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February 3, 2012

Figure Drawing - Feb. 2012 - in Venetian Costumes

Thursday night Live Figure Drawing at the Society of Illustrators is always a surprise.  The models are given a theme and they bring costumes to wear.  Last night it was Carnivale in Venice.  How appropriate is that?  However, I found drawing really difficult.  When faced with masks, I couldn't figure out where to start.

Here is a page of quick sketches that I did during the 2 minute poses, a 10 minute pose, and a 20 minute pose. 

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On an unrelated topic, my daughter is starting her own business as she prepares to send her third child off to kindergarten in the Fall.  She worked for American Express after she finished Business School and was at Ground Zero on 9/11.  It was then that she and her husband decided to start their family and she now has 3 wonderful children (who you have seen over the years on this blog). 

Please take a look at her new website.  She is just beginning, but soon will have more about the projects that she is doing - both with clothing and home decor.

http://www.rachelrodin.com/    Click on her logo for information.  And thanks.  She will be thrilled if she gets some traffic.

January 31, 2012

An Afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio

The Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with two upcoming exhibits  (Print/Out and Printin'), set up a Print Studio in the Education Building.  I spent the afternoon there yesterday and made a small collage book.

The "heart of the Print Studio" is a collection of books known as the Reanimation Library.  It is fascinating and well worth reading about the development of the collection and its permanent home in Brooklyn.  It was developed as a resource for all artists, regardless of their medium. 

When I arrived, I met my friend Judy and had a little tour of the Print Studio.  Here is an overhead photo of the space, with the Reanimation Library on the back wall, copiers, scanners, and computers in the back corner, and work tables for visitors supplied with a variety of art tools and paper.

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I don't have much experience with collage and wanted to make one during the afternoon.  One of the staff said, "Why don't you make a book?  We haven't had anyone do that yet."  I browsed books on the shelves and pulled 6 that had interesting illustrations and photos, and was immediately drawn to one called The Story of Writing.  I love text mixed with images and made some copies of great alphabets from the book.  I then made a few copies from a Science text called Pathways in Science:  The Next Generation and settled down to "play."

I folded 2 folios and added images that appealed to me for the front cover.  I really intended to make this a book about text and writing.  Pages 2 and 3 were from the frontpiece of the science book - a wonderful bookplate for assigning the book to students and the title page with the stamp for the Reanimation Library on the title page.  I was still interested in pursuing the theme of language and writing - and the next thing I knew, I was making a book about human reproduction and the inheritence of genetic traits.  I was very much in the zone and channeling in a unique way.  Fascinating what our brains do if left to wander!

At the very end of my "art play," I opened the 3rd book I brought from the shelves, The Atlas of Human Anatomy, and copied a pregnant uterus for one final collage.  At the end I sketched a human figure and cell, some genetic symbols, and added watercolor pencil and stamps.    

Here are the pages of my finished pamphlet stitched booklet. 

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January 21, 2012

Several Daily Sketches - from this week

The new American Wing Galleries just opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the space is amazing.  I realized that I know very little about early American Art and, but quickly realized that I don't especially like the realism and preponderance of portraits and landscapes.  I do love Winslow Homer watercolors and couldn't find one.  Maybe when the collection is expanded to include more 20th C. artists, I will fall in love....  My one sketch for the visit was from a marble urn with 2 American Indians perched on the sides.  I sketched one of them at the Museum and painted him at home - purely from my imagination since he was sculpted in white marble.

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I had my 3rd lesson by Jane Davies on Self-Portraits and just had to show you the results of my loosening up exercise.  These were blind contours - some as one-liners and others not.  I giggled when I looked down after each one....  I actually like the wonkiness of blind contour drawings, but I've never been sure that I gained much from doing them - except having fun.

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January 11, 2012

More From My Self-Portrait Class

I sketched two of my previous photos from the line drawings over photos in my last post- one was drawn upright and one was drawn upside down. Then I took another photo and sketched it without first adding lines.

All 3 were done on one 9 X 12 page with a graphite pencil.

All three look like different people and none of them me. The one on the upper right could be my high school year book picture from 50 years ago!   I obviously have to practice, practice, practice!

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January 9, 2012

Self-Portrait Class with Jane Davies

I wanted to take an online class in January, when I spend more time at home and more time inside.  Since I am still working through Carla Sonheims 100 Faces project, and I'd love to be more comfortable with Mixed Media/Collage, I signed up for Jane Davies Self-Portrait class.

Today I finished four 9X12 journal pages (90 lb watercolor paper in a Strathmore Visual Journal).  The basis of each were grayscale enlarged photos of me - taken randomly with hair up and hair down.  The goal for this week was to start us working with images of our faces, loosely, in ways that force us to abstract some of the lines and  experiment with paint, ink, color, and collage.

The first 3 images were drawn and then painted +/- collage on top.

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The blue paper used for collage in the above self-portrait was made with soy wax on paper and acrylic paint.

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The 4th image was traced on artist tissue paper and then collaged over a painted/collaged background.

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Looking forward to our week 2 lesson tomorrow!