August 23, 2019

Figure Al Fresco - NO RAIN! Aug 19, 2019

Finally, a thunderstorm was forecast, but I visited the TC Cannon exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian and Figure Al Fresco in Battery Park City again.  It rained the last 3 Wednesday afternoons, but yesterday the rain held off until dinnertime and figure drawing was possible.

These are two of the drawings I did of Marilyn at figure drawing.  This one was a 20 minute sketch and since I get bored after 10-15 minutes, I sketched a little of the background.



My favorites are usually 5 or 10 minute poses because I work quickly and still have time to use a waterbrush for shading.


August 20, 2019

Wanted to Draw It, Not Wear It

It is almost time for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Annual Fashion Show to close.  I wanted to go through it very quickly, even though I wasn't sure what "Camp" fashions would be like.  This is a dress designed by Paul Poiret and I immediately decided that I wanted to draw it, but never wear it.  I loved many of his fashions in the Poiret show at the Met in 2007 and was happy to see one of his designs again.


August 17, 2019

Figure Drawing August 16, 2019

Figure Drawing:  We were rained out for another week in Battery Park City, but managed to go to another site yesterday to draw.  These are 5, 10, and 20 minute poses using a GENERAL Sketch and Wash pencil and a NIJI large waterbrush to spread the graphite for shading.




August 13, 2019

Art of T.C. Cannon at the National Museum of the American Indian

After seeing this exhibit presented on a PBS NYC show, I wanted to see it.  TC Cannon grew up in the 1950s, and translated his native culture to the world in which he was growing up.  He was an artist, a poet, and a musician, and all of these aspects of his work are presented in the exhibit, including him singing a song from Bob Dylan.  He died of a car crash at age 31, but he made an enormous contributon to Native American Art in his short life.  My friend and I both loved the exhibit which will close on September 16th,. 



This is a woodblock print he did of his paternal Grandmother, when she was pregnant with T.C,'s father.  I love drawings of pregnant women, so it wasn't difficult for me to select the art I wanted to copy in my sketchbook to remember this exhibit. 

A wonderful website with an extensive essay about TC Cannon, and lots of art from the exhibit, is at this site. 

August 10, 2019

Making a New Art Portfolio

I'm working with a very enthusiastic and talented bookbinding student each month, and our projects for August were:

1. Make lots of sheets of paste paper.

2. Use the paste paper to cover binders board while constructing a 10 X 14 inch portfolio.  

This is another sheet of paste paper that I made with a 10 X 10" Lego base plate and corn starch paste with black acrylic paint. 



Inside:  These paste papers were made with an adhesive spreader as a comb.


I made one portfolio previously using the instructions in Alisa Golden's book Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures, and Forms.   The instructions were easy to follow again, 6 years later!

August 9, 2019

Drawings From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Last month I spent several hours with a friend, looking at the Exhibit in the Drawing Gallery, and surveying one gallery of small terracotta sculptures from 600 BC Cypress. 

Rembrandt Van Rijn:  There was one wall of Rembrant drawings and etchings in the 2nd floor Gallery of Drawings.  These were two among many figures in an etching entitled The Hundred Guilder Print.


Cypress Sculptures:  We walked through this section and loved the many cases of small terracotta sculptures from ancient Cypress.  These were several that I really liked.  Visiting the Met and sketching from the many permanent exhibits is my very favorite way to practice drawing.  The paint was added later, although the guards never seem to comment if I use watercolor pencils and a waterbrush.



August 6, 2019

Flowers Blooming in Wagner Park - Art Wednesday

I sketched and photographed these flowers at Wagner Park more than a week ago.   They weren't painted until we were at the beach again last week. 


August 3, 2019

Two Pages of Seagull Paintings

I love watching seagulls.  As I have written here before, watching them unfold their big wings, and run down the sand for take-off, makes me see how engineers could figure out flight.  Even to the point where their leg "landing wheels" get pulled up.   I don't know the various types of gulls, but these were all a little different.  I can only draw and paint them from photos, and even those are hard to obtain.  The gull next to the ketchup bottle was picking through a bowl of shells left behind on an outdoor table. 



More Gulls:  This whole two page collection of gulls were from beaches in the Hamptons, and Martha's Vineyard. 




July 30, 2019

Making Paste Paper for Bookbinding is ADDICTIVE!

I love making "paste paper" and spent 1 1/2 days last week making some with a friend for an upcoming bookbinding project.  Next week we are going to make portfolios, and decided that was a good reason for me to teach her what I learned about paste paper at Center for Book Arts here in NYC..

We used corn starch paste, acrylic paints, and Strathmore series 400 drawing paper per Lynn Gall in my workshop at CBA.

These are a few samples made last Tuesday.  The polka dots sheets were created using a 10 x 10 Lego Base Sheet as a stamp to create the design. 


These 3 books which I photographed on top of the above papers are examples of how I use these papers in making books.  From left to right: decorative papers for the covers of a Coptic book, an accordion book, and a wrap around cover for a small book with "perfect" (glued) spine.  I also use them as end papers in some of my watercolor sketchbooks.


bookbinding.  IMG_20190726_071607357SIZE.jpg 


July 26, 2019

Figure al Fresco in Battery Park City: 7.24.19

Yesterday was a gorgeous day near New York Harbor.  We had a cool breeze while sketching the model and the rest of Manhattan was really hot.    

We did 10 one minute sketches to warm up, and I actually liked one of them more than usual. 



The warm up sketches were done on newsprint with an 8B graphite pencil.  The rest were done with a General brand Sketch and Wash pencil (soluble graphite) and then finished with a Niji water brush. 

These are the 5 and 10 minute sketches.


These are the 20 min poses:



The flowers in Wagner Park were amazing this week - probably because of the amount of rain we've had.  I'll post them after I finish the painting. 



Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

August 2019

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