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July 13, 2012

Two Figure Drawing Sessions

I went to figure drawing at the Society of Illustrators on Tuesday evening and Figure Al Fresco at Battery Park City on Wednesday afternoon.  These are very different experiences, nude models at the Society of Illustrators (with music and wine) and a free 2 hour session with a clothed model outside in Battery Park. 

 I'm going to just post a few drawings from each session - I still feel as if I took too long a break during the months I was traveling so much and now will try to remedy that.

Society of Illustrators:  2 minute pose.  A pencil shaving fell out of my sketchbook onto the scanner and I didn't notice it until all of my scanning was done!

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Two 5 Minute Poses:  I can rarely see the models' feet from where I am sitting! 

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20 Minute Pose Done with Watercolor pencil, paint, and water. 

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Figure Al Fresco:  This is a wonderful public park art program that takes place for 2 hours (weather permitting) along the Hudson River in Battery Park City from May through October.  There were 7 of our group of friends there on Wed. increasing the number attending to a new all time record (>51).  The model was very inexperienced, but I just tried to capture her gestures quickly and had a lovely afternoon.

One Minute Poses for Gesture Drawing:  Here are 9 of the 11 poses that were drawn in my 9 X 12 sketchbook with a 9B pencil.

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1 minute Poses for Gesture Drawing:

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5 minute Pose. 

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June 29, 2012

Return to Figure Drawing

We traveled so much in May and early June that I missed my monthly figure drawing session at the Society of Illustrators.  When I went back this week, I felt very rusty! 

Here are a few of the 18 poses that I did.

Three 2 minute poses - fast portraits of the two models:

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One 5 minute pose:

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One 10 minute pose:

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Two 20 minute poses - drawn with watercolor pencils and then "painted" with water:

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June 26, 2012

Doodles and More

Last week we had a special day with our 5 year old grandson Callum.  We rarely get him alone, without his big brother and sister, or slightly older cousin.  But we missed the last Grandparents Day at his preschool because of our trip to Venice, so we took him to the American Museum of Natural History.  He wanted to go to see Creatures of Light (bioluminescense exhibit) and I wanted to see the Imax film "Born to Be Wild."  While walking between the two, I stopped for an incredibly fast sketch of a mountain sheep.  I left it in graphite as a reminder of how quickly this was sketched (i.e <5minutes).

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Last evening I didn't feel like sketching, but wanted to push myself.  I opened my Reference Photo folder on the computer and selected this photo (taken on a street in Chelsea New York in April).  I rarely paint with watercolor, without drawing in ink, so this became a practice sketchbook page.  I have no idea what they were looking at and photographing.  I was concentrating just on the man and his dog long enough to get this photo. 

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I spent today with my Mother in her retirement complex in New Jersey.  We take long walks and usually stop for coffee.  While sitting and talking, I doodle, drawing with ink and painting with watercolor pencils.  Today she thought that the lady looked a little like her.  Usually she tells me why my sketches are NOT her.

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June 19, 2012

More Museum Exhibits

After a month of traveling, it was wonderful to see my art friends Pat, Teri, and Benedicte.  Pat and Benedicte planned the day and Teri and I joined in at the last minute.  Although I previously saw the Edouard Vuillard exhibit at the Jewish Museum, I loved going again so I could sketch another one of his paintings.  There was a group touring the exhibit, so I was also able to listen to the commentary by the guide and learn more about the life of Vuillard.   

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After a leisurely lunch between the two museums, we went to the new exhibit at the Guggenheim:  Art of Another Kind - International Abstraction and the Guggenheim 1949-1960.  The Frank Lloyd Wright Building opened in Oct 1959, so these paintings (and a few sculptures) were very early acquisitions for the museum.  Many artists that were represented are well known, i.e. Pollock, DeKooning, Rauschenberg.  But many of the artists were completely unknown to me, i.e. Conrad Marca-Relli, who did wonderful canvas on canvas collages, and Simon Hantai, who may have had the only representational painting in the exhibit, even though it is an imaginary creature. 

Here is my version of the Simon Hantai painting, entitled Cut Green Emerald:

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My challenge copying this painting was using watercolor and pen to create something that was painted in oil.  It was fun to be back in NYC with friends who also enjoy museum-hopping.  Tomorrow will be the American Museum of Natural History with my 5 year old grandson Callum.  I'll have to take a few minutes to draw some animals!

May 30, 2012

Two Museum Visits

I'm taking a rest from my Venice Sketchbook - and posting two paintings done at recent museum visits.

The Jewish Museum in New York has a lovely exhibit of Edouard Vuillard and His Muses (1890-1940).  I knew very little about Vuillard's life, and really enjoyed seeing his paintings put in context.  The museum website has a brief summary of the stages of his career and a wonderful collection of paintings of people in beautiful interiors.

I painted a detail from one of the interiors that I really liked  - in part because of the composition/placement of the two figures.

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Last week we visited the new Barnes Mseum in Philadelphia.  Dr. Albert C. Barnes, physician and chemist, began collecting impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern art in 1902.  The collection was housed in a suburb of Philadelphia, with limited hours, and poor lighting.  Barnes' main goal was to use his collection for education and he developed a school on the premises. 

Barnes arranged the art himself - very symmetrically - on the wall, and without regard for the artists or the chronology.  When he died, his will stipulated that the collection could never be moved, and that all of the art must remain in exactly the same position as the day he died.  There were 24 galleries and the 181 Renoir paintings were placed throughout most of the galleries.  There are also 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisse, and 46 early Picasso paintings - these are the big 4 artists.  But there are many other artists, and even El Greco and Goya!.

The will was challenged, and primarily to save the collection by increasing visibility and revenue, a new Museum on Ben Franklin Parkway, just opened.  It has 24 identically-sized galleries and every piece of art except one is in exactly the same place on each wall. 

Reservations must be made to see the beautiful modern museum and the collection - and it is really worth it.  Those who visited the original location said that the lighting is so superb now that every painting looks like it was cleaned!

If you want to see the holdings for a specific artist, use this link.

Since we were there during opening week, small groups of visitors were taken on tours of the collection - no dawdling allowed!  As in the original location, no sketching and no photos were permitted.  But I was able to buy this postcard to record our visit in my sketchbook that evening.

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