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June 9, 2012

More from the Beach - 2012

We are still at the beach, so these sketchbook pages were photographed, not scanned. 

Clam Bar in Amagansett- We took a ride out to Montauk, the tip of the South Fork of Long Island, one afternoon, and stopped at a roadside clam bar for a snack on the way back.

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A 2 pound lobster, before he was boiled for dinner.  He was frisky, so this was a very fast sketch! 

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I found two different varieties of whelk shells on the beach yesterday, and had to add them to my Southampton beach collection.

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June 5, 2012

Journal Pages From the Beach

This is our annual beach week with friends - and we've been lucky to have several hours each day to walk on the beach.  I love collecting and painting shells, but I haven't found many yet.  Here are two scallop and two broken moon snail shells.

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My husband made wonderful, fresh black sea bass for dinner with a green sauce made from cilantro, lime, and several other ingredients.  I sketched the fish before it went on the grill.

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June 1, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 4

I am still working on my Venice sketchbook, and decided to upload 3 pages done since I returned home.

We visited Arcobalena, the art supply store that sells pigments.  It is centrally located, and a very quirky place.  Half of the store is a hardware shop, the other half sells pigments - and hand blown glass - and leather aprons - and some art supplies.  We spent lots of time talking to the woman running the shop and learned some of the history.  My friend Sara bought a set of pigments to make pastels when she returned to the US.  And the 4 of us couldn't resist buying a few leather aprons made by the shopkeeper (who is also a glass blower)! 

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I collected a few pieces of ephemera - mainly because they appealed to me graphically - and made one collage page of memories.

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The gondoliers were everywhere!  And there seemed to be many variations on the standard uniform.  I took photos of many of them and created this page of drawings from my photos.

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May 30, 2012

Two Museum Visits

I'm taking a rest from my Venice Sketchbook - and posting two paintings done at recent museum visits.

The Jewish Museum in New York has a lovely exhibit of Edouard Vuillard and His Muses (1890-1940).  I knew very little about Vuillard's life, and really enjoyed seeing his paintings put in context.  The museum website has a brief summary of the stages of his career and a wonderful collection of paintings of people in beautiful interiors.

I painted a detail from one of the interiors that I really liked  - in part because of the composition/placement of the two figures.

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Last week we visited the new Barnes Mseum in Philadelphia.  Dr. Albert C. Barnes, physician and chemist, began collecting impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern art in 1902.  The collection was housed in a suburb of Philadelphia, with limited hours, and poor lighting.  Barnes' main goal was to use his collection for education and he developed a school on the premises. 

Barnes arranged the art himself - very symmetrically - on the wall, and without regard for the artists or the chronology.  When he died, his will stipulated that the collection could never be moved, and that all of the art must remain in exactly the same position as the day he died.  There were 24 galleries and the 181 Renoir paintings were placed throughout most of the galleries.  There are also 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisse, and 46 early Picasso paintings - these are the big 4 artists.  But there are many other artists, and even El Greco and Goya!.

The will was challenged, and primarily to save the collection by increasing visibility and revenue, a new Museum on Ben Franklin Parkway, just opened.  It has 24 identically-sized galleries and every piece of art except one is in exactly the same place on each wall. 

Reservations must be made to see the beautiful modern museum and the collection - and it is really worth it.  Those who visited the original location said that the lighting is so superb now that every painting looks like it was cleaned!

If you want to see the holdings for a specific artist, use this link.

Since we were there during opening week, small groups of visitors were taken on tours of the collection - no dawdling allowed!  As in the original location, no sketching and no photos were permitted.  But I was able to buy this postcard to record our visit in my sketchbook that evening.

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May 24, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 2

At least one sketch per day was done quickly when I had an opportunity to sketch while we were walking around Venice. 

On Sunday morning, I accompanied my friend Sara to Mass at Basilica San Marco.  It was a great choice, since we had about 45 minutes sitting in one place and could do a pencil sketch of a small part of the beautiful interior.  We were unable to sketch all of the time, but I did try to get some sense of the many vaults and some of the decorations.  I added pen,watercolor, and gold pen and gouache later.

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I did a series of very fast sketches, while my husband was checking our email on Venice Direct WiFi (which is available in the major areas of the city).  Before we left for Italy, I bought a brown Tombow marker which was perfect for these times.  I sketched quickly and then added water to two of the sketches to spread the water soluble ink.  

San Giorgio Maggiore from Riva Degli Schiavoni near Giardini Ex-Reali garden.  I wish I drew straight columns!:

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Another Tombow sketch, several days later, from the same place - but facing La Salute.  This time I didn't add water:

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Interesting architecture in Campo Santa Maria Formosa (Castello) - sketched again while my husband was doing his daily check of our email:

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A short break for Cokes, during a very long walk, gave Sara and I another opportunity for a small sketch in Campo Santa Margherita (Dorsoduro).  The sun felt so good that we even had time to add pen and watercolor.

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