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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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April 20, 2011

Sunday Sketchbook Pages

Our Central Park Drawing Meet-up Group met at Belvedere Castle, in the sun, on Sunday and I spent several delightful hours talking to and painting with Lillian Kennedy - a Boulder, Colorado artist.  One of her students put us in touch with each other and I was able to meet her before she began teaching students her New York City class.  She has a lovely blog and posts one video lesson per week,  Here is my Castle painting and a quick one of mini-daffodils that were blooming in the Shakespeare Garden below the Castle.

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Lillian and I went into the Met to see the Cezanne Card Player exhibit after the Meet-up Drawing session ended and I sketched, and then painted another card player for my collection.  This study by Cezanne is an oil painting - and I used watercolors instead.  Since painting is not permitted in the museum (or photography in this exhibit), I used a photo from the exhibit catalogue to do the painting at home.

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April 9, 2011

Sketching at the National Museum of the American Indian

Thursday morning I met my art friends Teri and Judy at the National Museum of the American Indian - NYC branch - to see and sketch in two exhibits.  Preston Singletary, a glass artist, uses symbols from his Tlingit Native American heritage and the pieces are magnificent.  I chose to draw these two glass sculptures because of the legends.

The first is the story of the Raven and the Sun.  This is the end of the story: ....as the beautiful ball of light reached him, the Raven captured it in his beak!  Moving his powerful wings, he burst through the smokehole in the roof of the house, and escaped into the darkness with his stolen treasure.  And that is how light came into the universe. 

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My second drawing was of an Oystercatcher Rattle - used by the shamans for healing.  The writing on the journal page, taken from a quote in the exhibit says: "In the old days things were made for a purpose, and there was a story and maybe even a dance that went along with it."  This sculpture represents the oystercatcher bird, and on his back we see the shaman, the seducer, and probably a goat.  These figures are very symbolic in this story.

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The other exhibit we saw was Small Spirits: Dolls from the National Museum of the American Indian.  I sketched one doll while at the exhibit and the second from a museum photo because I couldn't get the mother and child out of my mind.

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April 6, 2011

Sonia Delaunay at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum

There is a wonderful exhibit of Sonia Delaunay's textile designs, drawings, and paintings at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and my friend Pat and I spent the morning there today.  The website has a long video entitled Converation Among Friends and while watching it, in preparation for my visit, I sketched one of Sonia's friends.  She was wearing a Delaunay-designed scarf and a hat she made from Sonia's fabric.

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Today I sketched several of Sonia's fashion illustrations and many of her textile designs.  While I've seen an occasional one of her paintings, this exhibit was remarkable and her art so varied.  Here are two of her fashion illustrations that I copied.

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