March 19, 2019

Chelsea Art Galleries March 1, 2019

Jasper Johns: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper

Matthew Marks Gallery has a wonderful exhibit of Jasper Johns art until April 6th.  I like his art more with every exhibit I see, and I chose to combine some of his well known images, to remember my visit to the gallery with my friends Pat and Benedicte. 



Jacob Lawrence: We saw this exhibit at DC Moore Gallery one day before it closed.  Jacob Lawrence did 41 tempera paintings in 1938 on the Life of Toussaint L'Overture, leader of a rebellion in Haiti, followed by a campaign to draft Haiti's first democratic constitution.  Between 1986 and 1997 Lawrence made siik screen prints of 15 of the paintings and a complete set was in the exhibit.  This one depicts him opening the rebellion charge.


March 16, 2019

The B-Side at St. Ann's Warehouse - Dumbo

This week we saw The B-Side at St. Ann's Warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn.  Eric Berryman, actor, was inspired by a similar show of Shaker Spirituals, and the Director of that show for the Wooster Group directed this performance.  For one hour, Eric and two back-up singers, sang Negro Folklore Work Songs by Prisoners at the Texas State Penitentiary.  The record on which this was based was produced in 1964.  We really enjoyed it, and dinner at Cecconis was excellent.



March 13, 2019

Experimental Screen Printing - Project 3

These are the designs for my next two silk screens at my Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Experimental Screen Printing class.  For Project 3, we needed to prepare designs for two screens, one with a design/drawing and the other with only typography.  When the screens are printed, the images will need to be accurately placed (registered), so the designs are printed perfectly together.  This image is a composite:  I layered my two designs, each taped to a piece of vellum, clipped them together, and then took the photo as a reference. 

One layer has my figure and the 3 black stripes.  The other layer has my calligraphy printed on acetate, cut into pieces, and taped to the vellum with clear tape.  I just wanted to see the superimposed images before going to class tonight to make the actual silk screens.



The image on the right is the original figure, created last year as a collage.  I sketched a fashion model and then cut out black and gray paper to collage on my drawing from that fashion illustration class.  This weekend I traced the collage, made patterns for the pieces, and cut the parts out of black paper and a sheet of text from a word processor that was printed on acetate for the blouse. 


It will take most of my 4 hour class tonight to learn how to register my two designs, and then register them, coat my screens with photoemulsion liquid, dry them for 30 minutes, transfer my designs to the screens in the exposure unit, wash them thoroughly, dry them for 20 minutes, and then tape the screens for printing.  I wrote this just so I can remember!!

My classmates, who are taking the course for credit, need to turn in 3 registered prints in 2 weeks. 


March 10, 2019

Flag Book for Samples of My Paste Paper

In 2013 I challenged myself to make a different book structure each month, and in March of that year made a Flag Book of my Paste Paper Samples.  While looking at the Facebook page today I saw another flag book with flags of paste paper.  So I'm reposting mine on my blog.
Flag books were introduced in the 1970s by Hedi Kyle and it is said to be the "most influential structure in the world of contemporary bookmaking."  I personally love to see the flags flutter into place as the book is opened and the spine is extended.
I took a one day Paste Paper class with Lynn Gall at the Center for Book Arts and decided to use pieces of my paste papers to make the flag book - covers, end papers, and flags.  Now I will have a book of samples to play with because I decided that I loved making paste papers for bookbinding!!


March 8, 2019

Experimental Screen Printing 2nd Project

We made two photo emulsion screens for our second project, and then printed both, with different color inks, on the same fabric. 

Design for Screen 1:  black cutouts mounted on vellum with clear tape.



Design for screen 2:  Various objects, either black or painted black with acrylic paint and a brayer, mounted on acetate with clear tape..


I don't understand the photo emulsion liquid or the huge camera we used to create our screens, but the only open mesh on the screen was where the black objects were placed. 

Fabric Print 1 on white fabric:  This was the first print - using pale pink, then medium pink, then purple ink.



Fabric Print 2 on white fabric:  This was the second print, using pale yellow, darker yellow (off set), and two shades of green ink.


I'm learning lots, and have no idea what I will ever do with the fabric prints, but that is OK.  A stimulated mind at my age is wonderful! 

March 5, 2019

Pregnant Models, Quilt Journal Pages, and Stamps

Figuary is over for 2019, and I really enjoyed Kenzo's short instructional videos and drawing Larry Withers Models.  I sketched a pregnant model many years ago, and was delighted that Croquis Café had one on Day 3.  In 2010 I enjoyed converting the images into Quilt Journal Pages  (8.5 X 11") using dyed fabric and several methods to transfer the images. 



The model at Croquis Café on Day 3 of Figuary (Feb 3, 2019) was excellent.  These are most of the sketches that I did of her.   

Pregnant Model (I, 2, and 5 minute poses - some finished on PAUSE)





In 2010, I even took some of my drawings and made stamps - and here is a small folded book of stamped images, and the envelope that I made for the book. 

Stamps and Small Folded Book with Envelope



March 1, 2019

Urban Sketchers Attend German Baroque Concert

NYC Urban Sketchers met at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church for a Juilliard Historical Presentation.  I first learned about this free concert through Urban Sketchers and now attend the performances (2 per semester) whenever possible.  These free concerts are at the church and the Juilliard masters degree students play baroque music on wonderful instruments. 

The students come out in small groups, each group for one piece of music, so I needed to sketch quickly and combine musicians or instruments in one drawing. 

This violinist was the first musician I sketched, but details were added during other performances.



I love the theorbo, which I learned about at my first concert with this group.  It is really big, and has two sets of strings.  According to my reading, it is a member of the lute family, and it is in many paintings from the time period.


February 26, 2019

FIGUARY: February Daily Figure Drawing Challenge

Love Life Drawing and Croquis Café, both You Tube channels you can subscribe to, sponsored a daily challenge this month.  Kenzo gave 4-5 minute lessons at Love Life Drawing, and Larry Withers introduced the model session at Croquis Café, each day.   The models posed for three 1 min, two 2 min, and one 5 minute pose.  Obviously you could pause the video for as long as you wanted, but I tried to finish the drawing in the allotted time, and usually just had to pause for another minute with the 1 minute poses.  These are a few poses I really loved drawing.  Kenzo said that all of the videos would remain indefinitely. 

In the first images, I made a quick sketch in pencil and then finished it in ink after the time was up.   In the second images I sketched in pencil, and then darkened a few lines after the sketch was done.  Even if I paused the video, I never took more than 20 - 25 minutes for all 6 sketches, probably because I used small scrap papers for all of them.  This was so enjoyable that I only missed several days so far.



Figuary B


February 22, 2019

Bookbinding and a New Watercolor Sketchbook

Once each month I meet with a friend to teach her bookbinding.  She makes wonderful books and I have a new one for myself at the end of the day.  This month we made a cased in-book with 140 lb Fabriano Artistico soft press paper - 6 signatures with two folios each.  The cover for my book was made with fabric fused to 45gm mulberry paper.  It is a monoprint that I made with thickened Procion MX dyes. 



We made the end papers with Canson MiTientes paper - which is readily available in many colors.



Ten years ago I couldn't find sketchbooks with good watercolor paper and began this journey.  Now, although Moleskine and Stillman and Birn sell watercolor sketchbooks, I still love making these and have a wonderful shelf full of many color sketchbooks. 


Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

March 2019

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