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November 17, 2017

Drawing at the Fall Art Auction Previews

In the Fall and Spring, Sothebys and Christies auction houses hold BIG auctions of Impressionist-Modern-Post-War and Contemporary Art, and attending the previews for the auctions on the days leading up to them is like going to a new museum every 6 months.  I went to previews at both places last week and enjoyed the art immensely.  I always try to draw something for my sketchbook to remember the day and lately draw more sculpture than drawings or paintings because translating 3D to 2D is better exercise for my brain.   

Rodin Maquette of Andrieu D'Andres, one of the now famous Burghers of Callais.  This piece had so much emotion that I was immediately drawn to it.

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Degas Ballet Dancer - A Composite Drawing:  I loved a small Degas dancer sculpture at Christies and sketched it because Degas really "nailed" the position.  So many of his other ballet sculptures don't have enough turnout or extension.  When I painted the dancer I surrounded her with collages of my quick drawings from a recent working rehearsal of the New York City Ballet.  I only can sketch for a few minutes when the dancers are warming up on stage before the lights go down.

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November 8, 2017

Progress in My FIT Illustration Class

I am still really enjoying my FIT Illustration Class called Fashion Applications.  Last night we started to talk about elongating the figure, and I learned that was a convention that began in the late 1800s when women were wearing long dresses.  Instead of the normal body length, which is 8 heads long, the fashion figure is 9-10 heads long.  It will take me awhile to achieve those proportions for our drawings, but I wanted to record some progress here since mid-semester.

1.  I am still using Nu-Pastel chalk to draw the 2 minute warm-up poses.  They are fun for loosening up, and I'm glad I finally tried them!

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2.  I can draw a figure and even add detail from a costume with 7 minute poses. The model had on red leather boots to go with her red and black Spanish costume.

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3.  At the end of a 3 hour class, with many single and double figure poses, I was loose enough to draw 3 figures together in 10 minutes.

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For anyone interested in figure drawing, this is a very structured learning experience.  I missed the class on Mapping the Figure, where you begin drawing the whole figure in a limited number of big separate shapes, and then fill in the internal details.  I will need to try this on my own to see if I can do it! 

November 3, 2017

NYC Urban Sketchers - 2nd Sketchbook Finished

 I love making sketchbooks and devoted several accordion books, with 140 lb watercolor paper, to my days with the NYC Urban Sketchers.  This book took a little more than a year to fill, partly because I didn't always use it when I was sketching with the group.  This is the front of the book.

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This is the back of the book.

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We met at the Hans Christian Anderson Statue for the Saturday morning Storytelling Program when one of our members was performing.  I sketched the Boat Rental Building at Conservatory Water in Central Park and never posted it.

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Recently our weekday USK group went to the Hamilton Grange in Manhattan, the Summer Home that Alexander Hamilton built and lived in for several years at the end of his life.  It is beautiful, and easy to access from midtown Manhattan, at 414 W 141st St.

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October 3, 2017

Current NYC Exhibitions - Wonderful!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art currently has a Rodin Exhibit - which includes many of the sculptures that are usually seen on the 2nd floor.  But the added pieces round out the exhibit, including some small terracotta sculptures that were preliminary to some of his Bronzes.  I like sketching sculpture, I love his Fallen Caryatid sculptures, and was mesmerized by the small terracotta piece which is directly across from the large bronze version.  Exhibit closes Jan 15th.  Note:  Entrance sticker from the Cooper-Hewitt was just another museum visit on the same day - not connected.

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And for all of my quilting friends:  War and Pieced is a spectacular exhibit at the Folk Art Museum.  These "quilts" were all made by men, British men who served as Soldiers, Sailors, and Tailors.  The brochure describes them as "dazzling and complex textiles containing thousands of pieces (many 1" square).  They were made during the 19th Century conflicts in Crimea, South Africa, and India - and all of the fabrics are from felted wool used in their uniforms.  One of my favorite facts, the military encouraged piecing these textiles in India, where soldiers didn't have much to do except drink!  I chose to sketch these embroidered soldiers from a smaller collection of the textiles made with the intarsia method.  The oldest textile in the intarsia section was made in 1719.  Exhibit closes Jan 7th.

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September 22, 2017

Fashion Applications Class 2

Two drawings among many from my second class about Fashion Applications at FIT:

The goal of this class was to reemphasize line drawings, and to both draw models in an environment,  and draw two models together.  The professor still stressed starting the drawing at the very top - even if it a plant above the model's head - and then drawing from top to bottom, moving from side to side until reaching the bottom.  Lines should be confident and bold.

We had 7 minutes to draw the first model with the poppies, and 10 minutes for the two models together.  In each class she also shows us the work of famous fashion illustrators.  And gave us a link for a website to search and review specific fashion illustrators.

http://www.illustrationdivision.com/ 

 

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These are large drawings that needed to be photographed and not scanned.