Archives for the month of: November, 2014

Don’t judge me. Last Friday I had a full day planned which included MOMA Studio and then a special Very Late figure drawing thingy. It was imperative, yes, imperative, that I land a spot in the railroad station parking lot since I anticipated a close-to-midnight return. Which is to explain why I was, once again, hanging out in said parking lot drinking coffee and eating a bagel until the first “off peak” train arrived.

It was very cold, so, instead of doing my usual walk around the city, I sat in the waiting room for a little while and sketched. After drawing her I took out my other sketchbook (used for one and two minute junky poses at figure drawing) and started to sketch LOTS of people sitting in the waiting room. I was drawing them as “cut outs” for use when I’m at MOMA. Practicing simplification. When I finally put them to use I will show these preliminary sketches. Not yet.

I braved the cold wind and walked uptown, stopped for a coffee and a (should-have-been-lunch-but-was-a-muffin-instead) snack and discovered, even though this place became crowded with midtown workers actually having lunch, the turnover was so fast and the tables so plenty that I was able to linger without being bothered. While there I got an idea. I took out my junky figure drawing sketchbook and made corrected and simplified sketches from them which became my cut out project at MOMA Studio.

Stay tuned.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
#1: Apps Used: Finngr Pro and ArtRage
#2&3: Gridded notebook and Tombow Pen (1) and Pilot V-ball pen and Tombow Pen (3), sketches photographed using iPad and then imported into ArtRage for color.

This is still last Wednesday and there was a paper making workshop at MOMA Studio run by Dieu Donné. I made two sheets of cotton fiber paper and used colored pulp with stencils and collaged linen fabric during the making of the paper. It was a lot of fun and I ended up with two very very very ugly pieces of handmade paper.

Moving on.

In the remaining time I futzed and floundered around for a bit until I got my mojo back. I ended up pleased with the effort.

Book: City People #1. I seem to be on a bookmaking jag.

People tell me that these little books are journals. Well, yeah. I’ve spent time staring at these people as I sketch them and try to figure out how to turn them into cut outs. I remember where we were when I chose them as guinea pigs.

Process: Cut out elements from various papers with x-acto blade and/or scissors. Either: Assemble parts on MoMa Studio’s copier, print. Rearrange/add elements, print. Or: glue down all the bits and pieces.

A few weeks ago when I was tripping on the High Line with the NYC Urban Sketchers we had lunch at New York Burger Co. on W23 Street. My veggie burger was big and sloppy but I am such a neat eater I was still able to take the tray liner, fold it up and tuck it in my purse for a rainy day.

Last Wednesday, after I sketched the train waiting women (see previous post) I walked down to Union Square Park. I started sketching on the pre-folded tray liner about a block away and then walked amongst the Farmers Market Stalls. That’s when a vague misty drizzle started. Hey! It wasn’t supposed to rain today. Oh well, I decided I wouldn’t melt, just frizz, so I kept on drawing.

I stopped for lunch at Pret and went over the Tombow markers with a Pitt Brush pen. I think the tray liner is parchment paper so the Tombow didn’t really work very well.

Then I took the subway uptown to MOMA.

Stay tuned. I made another book there.

Process: sketched from direct observation on restaurant tray liner (parchment paper?); Tombow brush, Pitt Brush Pen, Copic Markers, Signo Uni-ball (UM-153.

I was early, staying warm, drinking coffee, reading a book and I looked up, at the eastbound train platform, above my head. My purse started twitching and jiggling – iPat was itching to jump into action.

I couldn’t control her.

Another one. These women were very early for their train.

And then, iPat squealed with joy, and finally settled down so I could get back to my book.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Finngr Pro and ArtRage

People of the Pad Series

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Sketji and ArtRage

The other day:
As soon as I walked into the kitchen I had to paint what I saw as I looked “over there”. You see, I had just returned from a 2.46 mile walk and my brain was super aerated and the caffeine was still roaring through my system. The light was coming from a circular fluorescent bulb that lives aimed at the boardonironingboard studio annex leaving most of the room dim.

That is what I saw when I spotted this all the way across the room. My brain knew it was a box of …… but my eyes could not see anything else. This iPad photo was taken at a distance in the low light and then cropped.

Even after taking this close up photograph which clearly shows the graphic I still see the impression of figures when standing at a distance.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Finngr Pro and ArtRage
Misc. supplies: cows laughing at me hysterically.

When I arrived at MOMA Studio last Friday all the tables were crowded with small children. I found a place for myself with a group of teenagers from a school in Westchester. There were scraps of paper on the table when they departed and one, the “arch” called to me. My initial intention was to use my paper bag drawing a bit differently. I had plans that went awry right from the start. Whew. Ugly.

Still, I was determined to reference the Penn Station drawings somehow. Earlier, while having lunch and coffee in the train station I had sketched various diners on a napkin with the idea of using them as cut outs.

And then THIS appeared as if by magic:

Next I sliced it in half and fiddled around and came up with THIS.

Below is my gridded notebook page with the napkin bits glued down. I let iPat loose on it. No controlling her.

Here is the before page just in case you are super eager to see what I usually start with. These were drawn from direct observation of real people but I let my wacky eye see them.

#1&2: Cut out elements from various papers with x-acto blade and/or scissors. Either: Assemble parts on MoMa Studio’s copier, print. Rearrange/add elements, print. Or: glue down all the bits and pieces.

#3&4: Pitt Brush Pen, sketched on a paper napkin which was glued in my gridded notebook, photographed using iPad and then imported into ArtRage for color. iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.

When I don’t get to the railroad parking lot before a certain time I can either drive a few blocks away and look for a right-side-of-the-street parking spot or feed the meter with mucho quarters, if I have them. I don’t want to park blocks away because, even though I’m a walker and will be walking to MOMA from Penn Station and then back again, at the end of a day there I am seriously tired.

As a result I decided to stop at Dunkin’ too early, pick up a coffee and multigrain bagel, get a spot in the lot and while away the time until the first off-peak train arrived by eating breakfast, reading and maybe come up with ideas. I bundled up the food garbage in a Dunkin’ paper bag and was about to toss it in the trash when I, who knows where these ideas come from, decided to keep the bag. I eased open all the glued edges while I walked on the train platform and folded it into the pages for another book, put it in my purse and forgot about it.

That is, until I was in Penn Station where I stood against a wall and sketched all the people watching the big schedule board above my head while the National Guard kept an eye on me.

This is a very long piece (16″ long, I think) which was scanned in two sections. Only half of the bag is finished but I will be carrying it everywhere just in case.

It was pouring rain that morning so I took a subway up to MOMA instead of walking.

There was a special free workshop, designed and led by the artist Elaine Reichek, at MOMA Studio and I had a reservation for Shirley, Teri and me. Judy and a woman from Figure al Fresco also had tickets and Ken was able to snag one at the last minute. The workshop had to do with Matisse’s textiles. Everyone (25 of us) were given tickets for immediate entry into the exhibition in order to see examples of his textile work and for a brief talk in one of the galleries. Downstairs again we were given access to felt, fabric, sewing implements, idea prompts and even an instruction sheet showing how to put together useful items like an iPad cover, etc. The aim was to make something inspired by the cut out exhibition. I referred to one of my Union Square figures from the previous day. What fun!

#1&2: Wrinkled, raggedy paper bag, dying Pitt Brush pen, lines gone over with healthy Tombow pen.

#3: felt, linen, embroidery floss, scissors, needle. The green bits of felt were leftovers from Teri’s project. I coveted that green.

Remember the book “Union Square #1” from yesterday’s blog post? (Hurry, go back and look at it.)

When I arranged my papers, scissors, etc. at my spot at one of the tables in MOMA Studio, I took out the small book and referred to it as I cut out figures for a cut out collage.

As, on a prior occasion, the area was not crowded so I was able to arrange elements on the copier. It was when I started cutting up and combining the above collages, and others, that the lightbulb went on over my head and the next two offshoot books were born.

Here is the layout of “Union Square Park” version a, followed by the completed book.



Here is the layout of “Union Square Park” version b.



Process: Cut out elements from various papers with x-acto blade and/or scissors. Either: Assemble parts on MoMa Studio’s copier, print. Rearrange/add elements, print. Or: glue down all the bits and pieces.

Remember a few/many blog posts ago (“A Busy Day” from Nov. 6) I mentioned that I walked down to Union Square Park before heading up to MOMA studio? I sat on the exact bench from the week before and waited for likely people to settle down.

I was a peculiar day. The park wasn’t as busy as usual. Instead of benches crowded with lunchers just waiting for me there were squirrels sitting on them. One kept getting on my bench looking for my food. I didn’t know whether to be calm or to go screaming down the avenue.

After I finished with Mr. Red Cap I pulled out the sketches for my “Union Square #1” book and completed them. In case anyone is interested this is one way to lay out a one-page book. The paper can be any size.

I had a menu in my purse from the cafe at the Museum of The City of New York where I had lunch during a recent weekday NYC Urban Sketchers gathering at Harlem Meer.

After I finished with the drawing I ate some lunch and then took the subway uptown to MOMA.

This book became the basis for the collages I created in the next few hours. Stay tuned.

(By the way: from this point forward my MOMA Studio posts will reference a number – tomorrow will be MOMA 2 – the number indicates that it was my second session in their studio which is in conjunction with the current exhibition of Matisse Cut Outs.)

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
#1&2: Gridded notebook and Tombow Pen, sketches photographed using iPad and then imported into ArtRage for painting.

#3: menu, Tombow brush.