Archives for the month of: June, 2013

Underneath all my whining about the heat the other day I mentioned that I planned on going to the Brooklyn Museum on Wednesday. I was a bit late – subway’s fault – and discovered Benedicte and Judy lolling around outside the museum. The morning was quite pleasant.

Our first stop was the John Singer Sargent Watercolors. We were under the impression that there would be a docent tour at noon and an artist demonstrating watercolor techniques at 12:20. It turns out that the demo is a film clip and there were numerous docent tours throughout the galleries. You could pick and choose which suited your interests. Very nice. They didn’t interfere with each other. We spent quite a bit of time in this exhibition.

I sketched a few people while they (and I) listened to one docent talk about Sargent’s portraits.

On the same floor (4th) were a few other exhibits that we visited next:
“Workt by Hand”: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts. (really nice)
Valerie Hegerty: Alternative Histories. (a bit creepy)
Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Contemporary Collection.
K├Ąthe Kollwitz: Prints from the “War” and “Death” Portfolios. (I love her work – am always drawn to it – was So Happy to turn a corner and see these prints.)

I stood in front of one of my favorites and sketched happily, trying to reproduce her work on my iPad.

Next we headed up to the 5th floor. The elevator doors opened onto magic. Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui. Monumental is an understatement. I’ve seen quite a number of his pieces over the past couple of years but I think these must be the most beautiful of them all. There are also a couple of galleries of his work with wood and chainsaw. Yikes! Hurry Hurry Hurry! Everybody has to see these pieces.

In two rooms are videos (4 all together) in which El Anatsui explains and demonstrates the process of creating his pieces. I sketched some of the people taking time to watch the short films.

We continued into another exhibition on this floor:
American Identities: A New Look (well worth visiting)

That was it for us. On the first floor we quickly went through African Innovations and Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn and checked out the gift shop and called it a day as far as the museum was concerned. There was no energy left for their large Egyptian collection on the 3rd floor.

Stomachs were growling. We were pleasantly surprised that, when we exited the museum, we weren’t hit with a blast of hot air – the cloud cover had kept the temperatures in the 80’s. Phew. We walked a couple of blocks to check out a vegetarian restaurant Benedicte found on line. Looked through the window and decided to try another place we had passed that looked more promising. Much better. The other two had beet soup (!?!) which they agreed tasted “odd”, but which both finished to the last drop. I had a Grilled Emmenthaler Cheese sandwich with grilled sweet & sour onions on rye and a big mug of delish coffee. Yum. Ate the whole thing.

I sketched the people in front of my table while I waited for my sandwich.

Sketch Club and ArtRage apps; Pogo Sketch stylus.

All of the above drawings were sketched freehand while in the museum and while at lunch. Color, text, background texture were added later in The Recliner Studio.

It turned out to be a good day in Brooklyn. Clouds kept the temperature non-lethal. Tomorrow I’ll have more about our visit to the Brooklyn Museum.

Do you think Benedicte did not wear a scarf yesterday because:

1. It was “scheduled to be” super HOT and that would be sensible


2. She read yesterday’s question before she got on her train and was messing with me?

Finngr Pro, ArtRage apps, Sensu stylus.

Yes. I decided. There was only one decision I could make. Just the Fact of Summer Arriving automatically makes me Super Duper Stir Crazy.

In a little while I will be standing on a nice – sarcasm here – sunny platform hoping the train will arrive before I’m thoroughly barbecued. Just to let you all know: I will be whining until September when I’m miraculously psychologically cured of this summer stuff.

The 9:22 (really 9:20 but I goofed) train will take me into Penn Station with enough time for coffee. Then I will climb some stairs and get on either the #2 or #3 and end up somewhere in Brooklyn. I guess I’d better google the directions before I leave the house. I could take the train directly to Brooklyn but it involves maneuvers I haven’t ever done, an unknown amount of walking, and should be saved for weather where travel mistakes won’t result in Certain Death By Melting On Sidewalk.

If all goes well I should arrive at the Brooklyn Museum just as the doors open for business and Benedicte (also Judy, maybe) will be there already. Note to self: text the museum and make sure the AC is turned on high.

Stupid Question of the day: Will Benedicte have a scarf draped around her neck?

Finngr Pro and ArtRage apps, Sensu stylus.

Should I go into the city tomorrow?
Or should someone come, knock on my door, pull me out and take me to the funny farm?

Actually, I’m going to Brooklyn, but am entertaining city ideas also. Maybe I already have heat stroke and it won’t make any difference where I am.

Finngr Pro, ArtRage, Sketch Club apps, Sensu stylus.

It’s pretty quiet in the break room at work. Everybody is focused on their devices. I take out iPat as soon as I sit down and before I even take a sip of coffee.

Easy to sketch them.

Then I take out the Old Time Library Book and am very happy there are no conversations.

Finngr Pro, Pogo Sketch stylus.

Hmm. Now that I think of it, that hat would throw a really big shadow. Perfect shade for iPat drawing on a sunny day.

But I’m sure not going to be sitting on any buggy ground. Nope. No way. The only time I’m on the ground is when I trip over myself.

(I was inspired by and referred to a photograph that Maria Yeste, a facebook friend, posted one day.)

Sketch Club app, ArtRage app, Sensu stylus.

Benedicte, Teri, Shirley and I met for brunch yesterday, a looong brunch, at Three Guys on Madison Avenue then crossed the street and entered the Whitney Museum of American Art. Shirley’s friend Gail, a museum docent, was giving a talk and tour of the exhibition “I, You We” which consists of museum holdings from the 1980’s and 1990’s. Her talks are always very well prepared and instructive so we make a point of showing up and have never been disappointed.

I took out iPat and tried to sketch Gail (she’s the redhead below) several times without very much success. I finally gave up and sketched whichever photograph or painting she was explaining. Doodling, taking notes of phrases that caught my fancy, you know. Later I combined them into one piece.

We also spent a lot of time prior to and after Gail’s talk upstairs in the “Hopper Drawing” exhibit. If you are in NYC this is a must see. Zillions of preparatory drawings for his magnificent paintings – which were there in all their unbelievable glory – WOW.

I decided to copy the detail below from one of these paintings. (Head is a little lopsided, oops.)

Finally we left the Whitney, got some gelato, my first ever, and coffee on E. 73 Street. What followed was visits to 4 or 5 galleries showing American Collage, George Grosz watercolors and I can’t remember what else – how pathetic. Wait, I just remembered something. The last place we went, Benedicte rang the doorbell and a lady, who was leaving the building asked where we were going. Seems she had just closed and locked up the gallery (surrealist art) for the day. Even after I casually mentioned that we didn’t have millions she simply turned around, stuffed us all in a teeny tiny elevator and opened the gallery and left us alone in there while she disarmed the alarm.

Back on 81st Street we parted ways, Shirley heading east and north, Teri westward in a cab and Benedicte and I on a downtown rush hour bus, both of us yawning in tandem every two minutes.

Finngr Pro, Sketch Club, ArtRage apps, Pogo Sketch stylus.

There is a circus challenge on iPad Painters facebook group so I just wanted everybody to realize they have to keep alert and be ready to jump. These dangers have to be documented and it is my job right now to do just that.

Finngr Pro, Glaze, ArtRage apps, Sensu stylus

Sunday morning I headed into the city again, taking an early train so I would have time for breakfast and coffee . I settled at my usual spot by the window looking out at the station, watching travelers promenade and linger.

I sketched the view straight ahead while I sipped coffee and ate an egg sandwich. Things are slower early on a Sunday.

At 10:00 I left the station and started walking in a north easterly, almost two miles, zig zag pattern. This plan changed when I spotted a street fair/festival at Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. Lex was closed to traffic all the way to somewhere in the 50’s and it wasn’t crowded yet so I was able to walk at a good clip and not have to stop for lights. At 51st I resumed walking east until I reached the meeting place.

The Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group spent a few hours in The Secret Park. You get to it via some very old, narrow, steep, stone steps. Lots of them. Down Down Down.

It’s a very nice place. Something for everyone to sketch – trees, architectural interest, East River views, dog park, people, even the site of an old leper/smallpox/TB (one of those, not sure which but for some reason leprosy comes to mind) hospital on the island right opposite us.

I took advantage of Francesca who was busy painting something above my head and didn’t move anything except her painting arm.

Jesse, the organizer of this Meetup group, has us disperse and sketch for about an hour or so, and then we all display our drawings, ooh and ahh, and then resume another sketching session, etc.

I switched apps and spent some time on the garbage (not the first time, it seems). None of the colors are true – palette is very limited in this app so imagination and reality collaborate. When I finished this I simply pivoted around from where I was standing and spotted my next subject.

At 1:45 we all gathered and displayed our final sketches. Kimiko and her friend were way at the other end of the line. I was watching and wasn’t disappointed. Her friend spotted my iPad image and started laughing, gesturing to Kimiko to look. Massive giggling ensued. She had no idea I was using her as a model. “E-mail it to me!”, said between giggles.

Reversed zig zag walk back to Penn Station. While waiting I took advantage of these three. Someone sat next to me and openly watched but I don’t care anymore. Or, I had such a good day, I didn’t care then.

I finished the drawing just before the two on the left got up to catch their train and had time to get a coffee and oatmeal cookie. Had to get my caffeine quota. Sketch was done on the train.

Sketch Club app, Finngr Pro app, Pogo Sketch stylus.

(In the last sketch the app acted up and wouldn’t “save” so I took a screen shot. That’s why the unwelcome intrusion shows up on the lower left. A sporadic glitch.)

(I wonder if e-mailing such a picture laden blog post from iPat will actually work.)

Remember I told you all that I went downtown last Wednesday for the Figure al Fresco offered by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy?

Well, here are the “proper” drawings of the “official” model and not my Mental Meandering and Frantic Recording of Whatever Crossed My Path Because I have A New App And It Is Nothing But FUN FUN FUN.

She was Very Flexible.
Hmm. I guess I mislabeled the next one. Looks like it should be 5 minutes instead of 10. Too much frenzy to pay attention.

I blame any and all Wonkiness on her flexibility. Even my own wonkiness that led me to believe this was a vertical standing up drawing, Until I really looked at it, i.e., held it up to a mirror and saw something was seriously wrong. I know. Things are still wrong.

As a non-flex person I get thrown off kilter when in the presence of one.

Sketch Club app, Pogo Sketch stylus