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February 16, 2012

Figure Drawing - Feb 14, 2012

Here are several sketches from Valentine's Day at the Society of Illustrators.  One of the models had on a red sequin headband and red net stockings - one of which is visible on her leg in the first sketch while the other one is wrapped around her wrist.  This is a 10 minute pose.

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The remaining two drawings are from the 20 minute poses.  I sketched the models with a watercolor pencil and then brushed on clear water in the last few minutes to achieve some shading.

These drawings are on 9 X 12" watercolor paper and are too big for my scanner.  The photograph background color was adjusted a little in Photoshop.

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February 7, 2012

MoMA Print Studio and Another Collage Book

I spent the afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio again today,  

When I arrived, I selected six books from the Reanimation Library, and made some color copies of interesting photos and illustrations.  At that moment I had no specific creative ideas, except to make another small pamphlet book.  While I was looking at my copies, a paper mask ink drawing from Joseph Leeming's book, Fun With Paper, made me think of Venice - and I was inspired to make a book using colors and images that remind me of our visits.

The books I pulled,  making an average of 3 copies per book, were:  Hornung's Handbook of Designs and DevicesTalk With Your Hands, Interior Design, Stage Make-up, The Printed Picture, and Fun With Paper.  The images that I used from last time were from the book The Story of Writing.  It amazes me that such random and quickly chosen illustrations/photos can inspire creative ideas on such a different topic.

I had enough random images to use when I combined these copies and I happily tore paper and glued it in place for the next two hours.  The only new image I copied while working was the photo of Venice on the last page and that came from a book entitled Around the World in 2,000 Pictures.  

I used ink, stamps and watercolor pencils over the images after everything was glued in place and stitched the two folios together using linen thread and a pamphlet stitch.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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