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November 23, 2013

The Toad Collector - a Drawing

I am posting a Halloween journal page that I did at Quilt Festival in Houston earlier this month, while I'm making lots of Santa body parts for Christmas ornaments, and planning the cooking for a huge Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends.  The Toad Collector is a doll by Deborah Quinn Hensel and I didn't paint her until this week.

Yesterday and today I volunteered at a Book Fair to raise funds for Goddard Riverside, a settlement house in New York City.  So in the midst of my Halloween-Christmas-Thanksgiving scrambled holidays, I'm only uploading one sketchbook page today. 

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!


November 19, 2013

Classes 11 and 12 - FIT Figure Drawing I

In Class 11 we used Nupastels and I hated them!  This isn't a surprise, I didn't like using pastels in several prior experiments here at home.  So there is no photo of that drawing because I didn't even want to spray it with fixative and bring it home.

Last night, in Class 12, we were given a choice of more pastels or a medium of our choice.  I did the 4 five minute poses in charcoal (General extra soft pencil) and then switched to Sanguine Conte.  I'm actually enjoying drawing with these, and feel as if progresss is being made.

This was my long pose for the evening.  I loved the mirror that our Professor placed behind the model.  Only 3 more classes in this Fall semester course, which makes me sad.


November 8, 2013

The Richest Man in American History

We just returned from a two day visit to Tarrytown NY.  Yesterday we took the Grand Tour of Kykuit, the country home of John D. Rockefeller, his son John D. Rockefeller Jr., and "Junior's" son Nelson Rockefeller (4 time Governor of New York State/VP under President Ford).  It is a 40 room, 6 floor house set high on the Eastern shore of the Hudson River.  It is now a United States Historic Trust Site and it is really worth a visit.  The house is beautiful and comfortable and the surrounding gardens are amazing - especially the modern sculpture collection everywhere that you look.

In 2008 Forbes calculated that John D. Rockefeller was worth 663 billion in 2007 dollars!

Here is the main facade:


And here is the view from the porch on the other side.  Those are the Palisades on the other side of the Hudson River: 


This is the Southern facade facing one of the formal gardens.  You can see 4 floors - the other two are below ground.


Just an example of the modern sculpture which was EVERYWHERE - a figure by Aristide Maillol:


No photos were permitted in the house, but I did two VERY Quick sketches as our guide was talking.


Today we went to the Union Church of Pocantico Hills - of which Rockefeller family members were founders.  They commisioned Matisse to design a Rose Window in honor of Abby Rockefeller - and he finished the paper cut designs 2 days before he died.  The family then commisioned a very large stained window by Chagall at the back of the santuary in memory of John D. Rockerfeller Jr.  Chagall visited the church several times and after completion of another stained glass window for the side of the santuary, he proposed replacing the plain glass windows for the entire santuary - 8 more total.  These are the only cycle of Chagall church windows in America. 

There is a modest entry fee, but it is amazing and well worth a visit.  No photos were allowed, but here are photos for the modest entrance and the largest Chagall window from the outside.



We went to Tarrytown primarily to have dinner at Blue Hill Restaurant - which is set in the Stone Farms Center for Food and Agriculture - a non-profit experimental station.  The resturant serves food grown or raised on the farm and it is unique and DELICIOUS!

This is the entrance to the Stone Farms inner courtyard - all constructed from the old barns - and my photos of sheep in the barn and toulouse geese out in the grass.




November 5, 2013

Two More Figure Drawing Classes at FIT

Each class begins with 4 Five Minute poses of the model just for us to warm up.  Now we spend the rest of the 3 hours with one long pose - with periodic breaks for the model during which the Professor shows us prints to demonstrate specific techniques as done by master artists.

Last week our assignment in class was to draw any part or all of the model using black and white charcoal with sanguine conte - red, black, and white.  It wasn't until I saw some of the prints from artists like Ruebens that I realized how subtly these 3 colors were used.  I chose to do a portrait, from the waist up, and to use the textile behind the model to add red.

IMG_20131028_204649_639.size.jpgLast night our Professor began the class by showing us many Matisse drawings, in order to illustrate how figures can be placed in specific settings - using Matisse's love of textiles and patterns.  He then draped the background for our model with 3 different textiles and placed her on a patterned pillow. 

We did our 5 minute warm up drawings and then spent the rest of the evening sketching her in one pose.



Next week we are going to add color to our figure drawings, using nu-pastels.  I am now finally using charcoal instead of 9B graphite pencils for drawing.  The General Ex-soft pencils don't freak me out.  And I am getting more used to drawing and shading with the charcoal and conte.  So progress is being made. 

October 28, 2013

And Then We Rested

Kathy and I spent Saturday out in the City - the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Interglobal Textiles, the Fashion District annual Open Studios, and an opening at ACA Gallery for Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, one of my all-time favorite contemporary artists.  So we decided to spend Sunday, her last vacation day, playing in the apartment.

I taught Kathy how to make the File Folder Journal that I previously posted (from Cloth Paper Scissors).  Here you can see her assembling her journal.  When we finished them, she taught me how to make a bracelet with the beautiful beads on the right of the photo.


Here is my second File Folder Journal - and I'm planning to use it to keep track of my most important current projects.  The paper used to cover the folder and the pockets is color copies of a collage book on alphabets and text that I made at the MoMA Print Studio in 2012.  The cards are gray-toned Strathmore paper that I laminated to 246lb Strathmore acrylic paint paper.

I rotate index card lists in and out of the pockets in front of the cards when I'm using these journals.


Front Cover


Pages 2 and 3:


Pages 4 and 5:


Back Cover:



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