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January 8, 2019

December 2018 Art After Breakfast

More of my "after breakfast" line of action drawings.  My models are photo images from The Human Form in Action and Repose by Phil Brodatz and Dori Watson (1966).  I use one-quarter of a page of scrap copy paper, draw a quick line of the gesture/action in pencil, and then draw the full figure with ink and a gel pen.  I cut out the painted figures and collage them in my sketchbook.  The pencil lines are visible in the closeups in the final two images. 

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Left Page of Spread

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Right Page of Spread

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January 3, 2019

Art Progress 2018 and Art Goals for 2019:

January 4th is the 12th Anniversary of my Blog, and I like to review my progress and goals for the next year at this time - an activity that was first recommended in an online art group when I first starting blogging. 

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My main goals are to develop better drawing and painting skills on paper, and dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

1. Take Classes to Keep Me Inspired and Motivated:

Progress: I took classes for 2 semesters this year at Fashion Institute of Technology (Comic Book Illustration and Figure Drawing), Sketchbook Skool (Whimsical and Watercolor Rules) and Sketchbook Revival - a 28 day online class with 28 artists. I also took several half day classes, including a sculpture class at MoMA and several textile surface design classes at Quilt Festival.

Goals:

Take classes in the Spring and Fall Semesters at FIT and online classes in Sketchbook Skool (Drawing People and Travel Journals are planned). 

Participate in Prime Time classes at MoMA, when available, and other short classes planned by Urban Sketchers.

Look for other classes, either online or locally, as they are announced.   

2. Maintain a Community of Art Friends

Progress: I continued to sketch with Urban Sketchers, Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group, and Battery Park City Figure Al Fresco when my schedule permitted. In addition I attended many local museum and gallery exhibits, and art auction previews with my artist friends.

Goals:  

Schedule art adventures throughout the year - to include museum visits, gallery visits, Master Drawing Week gallery hop, Art on Paper Exhibit in March, and Christies and Sothebys auction previews.

Schedule regular sketching events in NYC - Urban Sketchers, etc. 

3. Deliberate Practice: Planned activities to practice specific skills

Progress: I had a Colles wrist fracture of my dominant hand in March and drawing with my non-dominant hand became my major "deliberate practice." I was born with a deformity of my non-dominant hand and doubted I could draw.  But I filled one entire sketchbook with pen and ink drawings and did many line of action figure drawings after breakfast, becoming somewhat ambidexterous. Urban Sketchers had a 30 day direct painting challenge in June and I loved painting without any pencil or ink lines. 

Goals:

Continue the Line of Action Drawings regularly - Art After  Breakfast. My main goal for 2019 is to draw as many bodies as possible, when moving, including dance and sports. 

Participate again in the June Urban Sketchers Challenge: Daily direct watercolor paintings.

Draw from my imagination at  least once per week - in my special sketchbooks.

Continue to draw hands and feet in a dedicated sketchbook at least once per month.

Finish my Axel and Alice illustrated story that I couldn’t finish in my FIT Illustration Class because of my wrist fracture.

4. Bookbinding

Progress: I made cased-in 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks for my daily sketching, two recycled books with watercolor paper (for summer travel and a trip to London), and assorted pamphlet and double pamphlet books for special projects. I am also teaching a friend how to bind books and so far we have made 3 book structures (pamphlet, double-pamphlet, and recycled watercolor sketchbook).

Goals:

Learn to make at least one new book structure this year - a month of researching the structure and methods, then make at least 2.  Several years ago I did this every month for 8 months, and loved it.

Continue to make my daily and travel sketchbooks, and watch for any new bookbinding classes in NYC.

Continue monthly bookbinding lessons with my friend. 

Study historical paste paper designs and make a new batch of paste paper. 

5. Special Project Ideas: I like to remain open to new challenges, and this list will shrink and grow as the year progresses.

Progress: I wanted to learn how to draw on toned paper and watched videos and selected and tested a variety of black and white pencils before my wrist fracture.  I also made a toned paper sketchbook and then decided to delay this project.  Just coping with the difficulty navigating each day for 6 weeks in a cast, plus rehab for several months was enough to keep me challenged.

Goals: 

Learn how to draw on toned paper.  

Quilt a dye-painted NYC skyline I started 5-6 years ago.  I painted the scene on plain white fabric with thickened dye and now finally will machine quilt it, following the actual structures and black thread to increase the range of values.   

Explore "drawing" line of action figures with my sewing machine and black thread.  I started to explore this several years ago, and would like to play some more. 

Make a scrap Christmas Quilt and use up lots of my fabrics that are leftover from years of Christmas projects.

 

December 6, 2018

Julilliard Concerts Dec 4 and 6, 2018

We have tickets this week to 3 Juilliard Performances:  Juilliard Jazz, Juilliard Orchestra with Itzhak Perlman conducting, and Juilliard Drama performing Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods."   Our oldest grandson joined us for the Jazz concert, and two of our youngest grandchildren will go with us to see Into the Woods.  These concerts are very reasonably priced and one of our favorite activities in NYC.  

Juilliard Jazz with vocalist Carla Cook, a very experienced vocalist who sang "Billie Holiday Songs in a Swing Tradition":  She practiced with the musicians for a week and couldn't have complimented them more.  I managed to sketch 4 of the 6 on-stage performers in the first half of the concert. 

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Photo of Juliett Jazz musicians from the concert program.  There were different musicians for the second half of the concert.  I wanted to include this photo because Zoe Obadia, who is pictured here, is one of our favorites.  We actually wondered if we would see her this season, or would she have completed her degree program. 

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Last night we went back to Juilliard to watch Itzhak Perlman conduct the Juilliard Orchestra in a Dvorak Cello Concerto and Elgar's Enigma Variations.  We were sitting in Row M Center, so I didn't bring my sketchbook.  But then I found out Row M was 6 rows from the stage and I did have a pen and one of my small sheets of copy paper.  After seeing the documentary "Itzhak" this summer I can't get enough of this giant of music.  I wanted some sketchbook documentation that I saw him again - the first time was in a rehearsal of him playing a violin concerto with the NY Philharmonic.

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December 4, 2018

Art After Breakfast

Danny Gregory wrote a book called Art Before Breakfast.  My brain doesn't function until I have coffee, and when I had a wrist fracture last spring I seriously started drawing figures after breakfast.  Each of these figures is drawn on the back of scrap copy paper, torn into quarters (5.5"high X 4.25"wide).  I leave a pencil, black gel pen, and an art book of photos with people in action on my counter top.  When I accumulate some drawings I cut them out and collage them in my sketchbook.  This practice keeps me drawing even when I don't have more time for other art projects.

 

Full double page sketchbook spread photographed: 

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Left Page Scanned: Visible pencil lines on the figures are my lines of action.  I use them to direct my pen drawings of the actual figures.

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Right Page Scanned

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December 1, 2018

Best Art Exhibits in New York City

There are many art auction houses in New York City, but Christies and Sothebys are the big ones.  Twice each year I go to the previews for their Impressionist - Modern - Post War - and Contemporary Auctions.  It is an opportunity to see many paintings, drawings, and sculptures that are only seen as they move through  the secondary art market.  They have auctions in many other major cities in the world, and if you live near one I encourage you to search their websites and go to a preview.  I usually walk through all of the galleries, just enjoying lesser known works and then select a favorite to draw.  They all need to be painted at home. At Sothebys I saw this painting for a French Brewery Poster by Wassily Kandinsky.  I not only loved the image, but also wondered how I would paint the white over brown.  While in London I bought Dr Ph Martins Bleed Proof White and that was how I did it.

Wassily Kandinsky  (Gouache on Paper  1906-7)

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I also took a photo of this Matisse Drawing (Mademoiselle Yvonne Landsberg  1914 Charcoal on Paper)

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And this Vlaminck which was more like a "wonky" Soutine village, than a Vlaminck one (1910 oil on canvas)

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The following weekend I went to the previews at Christies and there were 5 of my favorite Degas Sculptures.  I sketched and painted one and tried to photograph all 5 from this private collection.  She is 22 inches high, and sold at auction for $825,000!

Edgar Degas   (Bronze 1927)

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Here are two photographs that I was able to take quickly when there weren't people standing in front of them.

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And these were the 3 at the far end of the 5 in the photo above.

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