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January 20, 2015

Fun Figure Drawing Exercises at MoMA

MoMA is offering drop-in Figure Drawing twice each month during the Toulouse-Lautrec Print Exhibit.  The models are actors and there are many props for them to use to evoke the café society of the Belle Epoque in Paris.  An art educator discusses Toulouse-Lautrec, his style, and his manner of capturing the performers on paper in the Cafes.  He then gives us many specific exercises during the 90 minute session - most are 3-5 minutes, the longest is 10.  Specific exercises include 1 min warm up to draw the whole figure, a quick seated pose, contour drawing, blind contour drawing, and gesture drawing.  Today I wanted to post other drawing techniques that were new to me as exercises and great fun.

Seated Pose - Model 1, Fast Profile:  I had great difficulty drawing this model's head because of her hair style. 

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Part 1 and Part 2 in Same Pose:  The model was seated on a windowsill and we had 10 minutes to sketch her.

Then we were given a small piece of colored paper and told to do a fast drawing of her in the same pose using a different tool.  I used a black Tombow marker. 

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Model 2:  The 1 + 9 Minute Exercise:  We were asked to draw the entire model in 1 minute.  After we put our pencils down, we were given 9 more minutes to add detail to only one part of the drawing.  I loved this exercise and realize that I usually go back and add detail everywhere - and this seems much fresher. 

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Capturing Active Poses:  Our model was asked to move from one body position to another, and then back again - relatively quickly (i.e. almost continuously back and forth).  We were asked to pick one point in the movement and draw it.  The model was repetitively lifting one leg to fix the strap on her shoe and then returning to a more stable position with both feet on the floor.  Her head rotated back to front as her body position shifted. 

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Model 2 - 10 minute pose to place her in an environment with a foreground, midground, and background. 

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A New Figure Drawing Exercise for Me:  Look at the model and draw her in only straight lines in 3 minutes.

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I will miss these sessions after they end in March.  The models are terrific, and the two art educators we've had were incredibly skilled at keeping the sessions moving along, introducing many ways to keep sketches fast, fresh and fun.  

January 16, 2015

Documenting Art Adventures-Remains of the Day

I took Mary Ann Moss' Remains of the Day online class in late 2010 and decided to use the book as a "scrapbook" for my Art Adventures with friends in New York City.  This is one of my archivist tendencies that I love - and fear!  Since then, this is what happened.

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My new book for 2015 was just completed and here is the book - still skinny.  I have many fabric scraps that  I dyed while working out surface design methods.  I chose a red and gold piece of fabric and then pulled all scraps that coordinated with it to make this cover.  I finished the cover on Tuesday and Wednesday night selected a variety of folios for the pages.  There are two signatures, each with 12 folios that are bound through the spine using a 5 hole pamphlet stitch.  All of the topstitching on the cover was done with YLI Kaleidoscope metallic thread.

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I add photos, drawings/paintings, business cards, art exhibit press releases, etc to the books, anything that documents how I spend my days with friends on art adventures.  This is the book from 2014 - stuffed full of ephemera.

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Here are a few pages - with flaps and pockets to hold everything I want to save and document. 

The pocket contains some photos from the day on the Lower East Side, including the Tenement Museum.  Gwen Diehn, the cold person in the middle, was visiting us from NC.

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Our group went to Christie's Auction Previews for Modern Asian Art week:

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A Field Trip to the Katonah Museum of Art to see the Jasper Johns/John Lund exhibit and this was my composite painting of many of Jasper Johns repeated symbols.

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Opening Day of the Matisse Studio at MoMA.  I think you can tell that we are happy to be there.

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A rainy day in Chelsea seeing the amazing Picasso exhibits at Pace and Gagosian,  Benedicte is on the left and Pat on the right.  Teri, who is still working joins us when she can. 

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I am very fortunate to have art friends who love coming into the City from the burbs so we can both see wonderful art and make some art ourselves.  Yesterday Pat and I sketched at Criminal Court (in  Arraignments) with the NYC Urban Sketchers, then met Benedicte and Judy for Toulouse-Lautrec Figure Drawing at MoMA, followed by a bus ride downtown to see 2 exhibits at the NYU Grey Art Gallery and finally our annual dinner, including Teri who worked all day yesterday, to celebrate another year of our friendships. 

 

 

January 13, 2015

Drawing the Masters

I love to draw from Master drawings and paintings, and try to do at least one drawing from each gallery or Museum visit.  The styles of these artists are so different, that I feel as if each is a challenge for me.  These are 4 drawings that I did in the last month - Andrew Wyeth, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, and Edgar Degas.  I was thrilled to see the actual sculpture of Dancer of Fourteen Years by Degas and I've included a photo that I took of this remarkable piece.   

 Andrew Wyeth  Lovers Study  Adelson Gallery New York 

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - detail from Print in Museum of Modern Art Exhibit

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Amedeo Modigliani  Elena Pavlowski     Phillips Collection  Washington DC

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Edgar Degas - National Gallery of Art Washington DC

This is the clay-wax sculpture made by Degas, complete with clothing.  She is beautiful!  The sculpture was in Degas' studio when he died and more than 30 copies were cast in bronze posthumously, and are owned by museums around the world.  Xrays studies show that Degas used old paintbrushes to support the armature within the arms. 

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January 11, 2015

Matisse Studio: Beyond the Cut-Outs

This wonderful program at the Museum of Modern Art ends today, although the exhibit continues into February.  Because I missed regular days over the holidays and while we were in Washington DC, I went to the Studio to "play" on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, including the Friday evening party marking the end of the program.  Some of my previous collages, including a fabric collage, already were posted to my blog in Oct, Nov, and Dec. 

On Wednesday I started a new series of collages - made by freehand cutting of figures and shapes in solid colors and on a solid background.  I used some advertisement cards from my ballet studio to select figures in motion, and then just began cutting - making arms, legs, torso, head etc as separate pieces.  I loved the experience and my series of 5 collages ended with a bigger piece that was cut freehand and glued during the party in 45 minutes.

Here are the collages in the series.  The first 5 collages were either copied on a color copier in reduced size at the Studio or scanned and resized digitally at home.  The last one was on a large sheet of brown paper given to each of us and had to be photographed and resized.

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My group of art friends, who regularly met at the Studio, are going to have withdrawal, much like when MoMA Print Studio ended in 2012. This Matisse program was popular with both adults and children, creating a new, young group of artists who were as enthused and playful as we were.  Everyone of us stretched our minds and skills during these sessions and remain forever grateful to the Education Department at MoMA for creating the Studio.  Thank you Sarah and Allison and your dedicated studio staff.

 

 

January 4, 2015

Art Goals for 2015

January 4th is the 9th anniversary of my blog and it is a good time for me to think about how I will spend the next year improving my skills and interacting with artists online art community and locally. 

Long Term Goals: Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

Goals for 2015: To sketch and paint everyday, and to blog twice each week These activities give my retirement life some structure and provide enormous inspiration within an artist community. 

1. Take more classes online and in person to remain inspired:

I’m already enrolled in this year’s "Studying Under the Masters" course, but didn’t plan to start it until January.

I am registered for two Craftsy Classes one in Drawing and the other Watercolor.

I will take the Strathmore Class on Hand Lettering and Calligraphy, but have little interest in the other two this year.

I will register for Sketchbook Skool Semester 4 as soon as it is announced.

I will register for the Spring Semester at Fashion Institute of Technology, but won’t know which course I will take until registration day in January.

2. Continue to draw and paint locally: I meet regularly with the Central Park Drawing and Art Meet-up group, the NYC-Urban Sketchers Weekday Group, and my good friends Teri, Benedicte, and Pat. I would feel very isolated without them! There are multiple drop-in sites for Figure Drawing in NYC and I will attend one of them at least monthly.

3. Make watercolor sketchbooks, for daily drawing and painting and travel:

I will continue to make books - lots of books of different types.

I am registered for a Craftsy class on Dye Resists for making new bookcloth for my sketchbooks. I already have used many of the resists on a regular basis, but this class will restart my "dye lab" for 2015. I’m down to my last piece of dyed cloth!

I also need to make another batch of paste paper to use for covering bookboards and/or as endpapers.

All of these goals are really just a continuation of my goals for the last several years. I love the variety in my schedule and each of these activities brings me enormous pleasure. There will be other opportunities that I haven’t even imagined yet, and I will remain flexible and open to taking small risks! 

I'd love to read what others are planning....