Archives for the month of: January, 2013

I met up with Teri, Shirley and Judy this morning at MoMA. ?ber foggy, air heavy with moisture and the clouds low in the sky but it was WARM so the one mile walk to and from the museum was really pleasant and the hair was nicely frizzled. But first I hung out at Penn Station with a big coffee, read my book and observed people on the other side of the window.

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First stop in the museum (yay – no crowds) was “Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925”. There was something for everybody but I’d be surprised if somebody liked everything (huh? You know what I mean). There was art that was so beautiful your heart aches and, next to it, “BLEH, how on earth does this get to be in a museum”? One of the mysteries. A favorite artist was well represented so I spent some time copying one of his paintings.

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After lunch we stopped in the exhibition “Tokyo 1955-1970 A New Avant Garde” – lots of really nice drawings and paintings in the first gallery. We also stopped by to see “The Scream” and a selection of lithographs and woodcuts by Edvard Munch.
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ArtRage app, Pogo Sketch stylus

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One Early-For-Me morning last week I checked my e-mails. “Oh goody! Lots of messages with more grocery pics from Toulouse”, I exclaimed, still with sleep in my eyes. Yikes! Eeuuuwww. Gasp Gag Groan. She rapidly resuscitated me the next day with a photo overflowing with root vegetables. Ah. So calming.

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Um? Anyone know which is the rutabaga? **
ArtRage, Sensu brush; disclosure: cropped the photo, traced it – this time I used the color picker on the photo for each individual veggie’s line and innards. Discarded the photo. It was very one-value, pastel-like so I perked up the color – very easy. I’ll tell you how some day.

And this is EXACTLY what you’ll see. Really.

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ArtRage app, Pogo Sketch stylus and Geometry. You know, tangents. As in “She sure went off on a tangent this afternoon. Probably more than one”.

Really. All I had planned was to sketch the Gate and Cat in my Moleskine as practice for doing a digital drawing of the scene from memory. One thing led to another while i was flipping through the photographs Benedicte e-mailed to all of us from Toulouse and ended up sketching this and that and etc. We have been giving her assignments and, poor thing, refining them after each pic appears so we can get more info, details, new angles. Dutifully, after sending photos of herself as a child, she went to her elementary school and snapped a shot after one of us asked for it. Later that person, (Teri, i think), commented that it looked old. Benedicte responded that she thinks it was built in the 17th century. Tomorrow she said she will brave the construction workers and take a photo of the cornerstone. Ha. That was my request.

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She has given us rooftop views, working man type bars, gates with mailboxes, fish markets, modern supermarkets, narrow dark alleys and a hardware store named, it seems’ “Marty”.

Last Thursday Shirley and I went gallery hopping in Chelsea – more info as to our specific destination is here.  The weather was perfect (well, at one point she thought it was too cold and windy but I felt pretty comfortable), so we also were uninhibited about wandering around.  We stopped in at the School of Art & Design book store; browsed in “Three Tarts” a yummy $$$ bakery;  took pictures of grunge, graffiti and holes in fences;  looked at Beautiful Art; walked along the High Line which was blissfully empty of tourists; searched a two block stretch of Tenth or Eleventh Avenue (I wasn’t paying attention) back and forth until we decided on a late lunch spot, ahem, the first place we had examined;  stuffed ourselves;  waddled into a strange neverending building looking for galleries – the one we were interested in was closed and another one took us on a wiggling walk through twisty corridors and turned out to be the size of my bathroom and contained awfulness watched over by a very nice woman sitting on a high chair and working on a computer; outside again and up the stairs to walk to 30th Street along the Wonderfully Empty High Line, stopping to take zillions of photographs along the way.
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Yikes!!!  WE were the tourists!

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This set up was on our lunch table in the Italian restaurant.  iPat snapped its pic and a day or so later I traced the “things” but abstracted the background which was the view out the window of a tree, sidewalk, menu stand, buildings traffic pedestrians and then discarded the photo.  Yes, you and I know I could have drawn it but I trace in the app when I want to just do something quickly and not fuss over the drawing or if I want a certain effect.  This one I did tight-ish and “careful” whereas the traced buildings of Toulouse were purposefully wonky.  Anyway, it turned out that I got so involved doing this drawing that dinner was really really – really – late that night.
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ArtRage app, Pogo Sketch stylus.

At last Saturday’s Sketchtacular (I already told all of you about it), before iPat made an appearance, I started out with a Sharpie pen and some Inktense pencils and water.

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The two spreads were sketched during the first 45 minute “session”. I added the color to the above at the same time. The bottom one was tweaked at home with gouache, Pitt pen, gold and white gel pens. Ok, ok. I tweaked both of the spreads at home with this and that.

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I ALWAYS tweak.

She’s sending a daily photographic travelogue. Beer, coffee, front gate including neighborly cat, operatic fish and a picture of her dinner that I’m still, hours later, trying to vanquish from my memory.

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ArtRage app, Sensu stylus; Full disclosure: I traced the buildings because it was supposed to be a quickie and I didn’t want to find myself fussing with perspective. I wanted it to be wonky-ish. When I had the lines I discarded the photo and went my usual merry way taking liberties with reality.

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ArtRage app, Index Finger!!! I blame it all on my finger; grilled cheese sandwich = Yum & greasy fingerprints on the screen.

On Saturday, yesterday, I was in the city for the third time this week. Since I’m not commuting for work it obviously means: Voluntary Train Rider With A Grin. The timetable for my particular railroad line often gives me the opportunity to arrive either too early or too late. Sigh. So I often opt for the early choice since it is easier on the “I gotta rush” part of my brain and let’s me hang in my Penn Station watering hole of choice. You wouldn’t believe how long I can nurse a coffee and egg sandwich, read and watch people come and go. The lady came and then went and I decided to blame Picasso for her wonkiness.

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Then I headed downtown to 13th Street just west of Seventh Avenue. I took the day off from work (agreed to work MLK day) specially for this event. It tickled my fancy and I was super excited to go. The organizer(Jesse) of The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group was arranging something different: The 100th Meetup Still Life Sketchtacular! We were to meet at a place called The Center where a room with tables and chairs (also lots of snacks) would be available. FREE. But. To get in we all had to bring an item to put on the tables – I think there were ten tables(?) circled by zillions of chairs. As people arrived still lifes (lives?) grew on all the tables. I brought one of my Bendi (see a previous post – maybe November 7-ish) dolls and sat her on a big rectangular olive oil container. She was a big hit. The lady next to me brought some exotic Japanese oranges with stems and leaves still attached. **
(HEY SHIRLEY: I drew the oranges, a tea kettle and Pantaloony – the Bendi doll – with a pen and actual paper!). **
As per usual we sketched for 45 minutes and then Jesse called “Time!” and, since there were about 110 people present, instructed us, instead of gathering in one location, to put the sketches on our chairs and walk around the room to view all the artwork. He told us that we then should move to another table for the next drawing period – sketchy musical chairs.

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I spotted some flowers across the room and plopped in an empty chair, whipped out iPat (you knew the pen and paper weren’t going to last, right?) and tried my best. At first I was a bit self-conscious because some of the artists there are professional illustrators and their work is quite intimidating. But soon I was in the groove and also answering the usual questions from the curious. I had trouble leaving iPat on the chair while I checked out the other work around the room. Yes. One eye kept checking on it. I put the text in the drawing while I was there but made it more subtle and changed the background later at home. Full disclosure.

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This time, when I moved to another table, I opted to draw some of the other people because I couldn’t get interested in the arranged objects – the angles and perspective were a bit too much for me. I also decided to use my Wrong Hand. Again, Full Disclosure: The women were drawn on separate layers and then I arranged them as seen here. Later at home I added the map of the area and a bit of text. Remember, all the drawings I do – past, present, tomorrow – are my way of journalling so I’m pretty much compelled to do this.
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At 5:00 it was all over. The chairs were folded and stacked. I walked the mile uptown buzzing with Happy Energy!! – my train was there and waiting for me – pretty perfect day even though the top of the Empire State Building was shrouded in fog.
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ADDENDUM. Upon arrival home I found Pantaloony’s sister (ahem, also called Pantalooney) in a funk. In order to avoid having my Happy Buzz obliterated by family discord I showed her what we had been up to.

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ArtRage app, Pogo Sketch stylus; low light iPat photo (ha! You can’t tell which is photo noise and which is dust. Ha.)

The Manhattan restaurant was crowded. Dinner was finished and the last crumb of carrot cake was consumed. Uh Oh! I think my nose is running. How embarrassing! I fish out a tissue and BLOW BLOW BLOW. Teri swivels around and looks at me AGHAST. Huh? What’s wrong?

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I went home and practiced Ladylike Nose Blowing. All week I’ve been practicing. I think I’ve got the knack now.

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Sketch Club app, Pogo Sketch stylus