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December 1, 2012

T'is That Time of Year

I spend more time in my studio this month than any other time of the year.  Although I store art supplies and bookbinding supplies in there, it is really set up for textile arts.  I see photos of amazing studios in magazines, but I'm thrilled to have even the smallest place that is all mine in an apartment in New York City.

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This space measures 7'3" by 9'9" on the blueprint, but those measurements are before the furniture and bookcases/cabinets were added.  Every inch is filled and most times I can find whatever I need for a project.  When this photo was taken, I was pulling scraps of Christmas fabrics from the green storage box that is in the front left, and making ornaments and stockings. 

This is the fabric ornament that I painted and posted in my last blog post.  It is machine appliqued and quilted.

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Today I finished 16 of the Santa tree ornaments - to be given to our children, grandchildren, and some friends.

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The last two days I also made large Christmas stockings for our two grandsons that were born in the last year.  Each of their brothers and sisters have the same stockings, with different designs, that we use here in our home on Christmas Eve.

For Charlie, who will be 3 months old by Christmas:

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And for William, who will be one year old on December 18th.

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November 16, 2012

My Sketchcrawl With Annabelle

Our son Jason, his wife Shannon, Annabelle (4 yrs old) and William (10 months), visited us from Washington DC over the Veteran's Day holiday.

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On Monday I invited Annabelle to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to listen to the Children's audio guide on select paintings.  Here she is listening to wonderful information about Picasso's Three Musicians.

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She very quickly decided that she NEEDED to sketch, instead of listening to more commentary.

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I sketched with her and added paint at home.  These are 3 detail images from Rousseau and Matisse.

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I had a great deal of difficulty getting her to leave the museum to meet her family and Grandpa for lunch, and then we all went to the Top of the Rock.  NOTE:  Scroll all the way to the right on this link and you'll feel like you are there!

She had lots of questions about skyscrapers the day before and wanted to go "high" to see them.  It was my first visit there and it is FABULOUS.  Although you aren't quite as high as in the Empire State Building, there are 3 levels for viewing and high clear walls from bottom to top, so even the smallest children can see well.

This is my photo looking north, over Central Park.

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After we visited all 3 levels, and looked in all 4 directions - taking lots of photos - Annabelle wanted to continue sketching. 

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I did a quick sketch of the barrier at the bottom of the clear wall, the Empire State Building, and the skyscrapers in the Financial District looking south.  I sat on a bench while sketching and therefore the decorative barrier right at the bottom of the clear barriers looks bigger and the amount of the building I could see looked smaller.  I painted it at home.

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September 28, 2012

Fun Day in Art Supply and Second Hand Book Stores

Last week my visitor Kathy and I spent the day searching for books to recycle as watercolor sketchbooks and browsing for art supplies.  It was great fun and very successful.  I taught Kathy how to make a watercolor sketchbook during her visit last year using the tutorial that I prepared for this blog. 

One of the used books she bought has wonderful ink drawings of houseplants, one of which I used to do this painting of the pot and plant. I don't have any green paints on my Winsor-Newton watercolor palette, but have 3 yellows and 3 blues, meaning I can mix 9 different greens.  I plan to systematically mix all 9 and make a card for my sketchbook since I can never remember which I like best.

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We went to Utrecht and Dick Blick and both of us found supplies we couldn't live without.  This is a quick drawing of most of my purchases.  Dick Blick was having a "Madness Sale" and I was delighted to find a Gelliart plate to make monoprints and a set of Lumiere paints for fabric.  I love painting and dying cloth to make book cloth for my watercolor sketchbooks.

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September 24, 2012

NYC Harbor Cruise and Figure Drawing

Last week Pat and I took my friend Kathy for a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  It is one of the best activities in New York City .  It is free and ferries depart every 30 minutes.  You need to get off the ferry in Staten Island, but there are little restaurants in the ferry terminal and a huge tropical fish tank to keep you from getting bored before you board a ferry for the return trip.

These are the New York City Ferry Terminals as we were departing.

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The view of Battery Park and the Financial District is spectacular.  The tall building on the left is the new Freedom Tower - built on the North edge of Ground Zero.  They are still working on the very top.

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The ferry sails close to the Statue of Liberty.  This photo was taken with the zoom on my point and shoot camera.

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We only had a few minutes to draw the fish - they were painted back in NYC during lunch.

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We sat along the seawall for our figure drawing session to stay warm in the sun.  This is a photo of part of our sketching group.

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I'm only posting my two 10 minute sketches.  Joseph was a terrific model, and in the majority of poses he was sitting in challenging positions on the rocks.

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September 17, 2012

Figure Drawing in Battery Park City

Last Wednesday Pat and I spent the morning at the Met - at the Preview of the new exhibit "Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years," and the afternoon at Figure Drawing Alfresco.  Since then my days were devoted to our new grandson.  Today I went back to my sketchbook and scanned a few of my sketches for my blog.

I like that we begin the session with 10 one minute sketches.  The time goes VERY QUICKLY and I barely breath while trying to capture an image.  I know these are exercises for warming up, but I still like to define the position of the model.  John uses a park bench very effectively in his poses.

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Two minute sketches:  The coordinator of these sessions tries to remind us not to slow down or our two minute sketches will look just like our one minute sketches.  I love being reminded, because my tendency is to slow down instead of using the extra time for refinement.

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Five Minute Sketch:

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Ten Minute Sketch:

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Twenty Minute Painting:  I hoped that I could draw figures with my paintbrush - sometime in the future.  For the last year I sketched models with my watercolor pencils, and then painted them with water for shading.  Our model John reclined on a big rock, with the Hudson River lapping on the seawall behind us and I finally decided that I was so relaxed that I would draw him with my brush.  Unfortunately he was dressed completely in beige and the rock was light gray, so there is NO range of values in my painting.  The faint drawing that can be seen is pencil added after the paint.  Couldn't resist it!  But I DID draw with my brush!

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