Main
Page 5 of 41

February 10, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - Botticelli 2

This is the end of "Botticelli week" with apprentice/artist Jenny Lee Wentworth. I had to reflect back on what I learned from painting a Botticelli woman from a Rennaisance fresco and it is now time to use Botticelli's techniques in my own composition. 

I wanted to do a portrait and to select an image that showed serenity, much like Botticelli's women, and I finally selected a candid photo of my 9 year old grand daughter Sydney for my inspiration.  I have sketched her before and can never achieve a true likeness, but her photo was for inspiration - not for a portrait of her. 

I used watercolor and titanium white gouache for the background, like I did with my copy of Botticelli's "Grace" in the last blog post.  The rest of the painting was done with Winsor Newton watercolors.  Botticelli's painting of hair is very distinctive and and I used a partial layer of yellow ochre, then a mixture of neutral tint and Van Dyke brown, and then Van Dyke Brown alone to add a few more golden highlights.  The skin is a palette mixture of yellow ochre, permanent alizarin crimson, with a dab of Payne's Gray. 

I work with 3 triads on my watercolor palette - a warm red, blue, yellow, a cool red, blue, yellow, and a "Velasquez triad" - of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and Payne's gray.  And over the years I added just a few convenience colors like the Van Dyke brown and neutral tint.  These 9 primaries really allow me to mix any color I want right on my palette, which I love to do!  

Scan12003.size.jpg

 

Here is the photo of Sydney who was 8 years old when it was taken in August 2013.  I used it for inspiration for my Botticelli woman and although I tried, I didn't really capture her in a realistic portrait.  I get slightly closer over time, but not close enough.

 

Sydney.size.jpg

 

This morning I started to watch the videos for Danielle Donaldson's Week 5 studying Georgia O'Keeffe.  

January 28, 2014

Wonderful Art Inspiration

This is a terrific week in New York City to tour exhibits and galleries for inspiration.  After I registered for my Spring Semester Class at FIT (Painting on Fabric), Pat, Benedicte and I went to the Morgan Library and Museum for 3 exhibits:  Leonardo, Spanish Drawings, and St. Exupery's Little Prince.  http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/

The DaVinci drawings were spectacular and it was a spiritual experience being in the same gallery with them.  The Spanish drawings were also inspiring, especially those by Goya.  And the newest exhibit, The Little Prince, was amazing.

St. Exupery fled France with his wife after the Nazi invasion and lived in New York City with an enormous amount of support from friends.  He created The Little Prince while here, and after the publication of the book rejoined his squadron in Northern Africa where he died on a solo mission in his airplane.  Right before he left, he gave a big bag of manuscript pages and original illustrations to a friend, who gave them to The Morgan, and these make up most of the exhibit.  This illustration with the boabab tree was changed for the final - but I loved this iteration of the drawing best!!

Scan11988.size.jpg

Master Drawings New York Week began last Friday and we scheduled two days to gallery hop on the Upper East Side of New York City.  Yesterday Pat, Benedict, Judy, and I went to 13 galleries and throughly enjoyed drawings from the 16th C. through the present.  One gallery had iPads mounted next to giclee prints by a Mexican Artist named Elena Climent - and the iPads scrolled through each of the layers she drew from the first scribbling through the final piece.

Scan11986.size.jpg

I love Delacroix's drawings and watercolors from Morocco, and was thrilled to see one drawing of 4 heads of a Moroccan Man.  I took this photo and then drew one of the heads quickly to remember our day.  And this morning I sketched another copy of it to make myself yet one more magnetic bookmark.  For information about my magnetic bookmarkds see http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/06/more_watercolor_magnetic_bookm_1.php

 

P1260423.size.jpg

Scan11989.size.jpg

Scan11987.size.jpg

When exiting a gallery on E. 79th St. we saw a pile of architectural trash from a renovation.  The textures on the back of granite pieces stopped my artist friends in their tracks.  They took photos of the trash and I took one of them.  From left to right:  Benedicte, Pat, and Judy in Artic NYC.

P1260445.size.jpg

Tomorrow we are going to visit the remaining 14 galleries - and hopefully find lots more inspiration. 

This is Cezanne week with Artist Teresa Sheeley, so I am reviewing old notes and Cezanne paintings I did in the past and selecting a painting to copy now.

January 21, 2014

Matisse, A Purple Coat, and the 1913 NYC Armory Show

I am posting the paintings that I did over the weekend, ending my week studying under Jeanne Oliver and Matisse, her master artist.  This was week 1 of 9 weeks of online study with 9 contemporary artists and the Master they wanted to study ("Studying Under the Masters").

In my copy of a Matisse painting which I posted previously, I was drawn to paintings in which he had his models wearing the purple coat from his "working library."  Here is a photo of the actual coat that was in the 2005 Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I saw it then, paired with a painting, and never forgot it.  When I found my copy of the photo, I immediately wanted to share it - I think it tells so much about how Matisse's love of textiles influenced his art.

Scan11973.size.jpg 

After painting a copy of a Matisse painting, "Lady in a Purple Coat," my assignment was to use what I learned to paint my own composition.  I resketched one of my figure drawings from the Society of Illustrators and placed her in an environment that made me think about painting Matisse - ish. 

Scan11974.size.jpg 

Matisse at The Armory Show in 1913: 

On Saturday my husband and I went to the NY Historical Society to see "The Armory Show at 100" exhibit. 

The Armory Show in 1913 contained nearly 1400 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures - showcasing American artists and introducing a new generation of Modern European Artists that shocked visitors to the exhibit.  Matisse sent 13 paintings (including The Blue Nude and Red Studio), 3 drawings, and 1 sculpture and was the artist that created the most outrage!! 

The Historical Society was able to borrow almost 100 of the original pieces and they have prepared a very scholarly introduction and discussion to the politics of mounting the exhibit and the public reaction that shaped Modern Art as we know it.  Much of the information is available online.

This is an extensive discussion of the Armory Show:  http://armory.nyhistory.org/about/ 

And here is the European Painting section which includes the "outrageous" "beast" Matisse (for my Jeanne Oliver classmates): http://armory.nyhistory.org/category/artworks/ 

And then look at the painting by American artist Robert Chanler in which his parodies the Fauves:

http://armory.nyhistory.org/parody-of-the-fauve-painters/  

While at the exhibit, I sketched a Redon and painted my sketch when I returned home.  Odilon Redon was featured in my Figure Drawing class at FIT this Fall and I never paid attention to him before.  So here is my version of Redon's oil on paper painting called "Silence." 

Scan11975.size.jpg 

January 11, 2014

Beginning of a New Year

I am celebrating my 20th weekly ballet class after my return to my favorite form of exercise.  I always loved dance - of all kinds - and took ballet classes once or twice a week during many years of my adult life.  But I "lapsed" when I retired and during the summer decided that I had to return - at least for the entire barre part of the class.   

Scan11968.size.jpg

My friend Teri, a mixed-media artist, told me about two online Art Journal groups she joined for 2014.  I looked carefully at both of them and decided on a "Documented Life" project. 

https://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/ 

I love memoirs and have many ways that I document my life and those in my family - including all of my ancestors back for several hundred years. 

Each week there is a prompt posted, and members create a journal page in a modified Moleskine Weekly Planner.  I love the idea of a weekly prompt, and for years did the weekly Everyday Matters challenge.  But I wanted to draw/paint in ink with watercolor on my favorite watercolor paper.  I tore a sheet of Fabriano Artistica  140 lb extra-white Soft Press paper into folios, made signatures with two folios per signature (i.e. 8 pages), and started the prompts on the first signature.  I have the pages in the signature numbered so I can bind the book, in order, at the end of the year. 

Week 1:  Front Door

I live in a New York City apartment building and sketched and painted the small hall off the elevator and my front door.

Scan11969.size.jpg

Week 2:  A Selfie

I debated about drawing a self-portrait, but recently did that for my FIT Figure Drawing class.  So instead I sketched and painted "The Selfie of My Dreams."

Scan11970.size.jpg

December 24, 2013

Christmas With Sydney

Last Friday I picked Sydney up at school for our 4th annual Birthday-Christmas trip to Rockefeller Center to have lunch, and Bryant Park to see the Christmas Village, watch the skaters, and eat dessert.   The end of our walk is always Beads World - her favorite store in the Garment District.  While we were eating lunch in 30 Rock, she took photos of the Santa skating on the ice skating rink and later that day I sketched and painted from the photo.

Scan11955.size.jpg

I took Sydney to see the New York City Ballet Nutcracker 4 years in a row.  Twenty five years ago we took her mother and her brothers to see Phantom of the Opera right after it opened on Broadway and suggested that we see it this year instead of the ballet.  It is the longest running Broadway show in history and it is still full for every performance.  We both loved it!

P1260144.size.jpg

This is my quilted Christmas tree, made in 1992, and hung in my studio at Christmas each year since then.  There are small wood ornaments and strings of colored lights that I added after quilting it.  As I make Christmas presents for my grandchildren each year in my studio, I thoroughly enjoy my little tree!  I hope that it continues to grow old with my grandchildren. 

P1260165.size.jpg

On Sunday I spent one more day in my studio for this year and made Sydney a Teal Blue minky elephant  like I made for Charlie and posted a week ago.  Shhhh!  It is a surprise!  All she wanted this year as a gift from us was money toward custom made sneakers - and with a Birthday last week and now Christmas, I wanted a little surprise for her.

P1260179.size.jpg

Last night, as I made a list of my last minute tasks before Christmas Eve dinner in our apartment, I was inspired to paint a Christmas tree ball in my sketchbook.  The idea came from a watercolor artist I follow (Suzanne Smith if I remember correctly) and I  wanted to try to create a reflection using a wet in wet technique.

Scan11956.size.jpg

Now signing off until after the Holiday.... 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!