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December 30, 2011

Last Blog Drawing and Art Progress For 2011

I sketched today during a Gallery Talk on Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

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Last January I outlined my art goals for 2011 - just to have a map to guide me through the days.  I maintain a sketchbook for pleasure and get joy from recording the little things in my current life.   No one is monitoring my progress, but I still like to reflect on how I spent my time, so I can make plans for 2012.  Here is my progress on 5 goals.

 1.  Continue to work on drawing skills with daily drawings and monthly live figure drawing. 

I averaged more than one sketch per day for the full year, and went to figure drawing monthly at the Society of Illustrators.  I also went to figure drawing at the Battery Park City summer program for the first time.  Although I want to eventually try using just a brush and watercolor to "draw" figures, I stretched a little and sketched figures, during the 20 minute poses, with a watercolor pencil and then water to shade the figures. 

I'm working on a 100 Faces project from Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book and added 33 portraits - drawing from live people who usually didn't know they were being sketched.  I now have almost 70 done.  And I even tried sketching portraits of my mother and a few grandchildren, although I still struggle trying to schieve a likeness of their faces.

2.  Continue to work on watercolor painting skills.

I'm not sure that I'm making progress although I am trying to increase my range of values.   And I'm using watercolor pencils more in my daily sketches, especially when I'm sketching faces on subways and buses.

3.  Continue making my daily watercolor sketchbooks and expand my bookbinding skills.

I made and used 7 watercolor sketchbooks and one recycled watercolor book during the year and now I'm working on an artist's book -  collaging, drawing, and painting Christmas ornaments that I made over the last 30+ years to document my collection. 

4.  Continue education through on line classes, workshops, and directed reading.

Participated in the three 2011 Strathmore online workshops.

Took an online mini-class with Kate Johnson on watercolor pencils

Took an online class with Mary Ann Moss to make a "Remains of the Day" journal and then slowly filled it over the entire year.

Took a class with Judy Coates Perez at Quilt Festival, painting and drawing on fabric with Tsukineko inks.

Worked through several DVDs on Art Journals, Read Cathy Johnson's Artist's Journal Workshop twice, Reread Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, Read Eric Maisel's Coaching the Artist Within and Peter Steinhart's The Undressed Art or Why We Draw.

5.  Enjoy and nurture connections to the art community. 

I blogged 8-9 times per month (2X/wk), met regularly with members of my Journal Study Group to visit museum exhibits, go on sketchcrawls, and "make art" together, attended 8 Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group sessions, and followed Everyday Matters (Yahoo Group) and many art blogs for inspiration and contact with the broader community.

I'm am thoroughly enjoying my retirement and I'm thrilled that I found another passion to add to my other lifelong interests.  My blog will be 6 years old next week and hopefully I will make some plans for 2012 by then. 

December 21, 2011

Mixed Media Artist Book

In 1976, the year after our 3rd and last child was born, I started to make fabric ornaments for our Christmas tree.  I usually made 20-24 of the same ornament so I could give some away as gifts.  And over the years I made several more for our family when I found a new pattern, design or needlework technique (for example smocking or silk ribbon embroidery).  After giving away 3 full sets of the ornaments to our children, when they were married, I still have 139 hanging on our tree. 

Each of the last few years I sketched and painted random ornaments in my daily watercolor sketchbook during the holidays, and then last year I decided  that I would make a mixed media artist's book of my favorites.  So I am scanning and printing some of the ornaments from my sketchbook pages and collaging them into the book.  And on other pages, I'm drawing and painting them directly on the pages in the 8 x 10" watercolor book. 

Here are 3 of the first pages.  This will be a long term project for the last two weeks of December each year.  Once we take down our tree and pack up the ornaments, they will be forgotten until the next year.

 

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May 24, 2011

Some Experimentation

I was fascinated with many of the images on prints in the German Expressionism Exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.  At each visit, I made some quick sketches of some of the figures in the prints, and this week made two of the dancers into stamps.  The first test of the stamps was made on this journal page. 

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Jane Davies posted some lovely mixed-media art with gesso, acrylic paint and freezer paper resist on the Sketchbook Challenge blog.  I went to her video link on her blog and tried to duplicate it, but it failed.   My freezer paper image, an outline of 6 of us on Team 5 at an NYC scavenger hunt, didn't stick properly and paint went under the resist.  So I dried it, turned it over, and glued it down as a collage.

I definitely will try this again, and will probably use paper Frisket instead of my old freezer paper. 

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May 12, 2011

Every Day in May

I participated in the Everyday in May Challenge for several years by uploading my daily journal sketch to my blog everyday.  It was a good way for me to combat my inner critic a little - because the quality and my happiness with the sketches varied greatly.  This year I decided not to post daily, but to post more frequently than my usual schedule of twice per week. 

Monday we took our 4 year old grandson to the Empire State Building.  His two siblings have been there and he wanted to go.  This page has a prepainted background and then a collage cut from one of the brochures they passed out there.

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Tuesday I made my weekly drive to NJ to visit my 93 year old mother.  She fell in Nov. fracturing both her right hip and shoulder.  It was a beautiful day and we sat outside in the sun next to a gorgeous pink dogwood tree.  The background was prepainted, and the dogwood blossom and lady are collages.  The woman (Lady in the Park by August Macke) is one of the drawings I did at the German Expressionist exhibit during my 2nd visit.

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Prepainted backgrounds and collage are part of Roz Stendahl's Strathmore Journal class this month.

Wednesday I took my husband and met friends back at the German Expressionist exhibit at MoMA.  I really love it and enjoy drawing my way from the beginning to the end.  These are two journal pages of drawings done yesterday.

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January 22, 2011

Pam Carriker's Strathmore Journal Workshop

I participated in Pam Carriker's online classes as part of the Strathmore Journal Workshops and just finished the 4th and final week's additions to my journal page.  I worked on a page in my 6.5 "X 6.5 handbound sketchbook containing 140 lb watercolor paper. 

Week 1:  I scanned previous "trees" from my watercolor journals - some were Christmas ornaments and others were just visual journal pages from the Holidays over the last few years.  I printed them out on the paper Pam recommended, although it seemed a little heavy to me, and cut out the individual trees.  I tore strips of green tissue paper for the background and then layered as many trees as I could in my Magical Forest.

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Weeks 2-4:  I followed Pam's instructions each week and added charcoal, graphite, oil pastels, and gesso.  Then I added to the negative space using sequin waste, a plastic screen, mesh, and a bottle cap.  And finally, I doodled some with pens and added words. 

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I persisted with the classes even though I had to admit to myself that I don't enjoy mixed-media art nearly as much as I enjoy drawing with ink with watercolor washes.  I love trying new techniques and really looked forward to seeing what came next as the 4 classes unfolded so it was worth the time spent.  And now I have a set of oil pastels!  I look forward to another Strathmore workship in March,

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