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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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September 17, 2011

Chicago Vacation

We went to a family wedding in Chicago last weekend, and all of our children and their spouses were there too.  So we managed to get one of our rare family photos: my husband and I, our 3 children and their spouses.

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My husband and I lived in Chciago many years ago, and enjoyed staying a few extra days with friends.  We saw Millenium Park for the first time and enjoyed a return visit to the Art Institute.  This is a drawing of one of 3 "drinkers" of a Van Gogh painting that I had never seen.

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Our friends took us to see the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavillion.  It is magnificent!  Three times each day these bird-like wings open up, filling the building below with amazing light.  I drew the open wings from a photo I took while standing outside on the pedestrian bridge.

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September 12, 2011

More Watercolor Sketchbooks

These watercolor sketchbooks were made with my bookcloth - white cotton fabric that was manipulated and dyed using procion MX dyes.  All of them are full, even though I haven't numbered the last two before they were put up on the shelf. 

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I learned how to use soy wax resist with procion dyes earlier this year and just had to try it out with all of my dye colors.  Here is my "Harlequin" design,

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 I just finished two more - one 5.5 x 7.5" portrait style and one 8" square.  The blue one is my current daily sketchbook.  Each of my sketchbooks has Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press paper.  Getting the book size and the paper I liked was my initial motivation for making a sketchbook.  Then I decided that I really loved binding books and making my own bookcloth is a complete joy.  I get to work with different resists, fabric manipulations, stamps, screens and monoprinting.  My series of black sketchbooks that were made with commercial bookcloth are so blah!

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The recycled books, sketchbooks with black bookcloth, and covers of some of these books can be seen by scrolling through the following blog category.  There is also a tutorial for how to recycle a book to make a watercolor sketchbook - that was how I started on this journey.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/bookbinding/

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2008/03/recycling_an_old_book_as_a_wat.php

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