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July 2, 2012

Making A Second Venice Sketchbook

I didn't start sketching and painting with watercolors until 2003. 

Before going on our recent vacation to Venice, I painted some iconic Venice sights from my 2002 Venice photos.  I accordion-folded two 6" by 30" strips of watercolor paper and slowly painted 16 images - using both sides of each strip.

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I'm thrilled that I did these pre-trip paintings because while in Venice I was comfortable just doing quick sketches based on our activities.  I've posted many of those travel sketchbook pages on my blog in the last month.  Those sketches, done in the moment, really are my memories of our recent trip. 

This week I decided to make my "pre-paintings" into a small book.  I tore each accordion strip into two folios (4 total) and stitched them together as 4 signatures (16 pages).   The end papers are a commercial Venice printed paper and the cover is black Tex Libris book cloth.  The book is 7 7/8" wide by 6 1/4" high.

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June 29, 2012

Return to Figure Drawing

We traveled so much in May and early June that I missed my monthly figure drawing session at the Society of Illustrators.  When I went back this week, I felt very rusty! 

Here are a few of the 18 poses that I did.

Three 2 minute poses - fast portraits of the two models:

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One 5 minute pose:

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One 10 minute pose:

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Two 20 minute poses - drawn with watercolor pencils and then "painted" with water:

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June 26, 2012

Doodles and More

Last week we had a special day with our 5 year old grandson Callum.  We rarely get him alone, without his big brother and sister, or slightly older cousin.  But we missed the last Grandparents Day at his preschool because of our trip to Venice, so we took him to the American Museum of Natural History.  He wanted to go to see Creatures of Light (bioluminescense exhibit) and I wanted to see the Imax film "Born to Be Wild."  While walking between the two, I stopped for an incredibly fast sketch of a mountain sheep.  I left it in graphite as a reminder of how quickly this was sketched (i.e <5minutes).

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Last evening I didn't feel like sketching, but wanted to push myself.  I opened my Reference Photo folder on the computer and selected this photo (taken on a street in Chelsea New York in April).  I rarely paint with watercolor, without drawing in ink, so this became a practice sketchbook page.  I have no idea what they were looking at and photographing.  I was concentrating just on the man and his dog long enough to get this photo. 

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I spent today with my Mother in her retirement complex in New Jersey.  We take long walks and usually stop for coffee.  While sitting and talking, I doodle, drawing with ink and painting with watercolor pencils.  Today she thought that the lady looked a little like her.  Usually she tells me why my sketches are NOT her.

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June 22, 2012

More Watercolor Magnetic Bookmarks

I save strips of watercolor paper when I am making watercolor sketchbooks.  It was so much fun to sketch Klimt designs when I was in Venice, that I decided to make myself a new magnetic bookmark with gold gouache and gold pen.  I love the metallic glitter, even though it can't be seen in a scan.  If you have never used a magnetic bookmark, they are fabulous because after you fold them over a single page, they never move.  I'm not an e-book reader, so these remain my favorite bookmarks.

The folded size is 5.5" by 2.5 "

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I use Staples adhesive magnets made for the back of business cards - and cut them in half horizontally.  I then adhere each half to one side of the folded strip of paper - at the bottom of each side.

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Here are 3 more bookmarks that I made from painted strips during the last year.  The day lily is 5.5 x 2.5" and the other two slightly smaller.

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This is another bookmark that I made when I needed to make small gifts.  This was a sketchbook painting that I made from the German Expressionism exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.  Then I sized it, made multiple copies of it in Photoshop, and printed 5-6 of them on the same page of cardstock.

 

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Here is my earlier blog post about making magnetic bookmarks.  Back then I was using magnetic strips purchased in craft stores. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2007/07/magnetic_bookmarks.php

June 19, 2012

More Museum Exhibits

After a month of traveling, it was wonderful to see my art friends Pat, Teri, and Benedicte.  Pat and Benedicte planned the day and Teri and I joined in at the last minute.  Although I previously saw the Edouard Vuillard exhibit at the Jewish Museum, I loved going again so I could sketch another one of his paintings.  There was a group touring the exhibit, so I was also able to listen to the commentary by the guide and learn more about the life of Vuillard.   

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After a leisurely lunch between the two museums, we went to the new exhibit at the Guggenheim:  Art of Another Kind - International Abstraction and the Guggenheim 1949-1960.  The Frank Lloyd Wright Building opened in Oct 1959, so these paintings (and a few sculptures) were very early acquisitions for the museum.  Many artists that were represented are well known, i.e. Pollock, DeKooning, Rauschenberg.  But many of the artists were completely unknown to me, i.e. Conrad Marca-Relli, who did wonderful canvas on canvas collages, and Simon Hantai, who may have had the only representational painting in the exhibit, even though it is an imaginary creature. 

Here is my version of the Simon Hantai painting, entitled Cut Green Emerald:

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My challenge copying this painting was using watercolor and pen to create something that was painted in oil.  It was fun to be back in NYC with friends who also enjoy museum-hopping.  Tomorrow will be the American Museum of Natural History with my 5 year old grandson Callum.  I'll have to take a few minutes to draw some animals!

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