Main
Page 74 of 264

March 10, 2015

Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky

This exhibit just opened at the Metropolitan Museum of New York and it is spectacular.  I went to the Member Previews last week, excited by the postcard that arrived about a month ago.  Pictographs are among my favorite images and I didn't know what to expect, but was thrilled to find several tanned leather hides and clothing with ink and pigment drawings. 

IndianPostcard.size.jpg 

 

This is called the Grand Robe and I took a photo of it from the Exhibit Catalogue because no photos are allowed in the exhibit.  The catalogue says that there were hundreds of these robes made and only 5 remain.  Three are in this exhibit, including this one on loan from the Musee de Quai Branley in Paris.  There are 60 figures on this robe, depicting 14 battles - and I sketched a few of my favorites.  

GrandRobeHide.size.jpg 

 

GrandRobe1.size.jpg

GrandRobe2.size.jpg

 

I also attended a "Conversation with a Paper Conservator", who worked on the Maffet Ledger Journal over 18 months before, during, and after it traveled to Paris and Kansas City where this exhibit began.  George West Maffet distributed some ledgers among the Northern and Southern Cheyenne tribe in the  mid-1800s and this ledger contains narrative stories in drawings by 22 different artists.   Most of the drawings are scenes from battles against the Cavalry.  Not only was I interested in the paper conservation information, but it was so interesting to hear how they poured over the drawings to try to separate the artists and translate the images. 

Here is one of the paintings in the ledger.  In order for indian boys to establish their bravery, they had to coup a soldier, which meant touching them with their sword, or bow and arrow, and then escaping without being harmed.  The conservator said that they did lots of research to understand the implications of many of the drawings in the ledger.

MaffatLedgerPage.jpg 

This is a link for the Maffat Ledger on the Museum Website. 

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/view?exhibitionId=%7b254A181E-CA25-4BC9-B15A-A167688D711B%7d&oid=310365&pkgids=294&pg=1&rpp=20&pos=1&ft=*

There are 23 pages pictured at this link. 

All the while she was speaking, I wondered if any of our sketchbooks and journals would survive and be analyzed for information about the times in which we lived. 

This is a link to the video of current Indian Artists and how their work evolved. 

http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2015/plains-indians-artists-of-earth-and-sky/media 

 

March 6, 2015

More Drawing with Toulouse-Lautrec

The Museum of Modern Art Toulouse-Lautrec Print Exhibit is closing mid-March and I will miss it terribly.  I will miss my regular visits to the exhibit, my drawings from his prints to warm up, and the Café Society Figure Drawing session that occurred twice each month since the Fall.  Today I am posting 2 warm-up Toulouse-Lautrec drawings and 4 drawings from my favorite model - Kelly.

 

Aristide Bruant -  Performer and owner of a Montmartre Café. 

AristideBrabant.size.jpg 

Yvette Guilbert - Perfprmer and one of Toulouse=Lautrec's favorite models. 

YvetteGuilbert.size.jpg 

 

These are some my 6 minute drawings of Kelly - drawn on 11 X 15" watercolor paper with soluble graphite and then shaded with a waterbrush.   These were photographed because they were too big for my scanner.

IMG_20150301_162853777.size.jpg  

 

IMG_20150301_162941826.size.jpg 

IMG_20150301_162947388.size.jpg 

IMG_20150301_163010341.size.jpg 

March 4, 2015

Studying Under the Masters - Max Beckmann

Max Beckmann was the 3rd Artist in this series, and his apprentice was a UK painter named Gillian Lee Smith.  I knew very little about Beckmann, a German Expressionist Painter, but quickly learned that he was second only to Rembrandt in the number of self-portraits he painted.  He was born in Leipzig Germany in 1884, and decided very early that he wanted to be an artist.  He served in WWI as a medic but had an emotional breakdown and was medically discharged.  By 1930 he was a very successful German artist, but he was featured in the Degenerate Art exhibit in 1937 and his career destroyed.  He and his wife fled to Amsterdam for 10 years and then to the United States after WWII.  He had an art school teaching position in St. Louis and then New York, and died in Central Park in 1950 on a walk between his apartment and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see one of his paintings.  I chose Self-Portrait in Olive and Brown to copy.

My copy is on the left, the original on the right.  I used watercolor, white, and black gouache, for my painting on 9X12 Arches 140 lb cold press paper.  It doesn't have the same range of values as Beckmann's and  I don't feel as if I captured his stern, almost angry, expression, 

   

MaxBeckmann.Composite.size.jpg 

 

After doing a copy, each apprentice reflects on what they learned by copying the Master and then paints an original using some of those techniques.  I selected a New Year's Eve photo I took this year to paint.  Like Beckmann, it captures an individual and a face at one moment in time.  And I hope that it conveys the emotion of a young girl, celebrating the New Year, but in her own world.  I tried to use black to define the face and clothing like Beckmann did, but my lines, using a rigger brush are definitely not as bold. 

Syd.size.jpg 

March 1, 2015

Playdate with Zach

Zach is in Pre-K and had his Winter Break several weeks ago.  We scheduled a playdate and when I asked him where he wanted to go, he said the Museum so we could sketch.  As soon as we got off the phone he packed up his sketchbook and pencils so he wouldn't forget anything. 

Here is my picture of him sketching in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There is a Bear Sculpture of 3 Bears, but he was ready to move on after sketching the bear in the middle.

IMG_20150219_110521328.size.jpg 

 

And here is his sketch of the Bear!   He was very pleased with it.

Zach%27s%20Bear.size.jpg 

 

We eventually did two more sketches, learned lots about mummies in the Egyptian Galleries and went to visit William the Blue Hippopotamus, the Met's several thousand year old mascot that is also in the Egyptian Gallery.   

Several of my other grandchildren like to draw and paint and I'm hoping that we can keep this interest alive.   

February 27, 2015

Two-Point Perspective Lesson

We learned a few simple rules about 2-point perspective in our Drawing I class last week.  As I've said before, I never had drawing lessons so I used to wing it!  Now at least I can intellectually know the rules and maybe even follow them when I choose.  You use 2-point perspective when you can see two sides, two planes of an object.

Drawing Boxes:   

1.  Establish your eyeline directly in front of your eyes and put the line on your paper. 

2.  Draw your vertical line for the corner of the box facing you. 

3.  Examine the two sides of the box to establish where your vanishing point (VP) will be for each side and mark them on your eyeline.  I find it difficult to figure out how far away the VP should be from my vertical and finally just played with this to see the kinds of boxes I could draw.  

4.  Draw a line from  the top and bottom of your first vertical line to your vanishing point - and then add another vertical between these lines to establish the size of each side of the box.

5.  Finally, add lines from the VP to the tops of the two new verticals. 

Here are examples of many boxes I drew in class.

Boxes.size.jpg 

We then learned how to draw a corner inside a box - for example the corner of a room. 

1. Draw a horizontal line for your eyeline. 

2. Draw the vertical line from ceiling to floor. 

3.  Then put two vanishing points on your eyeline.

4.  But this time connect a line from the top and bottom of your vertical to the VP on the opposite side of the vertical.   This was hard for me to "see" at first, but here is my drawing for the corner of a room.  The green color is on the walls on both sides of the corner.

 

InsideBox.size.jpg 

 

Putting it all together:  In order to try to cement these concepts in my brain I drew a box on a rectangular table, looking toward the corner of our classroom.   I had to concentrate a great deal to make sure I just wasn't winging it!

RoomCorner.size.jpg 

I look forward to warm days on the streets of Manhattan, playing with these new ideas.  Looking down a street of skyscrapers in Manhattan should be great fun to draw.  But not when it is 26 degrees at 3PM like today.  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264