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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.

December 29, 2012

Art Progress 2012 and Art Goals for 2013

Long Term Goals: Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric. I am retired and developing skills in art gives meaning to my days - to play, have fun, be bold, and seek adventure!

My Short Term Art Goals for 2012 were to sketch and paint everyday and to blog twice each week.

Although I missed an occasional daily sketch, I frequently filled several sketchbook pages in one day. I kept one doodle book and multiple sketchbooks, including a chronologic visual journal, and individual sketchbooks for figure drawing and travel.

This year my biggest accomplishments were my travel sketchbooks - one created in Venice and the other during a 2 week trip to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, and Budapest. I was drawing "in the moment" and capturing the essence of our days. Before we went to Venice, I painted 16 of my 2002 photos from Venice for practice. It gave me the confidence that I needed and the practice of creating some of the texture of the buildings in watercolor. I used two 30 inch, accordion folded sheets of watercolor paper for this practice. Each strip could then be made into 2 folios for another cased-in, travel sketchbook when we returned.

And with a rare exception, I continued my twice weekly blog posts and on January 4th will reach the 7th anniversary of my blog.

1. I continued to explore watercolor as my main medium and loved Kate Johnson’s online Strathmore Workshop. I hope that she will develop her online watercolor mini-class or offer her regular watercolor class in 2013.

2. I bought 3 tubes of gouache in primary colors and did lots of color mixing and painting to learn how to add this medium to my paintings.

3. I tried acrylic paints with my friend Teri, learning about many of the possible additives and special techniques (i.e. molding paste, crackle etc). I probably won’t ever LOVE acrylic paints, but it is nice to explore them and play on a regular basis.

4. I sketched at least one Master work from each museum or gallery exhibit I attended to challenge myself, and just maybe improve my drawing and painting skills.

5. I took several other online classes: Self-Portraits with Jane Davies, Ticket to Venice with Mary Ann Moss, and Stencil Magic with Melanie Testa.

6. I made my own watercolor sketchbooks for daily use and recycled old books with watercolor paper for travel. As I was making the one for our Venice trip, I documented the process and posted it to my blog as a tutorial.

7. I really enjoy bookbinding and I’m thrilled with the Christmas Origami Tag artist book and second Remains of the Day book that I made and filled.

8. I met with The Central Park Drawing and Art Meetup Group and my friends Benedicte, Pat, and Teri for art adventures. And I went to the Society of Illustrators and the Battery Park City figure drawing sessions.

 

Goals for 2013: To sketch and paint everyday and to blog twice each week gives my retirement life some structure. But I need to add other new activities for inspiration and excitement. I love learning new techniques and then figuring out how I will use them. So I’m considering:

More classes - perhaps from Center for Book Arts and Society of Scribes as well as online classes

More bookbinding - perhaps exploring a new structure every month to give me some very specific goals.

 

December 7, 2012

Figure Drawing - December 2012

I finally returned to live figure drawing!  It is one of my favorite art activities and I promise myself sessions once each month.  After September, we were on vacation, the City was recovering from Hurricane Sandy, and my husband and I moved my Mother to a nursing home and closed up her apartment.  I didn't know what to expect when I returned, but I loved one of the models and thoroughly enjoyed drawing her.  She was tall, thin, and extremely flexible.  And she had a fabulous head of hair!

 2 Minute Poses, including multiple head drawings as I concentrated on her face and hair.

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5 Minute Poses:

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10 Minute Pose:

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20 Minute Pose:

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October 23, 2012

Practicing Hands By Drawing the Masters

More hand drawing practice from my recently purchased used book that has glorious hand drawings by the Masters.  I really hope that someday I will internalize these shapes and forms.  The first hand was drawn with a watercolor pencil, but then I decided not to wet it.  The second page was drawn with a 2B graphite pencil.

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October 2, 2012

Klimt and Da Vinci

I bought 2 old, used books for $2 each - one book of Klimt figure drawings and another one a set of B and W Artists' drawings and paintings of hands (Heidi Lenssen: Hangs in Nature and Art).

These are both excellent books for me to use to make copies of drawings by Master Artists.  Here is a Klimt portrait and hands drawn by Leonardo DaVinci.  Both were drawn with graphite.

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