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November 3, 2015

International Quilt Festival - 2015

I just returned from my annual trip to the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas.  In high school I became a seamstress, then in 1980, while living in Texas, I learned how to make quilts.  By 1990 I was starting to dye and design fabric and loved mixing dyes and painting them on silk.  Watercolor painting became a natural extension after I retired.  But I only acquire new interests and don't easily give up the old ones.  This was my 30th annual visit to Quilt Festival where I look at 100s of quilts, take classes, and replenish supplies.

The Houston Convention Center is huge - think multiple football fields, and is now undergoing more building and renovation.  All 3 floors are devoted to this event and the last attendance record I heard, which was several years ago, was 55,000 attendees.

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I painted once each full day I was there, and here are my sketchbook pages.  Jane Dunnewold's class was about working in a series, and we had many exercises to do during our 3 hours of discussion.  In one of the final exercises we had to quickly write down lists of words that we associated with colors.  Of greatest interest were the half of the class that hate purple and had lots of bad associations with it. 

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My next class required 3 hours of sewing and I didn't paint during the session.  But I did draw one of my favorite dolls from the Hoffman Challenge Doll Exhibit as I walked through the exhibit areas. 

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My third day and class was with Judy Coates Perez and we dyed and painted fabric using Acrylic Inks.  Wow!  the textures created were gorgeous, and were very different than those achieved with dyes.  But they also are not completely water resistant, making them better for art quilts that will never be washed. 

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October 30, 2015

Figure Al Fresco at Battery Park City

I attended a figure drawing session at Battery Park City when I returned from vacation..  This weekly free program runs from May 1-October 31, weather permitting.  These are drawings from my last session, when it was cool enough that we moved down to the edge of the water to be in the sun. 

This is a photo of part of the group in the Battery Park South Cove,  The second photo shows the view over my shoulder, with the constant sound of water lapping under my bench. 

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I am using one large sheet of watercolor paper for each of these series of drawings.  I sketch with a soluble graphite pencil and then add water with a waterbrush for shading.  Most of these were 10-20 minute poses. 

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October 20, 2015

Vacation in Spain

We just returned from 12 days in Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona.  It was hard to find time to sit down to do a quick sketch as we traveled, so some of my time I carried an open sketchbook and sketched our walking tour guides, and an interesting roofline or something to remind me of the places.  Each tour (except Santa Cruz in Seville)  is about 3 hours and 2-3 miles.  The Santa Cruz tour was as long as the others, but that area which is very old is very small with winding alleys.  I have 5 of these journal pages, one with a watercolor wash, and 4 without.  Since this is "Inktober Month" I may leave them unpainted.

Walking Tour of Madrid - from Plaza Mayor, through old Madrid and then up to the Palacio Real, Cathedral Almudena, and Opera.

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Seville Walking Tour of Barrio de Santa Cruz -  the tiny old section that was occupied by the Muslims and Jews from at least the 8th C until 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella expelled all non-Catholics from Spain. 

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Walking Tour - Highlights of Seville:  This tour began at the Seville Cathedral, then extended to the Real Alcazar, the Archives of the Indies, the Harbor, the Bullring, and the Spanish Pavillion. 

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Granada:  We took a day trip from Seville to Granada to see The Alhambra - lots of hours on a bus, but worth it. 

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Barcelona - We loved the city, but had a very disappointing tour guide.  We've done these walking tours with many companies in many cities, and this was the only one that we left before the end, partly because it started to rain!

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We were traveling with another couple, friends for 45+ years.  Only my husband was in Spain previously and then only in Madrid for a few days for a meeting.  So glad we finally saw these 3 big cities, and hopefully we will return to Barcelona to explore this amazing city in the future. 

October 16, 2015

Fashion Illustration at the National Arts Club

Several weeks ago I went to a Fashion Illustration session organized by Simon Levinson at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park.  Simon is the leader of the Meetup Group called Drawing New York.   I had no idea what to expect, but it was great fun.  Figure Al Fresco prepared me for drawing clothed figures, but not the exaggerated proportions of fashion illustrations.  It was fun to see the stylized drawings of some of the experts. 

Here are the main models, certainly part of a time warp.  These photos came from the event website.

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The first pose was 10 minutes, the next 4 were 15 minutes, and the last one was 10 minutes.  I sketched on paper that was too large to scan, so these were photographs.

 

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A beautiful blond woman, that was dressed looking like a man in the clothes she wore.  But the shoes are gender specific. 

 

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September 26, 2015

Figure Al Fresco - Two Wednesdays in September

 September 16th, we had a model with the largest head of curly gray hair, and I've enjoyed drawing her at various figure drawing venues previously.  This time she used a big pink ball in some of her poses. 

These are 3 of the 10 one minute poses that were fun.

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I put all of her 5 minute poses on one sheet of watercolor paper and used a Sketch and Wash pencil and my water brush to add gray tones.

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I only had time for one 10 minute pose before I needed to leave. 

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On September 23rd, I sketched the model on the right, middle, and left - and then squeezed in two more 10 minute sketches among the first 3.  The drawings were again done with a soluble graphite pencil and then shaded with a waterbrush.  Working out this composition was fun! 

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