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January 10, 2009

More Painted Christmas Trees

I continued to paint Christmas trees this year throughout the holiday season - and now post #3 and 4 from my journal.  I was disappointed to find that watercolor paint is absorbed so rapidly into Fabriano 140lb soft press paper that adding salt immediately didn't allow me to get a snow effect on a painted tree.  However, I read all of Vivian Swift's book When Wandrers Cease to Roam on New Year's Day, and was inspired to use her watercolor technique to paint a small tree with the suggestion of snow.

                      ChristmasTree4SIZE.jpg

Yesterday I was putting Christmas cards away and found another painted tree which inspired me to paint #4 in my daily journal, with a healthy amount of gold metallic acrylic paint added for a string of beads and stars.

                   ChristmasTree3SIZE.jpg

It is currently snowing in Manhattan, and there are Christmas trees propped up against trees in front of our apartment waiting to be picked up for the City mulching program.  They already have a wonderful layer of snow on their branches, giving me many trees to paint tonight if I want to bundle up and go downstairs! 

January 5, 2009

EDM Challenge #204 and Some Figure Drawing Practice

We have had minimal snow in New York City since this challenge was posted, so I went back to photos from a February 2005 trip to Paris.  It was the first time we were in Paris in the snow and it was a beautiful site.  This drawing was made from a photo that I took from the window of an apartment that we rented on Quai de l'Horloge early in the morning.

                 Paris%20Snow.jpg

One of my 2009 Art Goals was to finish the pages in my 2nd Figure Drawing Practice watercolor journal.  I periodically sketch figures, faces, and hands from photos to obtain some fluency drawing the human body and experimenting with a variety of tools.  I'm finally willing to put faces on my full figure drawings - a major accomplishment of 2008!  Here are two figures that I sketched from photos during this wonderfully relaxing New Year's holiday weekend.  The rest of the time I've been reading, quilting, and binding 2 new watercolor journals for the New Year.

               Fig.Jan3.jpg

                      Fig.Jan4.jpg

 

January 1, 2009

Art Goals - 2009

Art Goals 2009: 

EDM members inspired me to set goals several years ago and I am grateful for the suggestion.  Without them, I'm not sure whether I would have remained as active and productive.  So here are my current plans for 2009. 

1. Daily Art: Continue to complete one sketch daily, do weekly EDM challenges, and upload some journal pages to my blog at least twice per week.  

2. Bookbinding: Make more ~6" x 8" watercolor journals for the year using Fabriano Artistico extra-bright 140 lb soft press paper.

3. More Sketchbook Drawing Practice:

a. Faces and figures - try self-portraits?

b. Continue to draw the Masters to learn how they make their lines.

c. Interiors of my current apartment for the "My Homes" series.

4. Current Projects:

a. Redraw and paint Cezanne’s Card Players at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the second year.

b. Finish myThemed Journals: Elizabeth I journal (London) from photos I took there in 2006-7 and my NY State Tax Report journal (New York City) for my 10 blocks from home series of drawings.

5. Retirement Project: I would like to develop a project for my first 6 months of retirement (July-Dec 2009). I love this city and never have enough time to explore it. I need to consider whether I can combine local travel by bus and subway and illustrated journaling of my days exploring specific sections of Manhattan.

6. Structured Learning: Read Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks

7. Find a Local Art Buddy: I’d love to have someone to do sketchcrawls with in Manhattan.

8. PLAY:  I want to do more experimentation, trying new tools and techniques and loosening up - thinking only of process, not product.

December 30, 2008

Some Christmas Journal Pages and EDM Challenge #203

It is hard finding time to do a daily sketch over the Christmas Holidays - Unless the journal pages are fast and simple.

Here are beautiful Christmas trees that are put up for a month along the Avenue.

AvenueTrees.jpg 

My new favorite Christmas candy -

                 Kisses.jpg

Another Toy Soldier from Rockefeller Center.  I painted one last year and now should make this a tradition when I go down to see the fabulous tree.

               Soldier2.jpg

The facade of the newly renovated Guggenheim is now visible again.  We took our oldest grandson for lunch and then a visit last weekend.

                      Guggenheim.jpg

Finally did last week's EDM Challenge.  In our apartment, the children drink their apple joice from juice boxes or sippy cups.

                   Juices.jpg

 

 

December 21, 2008

Rice Mice

The wife of one of my professors wrote this book for her 3 small children in 1978 when she was terminally ill, to share some of her memories from her childhood in Denmark.  Her husband, Sam Refetoff, gave me a copy when my children were very young and I made Rice Mice for them.  In the book every mouse is accompanied by a poem and my children wrote poems to capture their individual mouse's personalities.  

                  RiceMiceBook.jpg

Some time during the ensuing years I made two Christmas Rice Mice and every year they are part of our table decoration.  They are approximately 5 inches high and filled with standard white rice.

RiceMice.Xmas.jpg

I sketched them last year for my journal page on December 24th and then again last evening.  This year's painting is more accurate because I took the time to put in the polka dots!  Since I didn't post the journal page last year, here are both 2007 and 2008.  This year I painted a shiny gold acrylic background around the mice - wish it could be scanned and look that way!

2007:

RiceMice2006.jpg

2008:

                        RiceMice2008.jpg

Several years ago I made Rice Mice (singular is Rouse Mouse!) for my 3 oldest grandchildren as stocking stuffers, using scraps from quilts that I made for them.

RiceMice.HSR.jpg

I think it might be time this morning to make one for each of the baby grandchildren for their stockings.  Those for the children have embroidered eyes instead of buttons - which is not nearly as cute, but much safer!

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