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August 3, 2012

Making Stencils for Art on Paper and Fabric

My friend Melanie Testa is starting a series of online classes through her new website which is called Clever Guild.  If you know either of Melanie's books, you know what a talented artist she is - on paper and on fabric.  I love the way she uses stencils for background images in her art, and I couldn't wait to take her new online class called "Stencil Magic" so I could learn how to make my own stencils.  I am a total novice, making only one previous stencil using contac paper and Shiva paintsticks.

For my first stencil, I used a doodle from my "Doodle Sketchbook."  If you are a reader of this blog, you know that I rarely doodled, and for the past year I forced myself to be more creative when I was visiting my Mom and we were sitting having coffee and talking.   This is a page of doodles from last August. 

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I scanned, cropped, and resized my purple flower doodle to make my first stencil.  Melanie teaches students how to convert a drawing, or photo, into an image that can be used as a stencil.  "Bridges" need to be created on the pattern in order to create details in the image.  This is my stencil, photographed over the self sealing mat that I used during the cutting, so you can see the image.

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Today I decided to use the stencil on paper, even though I haven't reached that lesson yet.  It was not a nice crisp image using gouache, but I'm sure that Melanie will teach me the best way to do this in the next lesson.

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I used a reference book on Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts for inspiration for my next stencil and here is the second stencil that I cut. 

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Here is my first, not very crisp, image using gouache on paper.

 

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While cutting the stencil, the mylar is laid over a sheet of paper with the chosen image, and carefully cut out with an xacto knife.  In the process of cutting th stencil, the paper sections are also removed.  I saved them and here rearranged them for another variant of this image which could also be made into a stencil. 

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This is a terrific class for anyone wanting to create their own stencils for repetitive images on paper and/or fabric.  It is a rolling class, so you have access to all 4 classes as soon as you sign up.  And the video access is indefinite, so you can return to them over and over. 

It's time for me to go watch more videos in the next class!

July 30, 2012

My First (and Maybe Only) Zentangle

I watched Kass Hall's webinar last week to learn more about the zentangles that I see on some blogs.  I was immediately curious about an art technique that required "certified teachers."  So I searched out the originators of this process to learn more.

I've already confessed that I'm not much of a doodler, and take a doodle notebook with me each week when I visit my elderly Mother so I can try more playful drawings - including lots of one-liners - when we are sitting having coffee and talking for an hour.  

In my research I discovered that zentangles are drawn on 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 ' tiles, using a "string" or random set of pencil lines to divide the area, and that there is a growing collection of patterns used.  I tried some of the patterns as part of my usual "learn it by myself" strategy.  And then I suspended my judgement, and with the Olympics in the background did my first zentangle.  Serious tanglers are going to recognize the patterns I copied. 

I'm going to have to wait to see if my brain and drawing hand returns to these patterns as part of my doodles. 

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July 27, 2012

Adult Art at Battery Park City New York

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Last year I learned about a free Battery Park City Parks Conservancy adult art program.  I went approximately 6 times last year between May and Oct, and this year already attended Figure al Fresco 3 times.  I bring my sketchbook, pencils etc, but they provide free art supplies and sometimes get some curious visitor to sit down and join us.  I still love sketching nude models best, but find the challenge of drawing clothed models a nice change. 

I was downtown Wednesday morning and dropped by the Elements of Nature Drawing session in Wagner Park.  This is where I painted the day liliy at our Meet-up Drawing Session several weeks ago.  This week the hibiscus were in bloom - and HUGE.  The session was almost over, but not before I painted a hibiscus.

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My friend Judy (artist who sketched the figure on the Adult Art brochure) and I then walked to South Cove for figure drawing.  Here are a few of my sketches of the male model - who was wonderfully inventive in his poses.

One Minute Pose - I love these - no time to think or fuss!

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Two Minute Pose

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Five Minute Poses:  I think these may be my favorite pose length - not much time to think and I still am sketching when the model changes position.

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This one makes me giggle.  Only when I finished it did I realize that the model was resting his elbow on his knee - thus the arrow pointing a my huge area of  "negative space."

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Ten minute Pose:  The model wheeled over his bicycle, put the kickstand down, and climbed on for the 10 minute poses.  I sketched in watercolor pencil and then used a Niji waterbrush to spread some pigment. 

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July 24, 2012

New York City Visitor

Liz Steel came to New York City on her way home from the 3rd Urban Sketchers' Symposium in Santa Domingo.  We met early in the day at Grand Central, walked from City Hall to Wall Street and then spent the morning at the 9/11 Memorial.

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Left to Right:  Me, my Friend Phyllis who is also an architect like Liz, and Liz

We spent lots of time at the Memorial for the World Trade Center South Tower.  Liz and Phyllis sketched the memorial and the new Freedom Tower, while I sketched the World Financial Center.

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The long low bulding behind the pool is the 9/11 Museum building - still under construction.

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This is World Trade Center Tower 1 - The Freedom Tower.  You can see the construction elevator which is attached to the East side of the tower as they continue to work on the top.  The building to the right in this photo is a new office building.

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I sketched a few of the World Financial Center buildings  which are adjacent to the World Trade Center site.  Our daughter was there at her desk at American Express when both planes hit, so the two buildings - one with a copper dome and one with a copper pyramid on top - carry special memories for me.  I sketched the skyline of the buildings quickly with a Tombow marker - in the 100 degree heat of the day!

We cooled off in the air conditioning at lunch in the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center and then spent the afternoon back in the heat - at outdoor figure drawing in Battery Park City Park.

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                                           A  "One Minute Gesture Drawing"

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                                                     Two Minute Drawings

Our afternoon was cut short by lightening, thunder, and torrential rain.  Liz went on to visit many more sites in this City and she has posted many of her drawings on her blog and Flickr site.

July 20, 2012

Recent Exhibit Visits in New York City

I continue to draw from the Masters when I visit our local museum exhibits.

The Neue Galerie has their Klimt collection on exhibit as part of a world-wide tribute on Klimt's 150th birthday.  In addition to their paintings, they exhibited many of his drawings and photos.  It is a very small collection that is on display, but I love his figure drawings and sketched several heads.  I also sketched two scuptures I like, Kneeling Youth, by George Minne.

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I met my Art Buddies at The Museum of Modern Art to see the newest exhibit, New to the Print Collection: Matisse to Bourgeois.  I love most of Jasper Johns prints and the first print in the entire exhibit was no exception.  Titled "Untitled," it is an aquatint of images found in many of Jasper Johns paintings - discs, a ladder, the vase-face double image, and figures.  Since I will never own one of these prints, I was inspired to sketch and paint a version of it just to remind me how much I enjoyed seeing it.  Last year I fell in love with these Jasper Johns "Seasons" aquatints that were being auctioned at Sothebys.

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