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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.   



February 19, 2020

Quick Sidewalk Sketches

Random people sketched in front of the Plaza Hotel:

I was waiting in front of the hotel and these two people stopped just long enough for me to do a quick sketch using an Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil.  Water was added later to spread the color.  I carry one of these pencils in my small purse with some blank index cards which makes it easier to not attract attention.


February 11, 2020

Juilliard Concert and Grand Jury Summons

Concert Evening:  My husband and I went to a wonderful Juilliard Concert last evening.  The Historical Presentation Graduate Students ( Juilliard 415) and the Juilliard Orchestra, performed on the same stage for the first time.  We love to go to the Classical and Jazz Concerts performed at Juilliard and the ticket prices are terrific.  I quickly sketched the conductor Nicholas McGegan, who was the most active conductor I've ever seen, and several musicians close to him. 



Grand Jury Summons : Two weeks ago I received a summons for the Manhattan Grand Jury.  If selected you meet either every day for 2 weeks or half days for one month.  I thought for sure that I was over the age limit, only to learn that they have no age limit, and in fact my year of birth was printed on the summons.  They were seating 2 Grand Juries (46 jurors total) and jurors are selected randomly by cards pulled from a drum.  For the second time in the last decade I was not one of the randomly selected jurors - making me especially happy because I currently have a flare of low back pain.  This young woman sitting next to me was selected after I sketched her.



January 31, 2020

Master Drawing Week 2020

This past week was Master Drawing Week in NYC.  Galleries on the Upper East Side mount special exhibits of master drawings - from the 1600s through moderns like Matisse and Picasso.  They have a booklet you can pick up with a map and information in the participating galleries.  You can also download a map at this link: 

The galleries will still be open today and tomorrow.  I go with my artist friends yearly and we rarely have time to draw anything in our sketchbooks to remember the day.  Yesterday I did two very quick sketches.