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June 16, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Final Part

This will be the last blog post about our recent trip to Venice.  The other 8 sketchbook pages were done at restaurant tables, on airplanes etc., and could have been done anywhere, meaning there is little that would make you think of Venice when you see them.

I love seeing the very elaborate masks in the best Mask Shops.  And I needed to paint one of them in my sketchbook to remember them.  The gray color on the mask and background is Winsor-Newton silver gouache.  I squeeze out a little, let it dry with my watercolor paints in my palette, and rewet it when I want to use it.  I also used gold gouache while we were traveling.

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This was our set of apartment keys for the week.  Our friends who shared the apartment had a similar set.  The apartment owner met us early on our final day, to check us out, and direct us to the Alilaguna boat back to the airport.  I was really sad to leave this apartment in a 16th C. Venetian palazzo.  It really felt like our home for one week.

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I created a grid for for daily notes before we left New York, and filled in the highlights of each day so I could remember our visit.  The Weather, Morning, Afternoon, and Evening notes were usually written right before bed or when I woke up the following morning.  I almost always put a layout like this in my travel sketchbooks before I leave home and include it here just to demonstrate the technique. I'm sure that my writing is not readable.

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June 9, 2012

More from the Beach - 2012

We are still at the beach, so these sketchbook pages were photographed, not scanned. 

Clam Bar in Amagansett- We took a ride out to Montauk, the tip of the South Fork of Long Island, one afternoon, and stopped at a roadside clam bar for a snack on the way back.

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A 2 pound lobster, before he was boiled for dinner.  He was frisky, so this was a very fast sketch! 

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I found two different varieties of whelk shells on the beach yesterday, and had to add them to my Southampton beach collection.

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June 5, 2012

Journal Pages From the Beach

This is our annual beach week with friends - and we've been lucky to have several hours each day to walk on the beach.  I love collecting and painting shells, but I haven't found many yet.  Here are two scallop and two broken moon snail shells.

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My husband made wonderful, fresh black sea bass for dinner with a green sauce made from cilantro, lime, and several other ingredients.  I sketched the fish before it went on the grill.

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June 1, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 4

I am still working on my Venice sketchbook, and decided to upload 3 pages done since I returned home.

We visited Arcobalena, the art supply store that sells pigments.  It is centrally located, and a very quirky place.  Half of the store is a hardware shop, the other half sells pigments - and hand blown glass - and leather aprons - and some art supplies.  We spent lots of time talking to the woman running the shop and learned some of the history.  My friend Sara bought a set of pigments to make pastels when she returned to the US.  And the 4 of us couldn't resist buying a few leather aprons made by the shopkeeper (who is also a glass blower)! 

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I collected a few pieces of ephemera - mainly because they appealed to me graphically - and made one collage page of memories.

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The gondoliers were everywhere!  And there seemed to be many variations on the standard uniform.  I took photos of many of them and created this page of drawings from my photos.

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May 30, 2012

Two Museum Visits

I'm taking a rest from my Venice Sketchbook - and posting two paintings done at recent museum visits.

The Jewish Museum in New York has a lovely exhibit of Edouard Vuillard and His Muses (1890-1940).  I knew very little about Vuillard's life, and really enjoyed seeing his paintings put in context.  The museum website has a brief summary of the stages of his career and a wonderful collection of paintings of people in beautiful interiors.

I painted a detail from one of the interiors that I really liked  - in part because of the composition/placement of the two figures.

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Last week we visited the new Barnes Mseum in Philadelphia.  Dr. Albert C. Barnes, physician and chemist, began collecting impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern art in 1902.  The collection was housed in a suburb of Philadelphia, with limited hours, and poor lighting.  Barnes' main goal was to use his collection for education and he developed a school on the premises. 

Barnes arranged the art himself - very symmetrically - on the wall, and without regard for the artists or the chronology.  When he died, his will stipulated that the collection could never be moved, and that all of the art must remain in exactly the same position as the day he died.  There were 24 galleries and the 181 Renoir paintings were placed throughout most of the galleries.  There are also 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisse, and 46 early Picasso paintings - these are the big 4 artists.  But there are many other artists, and even El Greco and Goya!.

The will was challenged, and primarily to save the collection by increasing visibility and revenue, a new Museum on Ben Franklin Parkway, just opened.  It has 24 identically-sized galleries and every piece of art except one is in exactly the same place on each wall. 

Reservations must be made to see the beautiful modern museum and the collection - and it is really worth it.  Those who visited the original location said that the lighting is so superb now that every painting looks like it was cleaned!

If you want to see the holdings for a specific artist, use this link.

Since we were there during opening week, small groups of visitors were taken on tours of the collection - no dawdling allowed!  As in the original location, no sketching and no photos were permitted.  But I was able to buy this postcard to record our visit in my sketchbook that evening.

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