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July 11, 2009

Sketchcrawl at the Central Park Zoo - Part 2

I painted sketchbook pages 6 and 7 from our sketchcrawl on Thursday - but will probably leave page 8, the tortoise and the skink, as is.  The Snow Leopard is one of two introduced to the Zoo this past Spring and we were extremely lucky to have her moving around her enclosure and for a short while sitting on a ledge directly in front of us.  As she jomped from rock to rock, frequently jumping up another level in the process, you sensed what powerful animals they are.

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We ended our sketching in the Tropic Zone - a huge enclosure that is so full of tropical birds and other animals that you need to pay attention to see all but the most brightly colored.  Here are two of those.  I can't look at a Toucan without conjuring up a Fruit Loops box on our breakfast table. 

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July 10, 2009

Sketchcrawl at the Central Park Zoo, NYC

Yesterday I met 4 "Art Buddies" at the Central Park Zoo for our own mini-sketchcrawl.  I was very unsure about my ability to sketch moving animals so when I arrived 20 minutes early, I did a 10 minute sktech of one of the animal sculptures on the Delacorte Clock and then a 10 minute sketch of a mother standing in line with a double stroller and backpack.  These were my warm-ups!

 

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When everyone arrived, we went to the Penguin House, where the Chin-Strap and Gentoo penguins were being hand fed.  It was difficult to sketch these frisky guys.  I took some photos to make sure that I remembered the coloration, and finished them at home.

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There was also a tank with several tufted puffins and ducks in the Penguin House and I sketched them from an angle where I could see above and below the water line.  They were never still long enough for me to see the effect of the water line on their images, so I ignored the refraction error.  But I also took no photos so adding a watercolor wash at home this morning was difficult.   

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The polar bears were very cooperative - Gus slept the entire time and we couldn't see him very well.  Ida stayed in several positions long enough for all of us to sketch her. 

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I still have 3 more pages of sketches to paint at home, including the newest member of the Zoo - the snow leopard.  It was an amazing day - sunny, cool, and lots of fun to be with 4 other women who all were equally challenged and enjoying the experience.

July 7, 2009

EDM Challenge #230: Draw a Map

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Last Tuesday was my last official workday, 40 years after I graduated from Medical School.  I made this trip from my apartment on the Upper Eastside of Manhattan to Albert Einstein College of Medicine regularly - and was always amazed that driving 10 miles against rush hour traffic in the City took me almost 40 minutes from door to door.  Of course I first needed to walk from my apartment to our garage - stopping at the fruit and vegetable vendor on the street to get fruit for breakfast.  Then I always stopped to talk with the Garage supervisor about her newest baby.  At the other end, I walked several blocks from the parking garage to my building - checking out the flowers that were in bloom or following the progress of autumn leaves or new buds in the Spring.

I love drawing maps and started each of my 3 London sketchbooks with ever more detailed maps of the area in Chelsea where my daughter and her family lived.   

We just returned from a Family Holiday at the Beach - and I need to scan and post at least one sketchbook page from our visit. 

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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