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September 5, 2017

WWI: Beyond the Trenches

Last week I visited the another WWI Art exhibit (through Sept 3, 2017)   It is 100 years since the beginning of WWI, and the first art exhibit I saw was at the National Air and Space Museum in DC.  That exhibit focused on artists who were selected and embedded with the troops, and the sculptors who made bas relief sculptures in the stone chambers they lived in underground.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2017/04/_while_in_dc_my.php

In the exhibit at the NY Historical Society, many artists' paintings and sculptures were exhibited, including a very large mural by John Singer Sargent and two sculptures by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. I knew that she was the patron who started the Whitney Museum with her art collection, but I didn't know that she was a sculptor and when traveling the battlefields of WWI set up field hospitals for the soldiers.

I copied a detail from a painting by Claggett Wilson (Front Line Stuff 1919).  He was in the Marine Corps and fought at Chateau-Thierry and Belleau Wood where he suffered the effects of poison gas.  At a hospital in Dijon and later in the Army of German Occupation, he recorded his experiences in watercolor and then went on to become an art teacher at Columbia University in NYC.  This is from one of his many paintings in the exhibit.

 

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The Met currently has an exhibit entitled WWI and the Visual Arts (through Jan 7, 2018) and the Museum of the City of New York has an ongoing exhibit entitles Posters and Patriotism: Selling WWI in New York. They are on my "to see" list.

September 1, 2017

My Newest Watercolor Sketchbook

Just a quick photo today of my newest handbound watercolor sketchbook.  I dyed the fabric and made it into bookcloth, fusing it to mulberry paper for strength.  There are 48 pages of Fabriano Artistico made from 2 sheets of 140 lb Soft Press paper, which is my favorite watercolor  paper.  I made the pen/pencil holder from another piece of dyed fabric, and love having it attached so I can easily carry it with me and have a pencil, eraser, and 3 pens.  I now have 5 of these pen/pencil holders and so far I can find one that blends with each of my newest sketchbooks.

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August 29, 2017

More Flowers of Wagner Park in Battery Park City

Each year I wait for the "dinner plate" hibiscus to bloom in Wagner Park.  They are beautiful and completely fill some of the flower beds.  These three color variants were drawn on Wednesday August 16th as I passed through the Park on my way to Figure Al Fresco.

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When I walked through the Park on August 23rd, many of the usual flowers were blooming.  But there was one white iris, and I surrounded it with other flowers I've already painted. 

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Summer will soon be over in NYC and I will need to think about practicing tree drawings and paintings as the scenery shifts.  I recently watched Shari Blaukopf's Craftsy Landscape Class to try to build up some enthusiasm for these types of drawings/paintings.  We'll see what happens.... 

August 25, 2017

More Two Minute Poses

We have 2, 5, 10, and 20 minute poses in the Battery Park City Figure Drawing sessions on Wednesdays.  I love the challenge of drawing quickly, and the 2 minute pose drawings are almost the most lively of the afternoon.  Here are 4 of them from this week.  I used a Sketch and Wash soluble graphite pencil, and then slopped water on parts of the drawings.

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August 23, 2017

City versus Country Mouse

I always describe myself as a City Mouse.  My childhood home was in NJ, 20 miles outside of NYC.  My college was in a City in mid-Jersey. and then I lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego and San Antonio prior to moving to New York City 25 years ago.  I love drawing in cities, and almost never want to draw a landscape.  We were at a wedding in NY State, approximately 80 miles north of the City, this past weekend, and I forced myself to paint the view from the back deck of the home we stayed in.  Today I'm posting an ink drawing from the NW corner of Bryant Park, and the landscape that I painted in Callicoon NY. 

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