will be announced early in 2017. And I would love one more Semester this year from them!

Craftsy: I have a few more Craftsy classes on my wish list. Loved the ones by Marc Taro Holmes and Shari Blaukopf - both Montrealers.

Battery Park City Conservancy "Winter Figure Drawing" with Marla Lipkin, another 9 session class being offered in February and March. Last year I explored Lower Manhattan indoors as I found ways to get from my subway line all the way over to River Terrace indoors!

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT): Registration for Spring isn't until the first week in February, but I don’t think there are any more Fine Arts classes I can take next semester. I need to wait until registration day to find out what classes have openings for Seniors.

2. Maintain a Community of Artist Friends: These two goals shape my days and weeks, and make me so happy. All of the activities listed below provide my sketching opportunities and content for my blog.

It is impossible to attend all of the art activities scheduled in New York City, so my goal is to attend a minimum of one activity/week - Meetup Drawing New York and Central Park Sketching and Art, Urban Sketchers NYC, Battery Park City Figure Al Fresco(May-Oct), Society of Illustrators Figure Drawing, and other museum and gallery visits with my friends. I will also continue to post new entries to my blog twice each week to continue my interaction with and inspiration from artists online.

3. Deliberate Practice: When I started sketching/drawing a decade ago, my goal was to sketch every day and many of the days I sketched everyday objects in my life. I now sketch more when I’m out of the apartment, or doing homework for classes. But I also try to fit in "deliberate practice."

I keep a special sketchbook just to draw hands, feet, and faces from photographs and VERY SLOWLY I am improving.

After taking Shari Blaukopf’s Craftsy course, I’d like to practice drawing "crowds" in my urban sketching drawings. Until now I’ve sketched people up close, or left them out completely.

4. Bookbinding: Continue to make my own sketchbooks - for daily drawings and for travel.

Make another annual Remains of the Day book to collect images and ephemera from NYC Art Adventures with friends. This will be #6!

Create another batch of paste paper for my stash - still haven’t used up my stash, so I didn’t make more last year.

5. Special Project:

I also like to have one separate project each year. Several winters ago I sketched elephants for a whole month using every medium I had. Another year I studied different methods for making books and made a different book structure each month for 8 months. In 2016 I wanted to use some of the figure drawings I've accumulated during the years. I already transferred images to fabric using a different method for 7 Quilt Journal Pages (8.5 X 11") I created and in 2015 I made a small book of the Figures I drew in the Toulouse-Lautrec Café Society sessions at MoMA. But it wasn’t until the end of October that I formulated an approach to this project and outlined the goals. So this is now a 2017 project. My plans are to transfer figure drawings from paper to an accordion book with black paper, and to fabric in a long, horizontal quilted piece.

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