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January 3, 2019

Art Progress 2018 and Art Goals for 2019:

January 4th is the 12th Anniversary of my Blog, and I like to review my progress and goals for the next year at this time - an activity that was first recommended in an online art group when I first starting blogging. 

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My main goals are to develop better drawing and painting skills on paper, and dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

1. Take Classes to Keep Me Inspired and Motivated:

Progress: I took classes for 2 semesters this year at Fashion Institute of Technology (Comic Book Illustration and Figure Drawing), Sketchbook Skool (Whimsical and Watercolor Rules) and Sketchbook Revival - a 28 day online class with 28 artists. I also took several half day classes, including a sculpture class at MoMA and several textile surface design classes at Quilt Festival.

Goals:

Take classes in the Spring and Fall Semesters at FIT and online classes in Sketchbook Skool (Drawing People and Travel Journals are planned). 

Participate in Prime Time classes at MoMA, when available, and other short classes planned by Urban Sketchers.

Look for other classes, either online or locally, as they are announced.   

2. Maintain a Community of Art Friends

Progress: I continued to sketch with Urban Sketchers, Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group, and Battery Park City Figure Al Fresco when my schedule permitted. In addition I attended many local museum and gallery exhibits, and art auction previews with my artist friends.

Goals:  

Schedule art adventures throughout the year - to include museum visits, gallery visits, Master Drawing Week gallery hop, Art on Paper Exhibit in March, and Christies and Sothebys auction previews.

Schedule regular sketching events in NYC - Urban Sketchers, etc. 

3. Deliberate Practice: Planned activities to practice specific skills

Progress: I had a Colles wrist fracture of my dominant hand in March and drawing with my non-dominant hand became my major "deliberate practice." I was born with a deformity of my non-dominant hand and doubted I could draw.  But I filled one entire sketchbook with pen and ink drawings and did many line of action figure drawings after breakfast, becoming somewhat ambidexterous. Urban Sketchers had a 30 day direct painting challenge in June and I loved painting without any pencil or ink lines. 

Goals:

Continue the Line of Action Drawings regularly - Art After  Breakfast. My main goal for 2019 is to draw as many bodies as possible, when moving, including dance and sports. 

Participate again in the June Urban Sketchers Challenge: Daily direct watercolor paintings.

Draw from my imagination at  least once per week - in my special sketchbooks.

Continue to draw hands and feet in a dedicated sketchbook at least once per month.

Finish my Axel and Alice illustrated story that I couldn’t finish in my FIT Illustration Class because of my wrist fracture.

4. Bookbinding

Progress: I made cased-in 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks for my daily sketching, two recycled books with watercolor paper (for summer travel and a trip to London), and assorted pamphlet and double pamphlet books for special projects. I am also teaching a friend how to bind books and so far we have made 3 book structures (pamphlet, double-pamphlet, and recycled watercolor sketchbook).

Goals:

Learn to make at least one new book structure this year - a month of researching the structure and methods, then make at least 2.  Several years ago I did this every month for 8 months, and loved it.

Continue to make my daily and travel sketchbooks, and watch for any new bookbinding classes in NYC.

Continue monthly bookbinding lessons with my friend. 

Study historical paste paper designs and make a new batch of paste paper. 

5. Special Project Ideas: I like to remain open to new challenges, and this list will shrink and grow as the year progresses.

Progress: I wanted to learn how to draw on toned paper and watched videos and selected and tested a variety of black and white pencils before my wrist fracture.  I also made a toned paper sketchbook and then decided to delay this project.  Just coping with the difficulty navigating each day for 6 weeks in a cast, plus rehab for several months was enough to keep me challenged.

Goals: 

Learn how to draw on toned paper.  

Quilt a dye-painted NYC skyline I started 5-6 years ago.  I painted the scene on plain white fabric with thickened dye and now finally will machine quilt it, following the actual structures and black thread to increase the range of values.   

Explore "drawing" line of action figures with my sewing machine and black thread.  I started to explore this several years ago, and would like to play some more. 

Make a scrap Christmas Quilt and use up lots of my fabrics that are leftover from years of Christmas projects.

 

October 21, 2018

Urban Sketchers NYC October 20th

Saturday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the Urban Sketchers:  It was the perfect day to sketch indoors in New York City and we started the morning in the American Wing, even though it was partially closed in preparation of a later event.  I sketched two of the sculptures. 

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I also went to see the exhibit "Art of the Native Americans" and sketched a few masks that were made in Alaska between 1870 and 1900.

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August 31, 2018

Visit to the Jewish Museum

There is a Chaim Soutine exhibit at the Jewish Museum until September 16th.  My husband and I really like him and look forward to seeing his paintings in museums and auctions.  But this exhibit, entitled Flesh, is of his paintings of dead animals.  These are my least favorite paintings, with animals usually hanging in his studio, during the painting. 

My first painting of the Museum in years:

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Here is a photo of Soutine from the exhibit. 

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And here are 3 paintings that I sort of liked, but not well enough to draw/paint them as I frequently do at local exhibits.

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July 10, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 X 30 Direct Painting Challenge

Day 30:  This is the final direct painting (i.e. no lines) that I did for the challenge.  My observations from the 30 days are listed below.

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I love drawing, and really love lines, so I was skeptical about this challenge.  But I'm very glad that I did it.

1.  Each sketchbook painting took me longer than when I use pen-ink-and watercolor wash.

2.  It was fun, but challenging, to paint white objects by first painting the negative space around them.

3.  I could paint by direct observation if I was painting a non-moveable object/subject in my environment, but took photos to paint from for many of the challenge days, especially the above painting of my husband and friend walking along the beach.

4.  I really had to concentrate on shapes as I applied the watercolor with a brush.  I tried not to draw with a brush, and then fill in a shape.

5. I actually learned more about handling watercolors, even though I've been using them since 2003 - including use of wet-in-wet, allowing drying time, and glazing.

6.  I liked having a dedicated sketchbook for the project - which took one sheet of 22 X 30 of 140 pound watercolor paper, and a simple pamphlet stitch (Teesha Moore's 16 page journal).

7.  I can't use this technique when traveling unless I work completely from photos.  My usual travel sketchbook pages are created by doing a quick drawing from observation, taking a photo to remember colors, and then adding watercolor later.  My drawings are quick, and the only time I finish the painting at the same time is when my husband and I sit for a short while for coffee or a meal (45-60 minutes).  He is good waiting the length of time it takes him to do a New York Times Crossword puzzle and I remind him to bring a page each time we leave the hotel or apartment.

8. I hope this becomes a yearly Urban Sketcher challenge for June.  Knowing that other people were doing it at the same time gave me inspiration.  I just hope there is a dedicated website set up so more people can share their daily paintings.

 

 

July 3, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 x 30 Challenge: June 26.29

Direct Painting for 30 X 30 Urban Sketchers June Challenge:  Last summer I took a 3 hour workshop from Urban Sketcher Anne Watkins.  I love her style of painting random people, especially those that she does onsite at Weddings.  https://annewatkins.com/about.html

This image seemed perfect for the day after we left Martha's Vineyard.  It was painted from an image that I previously sketched from a photo, and the only pen work was the tie on the sun hat.  I'm not sure that I will ever acquire the skills to do paintings like this live.

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Sketchbook Page:  In order to do every day of the challenge I had to sometimes do 2,3, or 4 direct paintings on one page of my Teesha Moore 16 page watercolor sketchbook.  I marked off the areas with 1/4" artists tape before I painted.  The flower and razor clam were painted from direct observation.  The blue jay was painted from a photo I took of a wooden sculpture.

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I still need to do a painting for June 30th to finish my book and the challenge, but we arrived home from vacation to a full schedule of grandchildren and it takes me longer to do a direct painting, than with pen, ink, and watercolor washes.  

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