February 15, 2019

Experimental Screen Printing Class

I am taking an Experimental Screen Painting Class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) this semester, and hopefully will gain an understanding of the many methods for screen printing.  I have previously done 2 types of screen prints, and those two prints are at the end of this blog post. 

We made a 4 Color Reduction Print over the first two weeks.  I had no idea what they even meant 2 weeks ago!  Read here for method:  The white shapes on my screen print are the color of the fabric, and I brushed screen filler over every place that you see white to "protect it", and then pulled a print with light blue pigment.  The light blue color is #1.  Going forward, I brushed on "screen filler" to delineate the areas that I wanted to remain light blue, and then pulled a print with darker blue.  This process, i.e. screen filler to delineate areas you want to save, and then pulling a print with darker colors (#3 dark purplish blue and then #4 black). It made my brain hurt trying to figure out the process.  Before adding the black pigment, every part of my screen except for the black areas at the bottom of the screen were brushed with screen filler to maintain the printing I wanted to save.  To pull a print, pudding-like pigments are put along the top edge of the screen and a squeegee is used to pull the paint down over the screen in one slow, consistent movement.

My Print on Fabric: 

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My only other experiences with screen printing were one day workshops printing on fabric with fabric paints.

One color Screen print with mask - a Christmas Tree Decoration:

In the first photo, I made multiple prints of the green tree on a big piece of red fabric using a contact paper "mask "over the screen (with the green sections cut out), only allowing me to print the areas that are green as the print was pulled.  The gold color is machine quilting with metallic gold thread.  

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Thermofax Screen Print with several colors of thickened Procion MX Dye - A Quilt Journal Page:

I don't understand how thermofax screens are made, but essentially a stencil is burned into a screen using a Thermofax photocopying machine and special paper.  I brought black and white ink jet prints to the workshop and the screens were made for me during the workshop.  They are more like stencils with multiple areas on the screen that let paint through. On this 8.5 X 11" quilt journal page, I used several different screens, and colors of thickened dyes for this tiny art quilt.

 

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 Stay Tuned:  Next we are making photoemulsion screens and it is all still a mystery to me. 

February 12, 2019

Cultural Friday Feb 8, 2019

My husband and I scheduled an afternoon and an evening performance at Lincoln Center and then needed to decide how to spend the hours between the events.  The Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle is a perfect place to browse and eat, making a trip back to our apartment less inviting.  Landmarc is big, and it has a large enough menu for any time of the day.  I sketched what I saw right in front of me and added paint at home.

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In the afternoon we saw a working rehearsal of the New York City Ballet.  It was fun to see the 3 principle ballerinas all in gowns, and their partners all in random class clothes.  This was obviously not only a rehearsal of "In the Night" set to a Chopin Nocturne.  The dress skirts had many, many layers and these dancers were getting used to their costumes as well.  This dancer came out to warm up for a few minutes when the lights were still on, and I tried to capture her arabesque from memory, because it was over in an instant.  In the evening we saw the Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Barbara Hannigan, and she is the most physical conductor I've ever seen.  No sketches possible!

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February 8, 2019

Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again

There is a large Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Whitney Museum.  This is one of several exhibits of his art in NYC that I've seen - at the Met, MoMA, Morgan, and now at the Whitney.  The MoMA and the Morgan introduced me to Warhol the Illustrator and I loved his drawings and book illustrations that were featured in their exhibit.  I never had any feelings for his screen prints - too commercial and mechanical for my tastes. 

After looking at the exhibit, and drawing, I joined a 4PM tour of the exhibit given by one of my friends, who led us, for an hour, from early Warhol, to late Warhol.  Below are two Sketchbook pages I created while walking around the exhibit. 

 

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Here are a few of the early pieces that I liked.  His ad for rhinoplasty led him to narrow his own nose. The Diana Vreeland shoe is one of his slipper series, in which he "designed" and made shoes and boots for a handful of celebrities.   I used gold gouache to paint the shoe, he used gold leaf! 

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Hearing about his life, and the reasons behind his artistic development, allowed me to better understand his work.  In addition, I'm taking an experimental screen printing class at FIT, and soon will understand some of his printing methods.  The exhibit will close at the end of March, and then travel to 2 other major museums in the US.  The website for the exhibit is huge.  https://www.whitney.org/Exhibitions/AndyWarhol 

February 5, 2019

Radici on C Street in DC and Check out Figuary

This is another favorite stop along C Street in the Capitol Hill section of Washington DC.  It is a small gourmet food store, near my beloved Capitol Hill Books. 

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Figuary is a free daily challenge for February - from  two YouTube sites.  Each day there is a short 4 min video emphasizing an important aspect of figure drawing (YouTube: Love Life Drawing) and a 15-18 minute video of one model in 1, 2, and 5 minute poses (youtube: Croquis Café).  Just search for each site on You Tube - you can still access Feb 1-5 from the you tube site.  The quality is excellent, and it is 28 days of drawing figures for extra practice.  I just hope that I can fit it in to an already busy schedule.

February 1, 2019

Line of Action Figure Drawings - from end of January

These are my line of action figure drawings from the 2nd half of January.  I call these Art After Breakfast because I do these 5-10 minute drawings while I'm finishing my coffee, and paint them immediately.  I cut them out and collage them in my sketchbook later.  Each drawing is easy for me to do because my photo reference book, quarter sheets of copy paper, pencil and pen are kept together.  This is the 2-page sketchbook spread.

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Left Page:

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Right Page

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First I draw a pencil line of action, and then I draw the figure with a black gel pen. I really enjoy drawing these - they are quick, low stakes, small sketches, and they keep me drawing even when other projects and demands intervene.

 

January 29, 2019

New York City Ballet Working Dress Rehearsal

We saw a working dress rehearsal 0f Apollo at the New York City Ballet - to be performed that evening at the Winter Season Opening.  I quickly did a pencil sketch of the 4 dancers while they warmed up and the lighting technicians projected the sun, and then the lights went out making further drawing impossible.

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January 26, 2019

Making a Watercolor Accordion Sketchbook

Accordion Sketchbook with Fabriano Artistico 140lb Soft Press paper:  I made 3 of these and used them for sketching during NYC Urban Sketchers meetings when weather permitted.  This is one of those three.

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I am teaching a friend from NYC USK how to make books and last week, in lesson 4 - (first 3 lessons: pamphlet book, double pamphlet book, recycled book) we made accordion books using Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press watercolor paper.  We tore two 8" strips from a 22 X 30"sheet of paper and glued them together with a 1/2" flap.  The pages are 8"H x 7" W for a full length of 56".  I used paste paper I made previously to cover the binders board that I made while she was following along.

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January 22, 2019

Random Sketchbook Pages

We gave 4 of our grandchildren new art supplies for Christmas.  Each of them enjoys drawing and painting and I put together a set of NeocolorII watercolor crayons, Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, a Pelikan opaque paint set, two waterbrushes, and drawing and painting sketchbooks.   These all fit in a plastic Art Bin so they can keep all their own supplies together in their room.

I spent several mornings with them making sure they knew how to use the sets. While they drew and painted, I sketched and painted with them and then forgot that I had these two pages in my sketchbook.   

Cornelius Wishspinner:   Cornelius is also known as the Sandman according to the legend that came with the pattern.  This is a sculpture I made more than 30 years ago.  It is about 8 " tall and is brought out every Christmas for our fireplace mantle.  The clothes are all made of fabrics.  He has a pack of toys on his shoulder and a leather pouch around his waste.

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After artist Giorgio Morandi:  I grabbed some jars and bottles from one of our dining room shelves and painted them, thinking about Morandi.

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January 18, 2019

Art After Breakfast: Early January 2019

I am not doing as much drawing this month while I catch up with sewing projects.  But it is easy to do my quick gesture morning figure drawings, and I collaged another group of drawings, sketched on paper, into my sketchbook.  I usually try to do more drawing and painting each week, but volunteer activities and some hibernation due to cold weather and sewing makes these quick figure drawings perfect when time is limited. 

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Shirley Parker Levine
New York City

February 2019

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