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September 16, 2009

Big NEWS!

I retired on July 1st and last night finally went to my first Figure Drawing session.  If you follow this blog, you know that I was practicing for this moment by sketching figures as 90 sec. sketches of posemaniac images, or 5 minute figures from one of two nude figure photo books for artists that I bought.  I'm very glad that I did the prep work over the last several years because I never felt overwhelmed last evening.

I met my dear friend Istar at the Society for Illustrators so I would be with someone who knew the location and process.  The setting is lovely - very open space, live music, a small bar for a glass of wine during the 20 minute break, and hundreds of inspiring illustations lining the walls on all floors.  We had two models - one short and full figured, the other tall, thin, and beautifully coifed.  I frequently couldn't see below their ankles, but on the short poses, I didn't even have time to worry about it.   

The 3 hours flew by - and I did all 19 sketches - 2, 5, 10, and 20 minutes in length.  I'm just so thrilled to finally sketch live models that I'm uploading a total of 7 to this page.  All of the sketches were done with a Koh-i-noor Progresso 6B pencil  on 8 x 11" paper in a Working Class Studio, bound, sketchbook that I bought for half-price at Barnes and Noble.  I have no idea where I got the pencil, but it was smooth and wonderful on the paper. 

Two of Ten 2 minute sketches:

2min2.91509.jpg

2min.91509.jpg 

 

Two of four 5 minute sketches:

5min.91509.jpg

Both 10 minute sketches:

10min.91509.jpg

10min2.91509.jpg 

 

Two of three 20 minute sketches: 

20min2.91509.jpg

20min.91509.jpg

September 13, 2009

Central Park Sketching Meetup Group

Today the group met at John Lennon's Strawberry Fields Imagine Mosaic and then walked to a rocky promontory on the Lake.  I stayed for 2 hours and did the following sketches - in bright sunshine.  It was a glorious day after a gray rainy Saturday

There were two turtles on a rock in the green-brown water - and I could just see their silhouettes.  In front of me, at the edge of the rocks were purple flowers that I had never seen before.  I spent most of the first hour watching for more turtles.

                       'Turtle.Flowers.jpg

Aprroximately 5 minutes before we met to share our sketchbooks, I quickly sketched and painted the lovely woman sketching in front of me. 

                Elsa.jpg

During the second hour, I moved to the other side of the rocks, faced south, and sketched the Central Park South skyline.  I was very happy that I brought my watercolor pencils with me to quickly block in the trees.

Skyline.Sept13.jpg

I'm really enjoying the Meetup Sketching sessions.  Although you can work on one thing for the entire time, the goal of the session is to sketch quickly in several different locations - which both sets parameters for space and time.  And it is so much fun to see the work of others - who may have had different tools and paper sizes, but had the same scene to observe and document that you did.

September 10, 2009

Recent Journal Pages

National Academy Museum:  I visited the National Academy Museum for the first time this week to see the current exhibit "Reconfiguring the Body in American Art."  The Museum and School of Art are in a wonderful building on Museum Mile in New York City, just north of the Met and Guggenheim.  I loved this bronze sculpture and sketched it with a watercolor pencil. 

                      Harvest.jpg

 

Cricket in Times Square:  Our oldest grandchild came for an overnight visit before starting school this week and we finished reading The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden, a book from our library from his mother's childhood.  We read 1-2 chapters right before bed each time he stayed overnight and he remembered the characters and plot better than I did.  After he went to bed, I sketched the main characters, based on the illustrations by Garth Williams.  Henry loved seeing the journal page in the morning and suggested that I do another page inspired by the Goodby Party that ends the book!

                      Cricket.jpg

Statue of Liberty:  We told Henry that he could choose what he wanted to do the following day and he requested a trip to the Statue of Liberty.  Like many New Yorkers, my husband and I had never been there.  We passed it on boats many times, but never landed on Liberty Island to see the Statue up close.   We had a fabulous time (in spite of long security check lines) - great boat rides to and from on the top deck, a visit to the Museum, a walk up 156 steps to the observation deck on the top of the pedestal, and a walk around the base.  We had 10 minutes before we caught the return boat and I sketched Lady Liberty very quickly and painted her at home.

                    StatueOfLiberty.jpg

 

 

August 31, 2009

Meetup Central Park Sketching and Drawing Group

Yesterday the Meetup Group met at the Alice in Wonderland Statue at the Conservatory Water (we call it the Toy Boat Pond) in Central Park. 

          alice_in_wonderland.jpg

 I was anxious to get home to our newest grandchild (Zachary), his brother Robbie, and Annabelle who came to meet her cousin Zachary this weekend.  Therefore, I only stayed for two rounds of sketches with the group.  The weather was wonderful and the Park, as I walked past the Boathouse and Bethesda Fountain, was wonderfully crowded.

For my first sketch, I did the Mad Hatter that is on the right front of the statue and painted him while there. 

Mad.Hatter.jpg

I then sketched Alice, from the right side of the statue, while drawing and sitting on a bench in the shade.  Only the mushroom was painted then - and I'm not sure whether I will add color.  My heart wants to dress her in a blue dress with a white apron like the children's book character instead of bronze!

Alice.in.Wonderland.jpg

My last drawing was of the White Rabbit and his pocket watch - again painted in bronze colors. 

White.Rabbit.jpg

My grandchildren have climbed on this statue many times over the last few years and it was great fun having the inspiration and time to really get to know it through drawing.

August 22, 2009

EDM Challenge #237: Under the Bed

In Manhattan apartments, there are whole organizational systems created for under bed storage.  But we've resisted so far and I have only 2 items under our bed.

My First Briefcase:  I bought this brown leather briefcase at Frost Brothers department store in San Antonio Texas in the late 70s and used it for many years while traveling back and forth to the Hospital.  When we moved to New York City in the early 90s, I found that a large leather bookbag with shoulder straps made it easier to walk between our apartment and my car, so my briefcase remained in my office 99% of the time.  When I retired in July I almost gave it away.  This was a great opportunity to create a memory drawing.  For now it will remain under our bed in a storage container.

Briefcase.jpg

My New Papercutter:  When I took a bookbinding class last year I worried about my ability to cut Davey board at home without the wonderful commercial papercutter that was in the Studio.  I traveled around our neighborhood - from places like Kinkos to Staples - trying out their copy center papercutters on my sample of the book board.  This X-acto paper cutter was the winner.  I have used it to cleanly cut book boards for 10 watercolor journals and keep it under the bed in its original box for safety and storage.

PaperCutter.jpg