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February 26, 2019

FIGUARY: February Daily Figure Drawing Challenge

Love Life Drawing and Croquis Café, both You Tube channels you can subscribe to, sponsored a daily challenge this month.  Kenzo gave 4-5 minute lessons at Love Life Drawing, and Larry Withers introduced the model session at Croquis Café, each day.   The models posed for three 1 min, two 2 min, and one 5 minute pose.  Obviously you could pause the video for as long as you wanted, but I tried to finish the drawing in the allotted time, and usually just had to pause for another minute with the 1 minute poses.  These are a few poses I really loved drawing.  Kenzo said that all of the videos would remain indefinitely. 

In the first images, I made a quick sketch in pencil and then finished it in ink after the time was up.   In the second images I sketched in pencil, and then darkened a few lines after the sketch was done.  Even if I paused the video, I never took more than 20 - 25 minutes for all 6 sketches, probably because I used small scrap papers for all of them.  This was so enjoyable that I only missed several days so far.



Figuary B


February 22, 2019

Bookbinding and a New Watercolor Sketchbook

Once each month I meet with a friend to teach her bookbinding.  She makes wonderful books and I have a new one for myself at the end of the day.  This month we made a cased in-book with 140 lb Fabriano Artistico soft press paper - 6 signatures with two folios each.  The cover for my book was made with fabric fused to 45gm mulberry paper.  It is a monoprint that I made with thickened Procion MX dyes. 



We made the end papers with Canson MiTientes paper - which is readily available in many colors.



Ten years ago I couldn't find sketchbooks with good watercolor paper and began this journey.  Now, although Moleskine and Stillman and Birn sell watercolor sketchbooks, I still love making these and have a wonderful shelf full of many color sketchbooks. 


February 19, 2019

NYC Urban Sketchers at the Met Feb 16, 2019

NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Metropolitan Museum Art and Armor Galleries last Saturday.  Sketchers were free to go anywhere in the Museum, but many of us went to draw armor.  It was a first for me!  I used pencil to draw, then found a spot where I could add ink and the orange color before I forgot these details.  I finished the painting when I got home.



After lunch in the Met cafeteria with the group, I went to the American Wing to draw for the afternoon session - which was bright and sunny on this winter day.  This is Nydia the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii.  I chose her because the draping in marble was wonderful and I wanted to see how well I could draw it.  Over 30 members stayed until 3 to share their drawings.  Great day. 


February 15, 2019

Experimental Screen Printing Class

I am taking an Experimental Screen Painting Class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) this semester, and hopefully will gain an understanding of the many methods for screen printing.  I have previously done 2 types of screen prints, and those two prints are at the end of this blog post. 

We made a 4 Color Reduction Print over the first two weeks.  I had no idea what they even meant 2 weeks ago!  Read here for method:  The white shapes on my screen print are the color of the fabric, and I brushed screen filler over every place that you see white to "protect it", and then pulled a print with light blue pigment.  The light blue color is #1.  Going forward, I brushed on "screen filler" to delineate the areas that I wanted to remain light blue, and then pulled a print with darker blue.  This process, i.e. screen filler to delineate areas you want to save, and then pulling a print with darker colors (#3 dark purplish blue and then #4 black). It made my brain hurt trying to figure out the process.  Before adding the black pigment, every part of my screen except for the black areas at the bottom of the screen were brushed with screen filler to maintain the printing I wanted to save.  To pull a print, pudding-like pigments are put along the top edge of the screen and a squeegee is used to pull the paint down over the screen in one slow, consistent movement.

My Print on Fabric: 



My only other experiences with screen printing were one day workshops printing on fabric with fabric paints.

One color Screen print with mask - a Christmas Tree Decoration:

In the first photo, I made multiple prints of the green tree on a big piece of red fabric using a contact paper "mask "over the screen (with the green sections cut out), only allowing me to print the areas that are green as the print was pulled.  The gold color is machine quilting with metallic gold thread.  



Thermofax Screen Print with several colors of thickened Procion MX Dye - A Quilt Journal Page:

I don't understand how thermofax screens are made, but essentially a stencil is burned into a screen using a Thermofax photocopying machine and special paper.  I brought black and white ink jet prints to the workshop and the screens were made for me during the workshop.  They are more like stencils with multiple areas on the screen that let paint through. On this 8.5 X 11" quilt journal page, I used several different screens, and colors of thickened dyes for this tiny art quilt.



 Stay Tuned:  Next we are making photoemulsion screens and it is all still a mystery to me. 

February 12, 2019

Cultural Friday Feb 8, 2019

My husband and I scheduled an afternoon and an evening performance at Lincoln Center and then needed to decide how to spend the hours between the events.  The Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle is a perfect place to browse and eat, making a trip back to our apartment less inviting.  Landmarc is big, and it has a large enough menu for any time of the day.  I sketched what I saw right in front of me and added paint at home.



In the afternoon we saw a working rehearsal of the New York City Ballet.  It was fun to see the 3 principle ballerinas all in gowns, and their partners all in random class clothes.  This was obviously not only a rehearsal of "In the Night" set to a Chopin Nocturne.  The dress skirts had many, many layers and these dancers were getting used to their costumes as well.  This dancer came out to warm up for a few minutes when the lights were still on, and I tried to capture her arabesque from memory, because it was over in an instant.  In the evening we saw the Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Barbara Hannigan, and she is the most physical conductor I've ever seen.  No sketches possible!


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