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January 19, 2013

Chelsea, El Anatsui, and the Highline

My friend Pat and I spent a day visiting art galleries in Chelsea and walking the High Line.  El Anatsui, born in Ghana and now living in Nigeria, creates enormous sculptures using copper wire and bottle caps/pieces of aluminum from cans and bottles. 

Here is an example of one of the massive sculptures in the exhibit Pot of Wisdom which ended on January 19th.  It is next moving to the Bass Center in Miami and the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa.  A second exhibit is opening in February at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

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A detail:

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But he also has an outdoor installation, made of rusted metal and gorgeous reflective tiles, over the entire side of a building along the Highline,  This will hang for a year.  Here are my photos, taken from the Highline - between 21st and 22nd St.  Also look at the water towers which appear everywhere along the NYC skyline.

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I love the way the clouds are reflected on the sculpture making it hard to see the dividing line with the real sky.

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The Highline is an abandoned elevated railroad track in lower Manhattan.  It is slowly being converted into a wonderful, popular public park. 

We walked North along the newest section (extending the walkway to 30th St.) and found wonderful sights:  the top of the Empire State building, great graffiti art, and an apartment occupant, whose window is feet away from the edge of the High Line. 

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This image appears to be part of the window surface - humorously put there to keep Highline pedestrians from becoming voyeurs.

There was a great pair of water towers right next to the sculpture and I painted them in my sketchbook, from my photo, to remember the day. 

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January 16, 2013

Picasso: Black and White

Last week our art friends spent a wonderful day at the Picasso: Black and White exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.  Readers of this blog know how much I like sketching Picasso and I expected to see many of his ink drawings on paper.  The exhibit however was a wonderful mixture of sculpture and paintings, many of which were drawings in oil.  

As we moved up the circular ramp, I tried to sketch sculptures and then paintings that spoke to me.  Here is a drawing of a large painted metal sculpture, entitled "Woman with Outstretched Arms" and a wall sculpture of Marie-Therese in profile

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The Acrobat - painted in 1930.

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Two Figures that were drawn from a Large Study for the painting Guernica, May 1, 1937

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Draped Nude Seated in Armchair 1923:  This painting reminds me very much of the Seated Woman by Matisse (1919) that I sketched at the Frick, uploaded recently to my blog, and posted it again here for comparison.   

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I love my Art Buddies and thoroughly enjoy both our museum visits and regular projects.  On Jan 6th a group comment was posted by Gloria,a classmate in the Mary Ann Moss class A Ticket to Venice, telling me that she found a photo of her friend Benedicte on my blog.  We made the connection and Gloria joined us 3 days later at the Guggenheim. 

From Left to Right:  Teri, Gloria, Me, Pat, and Benedicte

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January 13, 2013

Two New Books

I am taking an online class by Mary Ann Moss called Ticket to Venice.  There are many videos demonstrating a bookbinding technique to make a travel journal.  And she demonstrates 3 different bookbinding stitches, of which the double diamond is the most advanced.  Plus there are PDFs, Printables, Blog Entries, and More Videos during her actual December vacation in Venice.   

I took the class to learn how to make the book and to enjoy another trip to Venice for 2012.  I kept a travel journal and watercolor sketchbook during our visit in May - and I wasn't disappointed when Mary Ann took us around with her in photos and videos for Venice in Winter.

Most class members made travel journals, but I have 2 books of watercolors from my recent visit, so here is the book I made.  I used a $1.00 orphan book for the covers and tex libris book cloth for the spine.  I want to use the book for more figure drawing practice and bound 3 signatures of drawing paper in the book.

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There is one stitch that is a little catty-wampus and I used pre-folded paper from my stash and it is slightly small for the size of the covers.  But the book opens flat and I really enjoyed making it.

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At the same time, I made my 3rd Mary Ann Moss Remains of the Day book - from her class which I took online two years ago  Here are two photos of my new book.

The book cover is made from fabric which I made using a variety of surface design techniques.

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Here are similar photos of my first two Remains of the Day books.  I filled each of them with one year's photos, drawings, tags, tickets and other ephemera from my art adventures in New York City with my artist friends.  One is the diary from 2011 and the other is from 2012.

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These books become wonderfully stuffed - with collage, flaps, filled pockets, and dangling tags.  Here are the before and after photos.  The two finished books are on the left and #3 is on the right.

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January 10, 2013

Deliberate Practice

I am drawn to figure drawing, probably from the same place in my heart and soul as I was drawn to the human body and a career as a physician.  I love to draw figures and gravitate to them when I want to copy a Master drawing or painting in a museum exhibit.  Yesterday I sketched 5 Picasso works at the Guggenheim exhibit called Picasso: Black and White. 

I'm still learning!  And I really practice!!  I not only keep large sketchbooks for live figure drawing sessions, I also keep small sketchbooks for sketching body parts: portraits, hands, feet, and even the crazy figures on posemaniacs.com. 

I sketched every hand sign from the American Sign Languare website over the last few years, but I still struggle drawing hands on the live models.  So I keep practicing.  These are drawings that I did from photos that I collect just for practice sessions.  On this page I was also trying out an Indian Red Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil because I love the red chalk used by the Masters in their drawings and I hate drawing with conte pencils or crayons.

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This is a recent drawing I did of my oldest grand daughter from a photo that I took.  She is only 8 and I continually make her look like a teenager in my drawings - and can't figure out how to retain the look of a child.

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My Girls: We only have two grand daughters - Annabelle age 4 and Sydney age 8.  The other 6 are boys!  We took lots of photos at Christmas, so I have many more photos I can draw for practice.  But I'm certainly not there yet!

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January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!

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We had our annual New Year's Eve Party and Overnight for our 5 New York grandchildren.  The 6th one here in the City is 3 months old and spent the night with his other Grandmother.  We've now had the party enough times that we actually have some rituals - and taking a picture in the new glasses is one of them.  This year the 2013 design had blinking lights which you can see here.

I'm still managing to sketch in spite of busy days and too many other projects.  But I'm frustrated that I can't capture better images of my family.  I've sketched my Mother when sitting with her many times over the past few years.  Most of the sketches look alike, just not like her.  Here are the ones I made in the last month. 

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This one was made during a recent brief hospitalization.  She is 93 and had several very small strokes in the last 4 months - mainly affecting her memory.

              

 

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I definitely need to go back to my Live Figure Drawing sessions this week!

 

 

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