Page 6 of 108

March 14, 2020

Drawing at Museum Exhibits February 2020

On Thursday March 12th New York City began a shut down due to the community spread of Coronavirus.  The period of containment was over and as early as March 2nd we knew that a 50 year old patient in Westchester, with no history of travel or exposure to known COVID 19 patients, was evidence that we now had community spread of the virus and were in the beginning of an epidemic here in the US.  Our governments inability to prepare for this and very limited test availability has substantially increased the infection rate.

My husband and I are both retired physicians and spent our lives dealing with isolation, both to protect us and reverse isolation to protect our sickest patients.  We made a decision right then that we would begin "social distancing," at first by clearing our calendar for March and avoiding public transportation.  The deaths in China were very high for those over 65 and we are both in an even more vulnerable age group.  As these two weeks passed, we limited our time outside our apartment even more and now take short solitary daily walks for fresh air and spend the rest of the time in our apartment.  My husband walks in Central Park and I walk in our neighborhood along uncrowded streets.   

The drawings posted today were from before March 1st: from USK at the Met in the SAHEL exhibit and with a friend at the Whitney at the Vida Americana exhibit.   

Sahel at the Met:  A wonderful large sculpture



Vida Americana at the Whitney - A large wooden sculpture


Stay safe and stay healthy!  Read lots.  I do one quick drawing on each walk and don't finish it until I come home.   

March 10, 2020

Quick Daily Walk Drawings: Lion, Dog, and Cat

I am enjoying my daily walks and for the first time in months, I am drawing daily.  As I tour the neighborhood I pause for a few minutes if something appeals to me and do a quick sketch, finishing it later at home.  Last week I walked 1 mile in my neighborhood each day and this week I increased each to 1.5 miles - mainly as exercise for my back.  I used a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for the ink.

This is a stone lion sculpture in the window of a nearby bookstore.  



This was one of several simple drawings on the windows of a Vetinary Clinic.



March 4, 2020

Sketching on My Daily Walks

During my years in Medicine I was exposed to many contagious diseases, and was a young faculty member when we started to recognize HIV infections and develop appropriate methods for safely drawing blood and doing bone marrow aspirates and biopsies.  But epidemics of newly emerging respiratory viruses and ebola were limited mostly to other continents.  That will not be the case now, and living in densely populated NYC means increased exposure, and morbidity, with the coronavirus once you are in the vulnerable age range.  The first case in NYC (traveler from Iran) was announced on Sunday, and the second patient (with no obvious source and exposure to many people) was announced yesterday.  My husband and I have the luxury of staying home now, with daily walks in the neighborhood, and I take my sketchbook with me for a really quick sketch each day.  I also have a big pile of used books to read to keep me happy!

I was walking along a quiet side street on Monday when I suddenly saw a townhouse already decorated for St. Patrick's Day.  The leprechaun wasn't the only decoration, but it was the largest.  I used to wear green every St Patrick's Day to honor my Irish Grandfather.  Then I did extensive family research 2 decades ago only to discover that his entire family came from County Armagh in Northern Ireland in the 1880s.  Orange should be my color.



I'll try to continue my walks and sketching, weather permitting, with an added benefit of exercising my back.

February 28, 2020

Juilliard Concert and the NY Society Library

I carry a very small purse when I'm moving around in New York City, but always have blank white index cards and a mechanical pencil in there.  At concerts, I never know whether I will be able to draw, and I've left a sketchbook in an auditorium (but quickly recovered it) and rarely bring one anymore.  This week I had a perfect view of the conductor at the Juilliard Orchestra Concert at Carnegie Hall.  And I also had a lovely violist straight in front of me.  The conductor David Robertson was in tails and I love watching, but not drawing, how much he moves.


NOTE:  Graphite Smudges! 

The NY Society Library was founded in 1754 and is contained in a Townhouse on the Upper Eastside.  It is a subscription library but non-members can enter the first floor reading room, and the second floor exhibit space.  The weekday Urban Sketchers met there at 10, and I could only stay an hour and didn't even bring my sketchbook.  After I saw the exhibit I went to the reading room to browse and sketched  "what was in front of me" on my index card. 



February 21, 2020

Artist Will Barnet at Alexandre Gallery

I first learned about artist Will Barnet in 2011 when The National Academy Museum in NYC had a 100 year retrospective for him.  He was able to attend the opening and visited it several more times, dying at 101 in Nov 2012.  I loved his stylistic, flat paintings and know his work through that exhibit, a second one in the same Museum in 2015, and two gallery shows at Alexandre Gallery at 724 5th Avenue (Current exhibit closing March 7th).  I sketched and painted only one corner of his painting called Three Generations to remember my visit to the exhibit. 



At one of the Museum shows I learned that he used vellum to sketch on, and used additional layers of vellum to further simplify the images in sequence. I always meant to try that, but forgot about it over the recent years.

In the gallery exhibit they had several examples of his vellum drawings, side-by-side with the finished painting.  I loved the way that his wife Elena became a painting in the painting, and his arm went around her and into the painting.