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August 24, 2015

Portraits and Figure Drawings

I'm not very good drawing portraits of my family, but I think there is some improvement in my sketches of my husband.  He was sitting across from me on a Manhattan bus when I sketched him in the first drawing below, the other two were sketched while having coffee at the Boat Pond in Central Park.  He was doing the New York Times Sat and Sunday Crossword Puzzles and therefore quite still.

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This page was pre-printed with watercolor and then drawn in graphite, with a little charcoal.

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Barry with the Crossword Puzzle he finished while I was sketching him with graphite and a little charcoal.

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I try to go to figure drawing weekly during the summer, weather permitting.  Figure Al Fresco  at Battery Park City has one clothed model, in the Park, for two hours.  Last week was the second time I sketched this model - who told us he lifts weights and runs marathons. 

I did 10 0ne minute sketches, and 5 Two minute sketches.  Here are two of the 2 minute sketches that were done on newsprint.

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These are 3 of the 5 minute sketches done with soluble graphite and water. 

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August 20, 2015

Urban Sketchers and the Seaglass Carousel

Today is the Grand Opening of the new Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park.  It took 10 years to reach completion and is a labor of love for the Battery Conservancy, a group founded by Warrie Price in 1994.  The WXY architectural firm's Mark Yoes and his team members conceived of the nautilus shape to honor the original New York Aquarium that once was located in Castle Clinton in Battery Park. 

Yesterday our weekday NYC-Urban Sketchers' group met there to sketch the exterior one day before the official opening.  Upon arrival we learned that it was Press Day and the "keeper of the press list" wouldn't let us any closer.  You can see  the table set up at the entrance.  I sat on a bench and started sketching, soon joined by 2 others from our group.  Several others were disappointed and decided to go sketch along the water where it was cooler.

 

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Much later, after my sketchbook page was painted, one of our members approached the Battery Conservancy Chief of Operations, and was granted permission for the 3 of us to enter based on our almost completed sketches.  The official program for the Press was over and press attendees were just riding the carousel, so I was even able to see the Nautilus spiral ceiling from the inside.    

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Warrie Price and NYC-USK: Much later, the Chief of Operations, Steve Lagerstrom, introduced us to Warrie Price.  From Left to Right - Raylie, Me, Maureen from Urban Sketchers, and Warrie Price the President and Founder of the Battery Conservancy.  The man behind Raylie is Mark Yoes, architect.

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Here is my sketchbook page.  I wasn't sure how long I could sit on the bench in the sun, so the sketch was done quickly and the measurements aren't completely accurate.  Just before we were given permission to enter, the carousel was started and I saw that great big pink fish pass inside the windows.

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When I went inside, I actually met Mark Yoes, completely by chance, as we discussed my open wet paint palette and painting.  I told him I would send him a link to my blog post and hope that he enjoys it!  Here are 4 of the many photos I took as the fish were whirling past me,

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There are many articles already printed, and even a short 1 minute video showing the 30 fish as they spin around and move up and down.  I'm including 2 links, one to the NY Times video and the other to the NY Times article plus video.  Seaglass will now become a favorite NYC destination for NYC families and tourists alike. 

 

Video:  NY Times   http://www.nytimes.com/video/arts/design/100000003846021/take-a-ride-on-a-seaglass-carousel.html

Video Plus Recent Article Describing the Project:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/arts/design/new-yorks-new-carousel-puts-you-in-a-whirling-school-of-mechanized-fish.html?_r=0 

August 17, 2015

A Fun Trip on the Staten Island Ferry

Our granddaughter from Washington DC spent last week with us in NYC and 3 of her NYC  cousins stayed over the first night, and then Zach stayed for two more.  We went to the Museum of Mathematics, an Art session at MoMA, Matilda The Musical on Broadway, and the Museum of Natural History.  On her last night, our remaining 3 NYC grandchildren returned from 7 weeks at summer camp, so she had a full week of cousins. 

One day we took Annabelle and Zach on the Staten Island Ferry to see New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.  The Ferry, which is free, runs every half hour from both Manhattan and Staten Island and the two ferries pass each other on each of these 30 minute runs.  Here is a photo of our ferry passing the one headed in the other direction.

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When the ferry reaches Staten Island all passengers must disembark, and can wait for the next return ferry in a waiting room with two huge fish tanks.  We took sketchbooks, and here is my painting of two of the fish.

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This is the fish that Zach sketched, but I don't have a copy. 

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On our return trip we had a great view of the Statue of Liberty, and the tip of Manhattan. 

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After ice cream with a visit to our son, Zach's Dad, we went to the big Dick Blick store where they each chose a new big art set. 

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They sketched with color pencils immediately, making 10 drawings in total, as soon as we got home!  They even put prices on them in case someone in the family wanted to buy one!  We were sad to return her to her parents and brother over the weekend.  This is her second week with us this year and we are already planning another visit.

August 13, 2015

Bookbinding in August

We are planning a Fall trip to Spain, and I like to repurpose/recycle an old book with a theme for our vacations.  I found an old $2.00 book on an outdoor cart at The Strand in New York City - named Spanish Drawings.  I carefully cut the stitches to separate the old signatures and folios and selected two of them for my end papers.  I also included the original title page for the first page in my book.  The rest of the pages are Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press Watercolor Paper.  I created a 4 part tutorial for a book of this kind before a trip to Italy in 2012 and here is the link:

 
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I also made a new daily watercolor sketchbook using the same paper and one of my newly dyed pieces of fabric as the bookcloth.   
 
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I love the pencil/pen/eraser pocket I made for my last daily sketchbook, so I used some of my dyed fabric samples to make one to go with a purple and blue book. 
 
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It is very convenient to have these tools readily available when I'm carrying around my sketchbook and eventually will have a multitude of colored pockets to match them. 

August 6, 2015

Wednesday is Art Day in Battery Park

This is a view of the Southern tip of Manhattan, and the trees along the water are part of Battery Park.  The multilevel triangular-roofed structure, at the bottom of the photo, is the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and we spend the morning painting, just to the south of that building, and in the afternoon draw a clothed model just to the north of it.  Turning my camera a little further North and you can see The Freedom Tower, the new World Trade Center, which dominates the skyline.

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The gardens surrounding the Museum are full of dinner-plate size hibiscus this month every year.

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If I turned around while painting, this is the view I would have seen.

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My first painting on Wed. was a composite of the 3 color flowers on display.  Then I just looked up, and decided to draw "what was in front of me" - the wall of the Museum with sky, clouds, and trees reflecting in one set of windows. 

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After lunch we moved around the Museum, to the area of the Park known as South Cove, for Figure Al Fresco to draw Rebecca.  She is a model who I like to draw best in very short poses.  Here are the last 4 of my 10 one minute poses. 

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This is a free program sponsored by the Battery Park Conservancy and they even bring art supplies to every session from the beginning of May to the end of October. 

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