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May 20, 2016

Monotypes, Ducks, and A Cow

I went to my second Monotype session this week at MoMA and made 3 prints - but only uploaded two here - another ballerina and another Axel print.

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Weekday NYC Urban Sketchers met in Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City this week, and I was completely mesmerized by ducks.  When I arrived I watched a male swimming all over the pond behind a female and a total of 7 ducklings that were scattered and having fun.  I sketched them quickly and spent the next hour watching them to determine their coloration.  I can't describe how much pleasure I got from sitting in the sun, watching and photographing them.  Midway through the hour 3 gangster males arrived and fights began.  But the original male kept them away from his family.  It was very noisy! 

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I quickly sketched one of Dubuffet's four large LaVache paintings when at his exhibit at Acquavella Gallery on the Upper Eastside.  My goal was to paint it with my acrylic paints before putting them away after my abstract painting class ended.  The painting is on a watercolor postcard. 

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Monotypes, Pen Drawing with Watercolor Wash, and an Acrylic Painting - I think I need to focus! 

April 26, 2016

NYC Urban Sketchers May 23rd

I went to the morning session of the weekend NYC Urban Sketchers for the second time, and in spite of early drizzle and rain, I really enjoyed sketching Cooper Union.  It is a major historical building in the City and I hope that I can draw their other building which is very modern sometime this summer. 

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"The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, established in 1859, is among the nation's oldest and most distinguished institutions of higher education. The college, founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist, Peter Cooper, offers a world-class education in art, architecture and engineering as well as an outstanding faculty of humanities and social sciences. 

Peter Cooper wanted his school to play a role in the political and cultural life of his city and country. The means he chose was the establishment of the Great Hall in the basement of the Foundation Building. It seated 900, the largest secular meeting room in New York and soon after it was opened, and it made history when Abraham Lincoln, an unannounced candidate for president of the United States, and a virtual unknown in New York, was invited to speak there by the Young Men's Republican Union."

https://www.cooper.edu/about/history 

 

I sketched this across two sections in my most recent handmade accordion watercolor journal, and I love that the previous two are filled with outdoor paintings done with the weekday Urban Sketchers over the last two years.   

This is the current watercolor book.  I used Fabriano Artistico 140 lb watercolor paper for the 8 panel strip and paste paper from my last production for covering the binders board.  I can draw and paint on both sides of every panel.

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This is an example of the first and second accordion sketchbooks I filled at Urban Sketchers Weekday sessions. 

 

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March 18, 2016

Visit to the Oculus With NYC Urban Sketchers

New York City Urban Sketchers met at the new Santiago Calatrava Oculus on Wednesday, and viewed the inside and sketched the outside.  As I walked from the Fulton Center subway stop I took photos of the exterior from the East, the interior, and exterior from the West.  While the group was sketching at the foot of the Freedom Tower, I went across West St. to Brookfield Place and sketched from there.  The Oculus is still a construction site inside and out, but it is fun to see this very interesting new center to the Lower Manhattan Transportation Hub.

Oculus from the East (Dey and Church St.):  That is the World Trade Center Freedom Tower behind it.

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The Entrance I went in is at the NW corner of Liberty and Church St, just inside the door to WTC4.  Follow the signs to the Path Station down 2 escalators, and two long white marble corridors to the Oculus. 

 

Interior:  The wall covered in posters hides the continuing construction, but it is really the side walls and ceiling that are the main attraction.   

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Oculus From the West:  I sketched this view (see below), from the front of Brookfield Place and across West Avenue from the Oculus.

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It will still be a few months before all of the entries are open and the construction tools are gone.  This is a map of the area, including all of the World Trade Center Buildings that will eventually be accessible from the whole Plaza.  This is the Map I photographed from within the Concourse linking many of the buildings.  

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My Oculus Painting From the West:  I was lucky that the trees were still mostly bare. 

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February 1, 2016

Master Drawing Week in New York City 2016

Last Week was the annual Master Drawings Week in New York City.  I've gone with my Art Pals for the last several years, partly because I love drawings, and secondly because it is a wonderful opportunity to see elevators for 1.5 people and grand staircases in some of the most elegant townhouses between 5th  and Madison on the Upper Eastside.  Some European gallery owners rent space in NYC galleries for the week, making the selection even broader in scope.  There is a published book of galleries that can be requested from the website, and copies that can be picked up in the first gallery you visit.

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And there is even a map of gallery locations on the back of the booklet.  We began on 66th St and ended on 86th St - only missing a few along the way.

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I love pen and ink drawings - and these are two photos I took of favorites.  The first is from the 18th C. Italian artist Giuseppe Bernardino Bison and the second by Gustav Klimt. 

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Last week I watched a very short Matisse video of The Piano Lesson and then was delighted to see one of several preliminary drawings exploring different positions of the 3 individuals in a Master Drawing gallery.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video/blogs/all-blogs/impressions/2016/01/matisse-la-lecon-de-piano.html?cmp=email_selects_selects_matisse_hero2_12916-12916 

 

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But the highlight of the day for me was my 3rd Joaquin Torres-Garcia exhibit this month.  He is described as the first South American Modernist and I now know many of his paintings for the first time.  I saw the big Torres-Garcia exhibit at MoMA at the beginning of the month, a lovely exhibit at Gary Nader Gallery at 24 W57th St last week, and then a collection of privately owned Torres-Garcia works of art on this tour.   There were drawings and paintings in the Gallery, and a watercolor sketchbook that was spread out in a glass case.  It was one of the pages in the sketchbook that I was inspired to paint in my sketchbook when I got home that evening. 

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My version - for inspiration! 

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January 15, 2016

NYC Urban Sketchers and Art Wednesday

Twenty-five NYC Urban Sketchers met at Kremer Pigments (247 W. 29th St, NY, NY) on Wednesday morning for a lecture-demo by Roger Carmona, the Store Manager.  Roger is an artist and an expert on Materials - specifically paints.  During the first hour he told us about many pigments and how they are created: mineral, earth, plants, animals, and synthetic.  They have samples of the many rocks that are ground to make pigments, including the very expensive lapis lazuli and the unbelievably expensive purple pigment made from mollusk shells.  Kremer, a German company, makes pigments and mixes them with various binders to make many types of paint.  During the second hour we watched Roger mix 2 blue pigments with watercolor medium (gum Arabic/glycerin/honey) all the while continuing the lecture and answering MANY questions.  The store sells the pigments, binder mixtures, and ready made paints in tubes and pans and I am dangerously oversimplifying what I learned. 

http://www.kremerpigments.com/ 

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After lunch with my artist friend Benedicte, the two of us walked to The Rubin Museum of Art because Pat told us we had to see two exhibits there.  The first was Becoming Another: The Power of Masks.    The masks, which come from parts of the world represented at the Rubin, were beautiful and each mask came with a story.  Benedicte and I separated to sketch our favorites. 

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The Monkey mask was my favorite.  His job in the annual monastic festival dance of the dead is to put black and white stones, for bad deeds and good deeds, on a scale to determine which weighs more when the God of Death is judging a sinner versus a pious man.  Strips of colored fabric are put on the pin on the top of the mask - and hang down covering the back of the head.

 

The second "must see" art was a photography exhibit by photojournalist Steven McCurry - part of his extensive India series.  This was one of my favorite photos - I really want to sketch these men in their unusual positions.  The website has more photos and terrific short videos by Steven McCurry.

http://rubinmuseum.org/events/exhibitions/steve-mccurry-india 

 

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