July 16, 2019

Museum Visits With My Grand Daughter Annabelle

My grand daughter Annabelle was here for a one week vacation, and in addition to other activities we saw the Maurice Sendak exhibit at The Morgan Library and Museum and the T.Rex exhibit at AMNH.  We sketched some of my favorite paintings by Sendak and the large T.Rex model at Natural History.  These are mine.

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The T.Rex exhibit is a special exhibition at AMNH. It was very interesting and informative - and was one of the activities Annabelle had at the top of her list.   But if you are not a member, it is expensive paying both admission and the exhibit fee - even with a senior and child <12.  We were only going to see T.Rex, not spend the day in the museum.

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July 12, 2019

A Few More Sketchbook Pages from Martha's Vineyard

We had a wonderful visit with our friends in Martha's Vineyard this summer: an architectural tour in Edgartown, the new MV Museum, a performance by Vineyard Sound, a film at the Film Center (Inviolable), a play at the MV Playhouse (Dear Elizabeth), a visit to the Granary Art Gallery, and a surprise quilt exhibit by the Women of Color National Group.  We also ate well and walked on the beach every morning for 2 miles.

These are the 10 college men in the group known as Vineyard Sound - an acapella group that performs almost everyday during the summer, somewhere on the island.  I sketched them during the performance and painted them later.  They were excellent and also funny!

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Since there were so few shells on the beach Bunny and I collected purple pieces of Quahog clam shells - known as "wampum" when used for currency by the Indians.  We both planned to use them for an art project.  I selected the darkest purple pieces, laid them out on the table in the shape of a flower and painted them.  Can't wait to see what she will do with the others. 

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We make an annual visit to The Granary, a terrific art gallery with a mixture of paintings, sculptures, glass, and wood art.  I sketched several things on the same page  to remember the visit, and painted them later.

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July 9, 2019

My New Paris Watercolor Sketchbook

We are going to Paris this Fall, and I always recycle a theme-appropriate book as a watercolor sketchbook for our trips.  Five years ago it was a book of old Paris black and white photographs by Atget.  This time I found a wonderful, used photography book called Paris in Color.  I remove folios from the original book, mix them with folios of 140lb watercolor paper, and case-in the signatures to the original cover. 

The original cover of the sketchbook, shown below, has a photomontage of the photos from the book.

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I used two of the original book folios for the front and back end papers.  This is a photo of the front end papers in the completed book.  We previously stayed in an apartment near the Conciergerie and Place Dauphine, so I loved that inner cover photo.

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During a previous visit to Paris we saw a magnificent Givenchy exhibit with all of the actual clothes that Audrey Hepburn wore for her movies.  This folio of Audrey and a painted blue door makes me remember a wonderful day from a previous trip.

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Another folio - with a characteristic menu from  a Parisian neighborhood restaurant.

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The photographer, Nicole Robertson, wrote that she walked around Paris and followed a color theme based on one of the first things she saw that day.  The photographs in the book are arranged in color sequences, and portray common items of iconic Paris.  

My book has 5 signatures, each with 2 folios of 140 lb Fabriano Artistico Watercolor paper.  Six folios of Nicole Robertson's Paris photographs are divided among the signatures.

There is a text and photograph tutorial for my Recycled Watercolor Sketchbooks at this link: http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php

 

July 5, 2019

Shells on Philbin Beach in Martha's Vineyard.

We just returned from a wonderful visit in Martha's Vineyard.  Each morning except one we walked 2 miles on Philbin beach - once in fog, several times with partly cloudy skies, and the rest in beautiful sunlight.  The sand was firm near the surf and perfect for walking.  We saw one live orange crab, one dead baby shark, and several cormorants that visited the rocks daily.  But there were almost no shells to be found, except slipper shells.  These are almost the only ones I could take back to the house to paint.

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July 2, 2019

People Drawing People Recent Sketches

Urban Sketchers Gathered for Lunch: We met on 5th Ave opposite the Guggenheim Museum, and had lunch in the Gardens behind the Cooper Hewitt Museum.  These were 3 of the artists sitting across from me in the gardens.

 

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Park Person: My Husband and I went to the Boat Basin (Conservatory Garden) in Central Park early on a Sunday morning.  While drinking coffee and eating a croissant I sketched this person who was very busy editing a manuscript - and she stayed long enough to be drawn and painted.

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June 28, 2019

Urban Sketchers June 22, 2019

Drawing along Museum Mile:  The group met in front of the Guggenheim Museum, and Urban Sketchers spread out along 5th Avenue throughout the day.

Two sections of my Accordion Sketchbook:  This is my USK accordion book which I reserved for NYC paintings.  These are two sections done on June 22nd.

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Composite Painting of the Museum - I linked the two halves in Photoshop. 

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June 25, 2019

Figure Drawing June 21, 2019

I love two minute sketches - they are more free and spontaneous for me.  Twenty minute drawings - the longest in the venues I draw - are sometimes torture.  I'm done by 10-15 minutes and keep fiddling with lines. This was one of my 2 minutes sketches today at Figure Drawing. 

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Five Minute Sketch: This was a full body pose, but I chose to limit the amount shown, just to post the face of the model and amazing hair.

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Ten Minute Sketch:  Thin, but muscular, and I was even able to see and paint his vertebrae.

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Twenty Minute Pose:  Devin was a very relaxed model and I would love to draw him again.  He told me afterward that he likes to "mix it up and next time he may have his dreadlocks loose!"

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June 20, 2019

Art Day in Battery Park City - June 19, 2019

My friend and I went to Wagner Park under threats of rain and thunderstorms, but we actually made it through the morning session, had lunch, and were able to sketch the model for the first hour before the rain began. 

Flowers blooming in Wagner Park: I love seeing the various flowers in bloom each time I visit Wagner Park.  The staff keep the flower gardens looking beautiful, and there are always a few new types of flowers since the week before.

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Figure Al Fresco - Brianna

We had one minute warm up sketches, 2 five minute sketches, and 2 ten minute sketches.  While drawing the first few minutes of the 20 minute sketch, rain drops began and we packed up and went to visit an exhibit at the Center for Book Arts - Manhattan's amazing bookbinding/letterpress center.  It poured as we were moving between sites, and were lucky we left the minute that we did.  I was drawing with a watercolor pencil, and the first few rain drops made a mess on my paper.

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June 18, 2019

NYC Urban Sketchers July 15, 2019

The NYC Urban Sketchers spent Saturday in Greenwich Village - first on W10th St and then in Washington Square Park.  It was a gorgeous day, and we were spread out down W10th from the Church on the corner of 5th Ave all the way to 6th Ave. 

The Tower of the Church of the Ascension: This was our meeting place at 10 AM and it was a perfect spot to start sketching.

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The Emma Lazarus House at 18 W10th St.  Emma lived here with her family in the mid-19th C and is known for her poem "The New Colossus," words of which were eventually added in bronze to the base of the Statue of Liberty.  "“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...."

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Jazz Trio in Washington Square Park:  The Park was full, but we chose a seat where we could draw/paint and listen to wonderful jazz.

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Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

July 2019

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