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December 29, 2012

Art Progress 2012 and Art Goals for 2013

Long Term Goals: Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric. I am retired and developing skills in art gives meaning to my days - to play, have fun, be bold, and seek adventure!

My Short Term Art Goals for 2012 were to sketch and paint everyday and to blog twice each week.

Although I missed an occasional daily sketch, I frequently filled several sketchbook pages in one day. I kept one doodle book and multiple sketchbooks, including a chronologic visual journal, and individual sketchbooks for figure drawing and travel.

This year my biggest accomplishments were my travel sketchbooks - one created in Venice and the other during a 2 week trip to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, and Budapest. I was drawing "in the moment" and capturing the essence of our days. Before we went to Venice, I painted 16 of my 2002 photos from Venice for practice. It gave me the confidence that I needed and the practice of creating some of the texture of the buildings in watercolor. I used two 30 inch, accordion folded sheets of watercolor paper for this practice. Each strip could then be made into 2 folios for another cased-in, travel sketchbook when we returned.

And with a rare exception, I continued my twice weekly blog posts and on January 4th will reach the 7th anniversary of my blog.

1. I continued to explore watercolor as my main medium and loved Kate Johnson’s online Strathmore Workshop. I hope that she will develop her online watercolor mini-class or offer her regular watercolor class in 2013.

2. I bought 3 tubes of gouache in primary colors and did lots of color mixing and painting to learn how to add this medium to my paintings.

3. I tried acrylic paints with my friend Teri, learning about many of the possible additives and special techniques (i.e. molding paste, crackle etc). I probably won’t ever LOVE acrylic paints, but it is nice to explore them and play on a regular basis.

4. I sketched at least one Master work from each museum or gallery exhibit I attended to challenge myself, and just maybe improve my drawing and painting skills.

5. I took several other online classes: Self-Portraits with Jane Davies, Ticket to Venice with Mary Ann Moss, and Stencil Magic with Melanie Testa.

6. I made my own watercolor sketchbooks for daily use and recycled old books with watercolor paper for travel. As I was making the one for our Venice trip, I documented the process and posted it to my blog as a tutorial.

7. I really enjoy bookbinding and I’m thrilled with the Christmas Origami Tag artist book and second Remains of the Day book that I made and filled.

8. I met with The Central Park Drawing and Art Meetup Group and my friends Benedicte, Pat, and Teri for art adventures. And I went to the Society of Illustrators and the Battery Park City figure drawing sessions.

 

Goals for 2013: To sketch and paint everyday and to blog twice each week gives my retirement life some structure. But I need to add other new activities for inspiration and excitement. I love learning new techniques and then figuring out how I will use them. So I’m considering:

More classes - perhaps from Center for Book Arts and Society of Scribes as well as online classes

More bookbinding - perhaps exploring a new structure every month to give me some very specific goals.

 

June 1, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 4

I am still working on my Venice sketchbook, and decided to upload 3 pages done since I returned home.

We visited Arcobalena, the art supply store that sells pigments.  It is centrally located, and a very quirky place.  Half of the store is a hardware shop, the other half sells pigments - and hand blown glass - and leather aprons - and some art supplies.  We spent lots of time talking to the woman running the shop and learned some of the history.  My friend Sara bought a set of pigments to make pastels when she returned to the US.  And the 4 of us couldn't resist buying a few leather aprons made by the shopkeeper (who is also a glass blower)! 

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I collected a few pieces of ephemera - mainly because they appealed to me graphically - and made one collage page of memories.

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The gondoliers were everywhere!  And there seemed to be many variations on the standard uniform.  I took photos of many of them and created this page of drawings from my photos.

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May 24, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 2

At least one sketch per day was done quickly when I had an opportunity to sketch while we were walking around Venice. 

On Sunday morning, I accompanied my friend Sara to Mass at Basilica San Marco.  It was a great choice, since we had about 45 minutes sitting in one place and could do a pencil sketch of a small part of the beautiful interior.  We were unable to sketch all of the time, but I did try to get some sense of the many vaults and some of the decorations.  I added pen,watercolor, and gold pen and gouache later.

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I did a series of very fast sketches, while my husband was checking our email on Venice Direct WiFi (which is available in the major areas of the city).  Before we left for Italy, I bought a brown Tombow marker which was perfect for these times.  I sketched quickly and then added water to two of the sketches to spread the water soluble ink.  

San Giorgio Maggiore from Riva Degli Schiavoni near Giardini Ex-Reali garden.  I wish I drew straight columns!:

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Another Tombow sketch, several days later, from the same place - but facing La Salute.  This time I didn't add water:

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Interesting architecture in Campo Santa Maria Formosa (Castello) - sketched again while my husband was doing his daily check of our email:

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A short break for Cokes, during a very long walk, gave Sara and I another opportunity for a small sketch in Campo Santa Margherita (Dorsoduro).  The sun felt so good that we even had time to add pen and watercolor.

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May 21, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 1

I did 16 small Venice paintings before we went on vacation, using photos of Venice from our last trip in 2002.  My primary goal was to practice painting water and bridges, while experimenting with texture on the buildings. 

I didn't realize, at the time, that it would make me much more relaxed about sketching while there.  There was no longer any reason for me to go someplace in the City just to sketch.  Instead I carried my sketchbook everywhere, and enjoyed Venice with my husband and friends.  My goal then became to capture an image from wherever we were. 

My sketches can be divided into several categories - and the ones I'm posting today are the ones I did from the apartment.  I enjoyed sitting in front of the window, watching the boats passing, and sketching and painting over several sittings.  The photos of the intersecting canals that we saw from our window were in the last post.

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I also prepared a grid of our Days on Vacation and added something that would remind me of one moment in each day.  Here is the completed Grid.

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May 19, 2012

Home From Venice

We just returned from a fabulous week in Venice and I'm trying to stay awake for 3 more hours in New York to avoid "returning jet lag."  It is currently 2:45 AM Venice time and I started my day there at 6AM.

We rented a lovely apartment, with friends, and it was perfect.  The building is on a very quiet courtyard, only 5 minutes from Piazza San Marco - and on the intersection of 2 small canals.  This is the view from the living room window.

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This is the view from a bedroom window.  I never got tired of watching the gondola traffic on the canals.

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I sketched a map of the location of our apartment, Ca' Vecchio Pozzo (San Marco 998), to begin my sketchbook.

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This is the first of several posts from my photos and travel sketchbook - including some reflections on my practice sketches from my old photos of Venice. 

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