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November 30, 2014

Grandma and Zach's Adventure on Saturday

Zach is our 5 year old grandson and the middle boy of our Son's 3 children.  His older brother is 9 and his younger brother is 2.  He thrives on a little bit of alone time with us and is one of the greatest kids to take on an adventure.  Several weeks ago he replaced his cousin for our regular New York Philharmonic Concert for Young People, and when he turns 6 he'll join his brother and two cousins for 4 concerts during the year.  I sketched Zach and his big brother while we were waiting to enter Avery Fisher Hall.

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He recently told me that he wanted to see Mood - the store with Swatch the dog and all of the fabric.  He saw the finale of Season 13 Project Runway and was fascinated.  Swatch was sleeping when we arrived at Mood, but we got a picture with him. 

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We watched ice skating in Bryant Park on our way to the Museum of Modern Art.

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At MoMA, we went to the Matisse Cut-Out exhibit, and Zach sketched a few collages before we went to the Matisse Open Studio to make some ourselves.   

 

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In the Beyond The Cut-Outs Studio, he made one page in the Studio that he loved so much that we made 3 color copies of it! 

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November 25, 2014

Matisse as a Set Designer

 Another Workshop Associated with the Beyond the Cut-Outs MoMA Matisse Studio:

"Artist Sarah Crowner references Matisse's work on set design by creating a large-scale, boldly colored curtain. In a daylong, interactive workshop, participants are invited to consider their surroundings and make cut-outs that reflect the geometry of New York City’s rich urban setting. The curtain is brought to life as a dynamic backdrop that integrates the individual cut-outs into a single decorative composition, unveiled at the end of the workshop as participants parade their collective design through the space. " 

My friends Pat and Ken were with me last week at this Open Studio Event - and within the space of 4 hours, a group of us decorated a 45 foot wide and 12 foot long multicolored curtain.  The  goal was to create collages that were inspired by Matisse to create a Cityscape, and we had many B and W photos of New York City and many Matisse art books to use as inspiration.

It was great fun to translate photos into shapes that were simplified silhouettes.  We had black Heat and Bond fusible fabric, and as we created each series of collages, the MoMA education team ironed them in place.  Here are 5 that I made from photos and one from several Matisse collage shapes.   

 

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After 4 hours, the MoMA team lifted the curtain and carried it to the balcony overlooking the Open Studio, and here is the end product.

 

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It was a wonderful project - and the team who guided us and did lots of ironing looks appropriately excited.  The curtain is currently folded up and will be brought out again sometime in the future. 

 

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November 21, 2014

Egon Schiele and Toulouse-Lautrec

My blog post today recounts two museum experiences this week.  The Neue Galerie is exhibiting Egon Schiele drawings and paintings, and I love to draw his figures, even the tortured looking ones.  This figure was drawn over a prepainted page.  When I'm away from home, I use up the extra liquid watercolor paint so I can close the palette by brushing it on sketchbook pages, starting on the last page of my watercolor sketchbook.

 

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At the very beginning of the exhibit I was really attracted to the very clean lines of this portrait of Karl Otten, and went back to try to capture it for myself.   Someday soon I may return to the exhibit just to draw several pages of Schiele hands!

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MoMA has a Toulouse-Lautrec Print exhibit that doesn't end until March.  This month they announced twice monthly figure drawing sessions associated with the exhibit and the first model and the props really captured the Café Society that Toulouse-Lautrec loved.  While I was waiting for the session to begin, I made a quick sketch from the artist book on my table on another prepainted page.

 

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I'm posting the first few and last few figure drawings that I did.  The one on the right was a one minute warm-up and the only one I sketched with her form-fitting, one-shoulder black knit dress with very long fringe and black bootie.

In the one on the left you can see her long black gloves and the tulle fascinator she wore on her head.

 

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There were café props - cocktails, champagne, hats, cane, boa to name a few.  These were the last few drawings I did - each not more than 5 minutes.  The Art Educator really structured the experience - and the 90 minutes moved along very quickly.  The museum will continue these sessions twice monthly through March.

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November 18, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Semester 3 - Danny Gregory

Danny Gregory was the last artist in the 6 week Sketchbook Skool Semester 3 "Storytelling" online course.  He moved from LA to NYC immediately before, driving the entire way.  So his sketchbook tours and demonstrations were all from his cross-country journey.  His parting gift to us was a full PDF copy of his travel journal! 

Our homework was to take a trip, even around our home or neighborhood, and to document it in pictures and words.  My journey was one day in my life - and I have 3 Sketchbook pages for the "trip."

I left my apartment at 8AM, and took a bus and subway to my ballet class.  After ballet, I did a few errands and then took the Subway to the NYC Garment District to meet my daughter who needed advice on supplies to make for her childrens' teachers' holiday presents.  We had lunch on the Upper Eastside and then I returned home - leaving several hours later to go to the Theater District in midtown for a play reading.  Here are the pages - the writing is probably unintelligible!

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 The part of Cora Flood was played by Annie Parisi who I really love!

 

I took Sketchbook Skool Semesters 2 and now 3.  Even though I belong to Everyday Matters, and am familiar with many of the teachers, I find the format of the course incredibly interesting.  This semester I still need to work on homework from my imagination by Mattias Adolphson, A poster or book cover from Jean-Christophe Defline, and drawing bodies in motion like Veronica Lawlor.  These are wonderful challenges for me and should keep me busy until Semester 4.  Can't wait for the announcement of the next theme and lineup of teachers.

 

November 14, 2014

MoMA and Matisse - Part 2

I've been back to MoMA and the Matisse Programs two more times - attending two free workshops set up in the Education Building Studio area.  Elaine Reichek, a New York artist took us through the exhibit briefly, highlighting Matisse's designs for scarves and a tapestry, and then provided us with materials and inspiration to make fabric collages of our own.  I embroidered a felt collage shape that I sketched from Matisse's 1001 Nights (in the exhibit) and then layered the felt collage onto cotton and linen with machine stitching when I got home.  I even fringed the linen and stitched a few pomegranates as Matisse might have done. 

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This week I attended a handmade paper workshop sponsored by the Matisse Education staff and presented by Dieu Donne, a NYC-based Studio.  We each made 1-2 pieces of cotton paper and added designs with stencils and pigment, or paper/fabric collage, during the paper making process.  I made one piece and used colored fabrics and pieces of a dictionary page for my collage. 

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The ripples around the edge are expected when there are materials that have different rates of drying.  The grayish color is due to the scanning process - they are actually a lovely edge feature.

 

I was working in the Matisse "Beyond the Cut-Outs" Open Studio after the workshop, just as several MoMA studio staff where adding more fabric pieces to one of the supply bins for us to use.  I was mesmerized by 2 pieces of taffeta and immediately used them as the background for a paper/fabric collage I was making.  The sketches were done previously by me and I just resized them to use for the collage on the copier that is available in the Open Studio.  I machine stitched the layers together at home to finish them. 

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Two years ago MoMA had an Open Studio in conjunction with two large Print Exhibits and I was there 8 times over 2 months.  I find that it is pure play  - the materials are not mine, there are many supplies that are inspiring, and color copies of our projects are added to several large boards, in rotation.  I am also working on a series of dancer collages that I posted in Matisse- part 1.  This week I cut up copies of each of them and used them to make another iteration.  What next?  Who knows what will inspire me next week.