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October 27, 2014

MoMA's Blockbuster Matisse Cut-out Exhibit and Studio

Matisse Cut-outs opened at MoMA in mid-October and it is quite wonderful.  There are several that I've never seen, and many that I'm thrilled to see again.  It is extremely crowded and it is recommended that visitors get timed-tickets online for the day of their visit.  When I was there last Thursday, the line for general admission/timed tickets for 10:30 was already very long by 9:30! 

MoMA has an activity project to accompany the exhibit, much like Print Studio in 2012 when they had two huge Print Exhibits in the galleries.  I loved Print Studio which was open in the education building 6 days each week.  Last week I went to the exhibit in the morning and to the opening afternoon of Beyond the Cut-Out with friends. Here is a description of the activity program.

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Opening Day at Beyond the Cutouts:

There were scissors, glue, and many different plain and printed papers to play with and I chose the project inspired by artist Arturo Herrera.  For this I made cut-outs that will be made into a book.  I love Matisse's figure cut-outs, so that was my focus for the afternoon.  Here is a series of 4 I made as a start.  

 

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October 10, 2014

Tombow Markers and Ball Point Pens

 These drawings were done with Tombow Markers and then watercolor.  The first is the Wall Street Bull sculpture, which sits on Broadway in the Financial District.   The sketch was done early one morning, and I was amazed how tourists paid so little attention to me that they literally stepped 12 inches in front of me to take photos of all of their fellow travelers!  In NYC people rarely pause to look at you drawing, but this was a real lack of understanding of personal space!

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The second drawing was done at Steps - the place where I take ballet class - from a group photo.  I outlined his pants and suspenders with black Tombow and then tried to tie it all together.  This was clearly play - with mixed results! 

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I walk a great deal in Manhattan and I find it difficult to always have my sketchbook with me.  My new idea is to always have plain index cards and a ballpoint pen in the front pocket of my bag.  For those of you familiar with Andrea Joseph's drawings, you can tell I was inspired by her Sketchbook Skool class.  These are ballpoint pen drawings done on the subway, and then cut out and collaged onto a sketchbook page. 

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September 30, 2014

Meetup Central Park Drawing and Art Group - Saturday

Last Saturday was the first meetup group I've gone to since June and it was nice to be out with a big group of sketchers, all selecting views that were in the same areas.  We met at Central Park South and 5th Ave in front of the Plaza Hotel.  We draw for about 45 minutes then spread our sketchbooks for viewing and then move to the next location - for three 60 minute sessions.

My husband and I were married when we were both in medical school - in different states - and while living on student loans.  We had 12 guests at our wedding, a lovely lunch, in NJ, and then we came to NYC for 3 nights at the Plaza for our honeymoon.  Someone Saturday asked if we had a room overlooking Central Park, and I laughed and told them we could only afford a room looking at a wall!  This is just the entrance façade.

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The group then walked into Central Park where I sketched two chess players in the Chess Pavilion and the near roofline of the Dairy Barn Visitors Center - which is a quirky painted building.  I sketched in Tombow brown marker and then painted with watercolor.

 

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September 26, 2014

Terracotta Daughters

Today my friend Benedicte and I went to see a unique sculpture exhibit at an unfinished commercial space near the 9/11 Memorial. 

Prune Nourry created Terracotta Daughters to reflect upon gender selection and the preference for male children in China.  Eight Chinese orphan girls were selected as models for the sculptures.  If I interpreted the movie correctly, Prune Nourry made clay models of each of them to use to make molds.  Then the molds for  heads, torsos, and legs were mixed and made into terracotta sculptures to make 108 unique daughters.

 

                                                 Prune Noury Terracotta Daughters

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These sculptures will next be seen in Mexico City and in 2015 they will be buried in China, like the original Terracotta Warriors.

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In 2030, the Terracotta Daughters will be dug up, at the time when the greatest gender imbalance will exist in China.

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Benedicte Sketching her favorite girl

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My Drawings 

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September 19, 2014

My Fall FIT Bookbinding Class

I am taking a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Design and Communication basic bookbinding course.  Except for one 8 hour workshop on how to make a cased-in book, I am essentially a self taught bookbinder, and even studied and made a different structure each month in 2013. 

It is wonderful to have tips, ideas, and new variations from a professional bookbinder and have already made 3 small books for her to teach us basic skills.  Each book was made with copy paper, so they are only 6 X 4.25 inches.  And each has a soft cover - for which I used white Canson 2-ply Smooth Bristol Board.

This book has 10 folios and was made with a 3 hole pamphlet stitch.  After I made the book I used watercolor to paint the paper.

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The cover was cut 5 X the width of the book.  The front piece folds back on itself and then wraps around the book with the flap inserting in the double folded front cover.  I love the structure because it makes a very sturdy, inexpensive little notebook. 

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The second book is a double pamphlet book, which I've made before and have a tutorial on my blog. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/06/making_a_simple_sketchbook_the.php 

It was made with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch, and then painted. 

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Book #3 is a Flat Back Multiple Signature Book.  We used 50 sheets of copy paper and made 10 signatures.  Learning how to cut all 50 sheets at once is a skill that I will never forget!  We used a herringbone stitching pattern, which I've not seen listed in any of my bookbinding books, and then glued the spine.  

My cover was made with my last strip of the Bristol paper which I made as paste paper - on a whim - because I had a little paste left after making a new batch of paste paper.  And I made a flap just because I felt like it at that moment.

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This week I made nineteen 14 X 17" sheets of paste paper to replenish my stash and this was my favorite piece. 

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I was reluctant to start making books, even though I love books in all shapes and sizes.  But in 2005 I couldn't find 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks and eased into making them by recycling old orphan books.  

When Moleskine made their watercolor sketchbook, I tried them and really disliked the landscape format.  So I took the 2008 workshop to learn how the professionals made sturdy covers and started making my own cased-in books.  Now feel like an amateur bookbinder which brings me great pleasure.  

For anyone who is interested in seeing the many types of books I've made, scroll down the page - and on the right to the category section of my blog.