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December 9, 2010

Visual Journal Pages - Random

I love to create journal pages that reflect my daily life - and post them only occasionally to my blog.  Since I started sketching daily in Jan 2007, I filled 33 sketchbooks in addition to travel sketchbooks and those devoted to figure drawing.  Here are 3 recent daily pages that I like:

I volunteer for Goddard Riverside, a settlement house on the Upper Westside of New York, sorting new books donated by publishers each Fall and then working at the annual Book Fair where the books are sold for 50% or less.  This page was created by sketching the main characters of 3 books that I bought for our grandchildren.

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We take our oldest Grandson to 4 NY Philharmonic Young Peoples' Concerts each year and he gets to try instruments in the Kidzone, which is held the hour before the concert.  Last Saturday was a concert on Baroque music and he was able to try the harpsichord, and play a violin (which he does anyway.)  The violinist picture on this page is the image from the Kidzone violin site in Avery Fisher Hall.

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I spent last weekend planning and making some Christmas gifts for the children and decided to draw a grid page, in case I want to make some fun foam stamps for the season.

 

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October 30, 2010

Inspiration from the Recent Picasso Exhibit

Our Journal Study Group went together to see the recent Picasso exhibit at the Met.  Picasso's linocut reinterpretation of a Lucas Cranach II painting made us wonder whether could reinterpret a master painting and make a print using fun foam stamps. 

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              Lucas Cranach II, Portrait of a Woman, 1564

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   Pablo Picasso, Portrait of a Woman after Lucas Cranach II, 1564

Pat developed a method for this challenge and published a recent article about it (faux silk screen printing) in the September/October issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. 

As we exited the Picasso exhibit, Melanie and I saw Cranach The Elder's painting of Judith with the Head of Holofernes and we immediately selected it for our challenge.  Pat selected a painting of St. Jerome by El Greco.  Today we gathered around my dining room table and made our prints.

I took a photo of the painting in the Met and made a painting in my sketchbook in preparation.  Today I traced it, transferred the image to adhesive backed fun foam, and made multiple stamps (at least 12!).  Here are the 3 images. 

Cranach Painting

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   Lucas Cranach the Elder, Judith With the Head of Holofernes, 1530

My Sketchbook Page

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My Stamped Image:  approximately 6 X 9"

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I ran out of room on my sketchbook page and didn't draw Holofernes' head.  I'll need to do it separately, make stamps, and add it to my next print. 

Go here to see Melanie Testa's print ( she has his head!) and here to see Pat Gaignat's print.  We agreed to each upload our prints this morning.  I thought for sure that Pat was going to describe me carving stamps with a box cutter or upload a photo of the mess I created, but she didn't.  She did however, talk about the men outside my window.  Our apartment building is in the final phase of facade repair, and since we live on the second floor, the scaffolds are right outside our windows.  Over the last year Pat has taken many photos of "the men."

We had lots of fun while working on our project, learning and experimenting as we went.  My drawing was biggest and I failed to simplify enough, so they were pushing me along. They wanted me to get done so I could make a tag for each of them before they left!  See the tags on Pat's blog post this morning.

October 14, 2010

I was the lucky recipient of 3 of the new Strathmore Visual Journals from Rice Freeman-Zachary,  and I promised that I would use them and share my comments.  

These are very nicely sized books (5.5 X 8 inches) - not too big for purses, backpacks etc and not too small for those of us that like generous sized pages for their daily sketches. They have a thin first page with information about the journal which can be ripped off revealing a plain, sturdy brown front cover that is aesthetically more pleasing if you will keep the journals. Both front and back covers are very sturdy and make it very easy to sketch and paint in the books without other support. However, they are spiral - which means you need to learn to deal with the metal when drawing close to the edge of the page. And it may be tempting to remove pages that you don't like.


My first 7 daily journals were very similar in format - but with thinner covers and paper. I had problems working freely in journals that felt too precious and wrote essays about "journal angst." These sketchbooks would be good for beginners and for anyone suffering from similar angst.

Yesterday I followed Jane LaFazio's tutorial on mixed media journal pages - gluing on a map of Manhattan, then lightly painting the glossy map with Golden absorbent ground and then drawing and painting with pigma micron pens and watercolor washes.  The paper in this 90lb Strathmore Mixed-Media Visual Journal buckled a little, but I was able to scan it without scanner shadows from paper buckling.

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I will periodically upload pages that I do in the 2 other Strathmore Visual Journals - the 90 lb watercolor journal and the 100 lb Bristol-vellum journal.  I already have 3 pages done in each and love the playful attitude that I have about using them.  I still love my handbound, cased-in, watercolor journals with 140 lb watercolor paper, especially now that I am also dying fabric for the book cloth.  But these Strathmore journals are really easy to pick up and use when you just want to experiment and draw/paint something.

October 12, 2010

Tudor City and UN Plaza, Manhattan

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group went to Tudor City, in Manhattan, this weekend.  It is a lovely apartment complex with quiet parks embedded among the buildings, and it overlooks the United Nations Plaza.  Here are the two sketches that I did while we were there.   

The Tudor buildings have wonderful architecture and I was captivated by this stained glass window, with gold lights shining through.

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For our second sketch session, my friend Benedicte and I sat on a bench overlooking the UN Plaza and sketched the buildings.  The group will next sketch in Battery Park, another place in the City that I don't know very well.

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October 5, 2010

Figure Drawings from September

Thursday evening at the Society of Illustrators is with "costumes."  At my last session, both models were dressed as gun molls - and sketching was much more difficult than usual.  Here are several of my drawings that were "least bad."

Two Minute Poses:

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Five Minute Pose:

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Ten Minute Pose:

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My current sketchbook is too big for my scanner, and I can't prevent the shadows on these drawings without transforming them in Photoshop like I did in the middle pose.  While drawing these, we were listening to a 3 piece jazz combo - a real treat that is part of the experience at the Society of Illustrators.