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May 21, 2011

A Day in Brooklyn

I met my friends Pat, Melly, and Gwen in Brooklyn  on Friday to celebrate Melly's upswing week (week 3 after chemotherapy) and had a wonderful day wandering the Botanic Garden and the Art Museum.  It was my first visit to the Gardens - WOW!  The wisteria and tree peonies were unbelievable.  The website says there are 300 tree peonies in bloom!  Go see Melly and Gwen's blogs for their sketchbook pages and some photos from the day. 

I sketched a little (in pen) as I walked and Gwen taught us about the Chelidonium Magus plant whose sap was used as pigment in Medieval manuscripts.  The yellow squiggly lines and the yellow flower on my sketchbook page are all from the sap of the leaves when you break one off the stem!  Amazing!

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After a lovely lunch on the patio in the Gardens, we walked next door to the Art Museum and spent most of the time sketching in the African Arts section.

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Then we took a quick tour of Judy Chicago's Dinner Party and the current exhibit in the Feminist Art Center.  It was a fantastic day - and a very easy trip for me from Manhattan to Brooklyn by subway.

May 15, 2011

Meetup Central Park Drawing - Saturday

The Meetup Central Park Drawing Group met at the Conservatory Garden for our usual Spring session - and I was attracted, as always, to the two beautiful fountains.  This time I only sketched one of the Dancing Maidens, not all 3.   Jesse, the group leader,photographs all of the drawings and uploads them to the website for the event.  Next time we return to Bethesda Fountain and Plaza.

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By the time we moved to the south section of the Garden, the wedding around the other fountain had ended and I was able to paint the nymph and flute player.

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May 12, 2011

Every Day in May

I participated in the Everyday in May Challenge for several years by uploading my daily journal sketch to my blog everyday.  It was a good way for me to combat my inner critic a little - because the quality and my happiness with the sketches varied greatly.  This year I decided not to post daily, but to post more frequently than my usual schedule of twice per week. 

Monday we took our 4 year old grandson to the Empire State Building.  His two siblings have been there and he wanted to go.  This page has a prepainted background and then a collage cut from one of the brochures they passed out there.

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Tuesday I made my weekly drive to NJ to visit my 93 year old mother.  She fell in Nov. fracturing both her right hip and shoulder.  It was a beautiful day and we sat outside in the sun next to a gorgeous pink dogwood tree.  The background was prepainted, and the dogwood blossom and lady are collages.  The woman (Lady in the Park by August Macke) is one of the drawings I did at the German Expressionist exhibit during my 2nd visit.

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Prepainted backgrounds and collage are part of Roz Stendahl's Strathmore Journal class this month.

Wednesday I took my husband and met friends back at the German Expressionist exhibit at MoMA.  I really love it and enjoy drawing my way from the beginning to the end.  These are two journal pages of drawings done yesterday.

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April 29, 2011

Branching Out - Notes from German Expressionism at MoMA

The Sketchbook Challenge for April is "branching out" and I definitely added another way of sketching in my watercolor journal during this time.   

I went back to the German Expressionism exhibit at MoMA on Monday, and took notes and made some drawings from the Bridge and Blue Rider artists -  while listening to a Gallery Conversation by a MoMA employee.  I usually don't take notes and make small drawings in my watercolor sketchbook, but wanted to remember some of the images from the woodcuts and other prints he was discussing.

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April 23, 2011

Plein Air Painting

I don't consider myself a plein air painter because I really don't like to paint landscapes.  My sketching around the city, to me, is urban sketching - and these are two very different things in my mind.  So when Lillian Kennedy (the Boulder Colorado artist who I featured in the last blog post) invited me to sketch in Central Park, I was a little nervous.  But when she called to tell me she was at Bethesda Fountain, I decided I could draw and paint that - and already have several times.  Still, we were sitting back on the hill and I had to include more landscape than I am comfortable with.  But it was good for me! 

And we were serenaded while being blown around a bit by the wind - necessitating a walk to Pain Quotidien for hot coffee - which is actually in Central Park.  Lillian had to teach me that!

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We also were in a spot that is a favorite for wedding photos and here you can see Lillian's painting, her acrylic paint set-up, and the groom adjusting the bride's dress for the photographer.

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