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December 24, 2013

Christmas With Sydney

Last Friday I picked Sydney up at school for our 4th annual Birthday-Christmas trip to Rockefeller Center to have lunch, and Bryant Park to see the Christmas Village, watch the skaters, and eat dessert.   The end of our walk is always Beads World - her favorite store in the Garment District.  While we were eating lunch in 30 Rock, she took photos of the Santa skating on the ice skating rink and later that day I sketched and painted from the photo.

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I took Sydney to see the New York City Ballet Nutcracker 4 years in a row.  Twenty five years ago we took her mother and her brothers to see Phantom of the Opera right after it opened on Broadway and suggested that we see it this year instead of the ballet.  It is the longest running Broadway show in history and it is still full for every performance.  We both loved it!

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This is my quilted Christmas tree, made in 1992, and hung in my studio at Christmas each year since then.  There are small wood ornaments and strings of colored lights that I added after quilting it.  As I make Christmas presents for my grandchildren each year in my studio, I thoroughly enjoy my little tree!  I hope that it continues to grow old with my grandchildren. 

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On Sunday I spent one more day in my studio for this year and made Sydney a Teal Blue minky elephant  like I made for Charlie and posted a week ago.  Shhhh!  It is a surprise!  All she wanted this year as a gift from us was money toward custom made sneakers - and with a Birthday last week and now Christmas, I wanted a little surprise for her.

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Last night, as I made a list of my last minute tasks before Christmas Eve dinner in our apartment, I was inspired to paint a Christmas tree ball in my sketchbook.  The idea came from a watercolor artist I follow (Suzanne Smith if I remember correctly) and I  wanted to try to create a reflection using a wet in wet technique.

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Now signing off until after the Holiday.... 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!

 

 

December 14, 2013

Our Christmas in New York City

 I love the Holiday season and especially adore being back in the Northeast where Christmas is cold and snow is forecast for today.  Wednesday evening my husband and I made a pilgrimage to Rockefeller Center to see "The Tree."  It never disappoints.

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Santa's Workshop is busier than ever here at home.  And I'm even trying to draw and paint a few of the projects.  Here is my sketchbook page from last night, after finishing all 12 of this year's Christmas ornaments. 

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And here are the Jolly Dozen - one for each of our 8 grandchildren and one for each of our children and their spouse.

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This is a pattern that I bought many years ago from Twice As Nice Designs.  The small size, made with a 62mm bell, is perfect for ornaments.  Here you can see the Christmas bell which is the body.

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And here his is sitting comfy.

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I've also made many gifts for our grandchildren - so entries from Santa's Workshop will continue next week. 

December 10, 2013

Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group

Our Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group met at the Museum of the City of New York for indoor sketching on Sunday.  (http://www.mcny.org/)

Our first gallery contained enormous paintings of Central Park by Janet Ruttenberg.  She works on huge strips of paper that are torn from a role, placed on the grass, and painted with brushes on long sticks while standing.  Reading about her process was more interesting to me than the actual paintings, so I sketched from a photo of her taken during a painting session. 

 

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Next we went to an exhibit sponsored by Tiffany - 100 works from New York at the end of the 19th Century, including clothes, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects.  I loved one one of the evening dresses by House of Wirth in Paris and sketched  and painted it.  It was made of silk, satin, bobbin lace, and ostrich feathers.

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My final drawing was done in an exhibit about the theater and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes.  I loved this watercolor painting of one of his costume designs for a 1924 play named The Miracle.

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I guess I am not surprised that each of my drawings represented a figure!   

 

October 26, 2013

Shopping in New York City

A wonderful friend from my days in San Antonio, Tx is staying with me in New York City - a regular Fall vacation for her.  We spent 2 days with my artist frriend Pat seeing current art exhibits - but none of my pencil drawings are yet painted.  So I'm going to take you on the beginning of our shopping day in the City.

We started at Rockefeller Center - and the Zamboni just finished sweeping the ice rink.

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Our next stop was 47th Street's diamond district which is on 47th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues.  You know you are there by the tall sculptures - topped with a "diamond" at each end of the block.

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 Cold weather arrived in NYC this week - it was 37 degrees yesterday morning.  But the Chrysler Building looked beautiful in the sun - as did the front of the New York Public Library.

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Our primary destination was the Garment District, now renamed the Fashion Center.  These are two sketches of the large sculptures in the district center.  I did them several years ago for a tour map that I did with my friend Paula Nadelstern.

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I thought Project Runway fans might want to come with me to Mood and see Swatch.  There is an office concourse between W. 37th and 38th St. and an elevator operator to take you to the 3rd floor.  Rents for stores on the street level are exorbitant, so many of the best fabric shops are now on upper floors of office buildings.

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This is the simple entry to Mood when you exit the elevator.  The store is spread over the 2nd and 4th floor by staircases within Mood.

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We went there to buy printed faux suede, but I thought you might enjoy seeing the real leather section - where Kathy couldn't resist buying 4 hides.

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And I had to show you the zebra skin, that came from the Ralph Lauren design house and was used as a wall hanging.  Right below it is a beautiful pale golden mink skin!  It is hard to look at some of these, but they are beautiful. 

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And finally, here is Swatch, who plays with Tim Gunn while the designers are buying fabric and leather at Mood.  He was taking a little nap in the middle of the top step on a staircase.

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We then had lunch at Ben's Deli on W38th, bought more fabric at B and J on 7th Ave, got beads at Beads World on Broadway, and walked to The City Quilter on W 25th St - ending our day back at the apartment 9 hours later. 

 

September 17, 2013

A Few Sketchbook Pages From Last Week

Last Week Pat and I spent 2 full days out and about.  On Friday we went to Christies to see the previews for the South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art in the morning and the preview for the huge Interwoven Globe   exhibit at the Met in the afternoon.  Lunch in Rockefeller Center was a wonderful break between these two events and I sketched a few of the flags while we were eating and resting.

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On Sunday I went to the New York Public Library to return a book, and couldn't resist standing in the sun and sketching one of the Lions that welcome visitors to the Main Library on both sides of the stairs. 

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I was returning a book to the Mid-Manhattan branch (a circulating branch across from the big Research Library) and I found two terrific books in the drawing section.  I brought home one to read and will borrow the other one on my next visit.

The first is:  More Than Words:  Illustrated Letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art.  Liza Kirwin, 2005.

The second is: Queen Victoria's Sketchbook by Marina Warner.  I looked through the entire book and was surprised to learn that she kept a sketchbook during her entire life.  Many drawings are in pen and ink, others also were painted with watercolor.  She sketched people in her life, opera characters, ballet costumes, and occasional places. When I have time, I'd love to read it.