Main
Page 81 of 89

March 1, 2008

Pearl Paint - New York City

                     PearlPaint.jpg

This past Wednesday I was completely free to play - no work or other scheduled activities.  So I headed off for Soho for a visit to Pearl Paint and some of the galleries in the area.  I only had several items on my art supply list, but I always love browsing at Pearl.  It has one below ground floor and 5 above ground floors.  This trip I purchased watercolor paper for my next recycled book and several pencils, but seriously wondered if I should begin to invest in some 5ml tubes of Schminke watercolor paints since there seems to be so much enthusiasm for the brightness of their pigments.  Each 5ml tube (1 tsp) is $12-15 so I would only start with 3 primary colors - but then I wondered if they should be cool or warm primaries since I use both to mix colors with my Winsor-Newton paints.  So I didn't get any.

Gallery-hopping is always one of my favorite activities in Soho, even though many/most galleries relocated to Chelsea and on Wednesday I was not disappointed.  I discovered several new artists and saw lots of "eye-candy."

This sketch was done from a photo I took of Pearl Paint from the other side of busy Canal Street.  It is much too cold right now in NYC to work outdoors - especially in my shearling mittens.  It is on "rough" watercolor paper which I now know I hate!  But when I recycled my NY State Tax Book last year I filled it with many types of paper so I could decide what I preferred.  It didn't take me long to settle on HP 140lb paper. 

 

February 23, 2008

Museum Visits in New York City

There are many, many museums in the city and I love to visit the art museums to see the exhibits and sketch from the Masters.  We saw a Leon Kossoff drawing exhibit at the National Gallery in London and I was impressed with his return visits to sketch the same few works by Masters many times during his career.  I thought it might be fun to try this, in part to see how my art skills evolve and how my familiarity with the painting may change my drawing over time.  The Galleries for 19th- and Early 20th-Century European Paintings reopened on December 4th after renovation - so on my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008, I sat in front of Cezanne's Card Players and sketched it.  I am concentrating on sketching figures again in 2008 - with faces - so this seemed like a good painting to revisit again and again.  Please don't let them move the bench from in front of the painting!  Pen and paints aren't permitted in the Met, so I took a photo and plan to paint it soon.

cardplayers.jpg

We visited the Museum of Modern Art with out of town house guests several weeks ago and while my husband toured the 5th floor Painting and Sculpture I exhibit with them, I spent 25 minutes sketching.  I love the view from a window in the Picasso room on the 5th floor of MoMA of the top floors of a townhouse across W54th Street - and have many photos of it that I took during previous visits.  This time I spent 15 minutes sketching it - again in pencil because of museum rules.  Yesterday I found a full charcoal drawing of the same house in Drawing magazine (Winter 2008).  Artist Anthony Mitri wrote that his drawing of the house and surrounding buildings took 6 months!  I will redraw this house soon and try to do it justice. 

                    W54th.jpg

After sketching from the window, I did a quick sketch of Cezanne's painting "Turning Road at Montgeroult."  I love views of rooftops and always was attracted to this painting in the permanent exhibit.  I painted it at home in several sessions trying a yellow underpainting and mixed complementaries for the color of the houses and roofs.  Watercolor and oil paints give very different results, but I had fun with this and I think learned a lot from copying his composition.

                              Cezanne.Turning.jpg

This week I made a quick visit to the Morgan Library and Museum to see their current exhibit entitled Michaelangelo, Vasari, and their Contemporaries: Drawings from the Uffizi.  I chose a simple drawing by Baccio Bandinelli to copy and except for the tilt of the head managed to capture the rest of the lines and the type of shading used.  This drawing was a study for his Hercules sculpture that is opposite Michaelangelo's David in front of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.  There were many other wonderful drawings, but it was crowded and I had to select one that I might copy quickly enough while standing and trying to manage sketchbook, pencil, bag etc.

                         Morgan.jpg

 

 

February 2, 2008

Eternal Ancestors Exhibit

Today I had an hour to go back to the Eternal Ancestry exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to sketch the wonderful faces on these Reliquaries.  They are 1-2 feet in height - some are full figures, but most are just heads on a standard base.  They are mostly earthcolors with some gold, bronze, silver, and even feathers. 

I walked through with my Moleskine watercolor notebook and walnut brown Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil and just sketched pieces that I really liked.  The digital photo image below shows all of the faces across a double page spread in the Moleskine.  I originally intended to add water, but then started using the pencil for small details meaning these strokes would be lost if I painted over the pencil. 

EternalAncestors.3.size.jpg 

Here is the first page in more detail  (scanned):

   EternalAncestors.1.size.jpg

      Here is the second page in more detail (scanned):

 EternalAncestors.2.size.jpg

I wasn't at all sure what would happen if I sprayed these pages with Fixative, so I sketched another page with another mask and tried it.  There was no running or smearing of the color - and in fact I couldn't get the pencil to rewet so I could add color. 

The exhibit doesn't close until March 2nd, so I hope to have time to sketch more of these beautiful 19th and 20th C. sculptures from Central Africa.

 

January 18, 2008

Art Supply Shopping Day

I had a completely free day on Wednesday - no work or family activities - or required errands.  For a full week I've been planning a slow leisurely trip to Pearl Paints on Canal Street in Manhattan.  Since I have not carried my recycled NY sketch book with me recently, I brought it and no other paper, 

As soon as I got off the subway I decided to sketch a roofline and water tank - one of my favorite NYC icons.  Then I browsed all 6 floors of Pearl Paints - picking up art supplies for my grandchildren and small new items for me (they have open stock Albrecht Durer WC pencils I can't resist).  I think I was in there more than 3 hours!  At lunch at Pain Quotidienne in Soho, I sketched a few of my new supplies and then a wall unit facing me in the restaurant.  What a wonderful day - full of inspiration and needed mind clearing relaxation. 

The map that is on the edge of each page is a piece of the end paper that I used for this recycled book that I used to cover the gap between the signatures.  The two pages were actually sketched on two different types of wc paper - I'm growing to love HP, tolerate CP, and hate rough!

                 Pearl1.jpg

                  Pearl2.jpg

 

December 27, 2007

Art Progress 2007

Progress Report for 2007

I copied my Goals from the 2006-2007 Progress/Goals entry on this blog and recorded 2007 PROGRESS after each Goal.  I am currently reflecting on where I am and where I want to be at the end of 2008, so my 2008 GOALS will be posted this weekend.

1. Continue to sketch/paint everyday in my large Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.

 I did do a daily sketch - and sometimes 2-3.  On a few days when I was too busy to even open my sketchbook, I did my daily sketch the next morning and then another one at my usual time in the evening.  The majority of my sketches are pen with watercolor washes.  Most of the time I used the large Moleskine watercolor journal (I'm halfway through the 5th for the year), but I also added sketches to my London sketchbooks and all 3 recycled books that I made. 

2. Complete each EDM weekly challenge and try to expand my skills by what I choose to paint for the challenge.

For the second year, I did all of the EDM Challenges in the 3-10 days after they were posted and tried to stretch my skills slightly by what I chose to sketch.  I posted all of them on my blog, as one of my planned 2 entries per week.

3. Make plans for how I will use my new Eliz. I recycled book.  I'm currently considering using it for more London sketches -  from photos that I have taken during our visits.  I have another Cachet journal for my London Travel Sketchbook Volume 3 and decided that I want to continue to use the same journal type for all of my London travel

I completed 3 full Cachet Linen Watercolor sketchbooks during our London travels.  There are approximately 150 pages in total from our 6 visits to London - my goals certainly were exceeded and I will always treasure these books.  One sketch that I never posted was added as the final page to honor the birth of our grandson last Christmas in London.  This sketch was made using colored pencil from a postcard I purchased at the Guercino drawing exhibit we saw at the Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House.

Guercino.child.jpg

My Eliz. I recycled book has been used for playful sketches of Big Ben and most recently the Tower of London from photos that I took - using different techniques, even collage.  If you look closely you can see I used the Holbein Henry VIII painting from the Tate Britain exhibit for the collage.

                 BigBen.Collage.jpg

 

4.  Recycle another book since I have more paper from my previous purchase.  This time I will look for an old New York book that I can use for special days out and about my own city.

I recycled two additional books - one for New York and one Michaelangelo Sonnet bookfor some of my figure drawings.   

5.  Spend more time sketching human faces and figures.  I'm not sure yet whether I want to take any life drawing classes because I love the challenge of learning on my own.  I collected some copies of Holbein's portraits and Rodin's figure drawings from our museum visits this week.  And I now own two Hockney drawing/portrait books.  I will recreate some of these pieces from the 16th C, 19th C, and 20th C for fun and then immerse myself in my city and draw people to try to develop my own style. 

I was very productive sketching figures - or body parts - and almost filled my recycled Michaelangelo Sonnet book for some of the sketches and my Moleskine for the rest.  I alternated among Derwent light wash pencils, Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, Zig Millenium pen with watercolor wash, and 2B pencils for the sketches. 

My references included:  Greek and Roman sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photos of dancers, photos of nude figures from an artist book  I purchased just for these exercises (The Nude Figure by Mark Smith), and occasionally even real people!  But very few of my figures have faces - a goal for 2008!

6.  Read some of the new art books on my shelf - starting with Betty Edward's book on color.

I continue to read art technique books, but never opened Betty Edward's book.  This year I did 5 lessons from a Watercolor Skills book by Linda Elsworth.  There are 5 more lessons to do, but I was temporarily derailed by a lesson on landscapes, my least favorite type of sketching/painting. 

In May 2007 I decided to finally start an Eric Maisel book entitled The Creativity Book - a year's worth of inspiration and guidance (it has been on my shelf for several years).   There are 2 exercises to complete per week and I am now on Week 31!  I have done some sketching and painting, but mostly writing, as I explore creativity in general and my creative dreams in particular. 

7.  Make a "larger-than-journal size" watercolor painting of the house my daughter and son-in-law rented this year in London so we have a personal visual memory of this wonderful year when they return to New York mid-year.

I did this painting and included it as part of a big "London" Christmas gift that I gave to my daughter and son-in-law.  The gift also included a DVD of all of the photos (1000s) that I took of their family and London and a Guest Book that our family kept everytime we visited them.  I printed some of my sketches for the book and even included an essay re: my reflections on our visits.  I was also able to make a photo collage of them at the moment when they were leaving New York in May 2006 and then leaving London in June 2007.  The children grew lots during the year and and another grandson was born there mid-year.

London.GiftBox.jpg

8.  Be a visitor in my own city and keep a Manhattan "travel" journal.  I now have scattered journal pages throughout my daily sketchbooks

I did continue to sketch in NYC throughout the year - and even started a series of sketches entitled "10 blocks from Home."  My New York City sketches, however, are scattered through my New York recycled book and my regular Moleskine sketchbook.  This occurred because I used whatever book I had with me when I decided to sketch.  Since I use both sides of a page in my Moleskine, I can't easily move these sketches - and I just have to be OK about this level of disorganization!