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August 18, 2017

A Sketchbook for My Grandchildren in DC

Two of our grandchildren live in Washington DC, and when the oldest was born I started a sketchbook to record daily events when we were visiting her.  Pages were created for local places and important activities, and "stuff.  "I'm now on volume 2 and here are the two latest pages.  When Annabelle was visiting us in NYC she fell in love with a stuffed animal that was part of the menagerie that accumulated in our apartment when our NYC grandchildren were younger.  She took the pug, which she named Dash, back to DC, and brought Paddington back for her younger brother.  We were there two days and I painted their two newest "lovies" in my DC sketchbook.

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XXX

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April 25, 2017

WWI Art Exhibit at Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

While in DC my husband and I went to a WWI Art Exhibit at the Air and Space Museum while our Son took the children to a movie in the museum Planetarium.  I saw it mentioned online last month and knew it was something I would like.  I sketched and painted a WWI gas mask which protected soldiers against mustard gas in WWI.

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Half of the exhibit was photographs of the wall rock sculptures that soldiers created while "living" in the underground tunnels connecting the trenches.  There are reflections from the glass in each of my photos, but I couldn't get rid of them.

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The other half of the exhibit was drawings made by 8 American Illustrators who were selected to record the war while embedded in the troops to capture all aspects of the war, including fighting. 

The Engineer by Harvey Thomas Dunn

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January 10, 2017

National Gallery of Art and a Cow

We returned our grand daughter Annabelle to Washington DC on January 2nd and while we were there we made a visit to the National Gallery specifically to see the newly renovated East Building.  When we walked through the underground connector from the West Building and went up the stairs, nothing looked different.  But they added 12,250 square Feet of new gallery space within the existing footprint, including two "soaring tower galleries" and a rooftop space.  An employee also told me that elevators were installed to move up and down in the corner spaces by the towers.  There appears to be a much bigger collection of Modern Art and I loved the collection.  

There was an Alexander Calder exhibit at the top of Tower 2, and I drew my favorite wire cow!  Someday I'll sketch his Josephine Baker Wire Sculpture when there is more time. 

CalderCow

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As I went through the galleries I took photos of art that I know Pat and Benedicte, my artist friends, would love and I'm posting them here so they can see them before we meet again for Master Drawing Week.

Another Max Beckmann Triptyck:  The Argonauts  1949-50.  This one wasn't in the recent Beckmann exhibit at the Met in NYC. 

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Jean Dubuffet:  Building Facades 1946  This is very similar to the painting the 3 of us LOVE at the Met.  

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Another Dubuffet - crazy with color!  La Ronde Des Images  1977 

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A William Kentridge Accordion Book:  Portage 2000  Torn Black Paper on Encyclopedia Pages

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Pat and Benedicte - hope you enjoyed the small virtual exhibit of some of our favorite artists!  Hurry home from France Benedicte.  We need to go on our annual Master Drawing Pilgrimage here at the end of January. 

September 20, 2016

I am currently taking Liz Steel's "Seeing Now Buildings" course online.  Next to drawing figures, buildings are my second love.  I've drawn buildings while sitting next to Liz on several of her visits to NYC.  Her ability to "see" the structure of a building and draw it quickly is astounding.  I was in Washington DC when I read through Lesson 1 and did my homework.  I chose a church that was only several blocks from my son's house and it was a challenge. 

My first sketch, drawing the edges, later became my final sketch.  And I didn't have time to paint it on site and may keep it as a pen and ink sketch.

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The second part of the Homework was to understand the building a little more by painting the shapes - including the negative shapes of the windows and doors and some shadow shapes.  Liz said that this is great preparation for drawing looser - something I would like to learn to do.

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The 3rd part of our homework was to draw the volumes - based on the geometric shapes.  This was definitely the most challenging part and I had to walk around the building for a better understanding. 

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I had a much better understanding of the building after drawing edges, painting shapes, and determining the volumes.  It will be fun to draw it again during another visit - preferably at a time when the leaves which covered so much of the building have fallen.  I was very limited in my ability to see it from a distance, or in a photo. 

  

September 14, 2016

Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC

For the last week we were in Washington DC helping to take care of two of our grandchildren.

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While they were in school on Friday we visited the Hirshhorn Museum (one of the Smithsoniam Museums on the Mall) and looked at their permanent collection for the first time in decades.  I loved the Gallery that was full of DeKooning paintings and Giacometti sculptures and spent a few minutes sketching several pieces in my watercolor sketchbook. 

These were three of the busts of his Brother Diego:

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And this is one of my Favorite Dog Sculptures.  I've seen it in other museums, and finally took time to sketch it.  The painting was done later at home.

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Midway around the circular gallery space there is a gorgeous room which overlooks the Mall, showing the other museums and the National Archives. 

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When I returned to pick up my husband, who was sitting in this room doing a crossword puzzle, I found an art class setting up to draw and paint the rooftops across the Mall.  They were interested and very well behaved!    

Art Smart Studio Class

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I spent time talking to the Art Smart Lady, Lorina Harris, and was inspired to also draw one of the museum rooftops before we left. 

 

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This is the West Wing of the National Gallery of Art.

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