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April 22, 2016

Drawing Hands Continued April 2016

The Battery Park Conservancy outdoor free drop-in art sessions will begin again the first Wednesday in May, and that always inspires me to work on my hand drawings.  I attend on Wednesdays, weather permitting.  In the morning the group and artist administrators are in Wagner Park from 11-1 and the gardens, NY Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline are all wonderful subjects.  In the afternoon they reassemble in the South Cove for clothed figure drawing. 

These 3 drawings were done with a watercolor pencil, without water, using hands from magazine advertisements. 

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April 19, 2016

Recent Exhibit Visits: Andy Warhol and Vigee Le Brun

The NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I saw, and sketched, in the Vigee LeBrun exhibit which closes on May 15th. 

"Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842) is one of the finest 18th-century French painters and among the most important of all women artists. An autodidact with exceptional skills as a portraitist, she achieved success in France and Europe during one of the most eventful, turbulent periods in European history."  She is known as the painter to Marie Antoinette.

http://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2016/vigee-le-brun 

I sketched a sculpture of her by Augustine Pajou, viewers in front of one of her paintings, and a Self Portrait before the group met for lunch.  I was most struck by the fact that most of the women in her paintings had her face!  The Met has most of her portraits at the link listed above.

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I went with my artist friends to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Morgan Museum and Library, which also closes on May 15th.  I don't care if I ever see any more of his silk screen art, but I love his work as an illustrator - especially his blotted line drawings which I wrote about during his exhibit last summer at MoMA. 

"Andy Warhol’s fascination with publishing and the art of the book was lifelong—rooted in his artistic training as a college student and early career in advertising, fashion, and commercial illustration. For close to forty years, books were a touchstone for Warhol—a medium to which he returned again and again as a platform for his unparalleled creativity. He contributed to more than eighty projects for books and left traces behind of dozens of others that were never realized."  

http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/warhol 

I sketched one of his illustrations, but I'm also posting my illegal photo of my very, very favorite painting.  It was an illustration from a Katherine Ann Porter book called Old Mortality.  Many of his drawings/illustrations are best seen on a Pinterest Board.

https://www.pinterest.com/cihastings/art-andy-warhol/ 

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This ink and watercolor painting is called Figures Roller Skating (1946-47).  The lines are so amazing and the colors so rich.  I haven't found an image of it yet online. 

 

 

April 15, 2016

Abstract Painting and Surface Design

When I restarted drawing, and learning about watercolors, I was most interested in documenting my life by drawing and painting in sketchbooks.  I've now filled over 100 since 2005 and I love how much I remember about events when I browse through them.  This semester I'm taking an abstract painting class using acrylics, at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and was attracted to the course just to shake up my painting - not to switch my focus or medium.

Our first painting was "non-objective" meaning that it was not based on anything in reality. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2016/03/my_fiirst_abstract_and_acrylic.php 

The second painting was "objective" meaning that the artist begins with some images from his/her environment and then proceeds to abstract the image.   I like grids and quickly sketched a media wall in front of me as I sat reading. 

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My first painting in the course was in cool colors and I wanted to make this one in hot colors - and I added layers to the 16 x 20" canvas panel over 3 weeks.  This is my finished painting.

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After I completed this painting I quickly painted some of the things in our class studio - a stool, a high chair, an easel, a ceiling exhaust fan, and a wood stand that holds our paints, palettes etc.  Many of my classmates used the studio as their inspiration and I decided to try it as well.  I painted multiple layers on a 9 X 12" piece of watercolor paper, and this is the result. 

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I dye fabric for a variety of projects, including bookcloth for my handmade watercolor sketchbooks.  Most of the fabric designs are abstract, and it took me weeks to realize this similarity to my painting class.  This is my newest watercolor sketchbook - made with a piece of fabric that was tightly rolled and tied in a knot before soaking it in an equal mixture of red and black dye stocks.  The design and colors were a complete, and wonderful surprise. 

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I designed pen pockets for my sketchbooks this year and distribute Sewing Instructions if requested on my blog.  I have enough dyed fabric that I can make pen pockets to blend with the covers, and I'm able to use a similar color pocket with the new sketchbook. 

This is the new sketchbook and pocket - and below this photo are others that I made for prior books. 

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Please leave a request for the pattern PDF on my blog. 

April 12, 2016

Art Friday: Center for Italian Modern Art

Pat and I met at MoMA for an informative lecture on Degas' current exhibit in the morning and then went downtown for our first visit to the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA).  The current exhibit is on Italian artist Giorgio Morandi (born Bologna1890-1964), which opened last Fall and will end on June 25th.  In my college modern art course textbook (John Canady Mainstreams of Modern Art) he is described as "painting a few ordinary bottles and bowls, combined and recombined in picture after picture, yet without monotony...."

Morandi Self-Portrait:  1930 

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I first saw Morandi's paintings at the Met in 2008.  I knew nothing about him as an artist, and wasn't really sure how I felt about his obsession with painting rows of bottles and other similar vessels.  Last Fall, we visited David Zwirner's Gallery in Chelsea and I had a new appreciation of his paintings.  Following that visit, our friend Judy told us about the Center for Italian Modern Art, and it took Pat and I until now to visit there. 

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CIMA is located on the 4th floor at 421 Broome Street and you need to make reservations for guided tours on Friday and Saturday afternoons.  Our tour guide was an Italian research fellow at CIMA and she was amazing!  Behind her are photos taken by Joel Meyerowitz in Morandi's Studio in Italy.

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We were shown into the kitchen and served espresso or coffee - in Pantone color cups which I loved. 

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As we walked around the lovely galleries, I sketched one bottle each  from some of the paintings and painted them when I got home. 

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This view of his Studio/Bedroom raises many questions in my mind about him as a person.  We know that he lived with his 3 sisters in Bologna until his death.

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One last photo - taken from the window in the CIMA Library - of a neighboring rooftop.  I'd love to draw and paint this for a glimpse into our big city life.

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April 8, 2016

Deliberate Practice: Drawing Hands

I love figure drawing and I'd love to be able to capture the hand positions of the models.  If I succeed at all, it is only in the 20 minute poses.  These hands were all drawn from photos I collect from fashion catalogues or the New York Times Magazine sections.  My drawing was done with a watercolor pencil, without adding water.  I love how easily it erases and can convert it to paint at any time with a watercolor brush. 

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I found a great watch advertisement with 4 hand photos and was inspired to keep drawing this week.  Here are the two that I finished.  

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