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May 2, 2009

Every Day in May - 1

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This is my 3rd year participating in this challenge.  I already complete one journal page per day, but I only upload a small number of those pages to my blog.  Shouldn't be a surprise that I don't upload drawings and paintings that I don't like.  This challenge forces me to upload each and everyone for 31 days - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  At the beginning of the month, this makes me a little more careful about choice of subject and may even make me less spontaneous.  Midway through the month I can usually overcome these feelings. 

Here is my journal page from yesterday May 1st.  We eat dinner at a restaurant in Grand Central Station before going to the Broadway theater - and almost always have Ceasar salad, a thin crust sausage pizza, and a glass of chianti.  Last night the play with Matthew Broderick got a bad review, so we savored dinner even more.

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Here are several journal pages to finish posting from April.  The first is from a Gauguin drawing that was a study for his Dancing Girls of Breton.  The Morgan Library and Museum had the 5th installment of the Thaw collection drawings and I loved this one!  The second is from a reading at Barnes Noble by Arthur Phillips - author of the Egyptologist.  My book group is reading it this month.  He read from his new novel, but it was still fun meeting him.  This image is from the book cover - the colors are mine.

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EDM Challenge 221: Hand-held game

I'm not a game player, but have a basket of cards from my children's childhood, occasional games of solitaire, and "War" with my grandchildren.  This set of cards has a figure skater from the 1984 Olympics, so at least drawing it game me practice with unusual persepctive with the skater body.

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May 1, 2009

Bookbinding

I fell in love with the concept of recycling old, "ready for the garbage", books.  Most of the ones I've used cost $1.00 and were on the cart that was ready for disposal.  This gives them a completely new life and provides me with a fun watercolor journal to use for daily sketches.  I recycled 7 books, previously posting a detailed set of instructions and photos on my blog,and then took a short bookbinding workshop to make my own watercolor journals including the book cover.

Here are all of my blog posts re: both recycled and non-recycled books I made:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/bookbinding/

Here are my instructions for recycling my books:

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2008/03/recycling_an_old_book_as_a_wat.php

I used my Michaelangelo Sonnet book for figure drawing practice, and then one called Painting Made Easy.  Last month I made my 8th recycled book as my 3rd volume for figure drawing practice and this one is called The Illustrator

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I use a 5 hole, modified coptic stitch to stitch the signatures together and then glue the spine using paper and mull - a technique I learned in my bookbinding workshop.  But there are still small gaps using 140 lb watercolor paper that I can't avoid, although they are so much smaller that I don't cover them with strips of the endpapers as I did previously. 

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When using book covers from old books, you have a fixed size for the pages and some waste watercolor paper.  I decided to use the waste piece for the first pages of my new recycled books and used these slightly smaller pages for some 90 second figure drawing using Pose Maniacs.

I love the freedom of selecting a size for my watercolor journals when I make my own covers, but as a book lover, I also really love searching for a book with an appropriate title and/or theme and giving it a new life and prominent place on my bookshelf.

April 28, 2009

EDM Challenge #220 (Moon) and Several Journal Pages

I have 1000s of digital photos and not a single photo of the Moon.  As I contemplated whether I would see a moon over the buildings here in Manhattan, I remembered the song from the movie Arthur and the phrase "between the moon and New York City."  I painted the skyline around the World Financial Center and a moon - and hopefully can now get the song out of my brain. 

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The weather here was magnificent this past weekend.  There are fabulous tulips everywhere I look and I took a small art stool outside Saturday to paint several of the orange red tulips that are in huge tulip beds and around the trees in planters along the avenue. 

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On Sunday morning we left the apartment at 9AM and walked to the area I call the Duck Pond or Toy Boat Pond.  This year the concession stand is open again and the patio is a wonderful place for morning coffee.  We really missed it last year.  While my husband did the crossword puzzle, I drank my coffee and sketched and painted a cropped version of the cafe counter. 

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Here is an earlier journal page I did while sitting in the same place.

April 25, 2009

More Figure Drawing Practice

I periodically practice figure drawing in preparation for the time after my retirement this summer when I can go to a drop-in figrue drawing class at one of the many sites available here in New York City.

 I set the time on Pose Maniacs for 90 seconds and sketched the following 5 figures.  I try each one that appears although some of their figure positions are so wierd that I can only imagine how a real body could achieve it.  They were sketched in watercolor pencil and finished with a watercolor wash.

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I also have Mark Smith's book of nude photos for artists and had my husband select some photos and put "stickies" on them.  I then set my timer for 5 minutes, opened to the first sticky, and did a 5 minute sketch of the figure in watercolor pencil.  I then quickly brushed them with water in a Niji waterbrush.

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April 18, 2009

EDM Challenge #219 and Sketchcrawl Today

EDM Challenge # 219:  Draw a Window

Today several of us who met in Danny Gregory's class had another sketchcrawl in New York City.  We met in Grand Central Station and while I waited for them I sketched a ticket window for this week's Everyday Matters Challenge.

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The weather was wonderful, so we walked over to Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library,  and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful flowers that were all in bloom, and the hundreds of chairs that are set up around the park for all to enjoy this fabulous area.  There were thousands of tulips, daffodils, pansies and hyacinths in flower beds and urns.  I was immediately drawn to the beds of pink tulips.

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The Empire State building is visible above buildings on 41st St from the Park and we all did a sketch of the view.  In my sketch it is impossible to realize how tall it is behind the foreground buildings and trees.  I'll have to return to the scene and try again someday.

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I ended the morning sitting in front more flowers - to document again the joy of sketching in the sun, on a warm Spring day, enjoying the company of Annie and Kathleen and surrounded by flowers in this fabulous urban setting.

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