Archives for category: MoMA

Yesterday was a cold, very wet day and I was wondering how they were going to handle things. Very well, it turned out. Everyone was given a board with a large piece of velum and a large piece of heavy drawing paper. The elevator took us to the Sixth floor library (who knew?) where there was a covered balcony overlooking the museum’s sculpture garden and the old and new buildings across the street. There was graphite, colored pencils, crayon stick things and erasers. I have always been attracted to the buildings on 54th Street and was pleased to have an interesting view of them nestled amongst more modern skyscrapers. Rockefeller lived over there back in the day.

Then we were taken down to the second floor and onto the balcony outside the staff lounge – same view but from a lower vantage point.

We moved to the long corridor outside the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit and faced the buildings on 54th Street through the windows. I sat behind Joy, who was going to move because she thought she was blocking my view. I told her I sat there purposely. I had one of the crayon sticks and very rough watercolor paper. Wrong tool for the wrong paper and I struggled and gave up. But it worked like butter on the velum so I started over, sketched Joy, decided to trace my second drawing since time was passing rapidly. I discovered that the graphite smears really well on velum and got a nice gray.

I had no time to scan the drawings so these are just photos from iPat.

Various papers, graphite, crayon.


On Tuesday I took part in a collage/collagraph/printing 2-1/2 hour workshop as part of MoMA’s Prime Time. It was fun. Years ago I made a few very elaborate collagraphs and used a press to make the prints so the procedure wasn’t new to me – but, it was free and the atmosphere at these workshop thingies is pleasant and fun. While we paused to let the fast-drying glue dry, I sketched three of the ladies at the opposite table.

iPadPro; Pencil
Apps Used: Procreate

During the Wednesday afternoon MOMA Sketch class we were doing figurative drawings. We practiced drawing our hands, varying the line weights, something I’m not very good at. We were using charcoal pencils this time – medium and soft – and I decided to draw my hands with my usual hand and with the other one. Fair is fair, right?

We were supplied with printouts of faces from masterworks which we could copy. They also had these cool triangular table mirrors for self-portraits. Well, duh, of course you all know what I chose.

I got some vine charcoal, along with the pencils and I collaged my hands on this one.

They told us we could cut up the printouts and supplied glue sticks. I did another selfie with charcoal, cut up face parts and clothing from a couple of printouts and collaged my hand drawn with white charcoal.

I sketched myself facing in the same direction as the person whose hair covering I was going to use. Someone else’s eyes and I begged the shirt from Sandra’s pile of printouts. We all wore labels with our names printed out.
(I forgot to mention, the other day, that NYC Urban Sketcher Sandra is also in my classroom getting dirty with charcoal. What a nice surprise.)

This class was a lot of fun – the inspiration just kicked in and I was on automatic pilot – no thinking involved. I love when this happens in MoMA’s studio experiences. I don’t know how or why but it is magical.

Self portraits while looking in mirror, black and white charcoal in various forms,
Collage, glue stick. At home I reassembled the collages onto black gessoed acrylic paper. These are all unfinished works in progress waiting for the lightbulb to turn on.

I attended a class three afternoons the last week of June. It was “Seeing Through Drawing” as part of MoMA’s Prime Time Summer Camp. (Reminds me of going to EVERY [no kidding] summer Bible thingy in every church in town to make bookends, ashtrays, lanyards, etc. to find something to do with myself.)

Anyway, while sitting in one of MoMA’s classrooms (by the way, NYC Urban Sketcher Mark and his wife were next door learning about iPhone photography tips and tricks) we were being taught the use of charcoal and still life set ups were there so we could practice midtones, lights and darks in order to make objects have form. I was immediately reminded how much I enjoy charcoal, even the messiness of smearing with fingers. The still life consisted of those long white balloons twisted into knots, placed on white paper which also resulted in a myriad of different shadows. I drew mine, it was passable, but got distracted by the educator, Emily.

Then I got distracted by the distracted other summer campers at the other table.

Oops. Forgot. The class started by all of us taking stools and going up to the Fifth floor Surrealist gallery where we sat before a De Chirico painting and spent time discussing it. It was interesting how a painting changes when you know what was happening in the artist’s world at the time.

Also, the Prime Time programs are free, the only restriction is age and you have to be quick to respond to to the emails when events are announced because they fill up immediately. There are lectures, gallery talks, movies, studio classes and more.

Drawn from life. Vine and compressed charcoal, kneaded eraser on #1 newsprint and #2 some mysterious other toned paper.

Last Friday, as part of MOMA Prime Time, I attended a Quest Lecture on Joaquin Torres-Garcia and his art.



iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)

Waiting for everyone to arrive and settle down before we can start the second session of the abstract workshop in MoMA’s education building. This time we completed two paintings. One a somewhat abstract flower and the last one, painted to the sound of Thelonious Monk, very abstract. We had to “feel” the music. Anyway, no pictures because my hands were covered in paint and iPat HATES to get dirty. I’ll snap pics when I get my paintings back.

iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: Sketch Club (ArtRage used for texture only)

I was so intent on drawing while at Europa Cafe that I was almost late. I was supposed to be at MOMA at 1:45 and I was still in the restaurant. The drizzle was heavier now but I had no time to fiddle with my umbrella. I cut through the museum to get to the Education Building and discovered a long line of people waiting to check in. I received my name tag, entered the assigned room, found my seat and was ready for the first of three sessions of MOMA’s Prime Time Art Making Workshops: Exploring Abstract Painting. There were groupings of tables around two still life set ups, paint supplies and paper. For this first session we were to pick a segment of the still life and paint realistically.

They were sitting on the other side of the still life set up. I drew this after I decided I was finished painting.

Thick glops of paint needed drying time.

MOMA has turned out to be the coolest place ever!

#1: iPad; New Trent Arcadia stylus.
Apps Used: ArtRage and Sketch Club
#2: acrylic paint on 300# watercolor paper.

Movie star?
Bit player?
Character actor?
Hey! I can hear your scoffing snickers. Shhhh.


They used the Magic Age Vanquishing Camera and the “Uh Uh Ah Umm Errr Uh” Eliminating Microphone with the Special Giggle Removal Attachment.

(This is a continuation from yesterday’s post.)

All of a sudden, when the workspace and tables were all cleaned off, the stage set panels, (see my MOMA 7), dropped down from above in all their glory. They were hanging off of the mezzanine railing. We couldn’t help but smile, remembering how much fun we had that day, and pointed out our contributions to anyone who would listen.

That evening, last Friday, the 9th, was the end of the MOMA Studio: Beyond The Cutout, and a party was starting. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the space had filled up – was crowded. Food (Ken baked a bread and made a spread that everyone scoffed up in the blink of an eye), wine, beer and a Cutout Competition. The judges consisted of the Conservator, Curator and an artist. Everyone registered and was given a large brown backing board with a number. Then we chose three gouache-painted papers and two construction papers. We were handed scissors and glue stick and given 30 minutes to cut away รก la Matisse. I was taking big bites out of a slice of Ken’s bread while I cut.

The judges walked around while everyone was working, making mysterious notes on a paper and whispering to each other. When time was up we relinquished our tools and were given pencils and told to walk around and mark the ones we liked. The judges went into another room to deliberate and soon we were all called together to learn who the winners were.

I had to scan mine in two parts and then assemble it in Photoshop Elements.



I won “People’s Choice Award” and now have Very Sharp and Very Long scissors and a box of Matisse band aids. I thought I would show you the scissors I’ve been carrying around with me and using on all the little books.

And that is The End of MOMA Studio and The Beginning of Heavy-duty Withdrawal.

Collage of cut papers, glue stick.

It’s a little book but not a Little Book. Even though MOMA supplied Everything we would need I carried around a little baggie filled with my tools: scissors, glue stick, tweezers, double-sided tape and a rubber banded stack of the kind of stiff credit card sized “cards” that come in junk mail. You know, the kind AARP and some stores send for sales events, hotel, key cards and expired membership cards. I save the cards and give them a coat of acrylic paint and wait for the day the idea strikes.

That’s what happened during the last hours of the last day of MOMA Studio. My hand, of its own volition, took out the stack of cards and the rejected Little Book printouts, combined them, grabbed a hole puncher from some teeny tiny kid making his own book, remembered that I had a “circle thingy” attached to my backpack to carry things like a wet umbrella or a plastic bag filled with cookies – important stuff – and another book was born.

There is no official first page. Whatever takes my fancy at the time.


Then it was 5:15 and we had to HURRY HURRY HURRY pack up all our things, clean up our mess. I’ll tell you why tomorrow.

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.