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January 29, 2013

Figure Drawing Practice

I missed live figure drawing this month, but did a little practice anyway during quiet evenings.  I set the timer on posemaniacs.com for 90 sec and then sketched quickly to get a basic shape drawn with a watercolor pencil during that time.  These are a few that I did.

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Portraits are still difficult for me - so I practice quick sketches on the bus or subway and when desperate for a model I sketch half a face from a photo.  I cut a face photo in half and then draw exacty what I see in the photo to complete the face.  I don't remember where I read about this xercise, but it's fun. 

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January 16, 2013

Picasso: Black and White

Last week our art friends spent a wonderful day at the Picasso: Black and White exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.  Readers of this blog know how much I like sketching Picasso and I expected to see many of his ink drawings on paper.  The exhibit however was a wonderful mixture of sculpture and paintings, many of which were drawings in oil.  

As we moved up the circular ramp, I tried to sketch sculptures and then paintings that spoke to me.  Here is a drawing of a large painted metal sculpture, entitled "Woman with Outstretched Arms" and a wall sculpture of Marie-Therese in profile

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The Acrobat - painted in 1930.

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Two Figures that were drawn from a Large Study for the painting Guernica, May 1, 1937

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Draped Nude Seated in Armchair 1923:  This painting reminds me very much of the Seated Woman by Matisse (1919) that I sketched at the Frick, uploaded recently to my blog, and posted it again here for comparison.   

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I love my Art Buddies and thoroughly enjoy both our museum visits and regular projects.  On Jan 6th a group comment was posted by Gloria,a classmate in the Mary Ann Moss class A Ticket to Venice, telling me that she found a photo of her friend Benedicte on my blog.  We made the connection and Gloria joined us 3 days later at the Guggenheim. 

From Left to Right:  Teri, Gloria, Me, Pat, and Benedicte

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January 10, 2013

Deliberate Practice

I am drawn to figure drawing, probably from the same place in my heart and soul as I was drawn to the human body and a career as a physician.  I love to draw figures and gravitate to them when I want to copy a Master drawing or painting in a museum exhibit.  Yesterday I sketched 5 Picasso works at the Guggenheim exhibit called Picasso: Black and White. 

I'm still learning!  And I really practice!!  I not only keep large sketchbooks for live figure drawing sessions, I also keep small sketchbooks for sketching body parts: portraits, hands, feet, and even the crazy figures on posemaniacs.com. 

I sketched every hand sign from the American Sign Languare website over the last few years, but I still struggle drawing hands on the live models.  So I keep practicing.  These are drawings that I did from photos that I collect just for practice sessions.  On this page I was also trying out an Indian Red Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil because I love the red chalk used by the Masters in their drawings and I hate drawing with conte pencils or crayons.

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This is a recent drawing I did of my oldest grand daughter from a photo that I took.  She is only 8 and I continually make her look like a teenager in my drawings - and can't figure out how to retain the look of a child.

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My Girls: We only have two grand daughters - Annabelle age 4 and Sydney age 8.  The other 6 are boys!  We took lots of photos at Christmas, so I have many more photos I can draw for practice.  But I'm certainly not there yet!

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January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!

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We had our annual New Year's Eve Party and Overnight for our 5 New York grandchildren.  The 6th one here in the City is 3 months old and spent the night with his other Grandmother.  We've now had the party enough times that we actually have some rituals - and taking a picture in the new glasses is one of them.  This year the 2013 design had blinking lights which you can see here.

I'm still managing to sketch in spite of busy days and too many other projects.  But I'm frustrated that I can't capture better images of my family.  I've sketched my Mother when sitting with her many times over the past few years.  Most of the sketches look alike, just not like her.  Here are the ones I made in the last month. 

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This one was made during a recent brief hospitalization.  She is 93 and had several very small strokes in the last 4 months - mainly affecting her memory.

              

 

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I definitely need to go back to my Live Figure Drawing sessions this week!

 

 

January 1, 2013

New York City Art Exhibits

There are some wonderful art exhibits in New York City for the next several months - especially if you love to draw from the Masters as I do.  I linked to the exhibit pages - and you can see many, if not most of the works in these exhibits!

Teri, Pat, Benedicte and I went to the opening preview of the new Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This is a very educational exhibit, demonstrating how Matisse returned to the same images, in order to work on techniques and to push the images as far as he could.  He had a photographer documenting the various stages of some of his paintings and many large prints of the photographs are hung with the paintings in the exhibit.  The website has many images in the selected highlights section.  It is really worth studying.

I sketched and later painted The Large Blue Dress from 1937.

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There is a new Abstract Expressionist exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.  It is hard to sketch from these paintings, but I carefully studied 2 of Marsden Hartley's paintings that I liked.  I made a list of the shared iconic symbols in the two paintings and used them in my own drawing at home.  I still haven't painted it, so instead I want to show you a sketch I did of a sculpture I loved that afternoon.  Alina Szapocznikow was trained as a classic sculptor and now focuses on the human figure in her work.  I never heard of her before, but fell in love with her work in this new exhibit of her sculptures and drawings.  This was my favorite life-size sculpture.

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The last exhibit I saw was Mategna to Matisse at the Frick.   There are 58 Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery in London.  I loved this exhibit!  The first drawing of the exhibit was Guercino's Mother and Child.  I first saw this drawing at the Courtauld in June 2007 and sketched it then.  And it felt like I was seeing a wonderful old friend!  Here is my drawing from 2007. 

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This time I sketched a Rembrandt and a Matisse.

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The Frick website has many images, divided by country of origin.  And the thumbnails can be enlarged enough to see most of the images.