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July 1, 2007

London Visits: Part 30 National Gallery Exhibit

Drawing from Paintings: Leon Kossoff Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art

My husband and I went to this exhibit today on our way to the National Portrait Gallery - and I was intrigued by Leon Kossoff's process of working.  He began to sketch in front of National Gallery masterpieces when he was a young art student and returns over and over to sketch the same paintings - some over many decades.  He even etches plates directly in front of his favorite paintings to make prints. 

I like to draw from art masterpieces on occasion to learn more about techniques, but I usually buy a postcard to work from and rarely sketch a painting more than once.  I'm afraid I would be very bored....  Maybe I'll need to try the same one once a year and see if I can do it.

Here is a link to a Degas Masterpiece  Combing the Hair by Edgar Degas

Here is the very simplified sketch/print of the Degas Painting by Kossoff  Kossoff Drawing of Degas Painting

Here is my sketch with some watercolor added.

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Most of Kosoff's drawings were more developed, resembling value sketches more than finished drawings.  I also purchased a postcard of the Poussin masterpiece, The Judgement of Paris, which was another favorite of his, and I'll use it for some figure practice when vacation is over. 

London Visit: Part 29 Terrorism

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Our daughter, her husband, and our 3 grandchildren left their lovely, rented Chelsea home at 7:30 AM Friday - and we  came back in the house for our continued minivacation, only to see the breaking news on BBC.  We decided to stay in for the morning to see BBC/CNN news coverage of the suspicious car discovered on Haymarket.  While we watched the news unfold, I sketched my photo of Piccadilly Circus - taken earlier in the week.  I still need to add watercolor wash, but wanted to post this as the the first of my 3 journal pages on this morning when the London threat level has been raised to critical.   

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After lunch on Friday we took a bus to Westminster to walk around Big Ben - to see what sections of  Parliament were reopened since our February visit.  We were amazed how many people were out and about - all appearing relatively unconcerned about the possibility of terrorism.  I took many new photos of Big Ben so I could continue to play with the image in a series of sketches and then we visited Westminster Hall.  We have vivid memories of our visit there in 1970 - and weren't able to see it again until now.  When we came out the helicopters that were hovering over Piccadilly area had moved slightly west, but we didn't learn about the closure of Park Lane and the robotic exam of the second car until we arrived home. 

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Saturday morning we left early for a visit to Portobello Road Market - in the rain - and I took this photo of our Circle Line train arriving at the Sloane Square Station.  We walked back to Chelsea during intermittent heavy showers - and then learned about the Glasgow Airport incident.  Foot traffic along King's Road and in Peter Jones Department Store during their big sale was unchanged from the usual Saturday afternoon crush.  We are watching local news, but will continue with our plans for today and remain hopeful that this Critical Threat alert will end shortly.

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June 29, 2007

EDM Challenge #125: Draw a Bird

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SWAN IN HYDE PARK, LONDON.  As I type this Hyde Park remains evacuated and Park Lane closed as police use a robot to investigate a suspicious car parked in/near the underground car park (under Hyde Park with entrance on Park Lane).  This follows the discovery of a car bomb on Haymarket at 1AM in Central London.  We spent the afternoon at Westminster Hall and Parliament and the crowds didn't look as if they even knew that there was a huge area closed around Piccadilly Circus. 

I took this swan photo when we were here in December. 

June 27, 2007

London Visit: Part 28

Hockney on Turner Watercolors at Tate Britain

I met Katherine Tyrrell of Making a Mark yesterday for a day at Tate Britain.  We browsed through the Turner watercolors in the morning, had lunch at the museum Restaurant where we shared sketchbooks and sketched, and then enjoyed another Turner exhibit called "Color and Line"  in the afternoon.  Katherine is really good at reviewing London museum exhibits - and she has an information-packed entry on her blog today with links to his watercolors and other Turner information.

We both did a sketch during lunch.  Katherine has her restaurant sketch posted on her Travels with a Sketchbook blog. Here is my rather hurried sketch in the restaurant:

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The Color and Line exhibit covered many of Turner's techniques - and his pigments.  I loved how they dissected so many aspects of his art and had interactive displays.  My favorite part was the drawing stations - set up with a block of paper and some pencils in front of approximately 8-9 of his sketches.  I sat and worked from two of them - here are the results.  Katherine has also linked to this exhibit on her blog today so you can see the originals for both of our "Turner" drawings there.

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London Visits: Part 27

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We took Henry and Sydney to the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood this week.  The interactive displays are wonderful for children their age.  This is 2 1/2 year old Sydney who "dressed up" in a picture hat, one ladies shoe from 1870 and another from the early 1900s - and then clopped back to the fire engine so she could drive it.

The Museum also had an exhibit of Picasso animal drawings and lots of interactive activities for slightly older children.  I love to use his drawings for inspiration - and skill building.

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