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January 16, 2018

More Rodin Sketches Before the Exhibit Ended

Before leaving for a weekend with our son and his family in DC, I sketched two more Rodin sculptures before the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art closed.  I walked the corridor that houses the Met's Rodin collection many times every year, and until I go back to the Museum, I won't know whether these two pieces that are owned by the Met will still be on view. 

I loved this marble sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice, it is beautiful from almost every angle.  However, I decided to sit down on a bench in front of it because of the amount of traffic walking through the area to get to the Michelangelo Exhibit, and the view of Eurydice from the bench was not as good as that from either side.

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This is a very small sculpture named Despair, one of many that I didn't remember, although it is from The Gates of Hell.  I loved the position of the figure and just had to draw it in case it disappeared.

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January 12, 2018

Looking Back to the Beginning of My Blog

I'm away for the long weekend and thought that it might be fun to go back and look at a few of my earliest blog posts, which began in January 2006.

I always loved other people's travel sketchbooks, and I wanted to see if I could make one.  I took a Moleskine sketchbook with me to do quick sketches while touring the Amalfi coast, even though I learned that the SKETCHBOOK paper does not take watercolor well. Here is a drawing I did in Sorrento, looking out from our hotel window.

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I had no  idea how to correct the color on the scan of the yellowish paper in the Moleskine sketchbook.  It also doesn't take watercolor well, so I went to a copier store and made A3 copies on drawing paper so I could add a watercolor wash on site, and this is the result. 

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Our tour guide and one of the other members of our group spent lots of time watching me draw, and encouraging me, so I gave them each one of the unpainted A3 copies I had made.  

January 9, 2018

NYC Urban Sketchers at the Met Museum

The NYC Urban Sketchers met on Wednesday this past week in order to draw the Christmas Tree in the Medieval Hall  at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The ornaments were made in Italy and are ceramic and fabric, with lush silks for garments.  We listened to wonderful choral music while we sketched.  Unfortunately you can't get close enough to the tree for detailed drawings of the angels, but can see all of the sculptures around the base of the tree slightly better. 

This sketchbook page is a painting of one angel and a few of the figures around the base. 

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Photo of the Tree

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Some of the Urban Sketchers at the back of the tree - busy drawing. 

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After drawing at the Tree, I went upstairs to the Auguste Rodin exhibit and painted a sculpture by his mistress and muse, Camille Claudel.  There are so many small Rodin scultures in this exhibit, that I hope that I have time to sketch more before it closes on January 15th.

Rodin Exhibit:  "The Implorer" by Camille Claudel  Cast in 1905

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January 5, 2018

The End of Christmas Season

Manhattan is a Christmas Wonderland each year, especially 5th Avenue from 42nd Street (Bryant Park) to 59th Street (Bergdorf Goodman).  Bergdorf's  window decorations are always spectacular, and this year each window represented a cultural institution in NYC. 

The American Museum of Natural History window was my favorite.  This photo has way too many reflections, but you can see that a model is surrounded by jewel encrusted dinosaurs.

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Detail:  Every inch of the "sculptures" are "jewel encrusted" on every square millimeter of their body.  It was dazzling!

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On one of my walks past all of the Bergdorf windows, I stopped to sketch the NY Philharmonic Window, and painted it at home. It was totally red, with neon musical instruments filling the background. 

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This morning we took down our Christmas tree, with an outside temperature of 10 degrees and a wind chill of -12.  The Holiday season is officially over in our apartment as we try to deal with the Artic freeze and almost 8 inches of snow yesterday. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR and may your lives in 2018 be filled with good health and wonderful art. 

January 2, 2018

Blog Anniversary and 2018 Art Goals

My Blog is 11 years old on January 4th, and it continues to be an extremely important part of my post-retirement connection to a community of artists and friends.  Last year I posted twice each week, fulfilling my ongoing goal.  In the beginning, commenting on blogs was part of the interaction in the blog world.  Now I also share my blog posts via Facebook in several art groups. 

Art Goals for 2018:  Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric. 

1.  Take classes to keep me inspired and motivated:  Sketchbook Skool, Craftsy, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), MoMA, and then keep open ears and an open mind about other opportunities for continued growth. 

2.  Maintain a Community of Artist Friends through participation in the:

NYC Urban Sketchers, Battery Park Conservancy Adult Art Programs, Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup.

Return to regular drop-in drawing sessions at the Society of Illustrators

Museum Exhibits and Galleries to draw the Masters with my friends, especially NYC Master Drawing Week in January and Asia Week in March.  

3.  Deliberate Practice:  Maintain my dedicated sketchbooks to practice drawing hands and feet, and to draw from my imagination. I should also continue practicing fast drawing of figures in motion (Suhita Shirodkar), and loose watercolor sketching using Anne Watkins method. 

New Project:  Learn how to do drawings on toned paper with black and white chalk or charcoal - using my newly made, dedicated, grey-toned paper sketchbook 

4.  Bookbinding:

a.  Make everyday sketchbooks for drawing and watercolor paintings

b.  Recycle old books as vacation travel sketchbooks

       My Tutorial:  http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

c.  Make a new accordion sketchbook for outdoor NYC USK paintings.  Create a tutorial for my blog.

d.  Make a 2018 "Remains of the Day" Scrapbook for Art Adventures with my friends

5.  Special Project Ideas:  I love to have ideas for special projects when I'm thinking about the new year ahead. 

These are some ideas for 2018 - but I always remain open to other possibilities:

Idea 1:  Draw and Paint everyday in January - again challenging myself to draw from observation in my own apartment.  I already missed one day!

Idea 2:  Watch videos about "drawing on toned paper" and start my newly bound sketchbook to practice using black and white from photograph references.  Then move to direct observation and drawing from museum sculptures. 

Idea 3:  Use a dip pen, Brause nib, and brown/black ink to copy drawings from my photographs from assorted exhibits, including the current drawings from the Thaw Collection at the Morgan, and Drawings from both Sotheby's and Christies' Fall Auctions. 

Idea 4:  Study new "Paste Paper" designs and make sheets of paste paper that are big enough to make two covered boards for new accordion sketchbooks. 

Idea 5:  Deplete my stash of Christmas Fabrics by making a simple patchwork quilt during the cold winter months (machine piecing and quilting).