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October 12, 2018

London More than a Decade Ago

London was the first European city my husband and I visited when we finally had jobs, and we explored London for two weeks.  Over the subsequent years we visited again several times and grew to love the City even more. 

In 2006-7 our daughter, her husband, and their children lived in Chelsea  and we were fortunate enough to stay with them multiple times.  The highlight was the birth of their 3rd baby right before Christmas. 

We haven't been back since, partly because all of those memories were so wonderful and those children are here in NYC.  

I kept a sketchbook and painted everyday, filling 3 fifty page watercolor books.  I looked at them recently and decided to post several of the pages, just to reflect on the City for our visit.  

Admiralty Arch

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Piccadilly Circus

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October 4, 2018

My Traveling Companion For My Travel Sketchbooks

My companion for my London Sketchbook:  This is Mickey in his bread airplane, taken from Maurice Sendak's book In the Night kitchen.  I painted him on the first "notes page" in my travel sketchbook for my upcoming Fall trip to London.  This is one of my rituals for European travel.

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I loved reading this book to my children and grandchildren, and enjoyed Mickey flying in the bread airplane he shaped from a large lump of dough.

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I first painted him in the grid of small daily 2 X 2" paintings in my travel Sketchbook for Venice in 2012.

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Mickey also appears on a 2 X 2" grid page of my Paris travel sketchbook

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But he most often appears on the first page of my travel sketchbooks - on the top of the page with my contact information, in case I misplace my sketchbook on the trip.  Here he is from our vacation last year in Venice.

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September 7, 2018

Recycling a Used Book as a London Watercolor Sketchbook

We are going to London this Fall and I just recycled a London 1960s Photography book to use as my watercolor travel sketchbook.  My daughter and her family lived there for 14 months a decade ago, and I'm finally ready to go back.  But we will miss living in their house with our very young grandchildren on multiple visits. 

I bought a half-price photography book at the Strand Book Store in NYC, removed the original page block, and made a new page block with 140 lb Fabriano Artistico Soft Press paper.  Interspersed with watercolor pages, are photo folios from the original book.  

Front Cover

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I posted a 4 part Tutorial about recycling a book to use as a watercolor travel sketchbook in 2012.  This is the link to the process and the book I recycled for a 2012 Venice vacation. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

 

Front End Paper: I was able to use two of the original folios as end papers, and just glued a decorative strip over the original fold to strength it.

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Title Page:  This will be my title page, with a Big Ben collage I made previously using a photo of Henry the VIII.  I will add a title for the sketchbook and my contact information.  I once received a phone call from a museum hours after I left my sketchbook by mistake.

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There are 4 signatures each with two folios of watercolor paper and one folio of the original photographs.  Two of the signatures had one folio that is narrower than full size and I will use these for 2X2 square daily drawings, and grid of my daily notes.  

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This is the example of the short sheets, I didn't want to use only a portion of another full sheet of watercolor paper and actually like having these random narrower pages.   You are seeing the narrower page on the right with part of a London bus photo behind it.

There are 24 full pages and 8 narrower ones for a 10 day vacation. 

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I made similar books for trips to Paris, Berlin/Prague/Budapest, Madrid/Seville/Barcelona, Barcelona, and a second one for Venice 2017.   

February 13, 2018

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri - "IL Guercino"

My daughter had a baby in London in 2006  Several months later we saw a Courtauld Gallery exhibit called "Mind to Paper."  I fell in love with this Baroque Italian artist called IL Guercino, the "squinter" because he had a crossed eye.   I loved his drawings and to remember Callum's birth, I sketched Guercino's drawing called "Mother and Child" in my London sketchbook. 

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I paired it in my sketchbook with Cal's birth announcement and photo and those pages always make me smile.  

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During Master Drawing Week this year I found 6-8 Guercino drawings spread among several exhibits.  I copied the drawing at W.M. Brady and Co gallery, which was my favorite.  The gallery staff told me that it seems to be preparatory drawing for his painting of "Joseph and Potiphar's wife" at the National Gallery in Washington DC.  Maybe if I continue to copy his drawings when I see them, I can develop a little of his style.

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May 23, 2014

Art on Silk

Our final project for my Fashion Institute of Technology class was a dye painting on a silk scarf.  The design was our choice - and we could use any of the many techniques we learned to execute it.  We needed to create our possible design as homework and bring several thumbnail sketches to class for discussion.  We then completed the scarf over the last few weeks of the semester.

I discovered and fell in love with a very large wall clock when my daughter and her family were living in London.  It was high in a stairwell at Michael Hoppen Gallery on Jubilee Place, off King's Road, in Chelsea.  This is the clock on a wall full of posters and photographs.

 

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I painted the clock in watercolors for my London sketchbooks in 2007.

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And then created several thumbnail sketches in which the image was cropped.

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We prepared a 36 x 36" cartoon of our designs, transferred them to the silk scarf, and painted them with Sennelier dyes - mixing all of our colors from the 3 primary colors plus black.  I used several different techniques to dye paint the image and here is my finished scarf - hanging on white paper on our classroom wall in our final class. 

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My original experience dye painting silk was in 1991-2 - and I made each of my 3 children a 6 foot square, quilted, dye painted, silk wedding canopy (chuppah) - in 1999, 2004, and 2005. 

Here are pictures of the 3 chuppahs: 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2006/10/quilted_silk_wedding_chuppahs.php 

I LOVED spending 4 hours per week, in a well equipped surface design classroom this semester and learned new techniques from a professor who worked as a textile designer in the industry.  Now what??

 

 

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