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September 29, 2011

I Love Figure Drawing

This shouldn't be a surprise to me since I spent >40 years learning about and caring for the human body.  But I still am surprised by the almost unconscious pull toward drawing people.   Last week I was tired, and it was raining, and I didn't go to figure drawing, the first time I planned to return after the August break.  So I pulled one of my two books of photos off the shelf and sketched two nude figures.  They were sketched with a watercolor pencil and then wet to create some shading.


On Friday morning my husband and I went to an open rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic and we sat close enough for me to sketch 3 violinists.  I am obsessed with trying to figure out the positions of their hands on the bow and the chords.  Their hands are so graceful in those positions.  The middle sketch is of Conductor Alan Gilbert's mother.  She was a member of the orchestra for many years before her son was selected as the new music director and conductor.  As the mother 3 children, including  two boys, I am intrigued with this beyond belief.  One of my sons chose the same specialty as mine - but in Pediatrics - and I never anticipated that would occur. 



Tuesday evening I had an enormous challenge when I finally returned to the Society of Illustrators to draw.  One of the two models didn't come, and the other was, in medical terms, morbidly obese.  And she had the biggest hair I've ever seen.  She was a wonderful artist's model and her positions were equally challenging.  She invited all of us to attend the NY Burlesque Festival this weekend to see her and some of the other models!  Here are the two 20 minute poses that I did on watercolor paper with a watercolor pencil.  The red color is her kimona.




September 25, 2011

Meetup Drawing on the Highline

Our Meetup Central Park Drawing and Art Group met on New York City's Highline last weekend.  It is an old, abandoned railroad track suspended above the city on the lower west side.  Now it is a lovely park, with many wonderful areas among gardens for sitting and socializing.  I climbed to the top of the stairs of the Highline at one of the entry points several times in the past two summers, but never walked along it due to the heat.  Last week we had a fabulous day and I got to see and draw at 3 separate areas from 18th Street South.  The link above is to the the website and the many images of the Highline posted there.

The yellow rectangle is actually a huge billboard that framed my view of the city looking north.


Although there are several modern buildings which are built above and over the highline, there are also old industrial buildings along the path.


We walked to the southern end of the Highline for our last sketch, and I chose to draw some of the art vendors on Washington Street in the Meatpacking area.


This area of Manhattan has changed so much since we moved back to NYC 20 years ago.  The streets, restaurants, shops, and especially Chelsea Market were crowded very on Saturday afternoon.

September 22, 2011

Will Barnet Exhibit at the National Academy Museum

The "Will Barnet at 100" exhibit opened last weekend at the newly renovated National Academy Museum in New York City.  I wasn't familiar with his painting, but loved the exhibit that spanned his very long, active career.  He is still painting and will actually be at the Academy next month for a "conversation!  I couldn't find images on the National Academy website, but here is a link to images of his work in a gallery. 

I loved his paintings in general and "Atlantis" in particular.  It consisted of 15-20 women all standing on a pier overlooking the sea. I painted several of the women in my sketchbook to remember the exhibition.  I couldn't find an image of the original to include here, but my friend Pat also sketched it and wrote about it on her blog


September 5, 2011

Holiday Weekend Adventures with Our Grandchildren

NOTE:  My fabulous son Jason solved my blog problems this weekend, so hopefully there will be no further difficulties with access or comments.

We had from 2-5 grandchildren here with us, without their parents, from Thursday through Sunday.  My husband and I love to have them overnight and now that the 4 oldest are 4-8 years old, they are really capable of amusing themselves for long portions of the day.  However, we try to plan adventures whenever possible.

On Friday we took the subway to Bowling Green and started at the National Museum of the American Indian.  It was the first visit for everyone except me.  One highlight was getting an adventure brochure with 12 cards  for objects that they needed to find in the permanent exhibit.  The other was playing in the "tipi."



On Saturday we took the bus to the Central Park Zoo and had unusually good luck seeing the animals.  The penguins were energetic, the polar bear was playing in the water, and the snow leopard was pacing on the rocks in his woodland enclosure.  We ended with the sea lion show and I was able to sketch the sea lions while we watched them being fed.  I used a mahoghany watercolor pencil and then painted them with watercolor later.


Early Sunday morning the 2 year old joined the group and they all just wanted to play together in our apartment.   After everyone departed, I did a sketchbook page for Zach.



August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

My husband, 3 children and their spouses, and our 6 grandchildren were supposed to meet at the beach this weekend to end the summer.  Needless to say, that didn't happen.  We were packed and ready to leave on Thursday when we all decided that we would be better off in Manhattan and DC than on the tip of Long Island if Irene continued on the projected path.  

My husband and I prepared:  flashlights, batteries, the old plug-in phone that doesn't require electricity and bottles of water for the refirgerator.  In addition we had buckets of water and a bath tub full of water to flush toilets.  The pumps that are required for water pressure/flow in apartment buildings also stop working when the power goes out.  Here is my sketchbook page to remember the preparations.


Yesterday I was really bored, but also a little unsettled, as we waited for the hurricane to arrive.  We had intermittent heavy rain until we went to bed - and this morning were surprised that 1). we weren't awakened by howling winds and 2) the winds were still rather gentle and it was one hour before landfall here in Manhattan when we woke up.  Other areas were not as lucky - there was tremendous flooding inland and hundreds of thousands who lost power.  By 11 AM, the rain had almost stopped and life was returning to the streets.  I had my camera in hand when this young couple stopped in the middle of a usually busy intersection and took multiple photos - standing right in the middle of the uptown lanes.  So I took a photo of them from my window - loving the big pink umbrella!