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January 27, 2017

New York City Ballet Working Rehearsals

Last week my husband and I went to the NYCB working rehearsals 3 days in a row.  These are offered as part of becoming a FRIEND of the ballet company and they are amazing!  On Wednesday we listened to Andrew Litton conduct all of the music for 3 upcoming ballets.  On Thursday and Friday we watched two 2-hour working rehearsal sessions of ballets being performed this week.  I try to do a sketch each time I'm there, but the lights are usually too dim.

This is a sketch of an assistant conductor following along in the score (left) with just a glimpse of Andrew Litton conducting.  The full orchestra was in the pit, but I could see the very top of the harp. 

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The Prodigal Son Ballet - several dancers were in costume, on the stage, before the lights went down.

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A full dress rehearsal with orchestra of "Scenes de Ballet" - a wonderful ballet danced completely by students from the School of American Ballet.  The sets were gorgeous and the students amazing.  The choreography depicts a Russian ballet studio, with a very long barre diagonally in the middle of the stage.  Dancers are in pairs, with one on the left of the barre, and then another dancer on the right side pretending to be the mirror image of her.  The precision was extraordinary.  The auditorium was completely black when the curtain went up, so I memorized one dance position, and then sketched the dancers at home, reversing one to get the mirror image.  It was really hard.

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January 12, 2017

My Figure Drawing Artist Book

I love having a January special project for the cold days spent indoors.  Last year I didn't do anything with my figure drawings, as I had hoped, so that became my 2017 January project.  I had a $4.00 used accordion book with black paper which was perfect for my idea - with a full spread of 80 inches.  Each "page" of the accordion was 8" high by 10" wide.  I selected drawings that I did between July 2012 and October 2016, resized them, printed them out, and then carefully cut them out.  They were collaged to the book using a UHU glue stick.

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The Cover:  This was a large drawing that I did during a figure drawing class at FIT - my first semester there in the Senior Learner program.  I still need to add a title.

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Here are the 8 pages - scanned and uploaded.  I'm thrilled to have completed this project and have so many memories of the figure drawing sessions.  All of the clothed models, except two, were drawn during the last 3 years at the Adult Art Program at Battery Park City. And those two models were sketched at the National Art Club and MoMA. The nude models were sketched at the Society of Illustrators, Drawing New York Meet Up, or FIT.  All of the poses were 5, 10, or 20 minute poses.

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January 6, 2017

Deliberate Practice: Drawing Hands

Deliberate Practice:  I know that I need to practice drawing hands, and over the last several years I've drawn many hands from photos, even from an American Sign Language website.  When drawing models, few of the poses are long enough to spend much time drawing hands, but occasionally I can now do it!

"To learn any new skill or gain expertise you need to practice, practice, practice. There isn’t much debate about that.

But here’s what you might not know: scientific research shows that the quality of your practice is just as important as the quantity.

And, more interestingly, these scientists also believe that expert-level performance is primarily the result of expert-level practice NOT due to innate talent.

This concept is known as deliberate practice, and it’s incredibly powerful."  This is the introduction to a good article describing deliberate practice.  http://expertenough.com/1423/deliberate-practice

These hands were drawn with a Caran d'Ache mahogany watercolor colored pencil, using the New York Times Style magazine advertisements for inspiration.  I recently started selecting photos with two hands, instead of one. 

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November 28, 2016

A Portrait of our FIT Class Model

Last week was a blur of food shopping, cooking, cleaning up, fixing leftovers, and lots of time with wonderful family and friends.  I literally didn't think about a blog post until I was awakened at 4:10 this morning by someone who called the wrong number from California. 

I was finished with my figure painting in my FIT class last week and spent the session doing a "portrait" of the model. 

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My painting is still in the FIT Studio for our critique session tonight, so I haven't photographed it.  I'm not thrilled with the painting, but I am achieving my goal of learning how to better use acrylic paints.  I still love pen, ink, and watercolor sketchbook art, but I believe it is a good idea to shake up my brain on a regular basis, and my two acrylic painting classes have done that.

 

November 16, 2016

I'm Drawing Sculpture This Month

This is a huge art exhibit month in New York City.  In addition to the Fall Museum Exhibits, there are terrific gallery shows, and the huge auction previews.  Both Sotheby's and Christies now have combined auction previews for Impressionist /Modern and Post-War/Contemporary that last in each auction house for more than a week.  During my visit to Gagosian Gallery's exhibit "Nudes" and both Auction Gallery Previews I sketched pieces of sculpture that I liked and photographed many paintings that inspired me.

Matisse Sculpture at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue:  The balance achieved in this life-size sculpture was fascinating.

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 Maillot and Degas Sculptures at Sotheby's:  These life-size sculptures were next to each other making it fun to place the drawings together.

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 Mbole Figure from the Congo:

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 Moore Sculpture from Christies:  I love the family series of sculptures done by Moore and this one was very small and just right for my sketchbook drawing of the day.   

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