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March 17, 2015

Asia Week Art and an Inspiring Video Drawing

I'm posting two completely unrelated Sketchbook pages today.  My friend Pat and I went to two Asian Art Auction Previews on Friday.  Sotheby's had a terrific preview for their Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Auction.  Over the last two years, I've discovered several Indian artists whose work I LOVE, and there were many paintings by each of them (Husain, Prahba, and Souza).  Christies was a disappointment for those of us who weren't there to see Asian ceramics, jades, brass sculptures etc., because they had 1600 art objects from one collection to auction!  But the paintings on the Chinese scrolls definitely made up for it.  I took lots of pictures so I can try to learn from the brush drawings of roosters, tigers, herons, camels, and chickens. 

I sketched one painting, and one detail of stylized cows from another painting at Sothbys, on one sketchbook page, to remember the day.

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Yesterday I watched a video called The Life of an Artist (2012) by Adebanji Alade that was very inspirational. 

The Life of an Artist  http://adebanjialade.blogspot.com/search/label/video 

I paused the video while he was sketching on public transportation and sketched him, so I could remember his advice, "Sketch, Sketch, Sketch and Draw, Draw, Draw."   Oops - misspelled his first name on the sketchbook page!

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March 10, 2015

Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky

This exhibit just opened at the Metropolitan Museum of New York and it is spectacular.  I went to the Member Previews last week, excited by the postcard that arrived about a month ago.  Pictographs are among my favorite images and I didn't know what to expect, but was thrilled to find several tanned leather hides and clothing with ink and pigment drawings. 

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This is called the Grand Robe and I took a photo of it from the Exhibit Catalogue because no photos are allowed in the exhibit.  The catalogue says that there were hundreds of these robes made and only 5 remain.  Three are in this exhibit, including this one on loan from the Musee de Quai Branley in Paris.  There are 60 figures on this robe, depicting 14 battles - and I sketched a few of my favorites.  

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I also attended a "Conversation with a Paper Conservator", who worked on the Maffet Ledger Journal over 18 months before, during, and after it traveled to Paris and Kansas City where this exhibit began.  George West Maffet distributed some ledgers among the Northern and Southern Cheyenne tribe in the  mid-1800s and this ledger contains narrative stories in drawings by 22 different artists.   Most of the drawings are scenes from battles against the Cavalry.  Not only was I interested in the paper conservation information, but it was so interesting to hear how they poured over the drawings to try to separate the artists and translate the images. 

Here is one of the paintings in the ledger.  In order for indian boys to establish their bravery, they had to coup a soldier, which meant touching them with their sword, or bow and arrow, and then escaping without being harmed.  The conservator said that they did lots of research to understand the implications of many of the drawings in the ledger.

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This is a link for the Maffat Ledger on the Museum Website. 

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/view?exhibitionId=%7b254A181E-CA25-4BC9-B15A-A167688D711B%7d&oid=310365&pkgids=294&pg=1&rpp=20&pos=1&ft=*

There are 23 pages pictured at this link. 

All the while she was speaking, I wondered if any of our sketchbooks and journals would survive and be analyzed for information about the times in which we lived. 

This is a link to the video of current Indian Artists and how their work evolved. 

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2015/plains-indians-artists-of-earth-and-sky/media 

 

March 6, 2015

More Drawing with Toulouse-Lautrec

The Museum of Modern Art Toulouse-Lautrec Print Exhibit is closing mid-March and I will miss it terribly.  I will miss my regular visits to the exhibit, my drawings from his prints to warm up, and the Café Society Figure Drawing session that occurred twice each month since the Fall.  Today I am posting 2 warm-up Toulouse-Lautrec drawings and 4 drawings from my favorite model - Kelly.

 

Aristide Bruant -  Performer and owner of a Montmartre Café. 

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Yvette Guilbert - Perfprmer and one of Toulouse=Lautrec's favorite models. 

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These are some my 6 minute drawings of Kelly - drawn on 11 X 15" watercolor paper with soluble graphite and then shaded with a waterbrush.   These were photographed because they were too big for my scanner.

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March 1, 2015

Playdate with Zach

Zach is in Pre-K and had his Winter Break several weeks ago.  We scheduled a playdate and when I asked him where he wanted to go, he said the Museum so we could sketch.  As soon as we got off the phone he packed up his sketchbook and pencils so he wouldn't forget anything. 

Here is my picture of him sketching in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There is a Bear Sculpture of 3 Bears, but he was ready to move on after sketching the bear in the middle.

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And here is his sketch of the Bear!   He was very pleased with it.

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We eventually did two more sketches, learned lots about mummies in the Egyptian Galleries and went to visit William the Blue Hippopotamus, the Met's several thousand year old mascot that is also in the Egyptian Gallery.   

Several of my other grandchildren like to draw and paint and I'm hoping that we can keep this interest alive.   

February 27, 2015

Two-Point Perspective Lesson

We learned a few simple rules about 2-point perspective in our Drawing I class last week.  As I've said before, I never had drawing lessons so I used to wing it!  Now at least I can intellectually know the rules and maybe even follow them when I choose.  You use 2-point perspective when you can see two sides, two planes of an object.

Drawing Boxes:   

1.  Establish your eyeline directly in front of your eyes and put the line on your paper. 

2.  Draw your vertical line for the corner of the box facing you. 

3.  Examine the two sides of the box to establish where your vanishing point (VP) will be for each side and mark them on your eyeline.  I find it difficult to figure out how far away the VP should be from my vertical and finally just played with this to see the kinds of boxes I could draw.  

4.  Draw a line from  the top and bottom of your first vertical line to your vanishing point - and then add another vertical between these lines to establish the size of each side of the box.

5.  Finally, add lines from the VP to the tops of the two new verticals. 

Here are examples of many boxes I drew in class.

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We then learned how to draw a corner inside a box - for example the corner of a room. 

1. Draw a horizontal line for your eyeline. 

2. Draw the vertical line from ceiling to floor. 

3.  Then put two vanishing points on your eyeline.

4.  But this time connect a line from the top and bottom of your vertical to the VP on the opposite side of the vertical.   This was hard for me to "see" at first, but here is my drawing for the corner of a room.  The green color is on the walls on both sides of the corner.

 

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Putting it all together:  In order to try to cement these concepts in my brain I drew a box on a rectangular table, looking toward the corner of our classroom.   I had to concentrate a great deal to make sure I just wasn't winging it!

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I look forward to warm days on the streets of Manhattan, playing with these new ideas.  Looking down a street of skyscrapers in Manhattan should be great fun to draw.  But not when it is 26 degrees at 3PM like today.