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June 29, 2009

Recent Sketchbook Pages

I was invited to hand applique a subway mosaic square for the 2011 Raffle Quilt for the Empire Quilt Guild in Manhattan.  I chose a photo that I really liked only to find out that it was a mosaic of King's College which later became Columbia University.  We are a Columbia family - with 6 undergraduate and graduate degrees among my husband and children.  I went down to the Chambers Street IRT station to see and photograph these old platform mosaics and then sketched and painted one as I planned my quilt applique square.

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My husband and I went to the James Ensor exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday.  I knew very little about the artist, and enjoyed seeing his paintings.  But of course his sketchbook and drawings were the highlight for me.  Since the sun was out, and we were so tired of daily rain, we sat in the Sculpture Garden where I sketched Picasso's She Goat and my husband did the Saturday NY Times crossword puzzle.

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Today I retired, almost exactly 40 years after I graduated from medical school.  During that time I worked at the University of Chicago, The University of California at San Diego, The University of Texas in San Antonio, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  In those 40 years, the number of women increased from <10% of each medical school class to slightly more than 50% of each class.  There was no day care when my first child was born, and 3 year olds were only "supposed" to be away from their mothers and in nursery school two mornings each week.  I loved my career, but my greatest joy was my 3 children and now my grandchildren.  I feel fortunate that I have so many active interests that I will never be bored.  I sketched my work suit from today to my bathing suit for the beach on Thursday!

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May 25, 2009

Every Day in May - 25

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My husband and I planned a quiet holiday weekend exploring Central Park.  On Saturday we walked uo to the Harlem Meer on the Northeast corner of the park.  Today we walked up to the Northwest corner of the Park, called the North Woods.  I have never been more surprised.  Even the woods that we visit in New Hampshire each summer aren't this dense. 

Anyone who has followed my blog over time, knows by now that landscapes definitely do not excite me when I'm looking for something wonderful to draw or paint.  But I thought I should at least post photos from the walk today for anyone who has never been northeast of the Central Park reservoir.  These specific photos were selected because they show the wildness and density of the trees and foliage.  I don't know the person who happens to be standing at the waterfall. 

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Since I didn't even pull out my sketchbook on our walk, tonight I used the Virtual Sketch Date photo for June as inspiration.  I needed some figure drawing practice anyway this week - and note that in 2009, I am brave enough to put faces on my figures.

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May 24, 2009

Every Day in May - 24

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This morning we went to the Boat/Duck Pond (officially called the Conservatory Water) in Central Park for coffee.  While I sketched, my husband read the NY Times.  The refreshment stand is open this year and there are tables, chairs, and umbrellas on the patio.  There were owners and dogs at tables adjacent to ours, so I quickly sketched them and then my husband's cap above the newspaper.

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Then I discovered the ornamental poppies that were in bloom - and they were so magnificent that I had to draw and paint one bloom and one bud before we came home.

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May 23, 2009

Every Day in May 23

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We love holiday weekends in New York City - because it is relatively quiet - emphasis on the word relatively.  It never seemed like fun to join the masses escaping this island on Friday afternoon and trying to get back on the island on Monday evening.  This year we decided to explore some of the areas of Central Park that we rarely visit.  Today we walked up the Eastside of the Park to the Harlem Meer which is at the Northeast Corner.  While my husband did the Saturday NY Times crossword puzzle, I did a sketch of the Dana Discovery Center - an educational center where children can also participate in "Catch and Release Fishing" in the Harlem Meer with rented poles and instruction and bait provided by the Center.

I painted the front entrance to the Center but somehow made it much more squat than it really is.

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Did you know that Central Park (843 acres) is the first major public park built in America?  A competition for the design was held in 1858 and it took 18 years to build it in accordance with Frederick Olmstead and Calvert Vaux's plan.  There are 50 miles of pedestrian paths, so we will never run out of new pathways to explore.

 

May 22, 2009

Every Day in May - 22

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We picked up my grandson from nursery school, had a picnic in Central Park, and then went into the Met to see the newly reopened American Wing.  Before it was closed for renovation, my grandchildren learned about pennies and fountains in that space and we really missed the pool.  

 There is a newly designed pool in the same place, this time with two fountains.  This is a quick sketch of the back of the Frog Fountain - done while my grandson was throwing pennies.  There are three frogs spewing water around the base - but I had no time (or space) to sketch them on this visit.

The sketch was done with a watercolor pencil and the water was added later at home.

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