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January 17, 2017

Picabia and Calder and Faces

I saw two art exhibits that inspired me to draw more faces.  There is a huge retrospective exhibit on Francis Picabia at the Museum of Modern Art:  Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction.  I learned that he was from a very wealthy family and rarely stayed with one specific type of art - making it more difficult to be well known in the art world. 

This is a wall photo of Francis Picabia at the entrance to the exhibit, playfully sitting on a child's toy. 

Link to Museum Website:  https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/1670?locale=en  

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I was immediately attracted to the set of paintings that he called "Transparencies."  He appropriated existing art for the layers in these large paintings - incorporating images from mythology, religion, and even other artists.  It is hard to imagine how he created the layers in oil paint.  In Salome, the painting below, it is speculated that there is the body of a contemporary nude dancer, a Boticelli head, John the Baptist's head on a platter, and figures, columns, and ceramics from the Greeks.

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I walked through the Gallery of "Transparencies" and sketched various faces, and then added the black head from one of the paintings that I think was part of his "Monster" series.

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Several days later, we joined friends at the Whitney Museum.  This is the best photo I was able to take of the architecture of the new building.  It was a cold, windy day, so I'm surprised to see any people out on the balconies.

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The main exhibit was "Portraits" from their collection. 

http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/HumanInterest 

I loved it because there was a very loose definition of portraits - and many were collections of symbols or favorite things of the artist. 

As soon as I saw the Calder wire head of Varese, I knew that I had to draw it from the front and side. 

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December 16, 2016

Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group

I haven't been at the Monthly Meetup groups since summer and miss it.  This Saturday my NYC Grandchildren weren't arriving for an overnight until 2:30, so I had time to join the group for 2 hours at the Time Warner Center to enjoy the Holiday Decorations and do some sketching. 

The main Atrium, overlooking Columbus Circle, has beautiful hanging stars that change colors constantly.  Here are two photos that I took.

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I decided to analyze their shapes and draw them, and then added the cityscape very loosely.

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In the remaining session I sketched a window display from J. Crew Men just because I liked the Christmas tree in earmuffs, gloves, and slippers. 

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December 13, 2016

Annual Christmas in NYC Day with Diane and Nancy

I was waiting to meet friends from DC at ABC Carpet, which is a winter wonderland each holiday season.  Each year we look at the displays and get so many ideas for colors and decorating.  I took the time while waiting for them  to draw a few of the animals that were part of their displays.   

 

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We did some shopping at Fishes Eddy and Flying Tiger, also on Broadway around Union Square, and then in the afternoon spent a few hours at the FIT Museum exhibits.  Photography was not permitted in the Proust's Muse (Countess Greffulhe) exhibit, but these were elaborate clothes from another era and too hard to draw on the fly.   A second exhibit, Black Fashion Designers just opened and was amazing - full of clothes I would love to wear now.

Proust's Muse will end on January 7th and Black Fashion Designers on May 16th. 

This is a photo of many terrific designs, especially the white and black evening dress. 

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And this is my sketchbook page documenting 3 of my favorite designs.

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December 6, 2016

Quick Drawings

For days when I can't even imagine sketching outside of the apartment, I have 3 x 5" blank index cards and a pencil/pen in my very small purse.  Thursday evening we took our oldest grandson to a concert by the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Temple Emanu-el.  This was the synagogue in which Henry was a Bar Mitzvah one year ago.  We sat in the second row of this space that seats 2500, and I suddenly realized I could sketch the place where he stood during his part of his service.

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Drawn with a soft graphite pencil. 

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And then I sketched the cellist.

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November 16, 2016

I'm Drawing Sculpture This Month

This is a huge art exhibit month in New York City.  In addition to the Fall Museum Exhibits, there are terrific gallery shows, and the huge auction previews.  Both Sotheby's and Christies now have combined auction previews for Impressionist /Modern and Post-War/Contemporary that last in each auction house for more than a week.  During my visit to Gagosian Gallery's exhibit "Nudes" and both Auction Gallery Previews I sketched pieces of sculpture that I liked and photographed many paintings that inspired me.

Matisse Sculpture at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue:  The balance achieved in this life-size sculpture was fascinating.

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 Maillot and Degas Sculptures at Sotheby's:  These life-size sculptures were next to each other making it fun to place the drawings together.

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 Mbole Figure from the Congo:

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 Moore Sculpture from Christies:  I love the family series of sculptures done by Moore and this one was very small and just right for my sketchbook drawing of the day.   

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