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June 13, 2014

Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group


Lower Manhattan From the Brooklyn Heights Promenade  


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Our Meetup Sketching Group met here from 11AM-2PM last Saturday.  The weather was gorgeous and it would be hard to find a more breathtaking urban scene.   This is lower Manhattan - with the ferry terminals to the left and the new World Trade Center Tower to the right.

 

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 We love our yellow taxis so much that even our water taxis are yellow.

 

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The Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge - from the Promenade.

 

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I did this painting during our Meetup.  I sketched and then met with the whole group to share our sketches.  I then painted my sketch with watercolors and met again to share our sketches.

 

This is an 11 X 14" piece of watercolor paper to which I glued a piece of the New York City Subway Map.  After the glue dried, I painted a thin layer of Golden Absorbent Ground over the map.  It is a wonderful surface for graphite and watercolor.  I have used this technique before for smaller pieces, and decided it would be perfect for the NYC skyline from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

 

May 9, 2014

Inspiration - Part 1

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala occurs in May each year, the evening before a big Fashion Exhibit opens to the Members and then the Public.  Two years ago the Alexander McQueen exhibit was the 8th most visited overall exhibit in Met history.  The 2014 Gala was held on Monday night for the opening of "Charles James - Beyond Fashion."  He was a great Anglo-American couturier who died in 1978.  He was born in Britain but spent his entire career in America and his innovations were extraordinary.  The Met website has photos and videos.

http://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/charles-james-beyond-fashion 

My daughter and I went to the member previews on Wednesday - and loved seeing the clothes and especially the 15 Ball Gowns that were distributed throughout one huge gallery - and could be seen from all sides. 

Here is my favorite - called the Swan Gown.  The color depth for the tulle skirt was achieved by using  shades of brown, and a layer each of purple and yellow.  I spent Tuesday mixing complementary colors to make brown-taupe dyes in my silk painting with dyes class, but never considered how mixing the colors in sheer layers could achieve such depth of color. 

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Charles James' other clothes (approximately 50 garments) were displayed in the new Anna Wintour Costume Institute on the ground level.   I decided to quickly sketch one of his innovations - a white Satin Evening Coat filled with eiderdown to compete with Schiaparelli's popular mink evening jackets.  Each of the lines in my drawing were seams and each section of the jacket was stuffed separately with down.

I finally bought myself a really warm short black down coat this winter and never was happier - or warmer!  Thank you Charles James.  I also read that he introduced strapless gowns and wrap dresses.

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If anyone would like to see how the guests in the gala were dressed, here are two links. 

Walking the Red Carpet - in Ball Gowns:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/05/fashion/met-gala-red-carpet.html?_r=0

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/galleries/TMG10809711/Met-Ball-2014-Stars-at-the-Anna-Wintour-Costume-Center-Gala.html 

Next:  Inspiration Part 2:  Jasper Johns at the Katonah Museum of Art 

April 28, 2014

Two Exhibit Visits

When I go to my class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), I can see some of the student exhibits this month.  There is currently an extraordinary bird exhibit done by first year students.  Pairs of students selected a type of bird, studied it in depth and then recreated the bird on a very large mannequin, using thousands of feathers.  I LOVED the flamingo and took approximately 5 minutes to sketch it walking through the exhibit on my way to class.  The week before I took a photo of it and I've posted that here too.

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There are about 20 enormous birds in the exhibit - such creativity!! 

 

Saturday morning I read about the opening of a New York City exhibit on ArtDaily.org.  This is a wonderful daily news site about exhibits opening in museums and galleries around the world - with a daily short educational video as well.   

Mnuchin Gallery at 45 E. 78th St. currently has an amazing exhibit of approximately 30 20th Century bronzes by all of the big names of contemporary art ("Bronze in the 20th Century: Casting Modernity" April 24-June 7, 2014).  None of these large pieces were obviously for sale - many came from museums and private collectors.  My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the installation in this magnificent townhouse gallery and I sketched two sculptures and painted them when I returned home. 

MAX ERNST  King Playing With His Queen

GERMAINE RICHIER  Mantis

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April 18, 2014

Picasso and Humpty Dumpty

This morning I went to Christies Auction House for the viewing of the upcoming auction items.  It is a great way to see art that is rarely on display since it usually goes from one private owner to another.  I went to see the upcoming exhibit of Prints and Multiples, but chose to draw a Picasso ceramic to remember my visit.  This is my photo of the 16.5" diameter plate.

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I love the simplicity of Picasso's lines and frequently copy them trying very hard to embed his techniques in my brain.  My drawing was done with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

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 I forgot that there were several hundred artist eggs placed around New York City and found dozens of them displayed around the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink as I walked to Christies.  The "Big Easter Egg Hunt" in NYC is sponsored by Faberge, and the artists range from the famous, i.e. Jeff Koons to local public schools.  Here is my favorite egg.  

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It was done by the Prince's Drawing School and is signed by Prince William and Princess Kate. As I type this, the current auction bid for Humpty Dumpty is $16,000.

 

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April 11, 2014

Recent Sketchbook Pages

My oldest grandson was singing in the Middleschool Choral Festival on Wednesday.  I arrived early and listened to each individual school practice and sketched the center altar in the church they were using for the concert.  I sketched in pencil, then Tombow black marker, and then added water with my waterbrush.

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Yesterday I went to see two exhibits with my friends Bendicte and Pat.  There is an amazing exhibit at Neue Galerie on Degenerate Art as designated by the Nazis and featured in Munich in an exhibit of the same name right before WWII. 

http://www.neuegalerie.org/content/degenerate-art-attack-modern-art-nazi-germany-1937 

Many of the works shown at Neue are done by my favorite German artists.  I sketched a sculpture by Ernst Barlach called  "The Reader."  It was considered "degenerate" because of the book which they considered the sign of an intellectual!

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On our walk up Madison Ave to lunch I found this beautiful bloom at the top of a trash can and took it to paint during while we ate.

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We spent the afternoon at the National Academy Museum seeing an exhibit by the famous Swedish Artist Anders Zorn.  His etchings and watercolors were brilliant and I'm posting photos, not sketches - which would have been impossible. 

http://www.nationalacademy.org/anders-zorn-swedens-master-painter/ 

A Zorn Watercolor (from my photo):  This also appears in the link I included.

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A Zorn Etching:

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