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April 26, 2016

NYC Urban Sketchers May 23rd

I went to the morning session of the weekend NYC Urban Sketchers for the second time, and in spite of early drizzle and rain, I really enjoyed sketching Cooper Union.  It is a major historical building in the City and I hope that I can draw their other building which is very modern sometime this summer. 

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"The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, established in 1859, is among the nation's oldest and most distinguished institutions of higher education. The college, founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist, Peter Cooper, offers a world-class education in art, architecture and engineering as well as an outstanding faculty of humanities and social sciences. 

Peter Cooper wanted his school to play a role in the political and cultural life of his city and country. The means he chose was the establishment of the Great Hall in the basement of the Foundation Building. It seated 900, the largest secular meeting room in New York and soon after it was opened, and it made history when Abraham Lincoln, an unannounced candidate for president of the United States, and a virtual unknown in New York, was invited to speak there by the Young Men's Republican Union."

https://www.cooper.edu/about/history 

 

I sketched this across two sections in my most recent handmade accordion watercolor journal, and I love that the previous two are filled with outdoor paintings done with the weekday Urban Sketchers over the last two years.   

This is the current watercolor book.  I used Fabriano Artistico 140 lb watercolor paper for the 8 panel strip and paste paper from my last production for covering the binders board.  I can draw and paint on both sides of every panel.

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This is an example of the first and second accordion sketchbooks I filled at Urban Sketchers Weekday sessions. 

 

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April 19, 2016

Recent Exhibit Visits: Andy Warhol and Vigee Le Brun

The NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I saw, and sketched, in the Vigee LeBrun exhibit which closes on May 15th. 

"Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842) is one of the finest 18th-century French painters and among the most important of all women artists. An autodidact with exceptional skills as a portraitist, she achieved success in France and Europe during one of the most eventful, turbulent periods in European history."  She is known as the painter to Marie Antoinette.

http://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2016/vigee-le-brun 

I sketched a sculpture of her by Augustine Pajou, viewers in front of one of her paintings, and a Self Portrait before the group met for lunch.  I was most struck by the fact that most of the women in her paintings had her face!  The Met has most of her portraits at the link listed above.

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I went with my artist friends to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Morgan Museum and Library, which also closes on May 15th.  I don't care if I ever see any more of his silk screen art, but I love his work as an illustrator - especially his blotted line drawings which I wrote about during his exhibit last summer at MoMA. 

"Andy Warhol’s fascination with publishing and the art of the book was lifelong—rooted in his artistic training as a college student and early career in advertising, fashion, and commercial illustration. For close to forty years, books were a touchstone for Warhol—a medium to which he returned again and again as a platform for his unparalleled creativity. He contributed to more than eighty projects for books and left traces behind of dozens of others that were never realized."  

http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/warhol 

I sketched one of his illustrations, but I'm also posting my illegal photo of my very, very favorite painting.  It was an illustration from a Katherine Ann Porter book called Old Mortality.  Many of his drawings/illustrations are best seen on a Pinterest Board.

https://www.pinterest.com/cihastings/art-andy-warhol/ 

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This ink and watercolor painting is called Figures Roller Skating (1946-47).  The lines are so amazing and the colors so rich.  I haven't found an image of it yet online. 

 

 

April 12, 2016

Art Friday: Center for Italian Modern Art

Pat and I met at MoMA for an informative lecture on Degas' current exhibit in the morning and then went downtown for our first visit to the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA).  The current exhibit is on Italian artist Giorgio Morandi (born Bologna1890-1964), which opened last Fall and will end on June 25th.  In my college modern art course textbook (John Canady Mainstreams of Modern Art) he is described as "painting a few ordinary bottles and bowls, combined and recombined in picture after picture, yet without monotony...."

Morandi Self-Portrait:  1930 

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I first saw Morandi's paintings at the Met in 2008.  I knew nothing about him as an artist, and wasn't really sure how I felt about his obsession with painting rows of bottles and other similar vessels.  Last Fall, we visited David Zwirner's Gallery in Chelsea and I had a new appreciation of his paintings.  Following that visit, our friend Judy told us about the Center for Italian Modern Art, and it took Pat and I until now to visit there. 

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CIMA is located on the 4th floor at 421 Broome Street and you need to make reservations for guided tours on Friday and Saturday afternoons.  Our tour guide was an Italian research fellow at CIMA and she was amazing!  Behind her are photos taken by Joel Meyerowitz in Morandi's Studio in Italy.

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We were shown into the kitchen and served espresso or coffee - in Pantone color cups which I loved. 

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As we walked around the lovely galleries, I sketched one bottle each  from some of the paintings and painted them when I got home. 

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This view of his Studio/Bedroom raises many questions in my mind about him as a person.  We know that he lived with his 3 sisters in Bologna until his death.

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One last photo - taken from the window in the CIMA Library - of a neighboring rooftop.  I'd love to draw and paint this for a glimpse into our big city life.

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April 5, 2016

Edvard Munch and Expressionism

Neue Galerie currently has an exhibit of Edvard Munch and his influence on German and Austrian Expressionists, including Beckmann, Heckel, Kirchner, Nolde, Kokoschka, and Shiele, among others.  It is a wonderful exhibit and we followed it with a visit to Galerie St. Etienne which is exhibiting Ernst Ludwig Kirchner drawings and watercolors.  Pat, Eunice, and I were enthralled with the art seen and each selected a few things we wanted to remember.

http://www.neuegalerie.org/content/munch-and-expressionism-0 

This painting by Munch is entitled Two Human Beings: The Lonely Ones.  I was struck with the simple separation of figures which demonstrated the emotion of loneliness.  I was inspired to draw a simple version of this painting, and long thin figures from a woodcut by Otto Mueller.   

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I spend lots of time doing figure drawings, and I'm very interested in how the Expressionists distort figures.  I've drawn Schiele and at this exhibit I wanted to remember Mueller's figures from a complicated woodcut - so I only sketched the figures, not the complicated black ink background in The Boy with Two Standing and One Seated Figure.

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At Galerie St. Etienne, Kirchner's drawings were VERY loose, so I decided to sketch two of his more defined images - one a litho and the other almost a single line drawing.   

http://www.gseart.com/gse-pages/Current_Exhibition.php

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I recommend both of these exhibits for anyone interested in Expressionism.  Norwegian Artist Edvard Munch is definitely more than just the painting and woodcuts of The Scream. 

March 25, 2016

Degas - A Stange New Beauty

Yesterday my friends and I went to a Museum of Modern Art Members Preview of the new Edgar Degas exhibit.  I was surprised to read that it is his first solo exhibit at MoMA!  In this exhibit they feature Degas' monotypes, and his working process - along with other drawings and paintings that were definitely influenced by his monotype working style.  Here is a 4 minute video about Monotypes, as an introduction.  Scroll down the museum page for video.

http://moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/1613?locale=en 

 

I was fascinated learning about Degas' working methods and that is what I will remember most from this exhibit. 

1.   His monotypes were usually printed twice from plates - the print of the plate drawing and the ghost print (a second printing that is much more faint).  Some were then colored with pastels.   Others were left untouched.   Here are 3 examples:

His first Monotype -The Ballet Master -  done with artist Ludovic Napoleon Lepic, a printmaker.

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A beautiful expressive portrait of his friend, actress Ellen Andree: 

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A monotype made of a Brothel scene "The Name Day of the Madame,", then colored with pastels: 

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2.  Charcoal drawings were made of the same subject and a quote from him says:  It is essential to do the same subject over again, ten times, a hundred times."  This way to work, multiplying and varying a subject is common to Degas' way of working.

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I loved this charcoal drawing and sketched the figure on the left during out visit.

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3.  This pair of drawings consists of a charcoal drawing on the left (3 drawings of Ludovic Halevy).  The one on the right is a counterproof made by placing wet paper over the drawing and then rolling both sheets through the printing press. 

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4.  There were 3 full sketchbooks included in the exhibit.  I loved how he included multiple drawings on each page in Carnet 1.

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5.  Carnet 3 has very thin paper and he used this quality to redraw images on the reverse side of the original drawing, making it possible to change the drawings slightly reversing the images.   It was difficult to take a good image from this video display, but the image on the left is the an image seen through thin paper, and the image on the right shows how it was retraced and changed.

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6.   It is postulated that this painting of 4 ballet dancers was made from images that were manipulated in such a way. 

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For more information about this very interesting and educational exhibit, you can read about it on today's ArtDaily.com  It also was reviwed in today's New York Times.

http://artdaily.com/news/86043/Museum-of-Modern-Art-exhibition-explores-Edgar-Degas--rarely-seen-monotypes#.VvVB5OT2bNM

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/arts/design/the-moderndegas-you-havent-seen.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0