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December 14, 2018

Posing Modernity: Manet to Matisse

There is a wonderful exhibit at Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University.  Black models depicted in drawings, paintings, and sculpture by major artists are included in the exhibit.  I enjoy sketching sculptures, and loved African Venus by Charles Henri-Joseph Cordier (1851).

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Here is the exhibit information which doesn't close until February 10th.  The Gallery is in a building at 615 E. 129th Street, and is part of the newest campus for Columbia University.  It is worth the trip uptown.

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December 11, 2018

Neue Galerie: Auguste Macke and Franz Marc

My friends Pat and Eunice met me last week to see the Macke-Marc exhibit at Neue Galerie in Manhattan.  This exhibit focuses on paintings and their lives between 1909 and 1914.  Both artists died in WWI - Macke in 1914 and Marc in 1916.  Between 1909 and 1914 they were friends, traveling and showing their works together, and they definitely influenced each others paintings.  I love German expressionism and this exhibit was wonderful - the color alone was inspiring.  I walked through the exhibit with my sketchbook open, and quickly drew shapes and figures as I went.  The two page spread was painted at home.

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I saw the woman below in a previous exhibit at MoMA and sketched her and painted her then.  I even made long magnetic bookmarks from prints I made from that painting.  And I still love her!

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The exhibit closes January 21, 2019.  The Klimt paintings, including Lady in Gold, are permanently on display and the small second floor gallery has wonderful drawings, hung 3 deep on 4 walls, by Klimt and Schiele. 

December 6, 2018

Julilliard Concerts Dec 4 and 6, 2018

We have tickets this week to 3 Juilliard Performances:  Juilliard Jazz, Juilliard Orchestra with Itzhak Perlman conducting, and Juilliard Drama performing Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods."   Our oldest grandson joined us for the Jazz concert, and two of our youngest grandchildren will go with us to see Into the Woods.  These concerts are very reasonably priced and one of our favorite activities in NYC.  

Juilliard Jazz with vocalist Carla Cook, a very experienced vocalist who sang "Billie Holiday Songs in a Swing Tradition":  She practiced with the musicians for a week and couldn't have complimented them more.  I managed to sketch 4 of the 6 on-stage performers in the first half of the concert. 

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Photo of Juliett Jazz musicians from the concert program.  There were different musicians for the second half of the concert.  I wanted to include this photo because Zoe Obadia, who is pictured here, is one of our favorites.  We actually wondered if we would see her this season, or would she have completed her degree program. 

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Last night we went back to Juilliard to watch Itzhak Perlman conduct the Juilliard Orchestra in a Dvorak Cello Concerto and Elgar's Enigma Variations.  We were sitting in Row M Center, so I didn't bring my sketchbook.  But then I found out Row M was 6 rows from the stage and I did have a pen and one of my small sheets of copy paper.  After seeing the documentary "Itzhak" this summer I can't get enough of this giant of music.  I wanted some sketchbook documentation that I saw him again - the first time was in a rehearsal of him playing a violin concerto with the NY Philharmonic.

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December 4, 2018

Art After Breakfast

Danny Gregory wrote a book called Art Before Breakfast.  My brain doesn't function until I have coffee, and when I had a wrist fracture last spring I seriously started drawing figures after breakfast.  Each of these figures is drawn on the back of scrap copy paper, torn into quarters (5.5"high X 4.25"wide).  I leave a pencil, black gel pen, and an art book of photos with people in action on my counter top.  When I accumulate some drawings I cut them out and collage them in my sketchbook.  This practice keeps me drawing even when I don't have more time for other art projects.

 

Full double page sketchbook spread photographed: 

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Left Page Scanned: Visible pencil lines on the figures are my lines of action.  I use them to direct my pen drawings of the actual figures.

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Right Page Scanned

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December 1, 2018

Best Art Exhibits in New York City

There are many art auction houses in New York City, but Christies and Sothebys are the big ones.  Twice each year I go to the previews for their Impressionist - Modern - Post War - and Contemporary Auctions.  It is an opportunity to see many paintings, drawings, and sculptures that are only seen as they move through  the secondary art market.  They have auctions in many other major cities in the world, and if you live near one I encourage you to search their websites and go to a preview.  I usually walk through all of the galleries, just enjoying lesser known works and then select a favorite to draw.  They all need to be painted at home. At Sothebys I saw this painting for a French Brewery Poster by Wassily Kandinsky.  I not only loved the image, but also wondered how I would paint the white over brown.  While in London I bought Dr Ph Martins Bleed Proof White and that was how I did it.

Wassily Kandinsky  (Gouache on Paper  1906-7)

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I also took a photo of this Matisse Drawing (Mademoiselle Yvonne Landsberg  1914 Charcoal on Paper)

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And this Vlaminck which was more like a "wonky" Soutine village, than a Vlaminck one (1910 oil on canvas)

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The following weekend I went to the previews at Christies and there were 5 of my favorite Degas Sculptures.  I sketched and painted one and tried to photograph all 5 from this private collection.  She is 22 inches high, and sold at auction for $825,000!

Edgar Degas   (Bronze 1927)

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Here are two photographs that I was able to take quickly when there weren't people standing in front of them.

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And these were the 3 at the far end of the 5 in the photo above.

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