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Water tower with graffiti.  Approx. 14″  x 21 ” on Arches 140# cold press paper

I find the criss-cross of NY buildings make interesting shapes, along with the water towers, vents, pipes, graffiti and iron work.  The husband has many opportunities to photograph quite a number of  buildings all over the City, but mostly in Brooklyn.  Many of the old buildings have now been turned into “luxury condos”  That, apparently, is the only adjective that can be used with the noun “condos”.  Luxury.  I long to see a sign that says “adequate condos”.

I believe I may have a theme going here and will continue with these buildings/water towers/cityscapes. (Until I decide to do something else.) Just like Stephen and his “pipe” series.  (The Pipe is a beach in South Africa.  I hope to visit someday as I’ve seen so many versions of it I feel like I’ve already been there.)

On another note,  here’s a picture of something I hadn’t seen before,  A man completely covered with cans.  The husband shot this photo before the “can- man” hopped on his unicycle and rode away.  He was spotted under the “el” in Williamsburgh.  (The “EL” is an elevated subway line.)  Was he making a political statement about recycling?  A fashion statement?  Or was this just the easiest way for him to get his cans to the recycling center for nickels?  I’m guessing he’s wearing about $5.00 worth of cans. Whatta you think?

Moving on…..   The sketchbook project!   Here’s what I’ve done so far.  The paper is super thin, so I’ve been working on other paper and then gluing that paper into the book.  Sometimes it can get a little messy.  You can see what I’ve done so far here: http://arthousecoop.com/users/carolcocoking

And if you want to see another sketchbook in progress, here’s Alex’s (Pencil Scribbles) http://arthousecoop.com/users/azonis

If you’ve done anything for your sketchbook, please send me your link or become my friend on the website.  If you don’t know how to set up your profile and upload your photos, just ask.  I’m a pro now that Alex told me how to do it.  🙂

Theft of innocence

A fun class with artist Christopher Staples taught me how to transform pages from National Geographic magazine to the most wonderful marbled and manipulated papers using a natural cleaner and degreaser called CitraSolv. This product not only dissolves chewing gum, lipstick, and adhesives, it also breaks down the ink on the pages of National Geographic without damaging the paper.  The packaging says it’s made from clear liquid from the peel of an orange, essential oils and biodegradable cleaning agents derived from coconut.  It’s also vegan. I guess that’s  in case you want to drink it.

No, I thought not.

After we created some of the most fabulous papers I’ve ever seen we went to the 2nd step which was to then take the pages we created and use them to make a collage.

The images that came out of the manipulation using the CitraSolv were absolutely incredible.  You take the product and either spray it on the pages using a spray bottle, or paint the pages using a brush.  You can then add some Saran wrap to get some really amazing effects.  Close the magazine,  let the pages dry and voila!  You’re in business with some of the prettiest papers ever.

This collage just emerged by itself.     I have never blogged nor have I made any art having to do with 9/11, but this one just happened.

My sister took the class with me.  Here is her collage:

If you want to try this here are my suggestions:

Use CitraSolv in a ventilated area or outside if possible.   Use rubber gloves if you don’t want to get ink on your hands, but if you do get in on your hands, you can use the CitraSolv to get it right off!

As a side note:  Do not get a manicure the day before you decide to try these techniques.  (Like I did.)

There are too many damn people in this city! And they are always in your face.

Soho Buildings - 10-25-09

As I was getting off the subway at my stop, I accidentally knocked into a woman who started yelling that I didn’t have to push her, she was getting off too.   I was not in a good mood that evening (like THAT’S a surprise) so I said something back.  Nothing clever.  We had words and went on our way.  I always think of the really clever stuff  HOURS later.  I hate that.  She could have at least given me her phone number so that when I came up with a clever retort I could have called her and we could have continued our witty subway banter.

Subway woman: Don’t push me I’m getting off at this stop too.

Carol: Push you, I wouldn’t touch you, you cootie laden dirty skank!

How’s THAT for witty subway banter?   It was probably best that I didn’t think of that.  Or the next conversation would have been:

Carol: Matt, I’m at the police station in handcuffs.  Can you come and get me?

Matt: Who is this?

I wasn’t sure what to write about today and when I showed this painting to Judy she told me she liked it but it made her feel claustrophobic.  We are claustrophobia friends.  Neither one of us like feeling closed in and we always like being in the “go position.”  (That means that we like to be near an exit, not near a bathroom.  Although at our age, being near a bathroom is good too.)

So here you go.  A painting of  buildings on top of buildings.  These buildings are in Soho.   They are a bit wonky, but then again, so am I.

I decided to try another cityscape after doing one in my drawing on the right side of the brain class.   I did not do this one plein air.  I did it sitting on my butt. From a reference photo. I did not want to use a ruler.  I didn’t want it to look like a stiff architectural drawing.  I was hoping to give the  buildings some personality.  I may have just made them look like they are drunk.  Maybe I should be drunk.

*wanders off to get a cocktail*

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