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June 13, 2016

Sketching Again in New York City

We returned from the beach with our friends and sketched in Central Park and then in Lower Manhattan at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.  This sketch of Belvedere Castle was made from the lawn at the Turtle Pond.  We had sun alternating with gray rain clouds, but there were only sprinkles during the time we were there. The National Weather Service uses it to measure wind and rainfall in Manhattan.

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We ended a walk through Battery Park City and Battery Park at the Old Custom House and it was my second visit to the exhibit called Unbound:  Narrative Art in the Plains  I was attracted to another piece of art by Lauren Good Day Giago, the only woman painter commissioned for this exhibit among nearly a dozen men.  These were two of the images created as a memory to here Grandfather. 

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May 27, 2016

Flowers and Figure Drawing

Wednesday is Art Day in Battery Park City from now through October.  This week I went to the morning session in Wagner Park, searching for newly bloomed flowers and painted 3 flowers, all growing from the same stem.  I chose them because I could sit in the shade on the artist stools the Conservancy provides!  But it presented me with the challenge of drawing white flowers on white paper - and kept me happily engaged for an hour.

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In the afternoon I arrived in South Cove (2 blocks away) just as one of the big ships was sailing around the tip of Manhattan and heading north up the Hudson River for fleet week.  There were sailors lined up all around the ship looking at the beautiful views of Lower Manhattan.

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I love Claudia, who was our model for Figure Al Fresco.  I've sketched her before and have good memories of those sessions.  Here is my work for our two hour session - photographed instead of scanned because of the paper size.  I had a mat at home that I put around my longer pose drawings just for fun!

From 10 One Minute Poses:

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Our 4 Five Minute Poses:

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My 4 Ten Minute Poses - I only sketched for 10 minutes even with the 20 minute pose: 

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May 20, 2016

Monotypes, Ducks, and A Cow

I went to my second Monotype session this week at MoMA and made 3 prints - but only uploaded two here - another ballerina and another Axel print.

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Weekday NYC Urban Sketchers met in Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City this week, and I was completely mesmerized by ducks.  When I arrived I watched a male swimming all over the pond behind a female and a total of 7 ducklings that were scattered and having fun.  I sketched them quickly and spent the next hour watching them to determine their coloration.  I can't describe how much pleasure I got from sitting in the sun, watching and photographing them.  Midway through the hour 3 gangster males arrived and fights began.  But the original male kept them away from his family.  It was very noisy! 

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I quickly sketched one of Dubuffet's four large LaVache paintings when at his exhibit at Acquavella Gallery on the Upper Eastside.  My goal was to paint it with my acrylic paints before putting them away after my abstract painting class ended.  The painting is on a watercolor postcard. 

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Monotypes, Pen Drawing with Watercolor Wash, and an Acrylic Painting - I think I need to focus! 

May 10, 2016

National Museum of the American Indian May 4th

After a morning gallery-hopping at exhibits of Dubuffet, Hannalore Baron, and Will Barnett, Benedicte, Pat, and I arrived at Battery Park City for Figure Drawing just as the rain started.  Instead we went to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York branch, to see their newest exhibit.  The exhibit, which will not close until December, is called Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains. The Museum is in the historical Custom House near Wall Street.

Several years ago I learned about Indian narrative art at an exhibit at the Met and I was fascinated by the drawings they did of their life and culture in Ledger Books.  This exhibit also shows narrative art on vintage ledger pages, but most of these Indian artists are contemporaries.  Where noted, color was added with colored pencils.

This is my copy of a drawing done by Comanche Artist Ronald L. Burgess in 2012. 

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This is the postcard for May family events at the Museum and it shows the gorgeous ledger paper used for the drawing.  The artist is not named on the card.

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Some of my favorite drawings were done by a woman artist, and they were scenes of domesticity, instead of hunting and battles.   Lauren Good Day Giago (b. 1987) descended from the 19th C. ledger artist Bloody Knife and was taught beading and sewing as a child.  I loved the bright colors and subjects she chose.

Independence Day Celebration

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Blessed by the Mother and Father  2012 

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May 7, 2016

Making Monotypes at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

There are 120 monotypes in the MoMA exhibit Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty.    

On April 26th MoMA offered a drop-in session for museum visitors to make monotypes.   Education staff from MoMA and staff from EFA Blackburn Studio set up a mini-printing shop on the second floor of the Museum, and we were able to sign in and then spend 75 minutes making up to 3 prints.

Here is a 4 minute video about Monotypes, as an introduction. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLfYVzk0sNiGEYF87Bj0us98NVd-h6aOvK&v=DC8L2O7I0wk

 

We each had a palatte for the ink, a brayer to coat a plexiglass plate, and a variety of simples tools to remove or add ink to the plate.  This was my first experience making an ink monotype, although I've made some with thick dye on fabric.  The methods are not very similar. 

We made our drawings in the ink, or with the ink, on the plate and then took our plate to the Staff who soaked the paper in water and put our plate and paper through the press. 

I took my sketchbook with me because I had sketches of some dancers from two New York City Ballet rehearsals I watched (drawn before it was too dark in the theater).  These were my inspiration for prints 1 and 2.  With the remaining few minutes I sketched my imaginary friend Axel for print #3.  The paper is 11 X 15" and the prints are 8 X 10".

 

 Print 1

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Print 2

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Print 3

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