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May 9, 2010

Everyday in May - 9

Yesterday was our monthly Saturday Meet-up Central Park Drawing and Art Group - and we met at Columbus Circle.  It was a beautiful day but very windy.  My eye immediately went to these purple flowers.  I'll add several photos so I can get help identifying them.  The entire circle was surrounded by these long stem beauties.




We then moved into Central Park to the area around the childrens' playground and the big climbing rock.  It was much less windy and more pleasant for 30 minutes of sketching.  I chose to do a painting of the top of the GM building over the park trees. 


Finally we moved further into Central Park and climbed to the Chess and Checker House.  There were only a few people playing, I was sitting too close to this couple, so I have a semi-caricature because I couldn't really stare at them long enough to sketch anything accurately.



May 8, 2010

Every Day in May - 8

This is a preliminary drawing that I did of an apartment building on the Upper Westside of Manhattan.  I promised a larger painting and just wanted to play with the angles and perspective in my sketch book.

I'd love some suggestions for mixing a really good dirty brick color.


April 28, 2010

Central Park Sketching and Art Meet up Group

Our Meet-up Group is now meeting twice each month - and because of a very rainy Sunday, we met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this week.  I went over early so I could see the Members Preview of the new Picasso exhibit.  It is a collection of the Met's Picasso holdings and it is really impressive.  In the second room they have the collection of small caricatures that he did of his artist friends in Barcelona ca 1900.  I fell in love with these when they were in the Barcelona Modernity exhibit several years ago and took a few minutes to sketch one.


Our Meet-up group then did several 30 minute sketching sessions in the American Wing of the Museum and shared our sketchbooks after each one.  I sketched a sculpture in the Atrium, an art nouveau Roseville Vase on the Mezzanine, and a painting by Robert Reid in the Gallery.





April 23, 2010

Museum of Modern Art Visit

I spent several hours at the Museum of Modern Art today - primarily to see the Tim Burton exhibit before it closes on Sunday.  There are hundreds of drawings and many sculptures.  Many of the drawings are from sketchbooks and many are preparative pieces for his movies.  The exhibit was sold out today, and the crowd was young and enthusiastic as noted in the NY Times piece below. 

Tim Burton Retrospective:  THE mouth of a giant monster, its razor-sharp teeth glaring overhead and its tongue forming a long red carpet, ushers visitors into the Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Although the intentionally lighthearted chronicle of the filmmaker’s work received only mixed reviews when it opened in November, Mr. Burton’s fans don’t seem to care. More than 450,000 people have already attended the show, and by the time it closes on April 26, attendance is expected to exceed that of recent blockbusters like the museum’s “Van Gogh: The Colors of the Night” last year and “Dali: Painting and Film,” in 2008.  

Visitors to the show are relatively young, somewhere in their 30s on average, which makes them a decade younger than usual for MoMA, recent surveys showed. And a surprising one-third of this audience had never stepped foot in the museum before.
I loved this sculpture entitled Robot Boy, 2000.
Marina Abramovic:  The Artist is Present  Marina Abramovic has a controversial exhibit at the Museum, that I did not see.  However, the performance artist herself is sitting all day, everyday in the large 2nd floor atrium as described in the New York Times piece below.

From The New York Times  March 11, 2010  "She’s scheduled to sit there all day, every day, during museum hours, for the run of her show. The museum estimates that, if she can stick to the plan, she will sit for 716 hours and 30 minutes, earning her a record for endurance in the performance art sweepstakes.  And every now and then someone will slip into that chair across from her — that’s what it’s there for — and spend some time exchanging stares, or energy, or going blank, or thinking, maybe for the first time, about that hard, high-flown, funny word “endure.”

Today there was a line of people who wanted to sit and stare at her - usually for 30-45 minutes each.  Someone I spoke to said that she sat with her 3 times already since the show started- it is like meditation!  I don't get it, but it was fun to sit there and sketch her.  She never moved a muscle!




April 16, 2010

Family Research

In 2000 my husband and I realized that we knew little about our ancestry, and family members who knew the information were aging.  We decided that we would like information about our family at least back to our great grandparents.  I honestly believed that this was going to be a combined project, but I loved doing the research and problem solving and my husband loved learning about my discoveries.  My ancestors were all in America by 1880 - pre-Ellis Island.  My husband's family only started to arrive in 1900, so the approach and the records were vastly different.  I love learning new things and New York City has wonderful resources between the New York Branch of the National Archives and the Milstein Division of the New York Public Library. 

Over the course of the next several years, I easily completed research back to our great grandparents - with census records, passenger lists, naturalization papers, and birth-marriage-death certificates, solving a few family mysteries along the way.  However, the family that I knew the least about was "Parker" - my maiden name.  One of my goals this year was to review my research records and resume the search. 

 These 3 journal pages were done as I prepared for the project. 


I kept detailed research journals since the beginning of my research - and I'm now on #8 (4000pages)!



Packing for Research Day: I spent all day Tuesday at the New York Public Library - trying hard to find the father of my Great-great grandfather John Parker, in Wilkes County, North Carolina - through marriage bonds, land deeds, estate sales and inventories - collecting information about every Parker head of household in Wilkes County in 1820.  I will continue to research these Parkers until I have enough information - but research in the South is very different because the records are so different and so many were lost in burned courthouses during the Civil War.