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January 12, 2016

I Love to Make Books!

Each year I make a "Remains of the Day" book - instructions by Mary Ann Moss - to keep photos and ephemera of my "Art Adventures" with friends.  I just finished the pages in my 2015 book and made a new book for 2016.  I love making these from my many dyed fabrics, and I refer to them regularly to remember the many gallery and museum visits we make during the year.  I have 5 completed books which were begun shortly after I retired.

This is my now complete 2015 book: 

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Here is a sample page spread, with a photo of Benedicte, Pat, and Me - along with photos from a day visiting galleries in Chelsea.  Some pages have pockets to hold things, other have lift up flaps - anything goes!

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These are photos of my new Remains of the Day book for 2016:

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Lastly, I made a new watercolor sketchbook with dyed fabric bookcloth and a pocket for the sketchbook to hold my pencils, pens, and eraser as I walk around sketching.   

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January 3, 2016

Art Wednesdays: December 23rd and 30th

Benedicte, Pat and I celebrated the holidays with two Art Wednesdays: 

The Frick Collection has an amazing exhibit of drawings by Andrea Del Sarto (1486-1530).  I love early master drawings and his drawings, mostly in red chalk, were beautiful!  All of the drawings are on the Frick website:

http://www.frick.org/exhibitions/del_sarto/introduction 

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After lunch we continued at the American Folk Art Museum exhibit: Art Brut in America:  

Art Brut is defined by Jean Dubuffet as follows:  "Works produced by people uncontaminated by artistic culture,where mimicry plays little or no part, contrary to the activities of intellectuals.  These creators derive everything's subjects, choice of materials, means of transposition, rhythms, styles of writing- from their own reserves.  We witness the artistic process in all its purity, raw, reinvented on all its levels by their maker."
 
Most of the art was collected by Jean Dubuffet and was made by patients in Psychiatric hospitals in Europe.  There were many pieces that I wanted to draw, to remember.  While we were there we were treated to a Jazz concert for an hour (every Wed from 2-3), and all three of us even sketched the bass player. 

 

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On Dec 30  Pat and I immersed ourselves in the Metropolitan Museum of Art current exhibits - with a brief break for lunch in the museum cafeteria.  These drawing were from my three favorite exhibits.

Annual Christmas Tree and Neopolitan Baroque Creche: 

 

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Jacqueline de Ribes:  The Art of Style

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Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom

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Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my blog and this week I will post my Goals for art on paper and fabric in 2016.  I don't post all of my art and textile projects, but I remain happy that I have a blog and can share so many experiences with friends from around the world.    

January 2, 2016

Happy New Year - and Best Wishes for a Great 2016!

I'm not ready for the Christmas Holiday to be over until I enjoy the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Tree - filled with gorgeous Italian ceramic and silk angels.  On Wednesday Pat and I immersed ourselves in art at the Met and I wanted to include this photo.  I draw one of the angels each year, but haven't had any time to paint her yet. 

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2015/christmas-tree

 

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On Thursday, New Years Eve, we had our 8th "Cousins New Years Eve Party."  We started this tradition when we had 4 grandchildren in NYC, and there have been changes as our youngest grandchildren join us.  Last year we even had Annabelle - our DC grandchild here.  We have a great time with them and the sleepover allows their parents to enjoy the evening and get a good night's sleep.   This year everyone except Charlie, the 3 year old, made it to Midnight to welcome 2016 - and then fell asleep to the sound of fireworks over Central Park.  Having the appropriate new lighted glasses is essential!

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December 28, 2015

Reflections on Art in 2015

A Review of Art Experiences and Learning During 2015: A Progress Report

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January 4th is the 10th anniversary of my blog and it is always a good time for reflection and planning.   

Long Term Goals: Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

1.  Goal: To sketch and paint everyday, and to blog twice each week. These activities give my retirement life some structure and provide enormous inspiration within an artist community. 

Progress:  I no longer do quick sketches every day, but no week passes without me having several good drawing sessions.  It was really important to me to sketch daily when I was beginning this journey as I prepared for retirement from medicine, but the habits were formed and now I can rarely pass a few days without some scribbles, if not a full sketchbook drawing/painting.  My blog posts are important to me, and continue to give structure and meaning to my art adventure and posting twice each week is a great schedule.

 

2.  Goal: Take more classes online and in person to remain inspired:

Progress:  I participated in several online classes this year, just enough to be inspired on an almost weekly basis during some months:  Studying Under the Masters 2, Sketchbook Skool Semester 4,  and an assortment of Craftsy Classes.  These included:  Close-up Flowers in Watercolor (Nan Carey), Travel Sketching in Mixed Media and Sketching People in Motion (both Marc Taro Holmes),    I also took a surface design class through Craftsy:  Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist with Malka Dubrawsky.

Each semester, for 14 weeks, I took a class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and was lucky enough to register for Drawing and Watercolor classes in 2015.  As with the other classes I've taken there on subjects about which I already have some knowledge and experience, I always learn something new.  Our few drawing classes on perspective were excellent and our watercolor classes on different palettes and the use of Chinese White (with watercolor) and Black gesso (with gouache) as grounds were completely new to me.

 

3. Goal:  Continue to draw and paint locally:

Progress:  I belong to two Meetup groups and attend semi-regularly, schedule permitting: "Central Park Drawing and Art" and "Drawing New York."  We have an NYC-Urban Sketchers Weekday Group, and that provides other opportunities for group inspiration and contact.  Battery Park City Conservancy has weekly Nature Painting and Figure Drawing from May through October and I regularly participate in both the morning and afternoon sessions, weather permitting.  This year I attended figure drawing at Society of Illustrators with two visitors, my dear friends Sara from Alabama and Casey from France, and a series of Toulouse-Lautrec Café Society Figure Drawing sessions at MoMA.  And last, but not least, my very special days, spent with my artist friends Benedicte, Pat, and sometime Teri, means that we rarely miss the best museum and gallery shows in the City.  I would feel very isolated without these special 3 friends and would have many fewer good laughs!

One of my favorite projects this year was participation in the 100 Day Challenge by Elle Luna and The Great Discontent.  My goal, especially after taking Sketchbook Skool Semester 4, was to draw more from my imagination.  I didn't upload my daily drawings to Instagram, or follow along with other people's projects, but once I committed to it, I was faithful to the project for all 100 days, and even created my little imaginary character Axel. 

  

4. Goal:  Make watercolor sketchbooks, for daily drawing and painting and travel:

Progress:  I made cased-in watercolor books for my daily sketchbooks, accordion journals for our outdoor Urban Sketchers sessions, a travel sketchbook for our vacation in Spain from an old book of Spanish Drawings, and a summer travel sketchbook from a recycled book called Colors of the Sea.  All of these are discussed and photographed in daily blog posts in my bookbinding category on the blog. 

July was my big surface design month, during which I spent part of almost every day dying fabric, exploring new techniques, and creating dyed fabric for bookcloth.  In the process I also made dye samples and created a unique sewing pattern for a pencil-pen pocket which goes around my sketchbook cover with Velcro.  It is a wonderful convenience when I am sketching as I walk around museums and galleries.

Even Axel and his friend Alice made an appearance on fabric - using thick dye for the drawing and color.  

This year I also planned to make another batch of paste paper to use for covering bookboards and/or as endpapers, but I didn't deplete as much of my stash as I thought I might.

 

I'd love to read what others are planning.... 

 

 

 

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas From Our Family to Yours!

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I love New York City during the Christmas Season, and even though it is unseasonably warm this year, I still find beautiful images everywhere.   I took this photo at 11:30 PM  of this years magnificent 78 foot Tree.