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March 27, 2007

EDM Challenge 112: Draw Something Fresh - FRESH SPRING AIR

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Last weekend (3/16-17) we had freezing rain and snow - precluding even walking because of the winds.  This weekend was much warmer and New Yorkers ran a marathon in Central Park and filled the playgrounds on Sunday morning.  We met our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in Hippo Playground in Riverside Park.  He loves the slides - and I was warm enough to sketch the hippo sculptures.  There are buds on the trees and the early spring flowers have stems about 4" above the ground.  This is as close as we have gotten to "fresh"  - wonderful fresh air to cure winter cabin fever.

There are two groups of hippo sculptures - that children climb on and adults sit on.  Here are two pictures that I took of the "animals."

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Very few New Yorkers even pay attention when I'm sketching, and while I was sketching the hippo head with open mouth, a woman kept talking to her friend and actually put her foot right up into the mouth obscuring my view.  And I was standing not more than 4 feet from her! 

March 25, 2007

Watercolor Skills Workbook

In 2003 I purchased Winsor-Newton watercolors in primary colors and Anne Elsworth's book entitled Watercolor Skills Workbook - 10 easy lessons.  However, it wasn't until July 2005 that I partially retired and in September joined EDM.  I'm finally starting to slowly go through the 10 lessons - and doing a few of the exercises and projects.   

Lesson one recommends a basic palette and then outlines exercises to mix secondary and complementary colors.  I mixed Winsor lemon and French ultramarine to make green and then added varying amounts of cad red to mix complemetaries.  These were used to paint houses from a painting by Camille Pisarro (The Hermitage at Pointoise - posted March 13th).

 I'm now posting 2 projects from lesson 2: 

Project 1. Drawing a still life on mirror tiles: I took several items from my china closet and sketched them on a round mirror.  It was fun, but I'm not sure I would know this "busy painting" is because of reflections in a mirror if I didn't know it.

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Project 2.  Painting the silhouette of buildings:  This is a painting of the Tower of London rooflines from a photo that I took during our October visit.  I loved doing this project and will probably paint more photos from the series of photos that I took that day!

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March 22, 2007

EDM Challenge #111: Draw a Bowl

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We had spectacular onion soup at the original Au Pied du Couchon in the old Les Halles area of Paris in November 1970.  The soup was delicious and the thick, melted layer of cheese extraordinary.  My husband and I perfected Julia Child's recipe from Volume I: Mastering the Art of French Cooking and bought these soup bowls  to use for the last minute cheese melting step and serving. 

After the Les Halles market moved out of central Paris and Au Pied du Couchon underwent a significant face-lift, the soup was the same, but the ambience of the old place was gone.  The marzipan pig was saved from my dessert plate from one of our later visits.  Somehow it survived the trip home and is now rock hard from years in the china cabinet.

March 17, 2007

EDM Challenge #110: Draw a Flame

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I adore candles and all varieties of candle holders, but now limit myself to using only closed varieties, i.e. globes of some kind, because of fire hazards.  My painting of the flame needs lots more work - I should have made it bigger and just concentrated on the wonderful colors that I saw.  However, I love this Dutch brass candle holder that we bought on the Rokin in Amsterdam in 1989.  The antique brass shop had/has been in the family for well over 100 years and was then managed by a father and son named Hart  This piece is estimated to be from ca 1770 and sits in a prominent position in our apartment for my constant enjoyment.

March 13, 2007

Sunday Afternoon at the Guggenheim New York

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We visited the Guggenheim Sunday afternoon to see the El Greco to Picasso exhibit before it closes on March 24th.  What huge crowds!  The lighting was wonderful - a combination of light from the skylight in the rotunda and the lights over each painting.  I was captivated by the view across the open center and stood along the balcony to sketch the scene.  I had to reduce the number of people in my sketch in order to really see the paintings.  The half circle in the center of the sketch is an open area overlooking a small adjoining gallery below.

I then quickly visited a few of my favorites in the permanent collection and sketched this small portion of Camille Pissaro's painting Hermitage at La Pointoise.  I love rooftop scenes and ! was looking for something to paint using a single color triad: cadmium red, Winsor blue, and Winsor lemon. 

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