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November 22, 2011

Deliberate Practice - Drawing with My Watercolor Brush

I am envious of artists who "sketch" models at Figure Drawing" with their paintbrush and watercolor, AND I need to develop a simpler, looser style for capturing a scene, especially when on vacation.

These are my goals for the next months-year.  Can I do it?

I decided to paint Big Ben in London for the 7th time - as a first step.  In the past I have sketched/ painted/collaged Big Ben from my photographs as I explored other techniques, so it wasn't as frightening.  This was done quickly, so I could hopefully simplify the image.

 

                    Scan11077.size.jpg 

 

January 11, 2009

Cezanne Card Players at the Met

In the summer 0f 2007, we saw an exhibit of Leon Kossoff's drawings at the National Gallery in London.  Although I didn't love the style of his Conte drawings, I was fascinated with his method of working as an artist.  Kossoff was born in London in 1926 and is a prominent member of the School of London which also includes Lucien Freud.  On the exhibit page, there is a link to one of his very rare interviews, actually done in his exhibit space.  Kossoff never paints from photos and although he doesn't consider himself accomplished in drawing, he starts every painting with a fresh drawing and then takes his work back to the studio for painting.  Since he was a child, he has drawn and redrawn many of the master works at the National Gallery, and in the interview he relays how he gets his inspiration from these drawings and every day wakes up saying that maybe today he'll learn how to draw! 

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/leonkossoff/default.htm

I wondered whether drawing and redrawing a masterpiece that speaks to you would lead to some type of magical experience if you were in the presence of the masterpiece and drawing it over many years.  So I thought I would try it when I returned to New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Last January I selected  Cezanne's Card Players which I have always admired.  It is prominently placed in the 19C galleries and actually has one of the few gallery benches in front of it in the middle of the room.

Using watercolors, instead of oils, was a challenge, but I really wanted my work to be more than just an ink or Conte drawing.

Here is the link to my drawing from Jan 2008:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2008/02/museum_visits_in_new_york_city_1.php

Here is the link to the painting from from the 2008 drawing:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2008/05/cezanne_card_players_painted.php

 

Yesterday I arrived at the Met when it opened and had 45 minutes during which I was completely alone drawing the Card Players in one of the 19th C. galleries.  The Met allows pencils, but not pens or paints, so like Kossoff, I returned home to finish it.  But I wanted to try to reproduce the colors, and worked from a photo that I took.

My 2009 Painting:

CardPlayers09SIZE.jpg

Cezanne made 5 Card Player paintings.  The first one has 5 figures and is part of the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia.  The Met has the second one which was painted in 1890-92.  - which has 4 figures.  The remaining 3 all have two figures.

I also thought that it might be fun to see how my style or skills change over the years - so far not much to my eye.  But I wonder whether next year I might decide not to draw in ink, or perhaps to change the colors, or even to move to more of an abstraction.  In the interview, Kossoff tells how he once went home from a National Gallery drawing session, and just painted the Rembrandt painting using his own style, without a predrawing on the canvas.  He has no idea why his mind just wanted to do that!

July 6, 2008

EDM Challenge #178: Draw Red

                        PhoneBooth2size.jpg

My husband and I were walking to our grandson's school in London to pick him up when I saw this wonderful row of 4 phone booths.  Usually they were single or in pairs in neighborhoods we visited - so I had to get this photo to later play with perspective.  And I never did!  That is my husband in the red baseball cap - waiting for me to catch up!  It was a nice challenge for me to draw this and I listened to Danny's recent Podcast while I sketched and painted it.  A good quiet Sunday afternoon.

September 3, 2007

Big Ben Studies

I recycled an old book on Elizabeth I, encorporating many kinds of watercolor paper for experimentation.  Since we returned from our last visit to London, I periodically play with the image of Big Ben from countless photos I took during our visits and use this recycled book.

Big Ben, even just a silhouette, is as much an iconic symbol for London as the Empire State Building is for New York.  I posted Big Ben #1 on May 24th.  Here are Big Ben monthly entries #2-5 from my Elizabeth  I book.  I'm curious how far I can take this - since I'm not someone who has even been able to work in a series.

                 

                            BigBen.17jul.size.jpg

 

                            BigBen.21Aug.size.jpg

                               

BigBen.1sept.draft1.size.jpg

                    BigBen.Collage.jpg

 

August 26, 2007

London Terrace House

                           25 Royal Ave.size.jpg

I finally painted our "2006-2007 London Home"  at 25 Royal Ave, Chelsea.  We were so fortunate to have 6 wonderful trips to visit our daughter, her husband, and 2 children and even were there when their 3rd baby was born prematurely in December.  We spent a total of 3 months visiting - approximately 2 weeks every 2 months - except when we rushed over one week early in December for the baby for a total of 3 weeks.  They have moved back to New York and we don't know who is living in this lovely home now.  We will always have wonderful memories from the time we spent there.

This was painted on Fabriano 9 X 12" 140 lb extra white HP paper.  It was the first time that I used it and I love it!

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