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March 21, 2012

Testing Pens

I like drawing with pen and then adding watercolor washes - meaning that I need a reliable, waterproof ink pen.  I'm not ready to try fountain pens, so I collect pens to try whenever I'm in an art supply store. 

I usually use Pigma Micron or Zig Millenium pens in 01 and 05 sizes on my Fabriano Artistico soft press paper.   In this sketch I used a Zig Millenium pen to draw my 4 new pens, and then applied watercolor several minutes later.  I made happy faces to "paint" with water for another test of the ink.

I was very surprised that my Zig millenium pen was the one that lifted the most with water.  The other 4 did reasonably well in my test.  Now I just have to remember where I bought them!  And which ones were recommended to draw over acrylic paints.

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March 18, 2012

Gwen Diehn's New Book

I was thrilled to receive my advance copy of Gwen Diehn's new book, The Complete Decorated Journal.

In 2003, I bought The Decorated Page and fell in love!  I always wanted to keep a travel sketchbook and she introduced me to the concept of an "illustrated journal."  I then bought The Decorated Journal when it was published, and over the last 6 years reread both of them several times, and filled over 50 sketchbooks. 

Gwen was asked to combine the books and add new bonus material, including 13 Artist Profiles, and I was thrilled when she asked me to be in one of the profiles.  We started a conversation several years ago through the Everyday Matters Message Board and I now sketch with her several times each year when she visits NYC.   My inclusion in her book is so meaningful to me, because without her books, I might never have walked this pathway. 

I'm including scans of the front and back cover, and my Artist Profile as an early peek.  I'm not aware of any other book that provides so much information, inspiration, and color photos of many artists' journal pages.  And there is a wonderful section at the end about bookbinding and making your own journals - from the simple to the more complex.

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Thank you Gwen. 

March 16, 2012

Venice Painting Practice

I resumed my drawing/painting practice this week for our Spring trip to Venice.  The Print Studio at MoMA consumed all of my attention during much of February and the first week in March, pushing Venice down my priority list. 

I was concerned that I had no idea how to capture the wonderful patina and aging of the buildings, with exposed bricks and so many age spots.  Last week, Kate Johnson, in the videos from the second week of her Strathmore Workshop, demonstrated watercolor techniques that were perfect for me to try and yesterday I did my first painting of a very aged building from one of my 2002 photos. 

Cathy (Kate) Johnson is a master of watercolor and author of many books.  She is extremely generous with her knowledge and shares so much with those of us who follow her website and blog, buy her books, and take her online classes.  I LOVE her free online Strathmore workshop and hope that everyone knows that she is the teacher for March.  You can register and access the 4 weekly classes until August.

In this small painting, I used wax paper, dripping, and spatter - with some blotting to try to get the changes in surface texture that I wanted. 

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March 14, 2012

Figure Drawing at Society of Illustrators - March 2012

I had a wonderful time drawing last night.  The weather was beautiful all day.  The wine was great, the 3 piece jazz band set a mellow background ambeience, and I loved the models' challenging poses.  Some days the process is just so much fun.  I was most pleased with the fast poses last night and will just upload them - skipping the 2 twenty minute poses until later.  It always gives me great pleasure when I can "just do it."  

Two Minute

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Four 5-minute poses:  It was amazing that the model could actually hold the last pose you'll see for a full 5 minutes.

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Two 10-minute poses:

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March 9, 2012

The Museum of Modern Art Print Studio Ended Today

I am very sad that the Print Studio ended today.  It was an amazing resource for artists/visitors and each of us felt that it was the perfect environment for artistic play.  The Reanimation Library provided the inspiration.  The images that were available in the 35+ shelves of books stimulated so many ideas and the copiers, scanners, and computers with Photoshop software permitted artists to experiment in many different ways. 

I made my eighth 8-page pamphlet book on Monday - this one entitled The Mystique of the Alphabet.  On Wednesday I decided that it was time to do some drawing - and made a book with figure illustrations for me to draw.  On Thursday I added collages to the altered book that I started in the workshop they had several weeks ago.  New friends were made and I shall miss them as we begin withdrawal and catch up on the rest of our life.

Here are the pages from my book entitled "Draw Me."

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