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February 2, 2018

Two New Books - Happy Days Making Both

Not long after I retired and began to keep a pen-ink-watercolor sketchbook, I began making my own sketchbooks with 140 lb watercolor paper.  At first I used commercial bookcloth, and then I realized that fabric I dyed for quilting, could also be used as bookcloth.  The red book on the left was made with fabric that was folded and clamped before dying-which is a form of itajime shibori.  The pen pocket was made with a small amount of fabric made with the same dyes.  The book on the right is called a "Remains of the Day" book, and it is the 8th annual one I made after taking an online class from Mary Ann Moss.  I make these with scraps of fabric I've dyed, and random paper from magazines and books as pages.   

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This red book has 6 signatures, each with two folios of watercolor paper, which gives 48 pages.  The pen pocket, which is closed inside the front cover with Velcro, makes it very easy to just grab it and go drawing.  

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The wraparound cover of this blue book is made by creating a fabric bag, with scraps on one side, and a lining on the other.  A piece of poster board is slipped inside and then the end stitched closed.  These fabrics are scraps dyed with either procion MX dye or native indigo, and the white areas on the bottom section are actually designed by stitching the designs before dying the fabric with indigo. 

It has 2 signatures, each with 11 folios, that are stitched onto the spine with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch.  During the year I use it as a scrapbook for all of my art adventures here in NYC.  I am recycling paper and I usually cover up most of each page with ephemera, photos, and drawings.

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This photo shows the lining and the front of the first signature.  I will use this as a title page and add contact information etc in case it gets lost.  By the end of the year the pages will also include envelopes, flaps, and overlapping photos. 

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January 28, 2018

Loving Dance and the New York City Ballet

Dance is my one lifelong physical activity, and loving to take ballet class also means loving to watch ballet.  For the last 3 years my husband and I go to working rehearsals, orchestra rehearsals, lecture demos, and occasional dress rehearsals of the New York City Ballet.  Last week we went 3 days - and these are the 2 sketchbook pages that I created from scribbles before the lights went down.  The dancers move so fast that is almost impossible to capture their movements, but I try to remember at least one pose at a time.

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"Painting" My Pecil Drawing of a Goya Master Drawing

Yesterday I posted information about Master Drawings Week in NYC - with a link to the website and a map of the participating galleries. I went to see the large exhibit of drawings at Sothebys - which are being previewed until 5PM Tuesday - and sketched in pencil a favorite Goya pen and ink drawing.  When Sothebys invited artists to come sketch Saturday and Sunday they stipulated pencil only.  This morning I used my favorite Brause steno nib and India ink, followed by diluted ink applied with a brush to finish "my Goya basket lady."

In yesterday's blog post, where I posted the original Goya drawing, I also mentioned that the estimated auction price is 1-1.5 million dollars!   

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January 27, 2018

Master Drawing Week 2018 in New York City

Last night Galleries participating in Master Drawing Week had openings from 4-8PM.  I took my husband to one of them because I wanted to see the travel watercolors, and he hadn't ever been in any of the townhouses that we always pass on our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  For those in or near NYC, it is an unusual opportunity to both see wonderful art and visit galleries in some gorgeous townhouses. 

Hilda May Gordon traveled the world for 7 years in the 1920s, and painted as she went.  Whenever she had accumulated enough paintings for an exhibit and sale, she would visit a large city, sell her paintings, and use the proceeds to finance more travel.  The exhibit was very interesting and the Gallery was welcoming. 

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Each year they publish a book of the participating galleries on the Upper Eastside of Manhattan, and you can go to their website for the list, and a map.  The booklets can then be obtained in the first gallery you visit.

http://www.masterdrawingsinnewyork.com/ 

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Today I went to Sothebys auction house to see the previews for their Master Drawings auction, and they had many more than most of the galleries.  I loved a Goya ink drawing and sketched it in pencil.  I'll add ink and paint it with ink, sometime this week, but wanted to put a photo of it here.  Sothebys is open tomorrow afternoon, and 10-5 on Monday and Tuesday, as the auction takes place on Wednesday.  My little Goya from the 1600s, entitled "Don't Make the Basket Too Heavy," has an auction estimate of $1,000,000-1,500,000!

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In March there is Asia Art Week, and we repeat the process to see wonderful art from a different part of the world. 

 

 

January 26, 2018

Deliberate Practice January 2018

I love figure drawing and look for any opportunities to practice drawing hands and feet.  Deliberate Practice is one way for me to do that - saving images whenever possible just to draw both, and hope that this practice will carry over to times when I'm drawing live figures from observation.  This month I decided that I need to search my reference photos, clipped usually from ads in magazines, to draw some more feet.

If anyone has a good photo source for feet photographs, I'd love to get the link.  Here are feet from the only two ads I had, and one drawing of two hands together - another one of my goals.  

 

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Two Hands Together - one in an ongoing series of my practice drawings - moving from single hands to two.

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More about Deliberate Practice:

In his best-selling book “Talent is Overrated,” author Geoff Colvin writes about the concept of deliberate practice and how by adhering to this principle, the practitioner can attain expertise far more rapidly than they could through repetitive methods of practice that focus on already sharpened skills.  From Huffington Post The Blog 05/24/2016

Here is another link discussing the definition - and since I don't have someone critique my efforts, I may or may not be using the concept correctly.  https://3starlearningexperiences.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/370/ 

But it works for me - VERY slow progress has been made. 

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