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January 28, 2014

Wonderful Art Inspiration

This is a terrific week in New York City to tour exhibits and galleries for inspiration.  After I registered for my Spring Semester Class at FIT (Painting on Fabric), Pat, Benedicte and I went to the Morgan Library and Museum for 3 exhibits:  Leonardo, Spanish Drawings, and St. Exupery's Little Prince.  http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/

The DaVinci drawings were spectacular and it was a spiritual experience being in the same gallery with them.  The Spanish drawings were also inspiring, especially those by Goya.  And the newest exhibit, The Little Prince, was amazing.

St. Exupery fled France with his wife after the Nazi invasion and lived in New York City with an enormous amount of support from friends.  He created The Little Prince while here, and after the publication of the book rejoined his squadron in Northern Africa where he died on a solo mission in his airplane.  Right before he left, he gave a big bag of manuscript pages and original illustrations to a friend, who gave them to The Morgan, and these make up most of the exhibit.  This illustration with the boabab tree was changed for the final - but I loved this iteration of the drawing best!!

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Master Drawings New York Week began last Friday and we scheduled two days to gallery hop on the Upper East Side of New York City.  Yesterday Pat, Benedict, Judy, and I went to 13 galleries and throughly enjoyed drawings from the 16th C. through the present.  One gallery had iPads mounted next to giclee prints by a Mexican Artist named Elena Climent - and the iPads scrolled through each of the layers she drew from the first scribbling through the final piece.

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I love Delacroix's drawings and watercolors from Morocco, and was thrilled to see one drawing of 4 heads of a Moroccan Man.  I took this photo and then drew one of the heads quickly to remember our day.  And this morning I sketched another copy of it to make myself yet one more magnetic bookmark.  For information about my magnetic bookmarkds see http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/06/more_watercolor_magnetic_bookm_1.php

 

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When exiting a gallery on E. 79th St. we saw a pile of architectural trash from a renovation.  The textures on the back of granite pieces stopped my artist friends in their tracks.  They took photos of the trash and I took one of them.  From left to right:  Benedicte, Pat, and Judy in Artic NYC.

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Tomorrow we are going to visit the remaining 14 galleries - and hopefully find lots more inspiration. 

This is Cezanne week with Artist Teresa Sheeley, so I am reviewing old notes and Cezanne paintings I did in the past and selecting a painting to copy now.

January 25, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - Antoni Gaudi

Week 2 of Studying Under the Masters:

Artist Junelle Jacobsen presented Antoni Gaudi this week, master architect of Barcelona, Spain.  I never visited Barcelona, but was familiar with Sagrada Familia, his still unfinished Basilica, and some of his other whimsical, energetic, colorful building ornamentation.  There were 15 videos presented (approx. 4 hours), and we learned about Gaudi as a person, as an architect and artist and then saw wonderful examples of his work, both in photos and video.  Junelle then encouraged us to sketch from some of his architecture, paint some of his stained glass in watercolor, abstract his architecture in a painting, and use some of the characteristics of his art/architecture in our own composition.  And we watched her do all of this.   Junelle even translated a Gaudi mosaic in paper for her final art project of the week.

My Week: 

It was great fun to do more research on Antoni Gaudi and watch numerous YouTube videos.  I also looked at Pinterest Boards displaying many photos from Barcelona. 

I sketched a sculpture I loved from a façade on Sagrada Familia and was disappointed to find out that the sculptor was Subirach and not Gaudi.  I also sketched 6 towers from the roof of Casa Battllo - but didn't add the colors.

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I painted one stained glass window complex from Sagrada Familia in watercolor.

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I painted the Nativity façade of the Sagrada Familia in watercolor, making it more abstract and looser than the actual building.

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At the end of this week I couldn't think of anything I could paint and "use the style of" Gaudi's architecture.  And then I thought of New York City water towers that exist on the top of all tall buildings in the City.  What if they were all redesigned by Gaudi?  What a whimsical colorful city we could have.  I took a quick photo yesterday on 23rd St and this morning made it into a Gaudi Water Tower. 

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I am loving this 9 week class.  Each artist is following the same basic structure and providing us with lots of information.  We can feel their enthusiasm and watch them draw, paint, sculpt, collage etc on some of the videos.  And then we can gather all of this together in our brains and create our own art.

Next Week:  Cezanne with Teresa Sheeley. 

Students may still enroll.  Some of the students are planning to work on one artist per month because we have access to the class information and videos for 2 years.

January 21, 2014

Matisse, A Purple Coat, and the 1913 NYC Armory Show

I am posting the paintings that I did over the weekend, ending my week studying under Jeanne Oliver and Matisse, her master artist.  This was week 1 of 9 weeks of online study with 9 contemporary artists and the Master they wanted to study ("Studying Under the Masters").

In my copy of a Matisse painting which I posted previously, I was drawn to paintings in which he had his models wearing the purple coat from his "working library."  Here is a photo of the actual coat that was in the 2005 Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I saw it then, paired with a painting, and never forgot it.  When I found my copy of the photo, I immediately wanted to share it - I think it tells so much about how Matisse's love of textiles influenced his art.

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After painting a copy of a Matisse painting, "Lady in a Purple Coat," my assignment was to use what I learned to paint my own composition.  I resketched one of my figure drawings from the Society of Illustrators and placed her in an environment that made me think about painting Matisse - ish. 

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Matisse at The Armory Show in 1913: 

On Saturday my husband and I went to the NY Historical Society to see "The Armory Show at 100" exhibit. 

The Armory Show in 1913 contained nearly 1400 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures - showcasing American artists and introducing a new generation of Modern European Artists that shocked visitors to the exhibit.  Matisse sent 13 paintings (including The Blue Nude and Red Studio), 3 drawings, and 1 sculpture and was the artist that created the most outrage!! 

The Historical Society was able to borrow almost 100 of the original pieces and they have prepared a very scholarly introduction and discussion to the politics of mounting the exhibit and the public reaction that shaped Modern Art as we know it.  Much of the information is available online.

This is an extensive discussion of the Armory Show:  http://armory.nyhistory.org/about/ 

And here is the European Painting section which includes the "outrageous" "beast" Matisse (for my Jeanne Oliver classmates): http://armory.nyhistory.org/category/artworks/ 

And then look at the painting by American artist Robert Chanler in which his parodies the Fauves:

http://armory.nyhistory.org/parody-of-the-fauve-painters/  

While at the exhibit, I sketched a Redon and painted my sketch when I returned home.  Odilon Redon was featured in my Figure Drawing class at FIT this Fall and I never paid attention to him before.  So here is my version of Redon's oil on paper painting called "Silence." 

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January 17, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - Matisse Copy

Class members are expected to copy an original Matisse painting in order to learn the characteristics of his style by doing it.  I watched Jeanne Oliver paint her original Matisse on videos and then chose "Woman in a Purple Coat" from 1937 for my painting.  I loved seeing that purple coat in the 2005 Metropolitan Museum of Art Matisse exhibit and there are at least 3 Matisse paintings of models in that coat on Google Images.  Since I paint with watercolors and have little interest in painting with acrylics at this time, I started with light colors and slowly built up to the dark ones.  I wasn't entirely sure that I could make such a huge transition, and my inner critic told me I was crazy to try using watercolors.  I took 2 photographs during the paintings and one of the final.

Here is the drawing and some paint added (Fabriano Artistico 140 lb hot press paper and Winsor Newton watercolors).

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Here is my work in progress at the end of last evening - out of focus, but can't go back!

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This morning I needed to tweak a few areas, especially the upper left corner, but I decided that I learned as much as I needed and it was time to move on to an original painting using style elements that I learned from Matisse. 

This painting is on 9 X 12 paper which is larger than I work in watercolor - so I was out of my comfort zone for sure. 

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On Monday we begin a week of study with Junelle Jacobsen on on Antonio Gaudi.  I know his architecture from photos, but nothing else, so this should be a steep learning curve for me. 

January 14, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - My New Class

Today was the first day of the first week of the Jeanne Oliver Course that I am taking online.. <jeanneoliver.ning.com>           WOW! 

Jeanne selected Henri Matisse as her Artist and I've already watched over 2 hours of wonderful videos and haven't yet watched more than half of them. 

Each week, for 9 weeks, a different artist selected by Jeanne will present "her Master" through videos and exercises.  We will learn more about the artist, analyze technique, and then paint in the style of their artist.  The goal of the class is to study individual artists so completely and to practice their specific techniques enough that we can use this information to develop our own voice and style.

Matisse is one of my favorite artists and I have sketched from his paintings and drawings in museum exhibits many times (22 times according to my sketchbook index), so listening to her and seeing how she is studying him in depth is fascinating.

Here is the last Matisse painting entry in my sketchbooks - Matisse's oil painting of Lady in Blue, 1937.

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Jeanne is creating a pattern book for herself from Matisse's paintings in the last video I viewed today. I wanted to have at least one sketchbook page to honor the beginning of this wonderful 9 week class. So I went back to images that I made at a 2005 Matisse Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams   His Art and His Textiles    June 23–September 25, 2005

"This is the first exhibition to explore Henri Matisse's (1869–1954) lifelong fascination with textiles and its profound impact on his art. It features forty-five painted works and thirty-one drawings and prints displayed alongside examples from Matisse's personal collection of fabrics, costumes, and carpets. The exhibition marks the first public showing of Matisse's textile collection—referred to by the artist as his "working library"—which has been packed away in family trunks since Matisse's death in 1954."

He used patterns from the first piece of fabric in his collection in many of his paintings (a blue and white toile that he called "Toile de Jouy").   

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And here a color painting of my 2005 pen and ink sketch, some patterns from the Indigo and white toile: 

 

 

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And lastly, here is a painting in which this textile pattern is a major part of the background.

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It is probably not too late to sign up for this online class for anyone that is interested.