« November 2017 | Main | January 2018 »
Page 1 of 2

December 29, 2017

Art Progress 2017


Art Progress for 2017:  I love reviewing how I spent my year and thinking about my goals for the upcoming Year.  I did sketch and paint regularly and posted to my blog twice each week in 2017.   This quick annual reflection always makes me happy, because I realize how much I have accomplished, and how much fun and fulfillment these activities add to my retirement.

My Main Goal remains the same: To develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and surface design on fabric. 

1.  Take Classes:    I took a combination of online and in-person classes through the year and tried to complete everyone, even the homework.  Work done in each of these classes is regularly posted on my blog.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT):  I love the 3 hour classes over a 14 week semester at FIT, and this year took two classes from their Illustration Department.  In the Spring I took a class called Watercolor Comps, in which we learned many techniques for creating illustrations, and it was a great opportunity to learn and practice watercolor painting.  This Fall I took a class called Fashion Applications, and each week we had 2-4 models and expert instructions on figure drawing. 

Urban Sketching with Marilyn Rose:  A several day class in Bryant Park in which we used a pen and rapid sketching techniques to record our environment.

Painting Figures with Anne Watkins:  This was an evening workshop in Bryant Park - one of the 10 X 10 Workshop Program developed by NYC USK.  I loved seeing her technique and need to spend more time practicing! 

Battery Park City Adult Art Program:  I did indoor figure drawing with this group in Feb and Mar, and outdoor figure drawing from May through October, weather permitting, and if we weren't on vacation.   

Surface Design Classes at the International Quilt Festival in Houston:  I took two full days of surface design/shibori classes - one using natural indigo, and one using a synthetic Procion MX dye named Indigo.  These techniques/skills will be used in my sewing, quilting, and bookbinding activities.  

Sketchbook Skool:  I love the multiteacher 5-6 week online classes, and enjoy "meeting" new teachers, and working through the homework assignments, even if they are out of my comfort zone.  This year I took Exploring (Class #7), and Imagining (#8).  The two creators of Sketchbook Skool also had some Online Book Clubs in which Danny reviewed one of his favorite artist books in each session, and Koosje continued her short videos called "Draw Tip Tuesday" on You Tube.

Craftsy:  Although I don't love painting landscapes, I really enjoyed Shari Blaukopf's Sketching Landscapes Class, and on Labor Day watched two free Craftsy classes:  Suhita Shirodkar's Figure Sketching Made Simple and Steven Reddy's Dynamic Detail in Pen, Ink, and Watercolor.  I immediately practiced the rapid figure drawing technique, but won't ever use the more detailed techniques presented in Reddy's class. 

2.  Maintain a Community of Artist Friends:  My goal is to participate in at least one NYC art activity per week, in addition to my FIT classes, and I have accomplished this when I'm in town. The friends in these groups inspire me and help me to enjoy the community of artists of all skill levels.  In addition to Battery Park City and Urban Sketchers, there are several Meetup groups that I now can only attend occasionally.  And my dear friends Benedicte, Eunice, and Pat provide companionship for regular museum and gallery visits where we draw "the Masters."   

3.  Deliberate Practice:  I continued to maintain my regular hand bound sketchbooks, and to work regularly in my dedicated sketchbooks reserved for a. Drawing Hands and Feet (from photos), and b. Drawing from my Imagination (including lots of Axel and Alice illustrations like on this blog post).  

4.  Bookbinding:  I made 3 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks for regular sketching, and two recycled books - for our 50th anniversary vacation in Venice and for summer beach vacations.  I made my 7th "Remains of the Day" book (MaryAnn Moss) which is an annual "scrapbook" for all of the NYC art adventures with my friends. This week I taught Eunice how to make a Double Pamphlet Book with Arches watercolor paper, and reposted my tutorial for making these books to my blog.  To my delight, I took a Coptic Book all day class at Quilt Festival and learned how to use the two needle sewing technique.  

5.  Special Project:  I love to have a special project for the year, either for January, or as a monthly activity for the first half of the year.  Last January I used an 80" accordion book to collage 38 of my favorite "resized" figure drawings.  I also intended to transfer some of the same drawings to fabric as an art quilt.  Instead I finally finished hand quilting my Liberty of London Lap Quilt, which started in 2006 when my daughter and her family moved to London for 15 months.  

Art Goals 2018:  Next Week. 



December 26, 2017

Easy To Make Double Pamphlet Art Journals

Today my friend Eunice came to my apartment to learn how to make a Double Pamphlet Book.  This is a good "first book" to make because you learn about paper grain, scoring and tearing paper, making folios and signatures, creating a simple paper cover, and putting the two signatures and cover together with a single 3 hole pamphlet stitch. 

In 2012 I posted a tutorial on my blog for this book, with photos.   


One CORRECTION to the Tutorial:  I said that the Mi Tientes cover paper I used is Grain Short, and now I think it is Grain Long.  However, grain is not very important in this simple book structure.


Eunice made a 32 page small watercolor book (5.5W by 7.5H) from one sheet of Arches 140 lb cold press paper, and I made a 32 page toned gray paper book (7.75W and 10.5H) from 2 sheets of Canford toned grey paper. 

Here is Eunice with her book.  She still needs to "decorate" the cover. 



Here is my book, which I will use for figure drawing practice on toned paper.



Here is the Canford Dreadnought Grey toned paper. 



December 23, 2017



I made 4 more tree ornaments, one each for our children Noah, Jason, and Rachel, and the red present for our tree.

What I want in my presents:  Joy, Good Health, Intellectual Stimulation, and World Peace. 


The Christmas tree is up and decorated, and the family gifts are in stockings or gift bags I made for everyone over the last 15 years.  We're ready - except for the cooking.


December 20, 2017

Final Fashion Illustration Drawings for the Semester

I loved this class and learned from a master fashion illustrator. 


This week was our last class, and we had 3 models, and many quick poses.  While we were sketching Professor Salek, as a final review, talked about all of the skills she presented during the semester. 

I chose four 7 minute poses from the class to post on the blog, to  remind me about:

1.  The angle of shoulders and hips - which are usually opposite in direction - and should be exaggerated.

2.  To be bold drawing the shapes.

3.  To start drawing from the head and then to  proceed down the figure, switching from side to side.

4.  To elongate the drawing and narrow the form.

5.  To pay attention to opposition, which to her means don't draw both sides of an arm or leg with identical lines.  Exaggerate differences. 

I wish I had erased the hand on the first figure - but maybe my new Craftsy class on Drawing Hands will help me as 2017 ends!! 






December 15, 2017

Getting Ready For Christmas

It is snowing right now in New York City for the 3rd time in 7 days.  Trees are up everywhere and decorated.  Skaters are enjoying all of the skating rinks.  And I'm hoping for a white Christmas.

My Grandson Callum loves to pick out an ornaments for me to make for our Grandchildren.  I originally made this one in 1987, and we have one on our tree each year.  Yesterday I listened to NPR and made 9 Geese Hearts between 10AM and 7PM! The Geese are hanging  today on my Swedish Christmas tree until our grandchildren come over for dinner tonight.  Then Sydney and Charlie will decorate (i.e. refill) the Swedish Tree with small ornaments from a group project I had with my quilting friends in San Antonio.


This was a pattern from a McCall Christmas decorating pattern and remains a favorite.  Our houseguest this week traced the pattern to make one for her daughter and son-in-law who were married in November. 


<< 1 2