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April 17, 2015

Drawing From Imagination - Yikes!

As a child and younger adult, I could draw from 2D images and always told my husband I was just a good copier.  When preparing for my retirement from a 40 year career in medicine, I started drawing more and from 2005 (when I joined Everyday Matters), I started drawing from life - and slowly developed some skills with LOTS of practice. 

But I always knew that I could not draw completely from imagination, and the second homework assignment from Adolfsson and Defline in Sketchbook Skool Storytelling still aren't done!  So I decided to do my own "100 day project" to try to extend my doodling and develop some small ability to use my imagination. 

I dedicated a 100 page 4 X 6" book that I made with copy paper for daily sketches from my imagination.  And to avoid any excuses, I made a pen/pencil holder to wrap around the book so I can take it anywhere and always be ready. 

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I didn't intend to show any of my drawings, but Jonathan Twingley's Week on Sketchbook Skool - Stretching is all about imagination.  So I decided to post a few drawings since I started on April 6th, and to periodically add some observations about my own brain.   

An Early page - my barn:

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I finally read Perfume by Patrick Suskind and decided to draw perfume bottles:

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Working at my Sewing Machine in my Studio:

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Sailors from the Musical Revival of "On The Town":  I specifically looked at the costumes Wed. PM and drew these Thursday. 

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Thursday Urban Sketchers-NYC met at Lincoln Center and I drew and painted the Metropolitan Opera House for the first time: 

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This morning I decided to see whether I had stored this building in my brain, and now could recall it well enough to draw it in my imagination book.  This is my 5 minute drawing in pen.

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I definitely internalized the Opera House and can remember the structure I analyzed. 

I have over 100 sketchbooks since 2005, and all were drawings from direct observation.  How long will it take for me to be able to draw more from my imagination, and what are the exercises that will help me on this pathway?  I'll report back periodically.

 

 

April 13, 2015

Drawing Quick Portraits

My classmates in Drawing I at FIT:  I finally finished my composite drawing from my Drawing class.  Each week, when I finished the assigned drawings, I would add 1-3 classmates to this page.  The drawings were done very quickly with 4B graphite and then photographed because of the paper size.

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The Central Park Drawing and Art Meetup Group at a Portrait Party met at a rented studio here in Manhattan last weekend.  We had no rules, and some participants sat for portraits and alternated the person "in the chair," and others just sketched members as they were sketching.  We had approximately 45 minutes for each session, and then went out in the neighborhood for a final sketch.  I did these with my Sketch and Wash graphite pencils, but then decided not to add water. 

Meetup Portrait Party  First Session

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 Meetup Portrait Party Second Session

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My only goal when I do these composites is to not have everyone looking the same - meaning that I have observed and tried to individualize their features. 

 

April 11, 2015

Studying Under the Masters - Brett Whiteley

I am slowly completing Jeanne Oliver's Studying Under the Masters, Part 2.  In this online class, contemporary artists study under a Master by learning as much as possible about them, their work, and their lives.  They choose one artwork to copy and then try to incorporate some of the skills and techniques learned into one art work of their own.  Each apprentice shares all of their research on video and demonstrates, in detail, their painting process.  I took Part 1 (9 Master Artists) in the Winter of 2013. and already enrolled in the final Part 3 class which begins in May.  All of my paintings are done from oils done by the Master and converted by me to watercolor.  I have a blog category with my copy and original for each Master in Part 1 and Part 2.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/studying_under_the_masters/

British Artist Robin Fingher chose Australian Artist Brett Whitely as her Master and I chose one of his ink drawings to copy because we are just beginning to do ink drawings with ink washes in my FIT Drawing Class.  I used my new flexible nib by Brause and struggled with some beginner issues with blobs - one close to one eye!!

These are the Master Drawing on the left (called Vanessa) and my copy on the right.

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For my original drawing, inspired by Whiteley, I chose to recreate one of my figure drawings from the Toulouse-Lautrec sessions at MoMA. 

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It was great fun combining ink lines with ink washes (as opposed to cross-hatching) and I did two drawings using the same technique at my drawing class this week. 

This was a still life created by our professor with 3 mannequin arms, one foot.

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And this was one I put together for the second half of our class.

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April 6, 2015

Jacob Lawrence - One Way Ticket at MoMA

One Way Ticket, Jacob Lawrence's Migration series, opened at MoMA this weekend.  At age 23 he painted these 60 panels to tell the story of the migration of blacks from the rural south to the urban north between WWI and WWII.  He did extensive research at the Schomberg Center in Harlem and painted a series that tells an amazing story through paintings and captions.  MoMA owns 30 "even-numbered" panels and the Phillips Collection in DC owns 30 "odd-numbered" ones.  Periodically they reunite them and I first saw them many years ago in DC.  I wasn't drawing or painting at that time, and only now do I realize how masterful he was at composition. 

Lawrence painted in tempera, and after drawing all 60 panels, he painted one color across all 60, and then added the second color, etc. 

Here is a 2 minute video from BBC World News: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32141921 

The MoMA website has all 60 panels and a wonderful description of the exhibit.  

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1549#related_events 

I had trouble choosing just one panel to copy, but kept returning to panels with 3 images - and finally chose this one.

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The exhibit also includes art, music, and photography from his contemporaries, including Marion Anderson's Lincoln Memorial performance.  I loved one of Dorothea Lange's photographs of an ex-slave and sketched her as well.

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April 3, 2015

Sketchbook Skool Challenge from Brenda Swenson

It is semester break at the Sketchbook Skool and faculty from the first 3 semesters are posting weekly challenges on the Sketchbook Skool Blog http://sketchbookskool.com/blog/.  This week Brenda Swenson challenged students to do watercolor paintings on toned paper, using white gouache to add whites to the painting if needed.  I did two paintings and collaged them into my sketchbook to reduce the paper buckling for scanning.

A stylized bouquet of flowers on brown wrapping paper - watercolor and white gouache.

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One of my elephant series drawings that I redrew on Bugra brown paper:

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 Lots of students are waiting impatiently for Sketchbook Skool Semester 4 to begin - and the blog is providing some relief with interesting videos and these challenges.  Happy Holiday weekend to all!