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March 22, 2011

Two More Card Players by Cezanne

I'm obsessed by Cezanne's drawing studies for his 5 Card Player paintings.  I went back to the current Card Player exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art early on Saturday morning and sketched two more of the drawings.  I'm slowly working my way around the galleries!

The original drawing is done without color, but I couldn't resist a little watercolor wash.


The watercolor wash in this drawing is based on Cezanne's painting of the original drawing.


I love drawing from the Masters and seek out drawings to copy as part of my self-education.  I hope to get back to the exhibit and spend another hour finishing the drawings before it closes.

March 18, 2011

March 2011 Figure Drawing

Another evening of figure drawing at the Society of Illustrators.  This was a fun evening because my art buddy Teri met my book group friend Istar for the first time and they had so many things to talk about during dinner and our breaks.

There were two models for each pose (one standing and one sitting) - starting with ten 2 minute poses for warm up, then four 5 min., two ten minute, and finally three 20 minute poses.  Throughout the 3 hours, two musicians played and I sipped a glass of wine.  During the final pose, the models always pose together - by then we should be able to handle two models in 20 minutes.  

I used a 9B graphite pencil for the first drawing and watercolor pencil (Burnt Siena and then Chestnut) for the second and third drawings.  Last night I wasn't in the mood to fuss with faces, so we need to imagine them.  The woman model reminded me of Botticelli's venus and my skills just couldn't capture her beauty. 

My current sketchbook doesn't fit on my scanner, so these are photos.





March 15, 2011

A Visit to the Morgan Library and Exhibit

Last week my Journal Study Group met Gwyneth Leech at her gallery exhibit entitled "Hypergraphia" and visited the Diary Exhibit at the Morgan Library.  Pat already posted some information about our day on her blog.  

I love books, notebooks, journals, log books, and diaries and I'm almost embarassed by the number I created over many years.  It was a thrill to look at actual diaries from the Morgan collection, especially several that contained sketches and watercolor paintings.  The Morgan website has podcasts and readings of many of the diaries.

Illustrated Diary #1:  The peasant woman that I painted below was sketched from an anonymous diary entitled "Focus on Fashion: A Lady's Travelogue (1869)."  I would love to see some of the other pages to see more fashions and her biting descriptions. 


Illustrated Diary #2:  My real favorite, however, was one kept by Fanny Tremlow.  This photo from her diary was downloaded from this website.


Illustrated memoir by Fanny Twemlow (1881-1989), a British woman in a World War II internment camp in France, 1940-41. Gift of Julia P. Wightman, 2006.

In December 1940, the German army carried out a swooping raid throughout Occupied France aimed at rounding up any woman found in possession of British papers. The subsequent internment of some 4000 women was carried out during one of the coldest winters in living memory. English spinster, Miss Fanny Twemlow, was among those unlucky enough to end up in the infamous camp, Frontstalag 142, on the French-German border. Throughout her captivity, she was determined to secretly make sketches of camp life as well as keep a diary.

FRONTSTALAG 142: The Internment diary of an English Lady, by Katherine Lack will soon be published.

March 11, 2011

Making Watercolor Sketchbooks and Painting a Live Luna Moth

I love making my own watercolor sketchbooks and for at least a year have also been making by own book cloth using cotton fabric that I dye with Procion MX dyes and several suface design techniques.  This is the sketchbook that I'm completing now.  The cover was made by folding the fabric in different directions and then dipping it into the dye. 


This is the Sketchbook that I started yesterday - this time the cloth was stamped with tile spacers and corn dextrin resist before dying it.   


I use Canson Mi Tientes for endpapers in these sketchbooks - it is a wonderful weight paper and it comes in so many colors.  The watercolor paper is Fabriano Artistico Extra-Bright 140 lb soft press paper - a nice compromise between hot and cold press for me.  The books are approximately 7.5 inches square.

These are all of the sketchbooks that I made since I switched from black commercial bookcloth to hand dyed fabric fused to Thai mulberry paper.  I fell in love with my first square journal and now seem to moving away from the 6 X 8" portrait size.


Yesterday I took my grand daughter Sydney to the Natural History Museum since she had a day off from school.  This little girl has NO interest in dinosaurs, so our visit consisted of the Butterfly Conservatory, African mammals (which she photographed in detail), Gems and Minerals, and the Rose Planetarium show called Journey to the Stars.  This week I was able to get a good photograph of the luna moth in the Butterfly Conservatory, so I painted him as the first entry in my new watercolor journal.


March 8, 2011

Daily Journal Pages

I like to use my watercolor sketchbook as a visual journal and that means that I use photos as inspiration for some of the pages.  Here are several of those pages from the last month.

To create a page for the day we went to see the movie "The King's Speech" - I did a drawing of King Edward's Coronation Chair.  We have an illegal photo from 1970, but I used an official  photo found on the internet for this painting.


We took two of our grandsons to the Museum of Natural History last week and saw the live butterfly exhibit and ALL of the dinosaurs.  I took a few butterfly photos as they landed on leaves near me and painted one of my favorites to remember our visit.


And I did some dinosaur sketches from the Natural History Museum Shop website photos to remember our tour of the 4th floor with out 2 little dinosaur experts - ages 4 and 5.



We were watching The Seven Percent Solution - a Sherlock Holmes movie - on Sunday night when I started to do a journal page for the day.  I combined a silhouette of Holmes - inspired by a web image - and added it to a drawing of my husband's calabash pipe.