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January 16, 2012

Sketching Venice

When I was making my Venice Sketchbook, I folded two strips of watercolor waste paper so I can do some preliminary sketching from photos.  These are mainly photos that I took on previous visits, before I started drawing again.  Scroll down to yesterday's blog post for information about the Venice Sketchbook.

I adore Venice, but worried that I could be overwhelmed by the architecture (very complex) and water (which I don't really know how to paint).  Here are the three sections I did so far.

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I love this architecture - and sketched the upper balcony from a photo of the Doge's Palace. 

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My first attempt at dealing with Canal water, and what better for drawing than the Rialto Bridge.

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I love the masks that are historically significant in Venice and as a physician really think the Plague Doctor costume is fantastic.  The beak contained medicinal herbs and other things to try to prevent contracting plague.

The Campanile was another architectural challenge and a time for me to see if I have some of the right colors of paint and watercolor pencils.  The bricks were painted with a mahogany Caran D'Ache watercolor pencil.

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January 11, 2012

More From My Self-Portrait Class

I sketched two of my previous photos from the line drawings over photos in my last post- one was drawn upright and one was drawn upside down. Then I took another photo and sketched it without first adding lines.

All 3 were done on one 9 X 12 page with a graphite pencil.

All three look like different people and none of them me. The one on the upper right could be my high school year book picture from 50 years ago!   I obviously have to practice, practice, practice!

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January 9, 2012

Self-Portrait Class with Jane Davies

I wanted to take an online class in January, when I spend more time at home and more time inside.  Since I am still working through Carla Sonheims 100 Faces project, and I'd love to be more comfortable with Mixed Media/Collage, I signed up for Jane Davies Self-Portrait class.

Today I finished four 9X12 journal pages (90 lb watercolor paper in a Strathmore Visual Journal).  The basis of each were grayscale enlarged photos of me - taken randomly with hair up and hair down.  The goal for this week was to start us working with images of our faces, loosely, in ways that force us to abstract some of the lines and  experiment with paint, ink, color, and collage.

The first 3 images were drawn and then painted +/- collage on top.

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The blue paper used for collage in the above self-portrait was made with soy wax on paper and acrylic paint.

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The 4th image was traced on artist tissue paper and then collaged over a painted/collaged background.

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Looking forward to our week 2 lesson tomorrow! 

January 6, 2012

One Journal Complete, A New One Begun

Last year at this time I took the online class "Remains of the Day" by Mary Ann Moss.  I created a fabric art journal and this year filled it with sketches, photos, and ephemera from my art sketchcrawls and projects with one or more of my New York City friends.  Five of us gather together regularly (Journal Study Group) to share skills for art on paper and art on fabric, and those are the photos that are included.

This is my very fat, full journal - which represents many fun days between Jan and Dec.

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The pages in the journal are made from random printed papers, with lots of other attached decorations.  Then more stuff is added.  It is hard to explain the multilayered scrapbook quality in photos.  But here are a few of the finished pages. 

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I had so much fun making and keeping this journal, that I decided to make another one for 2012 and to again document my art adventures in New York City.  Yesterday I pulled out all of my hand dyed and painted fabrics and made selections for the new cover. 

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And I added my first pages, including my sketches of caricatures in the Infinite Jeste exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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December 30, 2011

Last Blog Drawing and Art Progress For 2011

I sketched today during a Gallery Talk on Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

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Last January I outlined my art goals for 2011 - just to have a map to guide me through the days.  I maintain a sketchbook for pleasure and get joy from recording the little things in my current life.   No one is monitoring my progress, but I still like to reflect on how I spent my time, so I can make plans for 2012.  Here is my progress on 5 goals.

 1.  Continue to work on drawing skills with daily drawings and monthly live figure drawing. 

I averaged more than one sketch per day for the full year, and went to figure drawing monthly at the Society of Illustrators.  I also went to figure drawing at the Battery Park City summer program for the first time.  Although I want to eventually try using just a brush and watercolor to "draw" figures, I stretched a little and sketched figures, during the 20 minute poses, with a watercolor pencil and then water to shade the figures. 

I'm working on a 100 Faces project from Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book and added 33 portraits - drawing from live people who usually didn't know they were being sketched.  I now have almost 70 done.  And I even tried sketching portraits of my mother and a few grandchildren, although I still struggle trying to schieve a likeness of their faces.

2.  Continue to work on watercolor painting skills.

I'm not sure that I'm making progress although I am trying to increase my range of values.   And I'm using watercolor pencils more in my daily sketches, especially when I'm sketching faces on subways and buses.

3.  Continue making my daily watercolor sketchbooks and expand my bookbinding skills.

I made and used 7 watercolor sketchbooks and one recycled watercolor book during the year and now I'm working on an artist's book -  collaging, drawing, and painting Christmas ornaments that I made over the last 30+ years to document my collection. 

4.  Continue education through on line classes, workshops, and directed reading.

Participated in the three 2011 Strathmore online workshops.

Took an online mini-class with Kate Johnson on watercolor pencils

Took an online class with Mary Ann Moss to make a "Remains of the Day" journal and then slowly filled it over the entire year.

Took a class with Judy Coates Perez at Quilt Festival, painting and drawing on fabric with Tsukineko inks.

Worked through several DVDs on Art Journals, Read Cathy Johnson's Artist's Journal Workshop twice, Reread Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, Read Eric Maisel's Coaching the Artist Within and Peter Steinhart's The Undressed Art or Why We Draw.

5.  Enjoy and nurture connections to the art community. 

I blogged 8-9 times per month (2X/wk), met regularly with members of my Journal Study Group to visit museum exhibits, go on sketchcrawls, and "make art" together, attended 8 Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group sessions, and followed Everyday Matters (Yahoo Group) and many art blogs for inspiration and contact with the broader community.

I'm am thoroughly enjoying my retirement and I'm thrilled that I found another passion to add to my other lifelong interests.  My blog will be 6 years old next week and hopefully I will make some plans for 2012 by then. 

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