January 23, 2015

Urban Sketching in Criminal Court

The Weekday Urban Sketchers of New York City met in Arraignments Court a week ago to sketch the proceedings.  The action was fast, with the accused appearing before the judge, with the prosecuting and defending attorneys making brief statements, mainly about setting bail and court dates for their court appearances.  Occasionally a guilty plea was entered and the judge informed the felon about the process and confirmed the decision.  Our small group sat at the back of the courtroom and watched and sketched for almost two hours, without anyone paying attention to us. 

ArraignmentCourt1.size.jpg

 

Judge, Lawyers, and the accused:  I grouped several of the felons, most in hoodies, the lawyers, and the judge in one composite drawing.

ArraignmentCourt2A2B.size.jpg 

Near the end of the morning a Mother and Child came in for a few minutes and sat opposite me.  Several minutes after I began my sketch, she departed, and was probably a Wife or  Girlfriend who just was there to hear the Judge and the bail decision.  Many of the accused had family members who were there to confirm that they weren't a flight risk, and had ties to the community.

MotherChild.size.jpg 

 

January 20, 2015

Fun Figure Drawing Exercises at MoMA

MoMA is offering drop-in Figure Drawing twice each month during the Toulouse-Lautrec Print Exhibit.  The models are actors and there are many props for them to use to evoke the café society of the Belle Epoque in Paris.  An art educator discusses Toulouse-Lautrec, his style, and his manner of capturing the performers on paper in the Cafes.  He then gives us many specific exercises during the 90 minute session - most are 3-5 minutes, the longest is 10.  Specific exercises include 1 min warm up to draw the whole figure, a quick seated pose, contour drawing, blind contour drawing, and gesture drawing.  Today I wanted to post other drawing techniques that were new to me as exercises and great fun.

Seated Pose - Model 1, Fast Profile:  I had great difficulty drawing this model's head because of her hair style. 

Latta.Profile.size.jpg 

 

Part 1 and Part 2 in Same Pose:  The model was seated on a windowsill and we had 10 minutes to sketch her.

Then we were given a small piece of colored paper and told to do a fast drawing of her in the same pose using a different tool.  I used a black Tombow marker. 

Latta.Part1.copy.size.jpg 

Latta%2CPart2.size.jpg 

 

Model 2:  The 1 + 9 Minute Exercise:  We were asked to draw the entire model in 1 minute.  After we put our pencils down, we were given 9 more minutes to add detail to only one part of the drawing.  I loved this exercise and realize that I usually go back and add detail everywhere - and this seems much fresher. 

Corey.1and9min.size.jpg 

 

Capturing Active Poses:  Our model was asked to move from one body position to another, and then back again - relatively quickly (i.e. almost continuously back and forth).  We were asked to pick one point in the movement and draw it.  The model was repetitively lifting one leg to fix the strap on her shoe and then returning to a more stable position with both feet on the floor.  Her head rotated back to front as her body position shifted. 

CoreyMoving.size.jpg 

 

Model 2 - 10 minute pose to place her in an environment with a foreground, midground, and background. 

Corey.10min.size.jpg 

 

A New Figure Drawing Exercise for Me:  Look at the model and draw her in only straight lines in 3 minutes.

Latta.StraightLine.size.jpg 

Corey.StraightLine.size.jpg 

I will miss these sessions after they end in March.  The models are terrific, and the two art educators we've had were incredibly skilled at keeping the sessions moving along, introducing many ways to keep sketches fast, fresh and fun.  

January 16, 2015

Documenting Art Adventures-Remains of the Day

I took Mary Ann Moss' Remains of the Day online class in late 2010 and decided to use the book as a "scrapbook" for my Art Adventures with friends in New York City.  This is one of my archivist tendencies that I love - and fear!  Since then, this is what happened.

IMG_20150116_090842303.size.jpg 

My new book for 2015 was just completed and here is the book - still skinny.  I have many fabric scraps that  I dyed while working out surface design methods.  I chose a red and gold piece of fabric and then pulled all scraps that coordinated with it to make this cover.  I finished the cover on Tuesday and Wednesday night selected a variety of folios for the pages.  There are two signatures, each with 12 folios that are bound through the spine using a 5 hole pamphlet stitch.  All of the topstitching on the cover was done with YLI Kaleidoscope metallic thread.

IMG_20150116_090137951.size.jpg 

IMG_20150116_090259652.size.jpg 

I add photos, drawings/paintings, business cards, art exhibit press releases, etc to the books, anything that documents how I spend my days with friends on art adventures.  This is the book from 2014 - stuffed full of ephemera.

IMG_20150116_090410589.size.jpg 

Here are a few pages - with flaps and pockets to hold everything I want to save and document. 

The pocket contains some photos from the day on the Lower East Side, including the Tenement Museum.  Gwen Diehn, the cold person in the middle, was visiting us from NC.

IMG_20150116_090504546.size.jpg

 

Our group went to Christie's Auction Previews for Modern Asian Art week:

IMG_20150116_090516664.size.jpg 

A Field Trip to the Katonah Museum of Art to see the Jasper Johns/John Lund exhibit and this was my composite painting of many of Jasper Johns repeated symbols.

IMG_20150116_090605302.size.jpg 

 

Opening Day of the Matisse Studio at MoMA.  I think you can tell that we are happy to be there.

IMG_20150116_090638432.size.jpg 

A rainy day in Chelsea seeing the amazing Picasso exhibits at Pace and Gagosian,  Benedicte is on the left and Pat on the right.  Teri, who is still working joins us when she can. 

IMG_20150116_090724990.size.jpg 

I am very fortunate to have art friends who love coming into the City from the burbs so we can both see wonderful art and make some art ourselves.  Yesterday Pat and I sketched at Criminal Court (in  Arraignments) with the NYC Urban Sketchers, then met Benedicte and Judy for Toulouse-Lautrec Figure Drawing at MoMA, followed by a bus ride downtown to see 2 exhibits at the NYU Grey Art Gallery and finally our annual dinner, including Teri who worked all day yesterday, to celebrate another year of our friendships. 

 

 

January 13, 2015

Drawing the Masters

I love to draw from Master drawings and paintings, and try to do at least one drawing from each gallery or Museum visit.  The styles of these artists are so different, that I feel as if each is a challenge for me.  These are 4 drawings that I did in the last month - Andrew Wyeth, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, and Edgar Degas.  I was thrilled to see the actual sculpture of Dancer of Fourteen Years by Degas and I've included a photo that I took of this remarkable piece.   

 Andrew Wyeth  Lovers Study  Adelson Gallery New York 

Wyeth.size.jpg 

 

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - detail from Print in Museum of Modern Art Exhibit

 Toulouse-Lautrec.size.jpg 

Amedeo Modigliani  Elena Pavlowski     Phillips Collection  Washington DC

Modigliani.size.jpg 

Edgar Degas - National Gallery of Art Washington DC

This is the clay-wax sculpture made by Degas, complete with clothing.  She is beautiful!  The sculpture was in Degas' studio when he died and more than 30 copies were cast in bronze posthumously, and are owned by museums around the world.  Xrays studies show that Degas used old paintbrushes to support the armature within the arms. 

DegasDancer.NationalGallery.size.jpg 

DegasDancer.side.size.jpg 

January 11, 2015

Matisse Studio: Beyond the Cut-Outs

This wonderful program at the Museum of Modern Art ends today, although the exhibit continues into February.  Because I missed regular days over the holidays and while we were in Washington DC, I went to the Studio to "play" on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, including the Friday evening party marking the end of the program.  Some of my previous collages, including a fabric collage, already were posted to my blog in Oct, Nov, and Dec. 

On Wednesday I started a new series of collages - made by freehand cutting of figures and shapes in solid colors and on a solid background.  I used some advertisement cards from my ballet studio to select figures in motion, and then just began cutting - making arms, legs, torso, head etc as separate pieces.  I loved the experience and my series of 5 collages ended with a bigger piece that was cut freehand and glued during the party in 45 minutes.

Here are the collages in the series.  The first 5 collages were either copied on a color copier in reduced size at the Studio or scanned and resized digitally at home.  The last one was on a large sheet of brown paper given to each of us and had to be photographed and resized.

MatisseCollage.123Jan.size.jpg 

 

Matisse.4Jan.size.jpg 

 

Matisse.5Jan.size.jpg 

 

Matisse.6Jan.jpg 

My group of art friends, who regularly met at the Studio, are going to have withdrawal, much like when MoMA Print Studio ended in 2012. This Matisse program was popular with both adults and children, creating a new, young group of artists who were as enthused and playful as we were.  Everyone of us stretched our minds and skills during these sessions and remain forever grateful to the Education Department at MoMA for creating the Studio.  Thank you Sarah and Allison and your dedicated studio staff.

 

 

January 6, 2015

Basic Bookbinding Class at FIT - Part 2

I love books and was basically a self-taught bookbinder because I wanted watercolor sketchbooks with specific paper at affordable prices.  But then my interest grew and I spent 2013 teaching myself to make one new book structure per month.  It seemed like a great idea to take a Basic Bookbinding course at FIT to learn even more - and now the semester is over.  These are the books that I made during my Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) class.  There were 9 structures, but I haven't finished the last one (several folded books), so only 8 different types of books are pictured here - some with two copies made the same way.  

P1050862.size.jpg 

The first 5 types of books were already posted to the blog. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/bookbinding/ 

The following photos are of the last 3 types. 

 

Book #6: Japanese Stab Binding - with two stitching Designs.  These are easy books to make, but the binding doesn't allow the pages to open flat so I don't like them for drawing or painting.   

P1050868.size.jpg 

 

Book #7:  Album Binding

This book is designed with extra room between the signatures, which are stitched to a book cloth hinge using a 5 hole pamphlet stitch.  A book board hard case is made and the hinge is glued to the front and back cover.  End papers are then glued to the inside of the front and back covers.  This is a great structure for a travel sketchbook because it opens flat for drawing or painting and lots of ephemera can be glued in without overstretching the binding.

P1050865.size.jpg 

My book has 140 lb watercolor paper in the signatures and paste paper for the end papers.

P1050866.size.jpg 

This is the view from above showing the spaces that left between the signatures where they attach to the spine - for later expansion. 

P1050867.size.jpg

 

Book #8 is a Screw Post Portfolio, the only book structure that we made with single pages.  Two boards are covered for the front and back of the book.  Holes are then punched in the covers and pages and metal screw posts are inserted.  The pages don't open flat, but the structure is a good one when putting together pages, photos, drawings, paintings that are on single pages. 

The number of pages can be increased at any time by buying longer screws for the posts. 

P1050863.size.jpg 

 

My book only has two pages in it because I just wanted to make a template for punching other pages. 

P1050864.size.jpg 

January 4, 2015

Art Goals for 2015

January 4th is the 9th anniversary of my blog and it is a good time for me to think about how I will spend the next year improving my skills and interacting with artists online art community and locally. 

Long Term Goals: Develop better drawing and painting skills on paper and with dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

Goals for 2015: To sketch and paint everyday, and to blog twice each week These activities give my retirement life some structure and provide enormous inspiration within an artist community. 

1. Take more classes online and in person to remain inspired:

I’m already enrolled in this year’s "Studying Under the Masters" course, but didn’t plan to start it until January.

I am registered for two Craftsy Classes one in Drawing and the other Watercolor.

I will take the Strathmore Class on Hand Lettering and Calligraphy, but have little interest in the other two this year.

I will register for Sketchbook Skool Semester 4 as soon as it is announced.

I will register for the Spring Semester at Fashion Institute of Technology, but won’t know which course I will take until registration day in January.

2. Continue to draw and paint locally: I meet regularly with the Central Park Drawing and Art Meet-up group, the NYC-Urban Sketchers Weekday Group, and my good friends Teri, Benedicte, and Pat. I would feel very isolated without them! There are multiple drop-in sites for Figure Drawing in NYC and I will attend one of them at least monthly.

3. Make watercolor sketchbooks, for daily drawing and painting and travel:

I will continue to make books - lots of books of different types.

I am registered for a Craftsy class on Dye Resists for making new bookcloth for my sketchbooks. I already have used many of the resists on a regular basis, but this class will restart my "dye lab" for 2015. I’m down to my last piece of dyed cloth!

I also need to make another batch of paste paper to use for covering bookboards and/or as endpapers.

All of these goals are really just a continuation of my goals for the last several years. I love the variety in my schedule and each of these activities brings me enormous pleasure. There will be other opportunities that I haven’t even imagined yet, and I will remain flexible and open to taking small risks! 

I'd love to read what others are planning.... 

 

 

 

December 30, 2014

Progress Toward My Art Goals in 2014

REFLECTIONS ON 2014 -  My main goal is: To develop better drawing/painting skills on paper and with dye painting/surface design on fabric.

My specific goals for 2014 and my reflections on my progress:

Sketch everyday and blog twice each week: Although I didn’t sketch every day, I probably averaged one drawing per day based on some long drawing sessions. I attend many art exhibits with my friends here in New York City and always draw from the Masters. My blog is really important to me, and my group of online friends helps me remain inspired. I think I only missed my blog goal once in 2014!

Take More Classes

1. Senior Scholar Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT):  Spring 2014 - Dye Painting on Silk 3 hrs weekly for 15 weeks

2. One day Paste-Paper class at Center for Book Arts in NYC; an Artist Transfer Paper Class by Lesley Riley and a Thermofax Screen Printing class at Quilt Festival-Houston.

3. Online classes - as a means to remain inspired and continue to learn on my own schedule, I took 5 online art classes, 1 online surface design class, and 2 online university classes on "Creativity" last year and learned something from everyone of them.

Studying Under the Masters with Jeanne Oliver. Each week I copied a Master Artist painting, usually converting their oil technique to watercolor, and then developed a second painting "inspired by" the specific artist we were studying. There is a category which includes each week of the 8 week course on my blog. I LOVED the challenge of this class!

Sketchbook Skool - Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene - Semesters 2 and 3: I chose these semesters of Sketchbook Skool because of the 6 artists that were included and was both inspired and educated by each one of them. I look forward to news about Semester 4!

Strathmore Workshop with Gaye Kraeger - My initial sketchbook drawings and paintings were inspired by Gaye in 2005 and led to my awareness of and participation in the Everyday Matters Group several months later. I’d love to spend a week painting with her!

Beautiful Watercolor Bouquet - a Craftsy class by Mary Murphy. I did this online class with my painting friend Sara when we were at the beach during the summer. We did lots of Wet-into-Wet painting which I love.

The Art of Dying - a Craftsy class by Jane Dunnewold. My first surface design classes were at Southwest Craft Center when Jane was the Chair of the Surface Design section. And I still learn something from her every time I meet up with her - in person or online.

My two classes on Creativity were offered free by Coursera, with faculty from Penn State for one and University of MN for the other. I remain interested in this broad topic and learned some skills to increase creativity and innovation from each of them.

Learn More Bookbinding Techniques - As a self-taught bookbinder I was thrilled to take a Basic Bookbinding class at FIT during Fall Semester (3 hours/week for 15 weeks), and made 9 different book structures and 2 books that I also wrote or sketched all of the content. This was an amazing experience and can be seen in blog posts within the category "bookbinding" on my blog.

Maintain a Community of Artist Friends: Lastly, I look forward to many more art "playdays" with my friends Teri, Pat, and Benedicte and will continue to attend the Central Park and Art Meet-up Group, the weekday New York City chapter of Urban Sketchers, and at least monthly figure drawing sessions at one of several locations. My friends make all of this even more fun.

December 27, 2014

Christmas Eve at Our House

All of our grandchildren and their parents were here for Christmas Eve dinner.  It was 9 months since our last group grandchildren photograph, so we lined them up on our bed and tried to get all of them ready for a short photo shoot.  I'm sure that this is an age old problem whether you have grandchildren like ours who are 2-11 or 8 teenagers.  But I was determined to give it a try. 

Take #1  They definitely weren't ready.

P1050777.size.jpg

 

This was Take #2.  Everyone needed to get back in position and it took a minute to settle them down again.    

P1050778.size.jpg 

This was take #3, but we could barely see Annabelle behind her baby brother.

P1050779.size.jpg 

Then it became very difficult to keep all of them still and  William escaped from Annabelle again.  This is take #4.  

P1050781.size.jpg 

Once the tickling began, mayhem ensued, Take #5 - and the final attempt with my camera for this holiday.  

P1050782.size.jpg 

We gave up when it became clear that the children were more interested in dinner than posing for our photo.  My daughter-in-law is a wonderful photographer and I'm hoping that there is a better photo of all 8 on her camera.  We were taking photos simultaneously and every once in a while a split second makes a huge difference. 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND BEST WISHES FOR 2015! 

Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

January 2015

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Powered by
Movable Type 3.38