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February 28, 2020

Juilliard Concert and the NY Society Library

I carry a very small purse when I'm moving around in New York City, but always have blank white index cards and a mechanical pencil in there.  At concerts, I never know whether I will be able to draw, and I've left a sketchbook in an auditorium (but quickly recovered it) and rarely bring one anymore.  This week I had a perfect view of the conductor at the Juilliard Orchestra Concert at Carnegie Hall.  And I also had a lovely violist straight in front of me.  The conductor David Robertson was in tails and I love watching, but not drawing, how much he moves.

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NOTE:  Graphite Smudges! 

The NY Society Library was founded in 1754 and is contained in a Townhouse on the Upper Eastside.  It is a subscription library but non-members can enter the first floor reading room, and the second floor exhibit space.  The weekday Urban Sketchers met there at 10, and I could only stay an hour and didn't even bring my sketchbook.  After I saw the exhibit I went to the reading room to browse and sketched  "what was in front of me" on my index card. 

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February 25, 2020

My Reading Winter

January and February have been reading months for me - first bronchitis with horrible coughing leading to a back problem which is slowly getting better.  But although I haven't been completely house bound, my flexibility is still reduced and I'm enjoying this reading break sooo much.  For more than a year I've been supplementing regular book purchases with $2 used books from a twice monthly Book Fair at one of the NYPL branches.  This was the perfect time to dig into my stash of unread books, fiction, non-fiction, and mysteries as a separate genre.  It was a perfect way to spend these winter months - resting on a heating pad and slowly allowing my back to heal.  Yesterday I decided to collect the books I've read so far, and take a photo (fiction and non-fiction left; mysteries right). 

Although I've been doing some drawing, I still need to paint sketchbook pages done in 2 museum exhibits.  Instead I'm giving into my desire to just read, and selecting books I may not have otherwise read (Anthony Trollope).  I'll try anything for $2 and can always redonate the book.

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To artists who follow my blog, I'd recommend A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline  - which is about Christina Olson from the painting Christina's World and artist Andrew Wyeth.  I also enjoyed Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore, even though it was a little weird.  It is about the Impressionists and the setting is Montmartre.  There are gorgeous color images on the pages scattered throughout the book and an amazing cover. 

February 21, 2020

Artist Will Barnet at Alexandre Gallery

I first learned about artist Will Barnet in 2011 when The National Academy Museum in NYC had a 100 year retrospective for him.  He was able to attend the opening and visited it several more times, dying at 101 in Nov 2012.  I loved his stylistic, flat paintings and know his work through that exhibit, a second one in the same Museum in 2015, and two gallery shows at Alexandre Gallery at 724 5th Avenue (Current exhibit closing March 7th).  I sketched and painted only one corner of his painting called Three Generations to remember my visit to the exhibit. 

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At one of the Museum shows I learned that he used vellum to sketch on, and used additional layers of vellum to further simplify the images in sequence. I always meant to try that, but forgot about it over the recent years.

In the gallery exhibit they had several examples of his vellum drawings, side-by-side with the finished painting.  I loved the way that his wife Elena became a painting in the painting, and his arm went around her and into the painting.   

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February 19, 2020

Quick Sidewalk Sketches

Random people sketched in front of the Plaza Hotel:

I was waiting in front of the hotel and these two people stopped just long enough for me to do a quick sketch using an Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil.  Water was added later to spread the color.  I carry one of these pencils in my small purse with some blank index cards which makes it easier to not attract attention.

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February 15, 2020

Subway Quick Sketch - Feb 11th

I've been out of commission for several weeks with a flareup of back pain, and not much of my planned Figuary Drawing was done.  Instead I've been catching up with reading while stretching out on a heating pad.  On my way to the Courthouse to appear for my Grand Jury summons, I sketched this wonderful looking subway passenger - who fell asleep right after I sketched him.  Hopefully next week I'll be back to my usual self.

I sketched him with an Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil and then spread the color a little with water after the original drawing was scanned. 

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