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August 23, 2011

Winnie the Pooh's 90th Birthday

Pooh Bear was given to Christopher Robin Milne on his first birthday in 1921 and the New York Public Library celebrated his 90th birthday this past weekend.  Pooh, a gift from Harrods, was one of 5 of Christopher's stuffed toys that were used by his father A.A. Milne as the inspiration for the characters in his 4 Pooh books.  E.H. Shepherd also based his original illustrations on the toys.  The toys were given to the American publisher, E.F. Dutton, in 1947.  They in turn gave them to the New York Public Library in 1987.  This is a picture I took of Pooh Bear and Piglet on my visit Monday.

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Kanga, Tigger, Piglet, Pooh, and Eeyore live in a glass case in the Children's Library in the main NYPL Library Building on 5th Ave.

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I first saw these toys at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1970 and assumed they "lived" in London.  The Milne House is in London - in Chelsea, right off the King's Road.  So I was later thrilled to learn that they actually live in NYC and yesterday I went to the Library to sketch them in honor of Pooh's birthday.

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August 19, 2011

Figure Al Fresca -2

This week my friend Pat met me for lunch and then went to the Battery Park City Summer Drawing figure drawing session.  She always worries about whether it will be too hot, but the setting is beautiful, with cross breezes from the Hudson River.  This was a great opportunity for her to figure out whether she could sketch all of the poses on her iPad - and she could!

I'm used to 2 minute warmup poses and find the ten 1 minute poses at this site a real challenge.  But I thought I should share a few.  We did 12!

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The next drawings are from the 5 minute and 10 minute poses - with which I'm much more comfortable.  The model was terrific and suddenly, when you looked up, she had transitioned to a new pose effortlessly and quietly.

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The two hour session ended with a 20 minute pose.  I sketched her in brown watercolor pencil and then added watercolor and watercolor washes.

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August 11, 2011

Zach at the Central Park Zoo

We had our youngest grandchild, Zachary, with us for the weekend.  On Saturday morning we decided to take him to the Central Park Zoo and set off with stroller, diapers, snacks and camera.  As soon as we tried to put him in the stroller, he complained bitterly and stressed, "No stroller."  I asked him if he wanted to walk, preferring to avoid the fight, and he smiled and said yes.  Zach is one year old - soon to be 2.

I told my husband that he would get tired and ask to ride, and every several blocks I asked him if he was ready to ride.  I was walking at a regular pace and he was almost trotting, holding my hand.  Twenty-four blocks later we arrived at the Zoo - he walked and sometimes ran the entire way!!  In New York City, 20 uptown-downtown blocks equals one mile! 

And then he walked around the entire Zoo!  I find this phenomenal and told our son that he finally had someone who would be running and cycling with him in a few years!

Here he is watching the sea lion exhibit.  His shirt says Here Comes Trouble!

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 We always love the penguins.  I took photos while we watched them and sketched these later during naptime.

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Zach saw the polar bear, monkeys, and lots of birds.  Here he is walking ahead of me at the end of our visit.  And he was still full of energy!

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Here is my sketch, to make sure that I have memories of the wonderful day.

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August 8, 2011

Madison Square Park, New York City

I was walking home from City Quilter and specifically walked across Madison Square Park to see the summer sculpture, a 44 foot head by Spanish Artist Jaume Plensa.  I took photos of the head around 360 degrees, intending to draw it at some point, and failed to notice the honey colored squirrel that I almost stepped on.  So I photographed him/her as well.

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I am having problems with server crashes for my blog - and I think that the actual blog postings are visible, but it may be difficult leaving comments.  To those of you who visit, thank you.  I love having the opportunity to "meet you" through comments, so I'm hoping that the technical details can soon be fixed.  'Til then, I hope that you will keep trying....

August 3, 2011

Figure Drawing Outdoors at Battery Park City

Today my friend Teri and I went to "Figure al Fresco" for the first time.  This is a free art program held by the Battery Park Conservancy from May 1st through October 31st.  There is one model in clothes for 2 hours - and art supplies are provided free.  It is held in a lovely area of the Park, right along the Hudson River and the staff is very professional and attentive.

There were ten 1 minute poses (yikes!), five 2 minute poses, two 5 minute poses, and two 10 minute poses.  A light rain started right before the final pose - 20 minutes - so we gathered our sketchbooks and headed back to the subway. 

This is my favorite 2 minute pose - I always find sitting positions, facing forward, a challenge.  The model wore glasses, and was pulling on a sandal.

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Here are the 5 minute poses.  I use a 9B graphite pencil and there is lots of smudging on the page, and even some sketches from the other side of the page are visible.

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And the 10 minute poses:

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