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November 20, 2017

Michelangelo at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Michelangelo exhibit opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week.  It is quite wonderful!  And it is VERY CROWDED!  There are 133 drawings from 50 institutions and 3 sculptures by Michelangelo.  Most of the drawings are in red chalk, and there is a ceiling reproduction of the Sistine Chapel in one gallery, with preliminary drawings for this monumental work.  I actually visited with friends for several hours on 3 different days and enjoyed drawing there after finding tiny little places to stand out of the crowds. 

Here is a link to the Exhibit which will be at the Met until February 12, 2018

https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2017/michelangelo

 

I sketched his statue called Apollo-David from two views, and also a few of his drawings.   The first is a frontal view, with a few copies of hand drawings from one of his Sistine Chapel drawings.  The second is a side view, when I could stand with my back to a wall, out of the way.

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The head of the prophet Zachariah - who is painted at one end of the Sistine Chapel as a fully developed figure.   Each of the drawings are accompanied by a small photo of the finished painting in the Sistine Chapel, and a diagram where you can find it.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all who celebrate this Holiday! 

November 17, 2017

Drawing at the Fall Art Auction Previews

In the Fall and Spring, Sothebys and Christies auction houses hold BIG auctions of Impressionist-Modern-Post-War and Contemporary Art, and attending the previews for the auctions on the days leading up to them is like going to a new museum every 6 months.  I went to previews at both places last week and enjoyed the art immensely.  I always try to draw something for my sketchbook to remember the day and lately draw more sculpture than drawings or paintings because translating 3D to 2D is better exercise for my brain.   

Rodin Maquette of Andrieu D'Andres, one of the now famous Burghers of Callais.  This piece had so much emotion that I was immediately drawn to it.

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Degas Ballet Dancer - A Composite Drawing:  I loved a small Degas dancer sculpture at Christies and sketched it because Degas really "nailed" the position.  So many of his other ballet sculptures don't have enough turnout or extension.  When I painted the dancer I surrounded her with collages of my quick drawings from a recent working rehearsal of the New York City Ballet.  I only can sketch for a few minutes when the dancers are warming up on stage before the lights go down.

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November 10, 2017

Bookbinding at International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas

Last week I took 3 days of classes at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  Imagine my surprise when I saw a sophisticated bookbinding class in the festival catalogue.  Lisa Louise Adams, a quilter and bookbinder from Hawaii, brought many beautiful, different types of her books to show us, and provided each of us with a pre-cut kit so we could finish the book in one day.  Coptic books open flat, making them good sketchbooks.  I taught myself to make two, from books and videos in 2013, but never mastered the two needle stitching pattern.  So this was the perfect class for me. 

I'll post information and photos on the 2 days of surface-dying in the next month.  Both were classes on "shibori" one using real indigo dye and the other using an indigo color Procion MX dye.

Finished Book:  We each chose our favorite batik fabric, paper strips for an accordion, signatures, button, and thread color.  This is my finished book. 

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Full Cover:  The book opens completely flat. 

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The spine to show the Coptic book chain stitch which binds the concertina, signatures, and covers in place.

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Unlike my traditional Coptic books, this one has a concertina (accordion folded Mi Tientes paper), into which each 4 folio signature was stitched.  And the cover was a fabric-covered, folded piece of binders board that made it unnecessary to punch holes on the outside of the covers.  You can see an example of the folded cover on the left - I still need to glue it shut now that I added a ribbon for closure.

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The paper will be good for sketching and the small size will be easy to carry. 

 

November 8, 2017

Progress in My FIT Illustration Class

I am still really enjoying my FIT Illustration Class called Fashion Applications.  Last night we started to talk about elongating the figure, and I learned that was a convention that began in the late 1800s when women were wearing long dresses.  Instead of the normal body length, which is 8 heads long, the fashion figure is 9-10 heads long.  It will take me awhile to achieve those proportions for our drawings, but I wanted to record some progress here since mid-semester.

1.  I am still using Nu-Pastel chalk to draw the 2 minute warm-up poses.  They are fun for loosening up, and I'm glad I finally tried them!

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2.  I can draw a figure and even add detail from a costume with 7 minute poses. The model had on red leather boots to go with her red and black Spanish costume.

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3.  At the end of a 3 hour class, with many single and double figure poses, I was loose enough to draw 3 figures together in 10 minutes.

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For anyone interested in figure drawing, this is a very structured learning experience.  I missed the class on Mapping the Figure, where you begin drawing the whole figure in a limited number of big separate shapes, and then fill in the internal details.  I will need to try this on my own to see if I can do it! 

November 3, 2017

NYC Urban Sketchers - 2nd Sketchbook Finished

 I love making sketchbooks and devoted several accordion books, with 140 lb watercolor paper, to my days with the NYC Urban Sketchers.  This book took a little more than a year to fill, partly because I didn't always use it when I was sketching with the group.  This is the front of the book.

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This is the back of the book.

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We met at the Hans Christian Anderson Statue for the Saturday morning Storytelling Program when one of our members was performing.  I sketched the Boat Rental Building at Conservatory Water in Central Park and never posted it.

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Recently our weekday USK group went to the Hamilton Grange in Manhattan, the Summer Home that Alexander Hamilton built and lived in for several years at the end of his life.  It is beautiful, and easy to access from midtown Manhattan, at 414 W 141st St.

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