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December 1, 2017

Tuesday Art Day

Benedicte, Pat, and I met at the Jewish Museum when it opened and spent several hours in the Modigliani Unmasked Exhibit (closes Feb 4, 2018).  It is a wonderful collection of art on paper, paintings, and sculptures.  Here is a video from the exhibit:

I loved how he explored African Masks in drawings, and then modified his portraits over time to lengthen the face, nose, and neck.  He also did many drawings of caryatids, and fallen caryatids, for a second series that was well represented in the exhibit, moving from drawings to paintings.


I also sketched the photo of a Russian poet who modeled for him, and with whom it is alleged he had an affair in Paris.  


After lunch we walked down Madison Ave to Van Doren Waxter Gallery to see Richard Diebenkorn: Works on Paper (1922-1993) - through Jan 20, 2018.  I love his figure drawings, and took a photo of my favorite in the exhibit. Richard Diebenkorn was an abstract expressionist in the 40s and 50s, and then turned to figurative art in the 50s and 60s.



We ended the day at the Met Breuer Museum to view Edvard Munch's paintings:  Between the Bed and the Clock (through Feb 4, 2018).  If you only know Munch because of his "Scream" paintings, you need to see this exhibit:

This is my photo of the painting for which the exhibit was named.  My favorites were his many self-portraits.



November 20, 2017

Michelangelo at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Michelangelo exhibit opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week.  It is quite wonderful!  And it is VERY CROWDED!  There are 133 drawings from 50 institutions and 3 sculptures by Michelangelo.  Most of the drawings are in red chalk, and there is a ceiling reproduction of the Sistine Chapel in one gallery, with preliminary drawings for this monumental work.  I actually visited with friends for several hours on 3 different days and enjoyed drawing there after finding tiny little places to stand out of the crowds. 

Here is a link to the Exhibit which will be at the Met until February 12, 2018


I sketched his statue called Apollo-David from two views, and also a few of his drawings.   The first is a frontal view, with a few copies of hand drawings from one of his Sistine Chapel drawings.  The second is a side view, when I could stand with my back to a wall, out of the way.




The head of the prophet Zachariah - who is painted at one end of the Sistine Chapel as a fully developed figure.   Each of the drawings are accompanied by a small photo of the finished painting in the Sistine Chapel, and a diagram where you can find it.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all who celebrate this Holiday! 

November 17, 2017

Drawing at the Fall Art Auction Previews

In the Fall and Spring, Sothebys and Christies auction houses hold BIG auctions of Impressionist-Modern-Post-War and Contemporary Art, and attending the previews for the auctions on the days leading up to them is like going to a new museum every 6 months.  I went to previews at both places last week and enjoyed the art immensely.  I always try to draw something for my sketchbook to remember the day and lately draw more sculpture than drawings or paintings because translating 3D to 2D is better exercise for my brain.   

Rodin Maquette of Andrieu D'Andres, one of the now famous Burghers of Callais.  This piece had so much emotion that I was immediately drawn to it.


Degas Ballet Dancer - A Composite Drawing:  I loved a small Degas dancer sculpture at Christies and sketched it because Degas really "nailed" the position.  So many of his other ballet sculptures don't have enough turnout or extension.  When I painted the dancer I surrounded her with collages of my quick drawings from a recent working rehearsal of the New York City Ballet.  I only can sketch for a few minutes when the dancers are warming up on stage before the lights go down.


November 8, 2017

Progress in My FIT Illustration Class

I am still really enjoying my FIT Illustration Class called Fashion Applications.  Last night we started to talk about elongating the figure, and I learned that was a convention that began in the late 1800s when women were wearing long dresses.  Instead of the normal body length, which is 8 heads long, the fashion figure is 9-10 heads long.  It will take me awhile to achieve those proportions for our drawings, but I wanted to record some progress here since mid-semester.

1.  I am still using Nu-Pastel chalk to draw the 2 minute warm-up poses.  They are fun for loosening up, and I'm glad I finally tried them!


2.  I can draw a figure and even add detail from a costume with 7 minute poses. The model had on red leather boots to go with her red and black Spanish costume.



3.  At the end of a 3 hour class, with many single and double figure poses, I was loose enough to draw 3 figures together in 10 minutes.


For anyone interested in figure drawing, this is a very structured learning experience.  I missed the class on Mapping the Figure, where you begin drawing the whole figure in a limited number of big separate shapes, and then fill in the internal details.  I will need to try this on my own to see if I can do it! 

November 3, 2017

NYC Urban Sketchers - 2nd Sketchbook Finished

 I love making sketchbooks and devoted several accordion books, with 140 lb watercolor paper, to my days with the NYC Urban Sketchers.  This book took a little more than a year to fill, partly because I didn't always use it when I was sketching with the group.  This is the front of the book.


This is the back of the book.


We met at the Hans Christian Anderson Statue for the Saturday morning Storytelling Program when one of our members was performing.  I sketched the Boat Rental Building at Conservatory Water in Central Park and never posted it.


Recently our weekday USK group went to the Hamilton Grange in Manhattan, the Summer Home that Alexander Hamilton built and lived in for several years at the end of his life.  It is beautiful, and easy to access from midtown Manhattan, at 414 W 141st St.