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October 25, 2011

Doodling in Class

My husband and I are taking a course at Columbia about Art vs Culture.  It is a small discussion class at the Heyman Center and the first text that we read was The Two Cultures - a transcription of the 1959 lecture at Cambridge by CP Snow.  The "artists" were the great writers of the time and the scientists were in the hard sciences - physics, chemistry, and mathematics.  The premise was that these cultures were so different, that artists and scientists could not communicate with each other.

This past week we began class by reading Genesis 3 to reflect on the tree of life and tree of knowledge and then went on to consider 4 discussions between artists and scientists.  Scientists are making rapid technological advances ( like cloning), but are the "artists" capable of understanding and discussing the possible perils of these discoveries, thus beginning a dialogue about good and evil inherent in them?  Can they be translators for the society at large. 

Just because we can DO something, should we DO it? 

I doodle to keep my mind on the discussion - and here is my tree of knowledge and two classmates - all scribbled on the back of a handout with ball point pen.


October 11, 2011

Picasso's Drawings - 1890-1921

Picasso's drawings, from 1890 (age 9) to 1921 are currently on exhibit at the Frick Collection.  My husband and I walked down for a quick visit this past weekend and this is a drawing inspired by one of his standing nudes.  The fountain and plant were added later when I sat down with my husband in the Garden Court of the museum.

The drawings combine his early, very realistic style, with an evolving cubist style - and he was a master of both.  The majority of the drawings, and a video about the exhibit can be seen here.  I was disappointed that the one I chose to draw is not one of the drawings that is reproduced.




October 8, 2011

9/11 Memorial and Battery Park Figure Al Fresco

This past week, my friend Teri and I visited the new 9/11 Memorial and then met Pat for lunch and Figure Al Fresco at Battery Park City. 

It was a gorgeous cool, sunny day - with an intense blue sky- much like 9/11/2001.  My daughter was working on the 45th floor of the American Express Building, directly across West St. from the North Tower and witnessed the first plane strike.  She evacuated onto West St after the South Tower was hit, and fled minutes before the North Tower collapsed onto West St., damaging the edge of her building. 

Here is my sketch of the Memorial site showing the placement of the two pools, the Museum and Freedom Tower which are being completed, and the planned Performing Arts space.  The Freedom tower, named 1WTC, is at the 84th floor and still growing. 



Here are 3 of many photos that I took on the WTC Site.  The scale of the pools really surprised me and are quite beautiful - the sound of constant water passing over the falls and then down into the center square felt very calming. 

The South Pool:  Those are tiny little people seen above the edge of the pool to give you some idea of the scale.


The North Pool:  The building on the top right is the new Freedom Tower, which will be the tallest building in the US.  The building in the top center is the building my daughter worked in that year.


Here is the photo I took of 1WTC - Freedom Tower - from several blocks south of the Memorial site. 


Just one page from my figure drawing sketchbook that afternoon.  This was a 20 minute sketch with a watercolor pencil.




October 4, 2011

Our Meet-up Drawing Group - at Carl Schurz Park

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group met in Carl Schurz Park this past weekend.  There are lovely views over the East River from the Embankment - and the added bonus was the annual Gracie Square Art Show.

My first sketch was the view across the East River at 84th Street.  It was an opportunity for me to leave my comfort zone and try to paint trees, sky with gray clouds, and water.  The pigeon sat in front of me on the railing and I quickly sketched him, begging him to give me a full minute before flying off again.



I sketched Amanda, another Meetup member, during our 2nd sketching period.  And was surprised to discover that Ben sketched me while I sketched her.


Ben's sketch of me:


There was a wonderful wire sculpture artist at the art show and I requested permission to sketch his bass player . He said "go for it."  Ron Stattner's website is <>.  I think you'll enjoy seeing his work.



September 29, 2011

I Love Figure Drawing

This shouldn't be a surprise to me since I spent >40 years learning about and caring for the human body.  But I still am surprised by the almost unconscious pull toward drawing people.   Last week I was tired, and it was raining, and I didn't go to figure drawing, the first time I planned to return after the August break.  So I pulled one of my two books of photos off the shelf and sketched two nude figures.  They were sketched with a watercolor pencil and then wet to create some shading.


On Friday morning my husband and I went to an open rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic and we sat close enough for me to sketch 3 violinists.  I am obsessed with trying to figure out the positions of their hands on the bow and the chords.  Their hands are so graceful in those positions.  The middle sketch is of Conductor Alan Gilbert's mother.  She was a member of the orchestra for many years before her son was selected as the new music director and conductor.  As the mother 3 children, including  two boys, I am intrigued with this beyond belief.  One of my sons chose the same specialty as mine - but in Pediatrics - and I never anticipated that would occur. 



Tuesday evening I had an enormous challenge when I finally returned to the Society of Illustrators to draw.  One of the two models didn't come, and the other was, in medical terms, morbidly obese.  And she had the biggest hair I've ever seen.  She was a wonderful artist's model and her positions were equally challenging.  She invited all of us to attend the NY Burlesque Festival this weekend to see her and some of the other models!  Here are the two 20 minute poses that I did on watercolor paper with a watercolor pencil.  The red color is her kimona.