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May 6, 2011

Meeting Doodling

I was at an annual meeting yesterday afternoon for My Own Book Fund, an organization for which I volunteer.  We meet with 3rd graders in over 40 schools, in all 5 boroughs of New York City, and share our love of reading and books.  We then meet each class at a local Barnes and Noble bookstore and help each child select $50 worth of their "own books."  For many, it is the first time they have been in a bookstore - or owned any books.  I love going to the meeting to hear the annual progress report and plans for expansion for the next year. 

Yesterday we also celebrated the National Book Foundation 2011 Innovation in Reading Prize that was given to Burt Freeman who set up the foundation and the program.  Four organizations were given the award out of nearly 120 applications!

I had lots of time to sketch other volunteers in the audience - and I cut my drawings from the meeting agenda and pasted them on a pre-painted background when I got home.  The first lesson in the free online Strathmore Workshop 3 with Roz Stendahl was all about prepainting backgrounds in sketchbooks and journals.  She used acrylic for most of her samples.   I used watercolor.

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May 3, 2011

A Day Sketching in New York City

Monday was a day about town with my art buddies.  Gwen Diehn was visiting New York, so we planned several fun sketching venues - and then were told, several times, "no photos and no sketching."  And the current exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum was even closed.  But we had a great time walking, talking, sketching, eating, drinking coffee, and buying art supplies at the FIT Bookstore.  Here is a composite page I sketched during the day and painted when I got home.

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April 29, 2011

Branching Out - Notes from German Expressionism at MoMA

The Sketchbook Challenge for April is "branching out" and I definitely added another way of sketching in my watercolor journal during this time.   

I went back to the German Expressionism exhibit at MoMA on Monday, and took notes and made some drawings from the Bridge and Blue Rider artists -  while listening to a Gallery Conversation by a MoMA employee.  I usually don't take notes and make small drawings in my watercolor sketchbook, but wanted to remember some of the images from the woodcuts and other prints he was discussing.

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April 25, 2011

April Figure Drawing

I love going to figure drawing - and could go twice a week to Society of Illustrators.  But I still only go once/month, just trying to keep some balance in my life. 

The figure drawing sessions that I attend have 10 two minute poses, 4 five minute poses, 2 ten minute poses and 3 twenty minute poses

These are the three 20 minute poses - all drawn with a watercolor pencil and then wet with water to shade the figures during the last few minutes.   Ultimately I would love to draw with a brush and paint, and I'm hoping that this will be good practice for that next step.  I was thrilled that I could draw the back of the model for two poses out of the three, because I'm always disappointed after adding facial features.

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April 23, 2011

Plein Air Painting

I don't consider myself a plein air painter because I really don't like to paint landscapes.  My sketching around the city, to me, is urban sketching - and these are two very different things in my mind.  So when Lillian Kennedy (the Boulder Colorado artist who I featured in the last blog post) invited me to sketch in Central Park, I was a little nervous.  But when she called to tell me she was at Bethesda Fountain, I decided I could draw and paint that - and already have several times.  Still, we were sitting back on the hill and I had to include more landscape than I am comfortable with.  But it was good for me! 

And we were serenaded while being blown around a bit by the wind - necessitating a walk to Pain Quotidien for hot coffee - which is actually in Central Park.  Lillian had to teach me that!

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We also were in a spot that is a favorite for wedding photos and here you can see Lillian's painting, her acrylic paint set-up, and the groom adjusting the bride's dress for the photographer.

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