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March 1, 2016

Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC

On Friday my friend Eunice and I went to the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum - my first visit since the major renovation.  We loved "Beautiful," the Triennial Design Exhibit.  There are many types of articles: jewelry, clothing, furniture, textiles, books, ceramics, wallpaper, drawings, and calligraphy to name some.  What makes the visit even more enjoyable are the number of ways you can interact with the designs.  When you enter you are given a wand - with a stylus at one end and a scanner at the other.  The scanner allows you to upload information and photos of each item in the exhibit to a personal account by touching an icon on the exhibit card.  With a unique password on your ticket, you will then be able to open "your virtual tour" when you reach home.  The stylus lets you create designs on many flat computer screen tables that are scattered throughout the exhibits. 

I loved a wallpaper design from the exhibit which was created by "Studio Job" a company founded by Nynke Tynagel (Amsterdam) and Job Smeets (Brussels).  Here are 3 of their wallpapers strips - each 29 feet without repeats! 

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This image was drawn from my favorite - the strip in the middle.  The background was a wet-in-wet watercolor page and the face was drawn on top of it and then painted after it dried.

  

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There are several other current exhibits at the museum, and I want to return soon to really carefully look at the Pixar exhibit and the Design Lab.    

February 26, 2016

Battery Park City Still Life Paintings

Still Life #1  We had limited props for our still life drawings yesterday, but some of the clippings from the Park Conservancy, including pussy willows, were lovely.  I decided to play by drawing the arrangement with a brown watercolor pencil and then painting with watercolor over the watercolor pencil.  Brenda Swenson sketched with a watercolor pencil and then painted with watercolor in her demo in Sketchbook Skool Seeing.  And I haven't used the technique since then. 

 

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Still Life #2:  My 2nd still life was set up with childrens' art tools from a supply closet, and two of my brushes.  This was another experiment - using glazing like Felix Scheinberger demonstrated in Sketching Skool Expressing.  I put water on my watercolor paper and then dropped in 4 colors to make the background.  After it dried completely, I sketched the "tools" in pencil and then painted them in their original colors as a glaze.

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I feel completely free to play when I'm at these art sessions and quickly get in the flow and experiment.  It feels great. 

February 23, 2016

Blotted Line Image Transfer

I was intrigued by Andy Warhol's use of this technique when seeing it in the 2015 Warhol exhibit at MoMA, and attended one of their art sessions to learn the technique for making these transfers.  Here is information and photos of Warhol's prints, and my transfers from the museum.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2015/07/warhol_blotted_line_prints.php 

Last week, on Sketchbook Skool Semester 5, Penny Dullaghan, an artist illustrator, taught her technique for making blotted line image transfers as one of 4 print-making techniques, and she used a brush and India ink, instad of a fountain pen and water-soluble ink like I tried at MoMA. 

 

This was the image I created at MoMA using a disposable fountain pen - and tracing paper (left) and smooth Bristol paper (right) that were taped together for us in a packet.   The ink was soluble so I didn't add watercolor.

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Here are 3 images I transferred using a brush and India ink per Penny Dullaghan's method in Sketchbook Skool 5.  I used Canson Vellum tracing paper, Fabriano Atistica 140 lb watercolor paper, a #1 round brush, and India ink.  I like the expressive lines best when transferring the leaves.  The faces are more messy and would need more practice and probably a smaller brush.

Brush and ink - Leaves:  I like the random blobs of ink. 

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Axel: 

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Face:  The dots paper to the left side of the face are me experimenting with transferring dots, instead of 1/4" segments of ink with the brush.  I liked Warhol's dots (as seen in my blog link above) and think there are times when I might want to use them.

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February 19, 2016

Figure Drawing in Battery Park City - Feb 17

Wednesday was figure drawing day in Battery Park City.  I sketched the figures with a soluble graphite pencil (Sketch and Wash by General) and then added water to move the graphite for shading.  Several minutes later I added watercolor to the figure. 

These two 10 minute poses were drawn and painted over a previous watercolor background. 

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These are two 15 minute poses drawn with the soluble graphite and then watercolor. 

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Next Week at BPC:  Still Life Painting 

February 16, 2016

Art Wednesday at Battery Park City

We are alternating figure drawing with still life drawing at our weekly Battery Park City Art Sessions.  There were many different objects available for creating a still life, even winter cuttings from foliage in the many parks.  This was my first painting.

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By the time I was putting together my next still life, the staff added many toys they found from the "childrens" programs also held in the space.  I've always been fascinated by the story of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, a British sculptor who made dinosaur sculptures using their skeletons as a basis.  The sculptures were featured in the Crystal Palace Exhibit in London in 1854.  Sadly, New York City's Tammany Hall objected to putting these sculptures in Central Park, after Hawkins toured the US with his dinosaurs.  It is said that "gangsters" destroyed the sculptures and they are buried in the SW corner of Central Park.  These stories can be easily found online and in a lovely Children's book.

 

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 For my last drawing/painting, I used one stem of the foliage that was donated by the BPC gardeners.   I loved the delicacy and orange colors!  Can anyone identify this winter planting?

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