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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!

April 15, 2013

New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert

My husband and I take some of our grandchildren to the NY Philharmonic Young People's Concert each year.  It is geared to 6-12 year olds and as soon as our grandsons turn 6, they join us for the series of 4 concerts.  This is 9 year old Henry's 4th year, 7 year old Robbie's 2nd year and 6 year old Callum's 1st year.  Note:  By their choice, I take our two grand daughters to the Nutcracker Ballet - where tickets for one performance are much more expensive than 4 Philharmonic Concerts!  

Before the one hour concert, there is a one hour educational session called Kidzone.  Members of the orchestra introduce 3 instruments to children and they get to try making sound with them.  And there are at least 4-5 other activities which the boys LOVE!  Robbie was at his first soccer game of the season on Saturday, but here are Henry and Callum learning about the trombone.  That is Henry in front and his little brother Callum behind him.

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The boys love learning about the instruments and try to guess what they will be for each concert.

Henry decided that he wanted to play the violin and drums, about the same time that he started attending the concerts, and is extremely musical and talented.  I sketched him while he was practicing the violin last month.  And then sketched him yesterday playing the trombone (from a photo that I took on Saturday).

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April 10, 2013

Quickie Bus/Subway Portraits

I continue to carry my small leather notebook so I can sketch fellow passengers on the Manhattan buses and subways.  Most of these are done in 2 minutes or less.  The stops are close together and passengers arrive and leave quickly.

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April 5, 2013

Potpourri

I am posting a variety of pages from my daily sketchbook. 

There was a wonderful exhibit of Late Paul Klee paintings and drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I went early one morning, right before the exhibit closed, and immersed myself in these wonderful works.  I wanted to draw one in my sketchbook and chose one that allowed me to test my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.  This ink is watersoluble on my handmade sketchbook with  Fabriano Artistico Soft Press paper.  So I decided to color the background with watercolor pencils, allow it to dry completely, and then draw the Girl in Mourning with my pen.  It was the only tool that I had to copy the wide black lines on the Klee painting.  And it worked. 

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http://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2012/late-klee

There are no images on the exhibit website, but these were all works owned by the Met and can probably be seen by searching on the Met website.

On my walk home from the Met, I stopped at the New York University Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (15 E. 84th St).  They have an exhibit on a "Temple and Tomb" from Prehistoric Malta (3600-2500 BCE).  I loved one of the stone figures and especially the armature they used to display the head with the body.  No pictures were allowed so it was the perfect sculpture for me to draw.

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http://isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions/malta

Carla Sonheim, the author of Drawing Lab, has a fun exercise for drawing silly animals.  She uses a photo of sidewalk cracks to create these drawings and even has a crack of the month club so others don't need to search for great sidewalk cracks.

I used the one for April to draw an animal and then did a freehand drawing below - just for fun.  I did all of the exercises in Carla's book, and really liked this exercise.  I have photos saved to use in the future, but her cracks are much better than mine. 

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 http://www.carlasonheim.com/sidewalk-cracks/

I like drawing portraits and find that stopping a TV show in order to draw a face is a great way to get faces to draw.  Of course it is better to draw faces live, but models are not always available.  I sketched this face with a Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil and then used a small waterbrush by Niji to "paint it."

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April 2, 2013

March Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators

Here are a few of the quick poses from Figure Drawing this month.  I find that I prefer the 2 and 5 minute poses because the models are more adventurous.  By 10 minutes, and especially by 20 minutes, they are in stable positions that they can hold.

Each of the drawings on this page was from a 2 minute pose:

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These drawings were each from 5 minute poses:

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Very few artists on blogs that I follow post live figure drawings, and I wonder whether they just don't post their work, or because live figure drawing is mainly for art students.  I resisted attending these sessions for several years after I started drawing.  And now I love it.