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February 19, 2013

Elephants - One By One

I painted gesso onto a piece of newspaper and then sketched an elephant with a dip pen and India Ink.  I had no idea how this would work, but proceeded in the spirit of experimentation,  

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Last Saturday I took a Paste Paper class at the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan.  Here is a picture of Me, and my friends Gloria and Benedicte.  I used a >30 year old apron for the class and was shocked to see the elephant on the front. 

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I made thirty-one 14 X 17" sheets of paste paper and enjoyed every minute of the class.  Here are 5 grayish pieces that I made for an elephant collage.  I've done collage, but never to create figurative art.  But Lynn Gall, our class instructor, says that Eric Carle uses paste paper for his children's book, so of course I will need to try it!

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January 19, 2013

Chelsea, El Anatsui, and the Highline

My friend Pat and I spent a day visiting art galleries in Chelsea and walking the High Line.  El Anatsui, born in Ghana and now living in Nigeria, creates enormous sculptures using copper wire and bottle caps/pieces of aluminum from cans and bottles. 

Here is an example of one of the massive sculptures in the exhibit Pot of Wisdom which ended on January 19th.  It is next moving to the Bass Center in Miami and the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa.  A second exhibit is opening in February at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

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A detail:

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But he also has an outdoor installation, made of rusted metal and gorgeous reflective tiles, over the entire side of a building along the Highline,  This will hang for a year.  Here are my photos, taken from the Highline - between 21st and 22nd St.  Also look at the water towers which appear everywhere along the NYC skyline.

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I love the way the clouds are reflected on the sculpture making it hard to see the dividing line with the real sky.

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The Highline is an abandoned elevated railroad track in lower Manhattan.  It is slowly being converted into a wonderful, popular public park. 

We walked North along the newest section (extending the walkway to 30th St.) and found wonderful sights:  the top of the Empire State building, great graffiti art, and an apartment occupant, whose window is feet away from the edge of the High Line. 

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This image appears to be part of the window surface - humorously put there to keep Highline pedestrians from becoming voyeurs.

There was a great pair of water towers right next to the sculpture and I painted them in my sketchbook, from my photo, to remember the day. 

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January 16, 2013

Picasso: Black and White

Last week our art friends spent a wonderful day at the Picasso: Black and White exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.  Readers of this blog know how much I like sketching Picasso and I expected to see many of his ink drawings on paper.  The exhibit however was a wonderful mixture of sculpture and paintings, many of which were drawings in oil.  

As we moved up the circular ramp, I tried to sketch sculptures and then paintings that spoke to me.  Here is a drawing of a large painted metal sculpture, entitled "Woman with Outstretched Arms" and a wall sculpture of Marie-Therese in profile

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The Acrobat - painted in 1930.

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Two Figures that were drawn from a Large Study for the painting Guernica, May 1, 1937

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Draped Nude Seated in Armchair 1923:  This painting reminds me very much of the Seated Woman by Matisse (1919) that I sketched at the Frick, uploaded recently to my blog, and posted it again here for comparison.   

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I love my Art Buddies and thoroughly enjoy both our museum visits and regular projects.  On Jan 6th a group comment was posted by Gloria,a classmate in the Mary Ann Moss class A Ticket to Venice, telling me that she found a photo of her friend Benedicte on my blog.  We made the connection and Gloria joined us 3 days later at the Guggenheim. 

From Left to Right:  Teri, Gloria, Me, Pat, and Benedicte

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January 1, 2013

New York City Art Exhibits

There are some wonderful art exhibits in New York City for the next several months - especially if you love to draw from the Masters as I do.  I linked to the exhibit pages - and you can see many, if not most of the works in these exhibits!

Teri, Pat, Benedicte and I went to the opening preview of the new Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This is a very educational exhibit, demonstrating how Matisse returned to the same images, in order to work on techniques and to push the images as far as he could.  He had a photographer documenting the various stages of some of his paintings and many large prints of the photographs are hung with the paintings in the exhibit.  The website has many images in the selected highlights section.  It is really worth studying.

I sketched and later painted The Large Blue Dress from 1937.

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There is a new Abstract Expressionist exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.  It is hard to sketch from these paintings, but I carefully studied 2 of Marsden Hartley's paintings that I liked.  I made a list of the shared iconic symbols in the two paintings and used them in my own drawing at home.  I still haven't painted it, so instead I want to show you a sketch I did of a sculpture I loved that afternoon.  Alina Szapocznikow was trained as a classic sculptor and now focuses on the human figure in her work.  I never heard of her before, but fell in love with her work in this new exhibit of her sculptures and drawings.  This was my favorite life-size sculpture.

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The last exhibit I saw was Mategna to Matisse at the Frick.   There are 58 Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery in London.  I loved this exhibit!  The first drawing of the exhibit was Guercino's Mother and Child.  I first saw this drawing at the Courtauld in June 2007 and sketched it then.  And it felt like I was seeing a wonderful old friend!  Here is my drawing from 2007. 

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This time I sketched a Rembrandt and a Matisse.

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The Frick website has many images, divided by country of origin.  And the thumbnails can be enlarged enough to see most of the images.

December 26, 2012

Christmas Weekend

This is the year when our DC children/grandchildren join us for Christmas weekend.  On Sunday I took Annabelle and Sydney to the New York City Ballet Nutcracker.  It was 4 year old Annabelle's first time and Sydney's 4th!

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Sunday evening my husband and I made dinner for all 16 of us and we continued our family tradition by giving our presents to the children on Christmas Eve.  Here are the 7 children's gift bags and 8 stockings packed and ready.

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And our 8 grandchildren as they headed off to watch a movie.

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Yesterday our daughter made Christmas dinner at her apartment and we again were 8 adults and 8 children.  Zachary, Annabelle, Sydney and I spent time painting Santas in the afternoon.  My Santa was drawn from a photo that Sydney and I took last week at Rockefeller Center - of the skating Santa.

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Hope everyone is having a happy holiday.