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December 29, 2012

Art Progress 2012 and Art Goals for 2013

Long Term Goals: Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric. I am retired and developing skills in art gives meaning to my days - to play, have fun, be bold, and seek adventure!

My Short Term Art Goals for 2012 were to sketch and paint everyday and to blog twice each week.

Although I missed an occasional daily sketch, I frequently filled several sketchbook pages in one day. I kept one doodle book and multiple sketchbooks, including a chronologic visual journal, and individual sketchbooks for figure drawing and travel.

This year my biggest accomplishments were my travel sketchbooks - one created in Venice and the other during a 2 week trip to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, and Budapest. I was drawing "in the moment" and capturing the essence of our days. Before we went to Venice, I painted 16 of my 2002 photos from Venice for practice. It gave me the confidence that I needed and the practice of creating some of the texture of the buildings in watercolor. I used two 30 inch, accordion folded sheets of watercolor paper for this practice. Each strip could then be made into 2 folios for another cased-in, travel sketchbook when we returned.

And with a rare exception, I continued my twice weekly blog posts and on January 4th will reach the 7th anniversary of my blog.

1. I continued to explore watercolor as my main medium and loved Kate Johnson’s online Strathmore Workshop. I hope that she will develop her online watercolor mini-class or offer her regular watercolor class in 2013.

2. I bought 3 tubes of gouache in primary colors and did lots of color mixing and painting to learn how to add this medium to my paintings.

3. I tried acrylic paints with my friend Teri, learning about many of the possible additives and special techniques (i.e. molding paste, crackle etc). I probably won’t ever LOVE acrylic paints, but it is nice to explore them and play on a regular basis.

4. I sketched at least one Master work from each museum or gallery exhibit I attended to challenge myself, and just maybe improve my drawing and painting skills.

5. I took several other online classes: Self-Portraits with Jane Davies, Ticket to Venice with Mary Ann Moss, and Stencil Magic with Melanie Testa.

6. I made my own watercolor sketchbooks for daily use and recycled old books with watercolor paper for travel. As I was making the one for our Venice trip, I documented the process and posted it to my blog as a tutorial.

7. I really enjoy bookbinding and I’m thrilled with the Christmas Origami Tag artist book and second Remains of the Day book that I made and filled.

8. I met with The Central Park Drawing and Art Meetup Group and my friends Benedicte, Pat, and Teri for art adventures. And I went to the Society of Illustrators and the Battery Park City figure drawing sessions.

 

Goals for 2013: To sketch and paint everyday and to blog twice each week gives my retirement life some structure. But I need to add other new activities for inspiration and excitement. I love learning new techniques and then figuring out how I will use them. So I’m considering:

More classes - perhaps from Center for Book Arts and Society of Scribes as well as online classes

More bookbinding - perhaps exploring a new structure every month to give me some very specific goals.

 

December 26, 2012

Christmas Weekend

This is the year when our DC children/grandchildren join us for Christmas weekend.  On Sunday I took Annabelle and Sydney to the New York City Ballet Nutcracker.  It was 4 year old Annabelle's first time and Sydney's 4th!

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Sunday evening my husband and I made dinner for all 16 of us and we continued our family tradition by giving our presents to the children on Christmas Eve.  Here are the 7 children's gift bags and 8 stockings packed and ready.

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And our 8 grandchildren as they headed off to watch a movie.

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Yesterday our daughter made Christmas dinner at her apartment and we again were 8 adults and 8 children.  Zachary, Annabelle, Sydney and I spent time painting Santas in the afternoon.  My Santa was drawn from a photo that Sydney and I took last week at Rockefeller Center - of the skating Santa.

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Hope everyone is having a happy holiday.

December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from New York City

Rockefeller Center, the Huge Christmas tree, and the Skating Rink are all a central part of Holiday celebrations in our city.  Each year, scouts travel by light plane around NY, NJ, and CT looking for the perfect tree, hoping the owners will agree to part with it.  It is always HUGE!

My husband and I walked down 5th Ave last week to Rockefeller Center to enjoy the tree in the dark.  Here is a photo approaching it from 51st St.  It is hard to imagine the size from this distance.

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Here is a closeup.  Look at the size of the people that are standing around the base.

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Here it is above the Skating Rink.  It can be seen easily looking down the pathway of angels from 5th Avenue.

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There are also life size toy soldiers that are placed in the garden down both sides of the walls above the skating rink.  I frequently sketch and paint them.  Here is 2007, 2008, and 2012.

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I wish all of you happy holidays with your family and friends.  All three of our children will be here with their families and hopefully we'll get a first group photo of our 8 grandchildren (ages 3 mos-9 years).  Thank you for visiting my blog and keeping me enthused about sketchbook art, bookbinding, and sharing ideas.  May we all have a fun, creative, and artistic 2013. 

December 18, 2012

Christmas Ornament Paintings - 2

Last week I posted some pages of a watercolor book that I'm creating to document my handmade Christmas ornaments.  I've been making them every year for 30+ years and decided that it would be fun to have a book full of paintings of them.  Here are 3 more pages.

The dove was made out of a piece of lace from my wedding dress and hopefully will be passed down by my daughter to her daughter.

 

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The two red cats are actually red embroidery, outline stitch, on white fabric.

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I smocked the eyelet on the cuff of the stocking on the top right.

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                   At last count, there are 124 ornaments made by me on our tree.

 

December 14, 2012

Paintings of Christmas Ornaments

I made a 16 page Teesha Moore watercolor booklet to paint many of the Christmas ornaments I made for our family and friends.  Last year I posted several of the pages here and here.  I am still painting more ornaments in the book while the ornaments are unpacked and easily accessible.  Here are the next pages in the book.

Here is our fraser tree this year.  It is full of ornaments and I made 95% of them since 1976.  Each of our children have a full set on their family trees and each year now I give them enough for our grandchildren to start their collection.

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This is the painting on the front cover of my book. 

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And here are the four pages that follow the ones in the above links. 

This is a duck made on a big white jingle bell.

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