Main
Page 52 of 89

January 31, 2012

An Afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio

The Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with two upcoming exhibits  (Print/Out and Printin'), set up a Print Studio in the Education Building.  I spent the afternoon there yesterday and made a small collage book.

The "heart of the Print Studio" is a collection of books known as the Reanimation Library.  It is fascinating and well worth reading about the development of the collection and its permanent home in Brooklyn.  It was developed as a resource for all artists, regardless of their medium. 

When I arrived, I met my friend Judy and had a little tour of the Print Studio.  Here is an overhead photo of the space, with the Reanimation Library on the back wall, copiers, scanners, and computers in the back corner, and work tables for visitors supplied with a variety of art tools and paper.

P1180087.size.jpg

I don't have much experience with collage and wanted to make one during the afternoon.  One of the staff said, "Why don't you make a book?  We haven't had anyone do that yet."  I browsed books on the shelves and pulled 6 that had interesting illustrations and photos, and was immediately drawn to one called The Story of Writing.  I love text mixed with images and made some copies of great alphabets from the book.  I then made a few copies from a Science text called Pathways in Science:  The Next Generation and settled down to "play."

I folded 2 folios and added images that appealed to me for the front cover.  I really intended to make this a book about text and writing.  Pages 2 and 3 were from the frontpiece of the science book - a wonderful bookplate for assigning the book to students and the title page with the stamp for the Reanimation Library on the title page.  I was still interested in pursuing the theme of language and writing - and the next thing I knew, I was making a book about human reproduction and the inheritence of genetic traits.  I was very much in the zone and channeling in a unique way.  Fascinating what our brains do if left to wander!

At the very end of my "art play," I opened the 3rd book I brought from the shelves, The Atlas of Human Anatomy, and copied a pregnant uterus for one final collage.  At the end I sketched a human figure and cell, some genetic symbols, and added watercolor pencil and stamps.    

Here are the pages of my finished pamphlet stitched booklet. 

P1180088.size.jpg

P1180089.size.jpg

P1180090.size.jpg

P1180091.size.jpg

P1180092.size.jpg

 

 

November 18, 2011

Light and Shadow

I read about Dr. K. Anders Ericsson's  research on "deliberate practice" on Donna Zagotta's blog and realized that my pathway since 2005 mirrors many of the concepts. 

Donna wrote "The essence of Deliberate Practice for artists is pushing ourselves just beyond what we can currently do in order to take our art to where we really want it to go. Deliberate Practice involves two kinds of learning: improving the skills you already have, and the acquisition of new skills. Dr. Ericsson’s message is not to rely on repetition and experience to teach expertise, but to deliberately practice the expertise you want to master."

I practice drawing and painting through daily sketchbook pages and try to move out of my comfort zone to improve my skills.  My drawings and paintings copied from the Masters appear regularly on this blog, and with each one that I do, I hope that I am refining my techniques.

I need lots of practice painting light and shadows

While walking across Park Ave at 49th St. I saw perfect sunshine lighting the south side of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church and took a photo.  This is my painting from the photo.

                  Scan11060.size.jpg

One month later, my oldest son sent me this photo of him running the New York Marathon.  It is from the official feed from the race.

Scan11069.size.jpg

October 29, 2011

A Day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Our Journal Study Group, minus Teri, went to the preview of the new Islamic Art Galleries at the Met this week.  Wow!  The space was closed in 2003 for renovation and they even brought in artisans from Fez, Morocco to create special architectural decorations.  There are 15 galleries full of amazing art - beautifully arranged.  At the end of our walk through all 15 galleries, we split up and each went to sketch one thing - meeting 30 minutes later to share our sketchbooks and go to lunch.

I sketched 5 very small (3 inches high or less), wonderfully decorated cosmetic flasks which were used to hold Kohl powder.  The notes said that the powder was picked up with a small brush inserted through the tiny hole on the top.  They were made in the 10th-12th C in Iran or Central Asia.  I put the shapes of a gorgeous vase and an ewer behind them to add some scale and contrast.

Scan11055.size.jpg

After lunch we went to "Stieglitz and his Artists: Matisse to O'Keefe"  This was his personal art collection - much of it from artists he supported in the early part of the 20th C..  It was my second visit to this exhibit and I'm sure not my last. 

Alfred Stieglitz introduced America to Matisse and Picasso through shows at his gallery "291."  Both artists were later exhibited in the famous 1913 Armory Show (International Exhibition of Modern Art) which was a landmark exhibition.  These drawings from 291 were donated to the Met and were among the first pieces by either artist in the Met's collection. 

The first time I went, I sketched an early Matisse drawing in order to learn more about his "lines."  It is called "Nude With Bracelets" (1909).   Scan11054.size.jpg

 

During the second visit I sketched another Matisse nude and a very small Picasso drawing done on ledger paper.  I was able to link to the originals from the Met's Collection.

Matisse Reclining Nude (1907) and Picasso Study of a Harlequin (1904-5 to show the originals)

                      Scan11056.size.jpg

 

October 25, 2011

Doodling in Class

My husband and I are taking a course at Columbia about Art vs Culture.  It is a small discussion class at the Heyman Center and the first text that we read was The Two Cultures - a transcription of the 1959 lecture at Cambridge by CP Snow.  The "artists" were the great writers of the time and the scientists were in the hard sciences - physics, chemistry, and mathematics.  The premise was that these cultures were so different, that artists and scientists could not communicate with each other.

This past week we began class by reading Genesis 3 to reflect on the tree of life and tree of knowledge and then went on to consider 4 discussions between artists and scientists.  Scientists are making rapid technological advances ( like cloning), but are the "artists" capable of understanding and discussing the possible perils of these discoveries, thus beginning a dialogue about good and evil inherent in them?  Can they be translators for the society at large. 

Just because we can DO something, should we DO it? 

I doodle to keep my mind on the discussion - and here is my tree of knowledge and two classmates - all scribbled on the back of a handout with ball point pen.

Scan11053.size.jpg

October 11, 2011

Picasso's Drawings - 1890-1921

Picasso's drawings, from 1890 (age 9) to 1921 are currently on exhibit at the Frick Collection.  My husband and I walked down for a quick visit this past weekend and this is a drawing inspired by one of his standing nudes.  The fountain and plant were added later when I sat down with my husband in the Garden Court of the museum.

The drawings combine his early, very realistic style, with an evolving cubist style - and he was a master of both.  The majority of the drawings, and a video about the exhibit can be seen here.  I was disappointed that the one I chose to draw is not one of the drawings that is reproduced.

 

Scan11041.size.jpg