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January 15, 2019

C Street Washington DC

We took our Granddaughter back to Washington DC on New Year's day and spent two days there as the Government shutdown spread to the Museums - our usual happy places when we visit.  But my favorite place is Capitol Hills Books, a used bookstore across from Eastern Market in Capitol Hill.  I've sketched/painted it once from the front, and this time sketched the 3 buildings on that side of C Street.  It takes me several hours to pick out books, and I never return to NYC with fewer than 4.

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C Street Banner design and there was one on every lamppost on one block.  I keep a separate sketchbook for my DC grandchildren, which I started when our first DC grandchild was born.  I am now on Sketchbook #2 and this was the page I did for this trip. 

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January 8, 2019

December 2018 Art After Breakfast

More of my "after breakfast" line of action drawings.  My models are photo images from The Human Form in Action and Repose by Phil Brodatz and Dori Watson (1966).  I use one-quarter of a page of scrap copy paper, draw a quick line of the gesture/action in pencil, and then draw the full figure with ink and a gel pen.  I cut out the painted figures and collage them in my sketchbook.  The pencil lines are visible in the closeups in the final two images. 

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Left Page of Spread

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Right Page of Spread

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January 3, 2019

Art Progress 2018 and Art Goals for 2019:

January 4th is the 12th Anniversary of my Blog, and I like to review my progress and goals for the next year at this time - an activity that was first recommended in an online art group when I first starting blogging. 

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My main goals are to develop better drawing and painting skills on paper, and dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

1. Take Classes to Keep Me Inspired and Motivated:

Progress: I took classes for 2 semesters this year at Fashion Institute of Technology (Comic Book Illustration and Figure Drawing), Sketchbook Skool (Whimsical and Watercolor Rules) and Sketchbook Revival - a 28 day online class with 28 artists. I also took several half day classes, including a sculpture class at MoMA and several textile surface design classes at Quilt Festival.

Goals:

Take classes in the Spring and Fall Semesters at FIT and online classes in Sketchbook Skool (Drawing People and Travel Journals are planned). 

Participate in Prime Time classes at MoMA, when available, and other short classes planned by Urban Sketchers.

Look for other classes, either online or locally, as they are announced.   

2. Maintain a Community of Art Friends

Progress: I continued to sketch with Urban Sketchers, Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group, and Battery Park City Figure Al Fresco when my schedule permitted. In addition I attended many local museum and gallery exhibits, and art auction previews with my artist friends.

Goals:  

Schedule art adventures throughout the year - to include museum visits, gallery visits, Master Drawing Week gallery hop, Art on Paper Exhibit in March, and Christies and Sothebys auction previews.

Schedule regular sketching events in NYC - Urban Sketchers, etc. 

3. Deliberate Practice: Planned activities to practice specific skills

Progress: I had a Colles wrist fracture of my dominant hand in March and drawing with my non-dominant hand became my major "deliberate practice." I was born with a deformity of my non-dominant hand and doubted I could draw.  But I filled one entire sketchbook with pen and ink drawings and did many line of action figure drawings after breakfast, becoming somewhat ambidexterous. Urban Sketchers had a 30 day direct painting challenge in June and I loved painting without any pencil or ink lines. 

Goals:

Continue the Line of Action Drawings regularly - Art After  Breakfast. My main goal for 2019 is to draw as many bodies as possible, when moving, including dance and sports. 

Participate again in the June Urban Sketchers Challenge: Daily direct watercolor paintings.

Draw from my imagination at  least once per week - in my special sketchbooks.

Continue to draw hands and feet in a dedicated sketchbook at least once per month.

Finish my Axel and Alice illustrated story that I couldn’t finish in my FIT Illustration Class because of my wrist fracture.

4. Bookbinding

Progress: I made cased-in 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks for my daily sketching, two recycled books with watercolor paper (for summer travel and a trip to London), and assorted pamphlet and double pamphlet books for special projects. I am also teaching a friend how to bind books and so far we have made 3 book structures (pamphlet, double-pamphlet, and recycled watercolor sketchbook).

Goals:

Learn to make at least one new book structure this year - a month of researching the structure and methods, then make at least 2.  Several years ago I did this every month for 8 months, and loved it.

Continue to make my daily and travel sketchbooks, and watch for any new bookbinding classes in NYC.

Continue monthly bookbinding lessons with my friend. 

Study historical paste paper designs and make a new batch of paste paper. 

5. Special Project Ideas: I like to remain open to new challenges, and this list will shrink and grow as the year progresses.

Progress: I wanted to learn how to draw on toned paper and watched videos and selected and tested a variety of black and white pencils before my wrist fracture.  I also made a toned paper sketchbook and then decided to delay this project.  Just coping with the difficulty navigating each day for 6 weeks in a cast, plus rehab for several months was enough to keep me challenged.

Goals: 

Learn how to draw on toned paper.  

Quilt a dye-painted NYC skyline I started 5-6 years ago.  I painted the scene on plain white fabric with thickened dye and now finally will machine quilt it, following the actual structures and black thread to increase the range of values.   

Explore "drawing" line of action figures with my sewing machine and black thread.  I started to explore this several years ago, and would like to play some more. 

Make a scrap Christmas Quilt and use up lots of my fabrics that are leftover from years of Christmas projects.

 

December 31, 2018

A Santa for Christmas 2018

Getting ready for Christmas and celebrating with friends and family meant that I had almost no time to do a Santa painting for 2018 in my sketchbook.  One morning my 10 year old grand daughter and I, when she was the only one here with me, painted.  Some of our grandchildren love to draw and paint and head for the art supply drawer as soon as they arrive at our apartment.  After discussion with the 4 youngest, we decided to upgrade their art supplies for their Christmas present from us. I put everything in an ArtBin carrier from Dick Blick to keep everything together and they loved it.

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December 20, 2018

Terrific Exhibit at the Asia Society in Manhattan

In March 2015, during Asia Week in NYC, I discovered Modern Indian paintings at Sothebys and the first painting I copied was by M.F. Husain.  Since then I have seen many more paintings by the "modern" artists at Sotheby's and Christies.  Last week I saw a wonderful, big, historical exhibit at the Asia Society here in Manhattan - The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India. From the exhibit "On August 15, 1947 India threw off the shackles of British rule and in the ensuing period of transition, turmoil, and hope, six young firebrands came together in Bombay, now known as Mumbai."  Their group was called the Progressive Artists Group and they became known as the Moderns.  M.F. Husain (1918-2011) was one of those six artists.  Here is my copy from the exhibit, inspired by M.F. Husain's Village Woman (1954).  

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Brochure from the Asia Society: Exhibit through Jan 20, 2019.  See website for hours, including periods when entry is free. 

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