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December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from New York City

Rockefeller Center, the Huge Christmas tree, and the Skating Rink are all a central part of Holiday celebrations in our city.  Each year, scouts travel by light plane around NY, NJ, and CT looking for the perfect tree, hoping the owners will agree to part with it.  It is always HUGE!

My husband and I walked down 5th Ave last week to Rockefeller Center to enjoy the tree in the dark.  Here is a photo approaching it from 51st St.  It is hard to imagine the size from this distance.

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Here is a closeup.  Look at the size of the people that are standing around the base.

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Here it is above the Skating Rink.  It can be seen easily looking down the pathway of angels from 5th Avenue.

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There are also life size toy soldiers that are placed in the garden down both sides of the walls above the skating rink.  I frequently sketch and paint them.  Here is 2007, 2008, and 2012.

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I wish all of you happy holidays with your family and friends.  All three of our children will be here with their families and hopefully we'll get a first group photo of our 8 grandchildren (ages 3 mos-9 years).  Thank you for visiting my blog and keeping me enthused about sketchbook art, bookbinding, and sharing ideas.  May we all have a fun, creative, and artistic 2013. 

December 1, 2012

T'is That Time of Year

I spend more time in my studio this month than any other time of the year.  Although I store art supplies and bookbinding supplies in there, it is really set up for textile arts.  I see photos of amazing studios in magazines, but I'm thrilled to have even the smallest place that is all mine in an apartment in New York City.

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This space measures 7'3" by 9'9" on the blueprint, but those measurements are before the furniture and bookcases/cabinets were added.  Every inch is filled and most times I can find whatever I need for a project.  When this photo was taken, I was pulling scraps of Christmas fabrics from the green storage box that is in the front left, and making ornaments and stockings. 

This is the fabric ornament that I painted and posted in my last blog post.  It is machine appliqued and quilted.

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Today I finished 16 of the Santa tree ornaments - to be given to our children, grandchildren, and some friends.

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The last two days I also made large Christmas stockings for our two grandsons that were born in the last year.  Each of their brothers and sisters have the same stockings, with different designs, that we use here in our home on Christmas Eve.

For Charlie, who will be 3 months old by Christmas:

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And for William, who will be one year old on December 18th.

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November 16, 2012

My Sketchcrawl With Annabelle

Our son Jason, his wife Shannon, Annabelle (4 yrs old) and William (10 months), visited us from Washington DC over the Veteran's Day holiday.

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On Monday I invited Annabelle to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to listen to the Children's audio guide on select paintings.  Here she is listening to wonderful information about Picasso's Three Musicians.

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She very quickly decided that she NEEDED to sketch, instead of listening to more commentary.

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I sketched with her and added paint at home.  These are 3 detail images from Rousseau and Matisse.

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I had a great deal of difficulty getting her to leave the museum to meet her family and Grandpa for lunch, and then we all went to the Top of the Rock.  NOTE:  Scroll all the way to the right on this link and you'll feel like you are there!

She had lots of questions about skyscrapers the day before and wanted to go "high" to see them.  It was my first visit there and it is FABULOUS.  Although you aren't quite as high as in the Empire State Building, there are 3 levels for viewing and high clear walls from bottom to top, so even the smallest children can see well.

This is my photo looking north, over Central Park.

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After we visited all 3 levels, and looked in all 4 directions - taking lots of photos - Annabelle wanted to continue sketching. 

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I did a quick sketch of the barrier at the bottom of the clear wall, the Empire State Building, and the skyscrapers in the Financial District looking south.  I sat on a bench while sketching and therefore the decorative barrier right at the bottom of the clear barriers looks bigger and the amount of the building I could see looked smaller.  I painted it at home.

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September 28, 2012

Fun Day in Art Supply and Second Hand Book Stores

Last week my visitor Kathy and I spent the day searching for books to recycle as watercolor sketchbooks and browsing for art supplies.  It was great fun and very successful.  I taught Kathy how to make a watercolor sketchbook during her visit last year using the tutorial that I prepared for this blog. 

One of the used books she bought has wonderful ink drawings of houseplants, one of which I used to do this painting of the pot and plant. I don't have any green paints on my Winsor-Newton watercolor palette, but have 3 yellows and 3 blues, meaning I can mix 9 different greens.  I plan to systematically mix all 9 and make a card for my sketchbook since I can never remember which I like best.

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We went to Utrecht and Dick Blick and both of us found supplies we couldn't live without.  This is a quick drawing of most of my purchases.  Dick Blick was having a "Madness Sale" and I was delighted to find a Gelliart plate to make monoprints and a set of Lumiere paints for fabric.  I love painting and dying cloth to make book cloth for my watercolor sketchbooks.

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September 24, 2012

NYC Harbor Cruise and Figure Drawing

Last week Pat and I took my friend Kathy for a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.  It is one of the best activities in New York City .  It is free and ferries depart every 30 minutes.  You need to get off the ferry in Staten Island, but there are little restaurants in the ferry terminal and a huge tropical fish tank to keep you from getting bored before you board a ferry for the return trip.

These are the New York City Ferry Terminals as we were departing.

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The view of Battery Park and the Financial District is spectacular.  The tall building on the left is the new Freedom Tower - built on the North edge of Ground Zero.  They are still working on the very top.

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The ferry sails close to the Statue of Liberty.  This photo was taken with the zoom on my point and shoot camera.

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We only had a few minutes to draw the fish - they were painted back in NYC during lunch.

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We sat along the seawall for our figure drawing session to stay warm in the sun.  This is a photo of part of our sketching group.

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I'm only posting my two 10 minute sketches.  Joseph was a terrific model, and in the majority of poses he was sitting in challenging positions on the rocks.

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