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July 24, 2012

New York City Visitor

Liz Steel came to New York City on her way home from the 3rd Urban Sketchers' Symposium in Santa Domingo.  We met early in the day at Grand Central, walked from City Hall to Wall Street and then spent the morning at the 9/11 Memorial.

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Left to Right:  Me, my Friend Phyllis who is also an architect like Liz, and Liz

We spent lots of time at the Memorial for the World Trade Center South Tower.  Liz and Phyllis sketched the memorial and the new Freedom Tower, while I sketched the World Financial Center.

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The long low bulding behind the pool is the 9/11 Museum building - still under construction.

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This is World Trade Center Tower 1 - The Freedom Tower.  You can see the construction elevator which is attached to the East side of the tower as they continue to work on the top.  The building to the right in this photo is a new office building.

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I sketched a few of the World Financial Center buildings  which are adjacent to the World Trade Center site.  Our daughter was there at her desk at American Express when both planes hit, so the two buildings - one with a copper dome and one with a copper pyramid on top - carry special memories for me.  I sketched the skyline of the buildings quickly with a Tombow marker - in the 100 degree heat of the day!

We cooled off in the air conditioning at lunch in the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center and then spent the afternoon back in the heat - at outdoor figure drawing in Battery Park City Park.

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                                           A  "One Minute Gesture Drawing"

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                                                     Two Minute Drawings

Our afternoon was cut short by lightening, thunder, and torrential rain.  Liz went on to visit many more sites in this City and she has posted many of her drawings on her blog and Flickr site.

July 13, 2012

Two Figure Drawing Sessions

I went to figure drawing at the Society of Illustrators on Tuesday evening and Figure Al Fresco at Battery Park City on Wednesday afternoon.  These are very different experiences, nude models at the Society of Illustrators (with music and wine) and a free 2 hour session with a clothed model outside in Battery Park. 

 I'm going to just post a few drawings from each session - I still feel as if I took too long a break during the months I was traveling so much and now will try to remedy that.

Society of Illustrators:  2 minute pose.  A pencil shaving fell out of my sketchbook onto the scanner and I didn't notice it until all of my scanning was done!

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Two 5 Minute Poses:  I can rarely see the models' feet from where I am sitting! 

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20 Minute Pose Done with Watercolor pencil, paint, and water. 

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Figure Al Fresco:  This is a wonderful public park art program that takes place for 2 hours (weather permitting) along the Hudson River in Battery Park City from May through October.  There were 7 of our group of friends there on Wed. increasing the number attending to a new all time record (>51).  The model was very inexperienced, but I just tried to capture her gestures quickly and had a lovely afternoon.

One Minute Poses for Gesture Drawing:  Here are 9 of the 11 poses that were drawn in my 9 X 12 sketchbook with a 9B pencil.

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1 minute Poses for Gesture Drawing:

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5 minute Pose. 

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June 29, 2012

Return to Figure Drawing

We traveled so much in May and early June that I missed my monthly figure drawing session at the Society of Illustrators.  When I went back this week, I felt very rusty! 

Here are a few of the 18 poses that I did.

Three 2 minute poses - fast portraits of the two models:

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One 5 minute pose:

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One 10 minute pose:

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Two 20 minute poses - drawn with watercolor pencils and then "painted" with water:

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June 26, 2012

Doodles and More

Last week we had a special day with our 5 year old grandson Callum.  We rarely get him alone, without his big brother and sister, or slightly older cousin.  But we missed the last Grandparents Day at his preschool because of our trip to Venice, so we took him to the American Museum of Natural History.  He wanted to go to see Creatures of Light (bioluminescense exhibit) and I wanted to see the Imax film "Born to Be Wild."  While walking between the two, I stopped for an incredibly fast sketch of a mountain sheep.  I left it in graphite as a reminder of how quickly this was sketched (i.e <5minutes).

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Last evening I didn't feel like sketching, but wanted to push myself.  I opened my Reference Photo folder on the computer and selected this photo (taken on a street in Chelsea New York in April).  I rarely paint with watercolor, without drawing in ink, so this became a practice sketchbook page.  I have no idea what they were looking at and photographing.  I was concentrating just on the man and his dog long enough to get this photo. 

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I spent today with my Mother in her retirement complex in New Jersey.  We take long walks and usually stop for coffee.  While sitting and talking, I doodle, drawing with ink and painting with watercolor pencils.  Today she thought that the lady looked a little like her.  Usually she tells me why my sketches are NOT her.

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June 19, 2012

More Museum Exhibits

After a month of traveling, it was wonderful to see my art friends Pat, Teri, and Benedicte.  Pat and Benedicte planned the day and Teri and I joined in at the last minute.  Although I previously saw the Edouard Vuillard exhibit at the Jewish Museum, I loved going again so I could sketch another one of his paintings.  There was a group touring the exhibit, so I was also able to listen to the commentary by the guide and learn more about the life of Vuillard.   

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After a leisurely lunch between the two museums, we went to the new exhibit at the Guggenheim:  Art of Another Kind - International Abstraction and the Guggenheim 1949-1960.  The Frank Lloyd Wright Building opened in Oct 1959, so these paintings (and a few sculptures) were very early acquisitions for the museum.  Many artists that were represented are well known, i.e. Pollock, DeKooning, Rauschenberg.  But many of the artists were completely unknown to me, i.e. Conrad Marca-Relli, who did wonderful canvas on canvas collages, and Simon Hantai, who may have had the only representational painting in the exhibit, even though it is an imaginary creature. 

Here is my version of the Simon Hantai painting, entitled Cut Green Emerald:

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My challenge copying this painting was using watercolor and pen to create something that was painted in oil.  It was fun to be back in NYC with friends who also enjoy museum-hopping.  Tomorrow will be the American Museum of Natural History with my 5 year old grandson Callum.  I'll have to take a few minutes to draw some animals!