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September 9, 2013

Visual Journal - September 2-8

As part of my September initiative "to shake up retirement," I also returned to ballet class after 4 years.  I danced on and off my entire life and managed to find time to take classes even when my schedule was full.  My body needs the stretching even more, the older I get - so off to ballet class I went.  Here are my "oldish" ballet slippers, just to commemorate my first few classes.

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Last week was last week of my grandchildren's summer vacation and I took Sydney to MoMA on Tuesday and Zachary to the American Museum of Natural History on Friday. Syd and I sketched, had lunch, and then came home to do some sewing.  I drew a few details from paintings included on the children's audioguide while she was listening.  She also sketched a few details and painted them during lunch. 

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While my husband took Zach to see the big blue whale, I quickly sketched a beautiful tiger at Natural History and then painted it at home from a photo.

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Yesterday my husband and I spent the morning at the Café at the Conservatory Water - one of our favorite morning walks for coffee in Central Park. I sketched cone flowers - first painting them and then adding pen. I continue to play with this technique after liking the way Reginald Marsh used it in the exhibit Swing Time.

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Tonight is my second Figure Drawing class at FIT and I will be doing longer and longer poses as the semester proceeds.  I will need better hand drawing skills and used a photograph to draw these two hands. 

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September 6, 2013

Figure Drawing in Battery Park City, New York

The weather was perfect on Wednesday and Judy, Pat, and I all went to figure drawing!  Here are a few 5 and 10 minute sketches, and one 20 minute sketch, using a General Sketch and Wash pencil.

 

Three 5 Minute Sketches

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Two 10 minute poses left - and one 5 minute pose right:

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Twenty Minute Pose:

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September 2, 2013

Deliberate Practice

I love to draw from the Masters and try to analyze paintings and drawings during my museum and gallery visits here in New York City.

There is a new exhibit at MoMA, called American Modern:  Hopper to O'Keeffe.  All paintings, drawings, sculpture and photographs are owned by MoMA and curated for this specific exhibit.  I loved several of Charles Burchfield's paintings and especially a painting called The City, 1916.  It was such a lovely loose architectural painting, that I was hoping that I could, sketch it, paint it, and try loose paintings like this is the future.   I sketched a portion of the painting in the museum and then painted it at home from a photo that I was allowed to take.

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My husband and I saw a Reginald Marsh exhibit, called Swing Time, at the New York Historical Society last week, right before it closed.  I've always loved his paintings of New York City - especially those with a subdued palette.  I was fascinated with his use of ink, and I think thin paint/tempera lines, to delineate his figures.  I sketched one from Harris Street Theater, 1940, so I could paint the figure and then add ink. 

I also liked the woman on the far right of BMT 14th St. and just needed a drawing of her head to remember her. 

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August 30, 2013

New Adventures in Figure Drawing

I watched the Videos in Stephen Cephalo's Strathmore Workshop and then tried his techniques using 9B graphite and white charcoal on toned gray paper.  I used a photo reference for this very experimental drawing.

 

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I am taking my very first art class since 10th grade in High School - and was very nervous about it.  Did I really want to "study" art in a classroom as opposed to learning on my own?  Did I want to have a 3 hour class every week from Aug through Dec?  Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has a senior scholar program, and unfilled classes can be audited for a nominal fee.  I finally decided to take Figure Drawing I and last Monday was my first class.  I used an easel for the very first time and sketched the model on 12 X 18 " paper - both totally out of my comfort zone.  But I think I'm going to enjoy it.

Here are two 20 minute drawings. Next week 18 X 24" paper - YIKES!

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Thanks Vicki for suggestions on how I could get the background photograph blue tinge changed to white using Photoshop.

 

August 26, 2013

Sketchbook Pages From My Meetup Session

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group met in Battery Park on Saturday and I finally was able to draw Pier A - the oldest pier on Manhattan island.  It was built in the 1880s as a home for the New York Harbor police and was landmarked in 1975.  It is currently being renovated, with a projected opening in May 2014.  It will have a high end restaurant, food court, event space, and a tourist information center.  That area definitely needs a few more restaurants during peak tourist season!  Here it is - all newly painted!  The clock is said to be an old ship's clock. 

This drawing was done as a double page spread - and this is all I finished in the 45 min session.

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The group then moved further north in Wagner Park - to the gardens next to the Museum of Jewish Heritage- and I painted lovely pink flowers. I have no idea of their name, but they were a delicate pink with a yellow "fuzzy ring" and flat yellow green center. Can you tell that I am not a gardener and never have been?

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I had a few more minutes before we ended session 2 and shared our sketches, so I did a fast sketch of one of the other participants. Some day I will learn how to get a hat firmly planted on someone's head.

 

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During our final session, at the north river corner of South Cove, I sketched gorgeous trumpet vines - being dive-bombed by big black flies that were hovering around the flowers. The weather was fantastic and it was a perfect 3 hour meetup.

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