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May 6, 2013

Degas and the Impressionist and Modern Auctions

One of my favorite Spring and Fall Art Events is the Impressionist and Modern Art Auctions at Christie's and Sotheby's in New York City.  As was written in the New York Times last Friday, "Before the Gavel Falls, It's All Free to Look At."  The paintings, drawings and sculptures that are being offered for sale at these auctions. are usually going from one private owner to another - meaning that most are infrequently seen by the public. 

My husband and I loved the preview at Christies, and they have wonderful audio descriptions of 8 major works on their website at this link. 

http://www.christies.com/sales/impressionist-modern-new-york-may-2013/evening-sale.aspx

I love ballet, ballet classes, and Degas for his many paintings, drawings, and sculptures of ballet dancers.  This one is beautiful - much more sophisticated in its rendering than many in the collection of bronzes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I stood quietly, off-to-the-side, and sketched her, enjoying my brief minutes with her beauty.  The sculpture is 16" high and 21 5/8 inches long.  The estimated sale price is $600,000-800,000.  I will be able to look at the final sale price after the auction, but no information about her new home will be available.

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May 3, 2013

Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators - April 2013

I made it to figure drawing again in April - and really enjoyed the jazz, the glass of wine and one of the models.  The other one not so much. 

Here are a few of my drawings from the evening.  The male model is really tall and skinny and he extends his arms, legs, and fingers (which must be 12 inches long) in every short pose.  These are therefore incredibly challenging and I find I have to focus on a smaller part of him to get anything drawn during these 2 minute warm-ups.

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Here is an Uninspired 5 minute Pose by the Woman Model

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And a 10 minute Pose by Him:

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And Finally a 20 minute Pose by Him.  I couldn't capture the way he had his legs crossed over each other, he was bearing weight equally between his legs and had both knees slightly bent.  Yikes!  So I moved on and did a slightly different half-body view of him for the remaining minutes.

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April 29, 2013

Searching For Inspiration

Several weeks ago I asked for ideas for my daily sketches because I was bored with the possibilities during the last days of winter. 

Irene Brady suggested looking at animal webcams and sent me the link for an eagle nest.  While watching it, I snapped a phpto and then sketched one of the parents feeding a baby.  Thanks Irene.

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I also went back to my first sketchbook (started in 1998), and looked at a few of my early sketches.  Everything was sketched in pen and no watercolor paint was added until almost the end of sketchbook 3 (2008). 

In 1998 I sketched many Picasso ceramics at an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - all in black pen.  I loved the shapes and decided to redraw them and paint them wet-in-wet with watercolor.

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I also challenged myself to draw the Don Quixote image from one of the Picasso plates with my "hated" Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

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April 27, 2013

Gelli Prints, Figure Drawings, and Experimentation

Last week I met with my artist friends and made more gelli prints.  As mentioned before, I don't love acrylic paint, so I tried cheap tube watercolors for some of the prints.  I already posted one watercolor gelli print with daffodils painted over it with WN gouache.  Today I wanted to experiment with different types of pens over both watercolor and acrylic gelli prints.

This is a print made with watercolor.  I resized my graphite drawing from "Live Figure Drawing" at the Society of Illustrators, printed it out on copy paper, and then transferred the image to my gelli print with carbon paper.  Finally, I used a dip pen with a Speedball 5B nib to "draw" the figure on the print.  The ink did not disturb the watercolor ar all and drawing was very easy. 

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Teri recommended Sharpie Paint, Souffle, or Glaze pens for drawing over acrylic.  Since I wanted only a black pen, I tried both the Sharpie oil-based and water-based Paint Pens over two acrylic gelli prints.  I transferred my earlier drawings using the method outlined above. 

The first figure was drawn with the oil-based pen and the second with the water-based pen.  Both were easy to draw and the pen seemed completely unaffected by drawing over acrylic paint.  Can you tell that I ruined many previous pens (in my ignorance) by trying to draw or write over acrylic paint?

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I'm not sure where this series is going, but it might be fun to collage some of these types of prints in an accordion book.

April 24, 2013

Art Day at the Morgan Library - Surrealist Drawings + Degas Miss Lulu

Benedicte, Pat and I went to the Surrealist Drawing Exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum right before it closed.  They had an amazingly thorough presentation - the artists that played with surrealism and the techniques that were used.

I arrived early and sketched a woman reading while waiting for the doors to open.  In the exhibit I quickly sketched a Picasso woman who was in one corner of his drawing and a Miro square that I wanted to remember for my "visual language project."  The exhibit stretched over two big galleries - lots to see and read without doing more drawing. 

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Degas and his painting of Miss La La at the Circus was in the upstairs gallery.  There was information about the circus in Paris, preliminary drawings and paintings, the big painting and works by other artists who also painted the circus.  I loved the shape of a clown in a lithograph by Henry Gabriel Ibels and sketched a portion of the print.  But then I had to go find Pat and Benedicte, who still hadn't come upstairs, because I wanted to leave time to see the American Watercolor Society Show at Salmagundi.  Both of these exhibits closed Sunday. 

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I love the annual watercolor show and enjoyed it again tremendously.  It is hard for me to fathom how accomplished artists can make such amazing paintings!  A real inspiration, but not a realistic goal!