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chardinOil painting after Chardin – WIP – approx 8 x 10″ on canvas paper

begonia leaf

Begonia leaf – graphite and colored pencil in sketchbook

rhododendron leafRhododendron leaf –  graphite and colored pencil in sketchbook

hydrangeaHydrangea –  graphite and colored pencil in sketchbook

Miss LucyMiss Lucy from the St. Croix markets  – Watercolor for #worldwatercolormonth

The Husband and I recently went to see the band Kansas at the Thomas Wolfe arena in Asheville.  As we were driving to the venue we ran into some friends.

US:  We are going to see Kansas.

Them:  Asheville gets the best bands…40 years later.

I wasn’t expecting much, but Kansas was actually pretty good.  As we left the Husband said “They sounded as good as they did on my 8 track cassettes!”

I’m still taking the “nature’s notebook” botanical drawing class.  I just started an oil painting class. I haven’t touched oil paint since the mid seventies which is interesting because I was only a toddler in the mid-seventies.  🙂

We did our first painting, above, as an exercise in looking at values.  We used one color and white. I used burnt umber and copied a still life from Chardin, suggested by the teacher who is big into the old masters and which auto-correct wants to change to chardonnay.  Perhaps if I had some chardonnay while painting, it would have been easier, but I am not entirely displeased with the result.

I have not been neglecting my watercolors.  Above is a picture of Miss Lucy from St. Croix with a reference kindly supplied by Bonnie Luria, formerly of St. Croix and now comfortably settled into Asheveille, NC.

Happy 4th of July everyone.  (And even if you don’t celebrate it as a holiday, it’s still the 4th of July and I hope it’s happy for you.) Thanks for looking.

caladium leafCaladium leafchristmas fernChristmas Fern
flower - pencil fake sweet shrubVenus Sweet Shrub in pencil

flower pen and inkVenus Sweet Shrub in pen & Ink

branch with lichenTree branch with lichen

I decided to take a drawing class at the local community college.  That class was full, but they offered a class called “Nature’s Notebook” and since I’m now surrounded by a whole lot of nature I thought I’d give it a whirl. The instructor, an avid gardener and artist named Peter Loewer, a/k/a “the wild gardener” brings in items from his garden for us to draw.  He will lecture a bit at the beginning of class about styles of drawing and particular drawings of plants and then we begin drawing.

I was in the art studio one day when some women from NY came in looking at the art.  One woman who had a thick NY accent told us about the NY Accent test.

Wanna take it?  OK, here goes:

Say L-O-G…log

Say H-O-G…hog

Say F-O-G…fog

Say D-O-G…dog

If you pronounced dog just like log, hog and fog, congratulations, you have failed the NY accent test.  However, if you pronounced dog unlike the first 3 and more like dawg, congratulations you passed the NY accent test!

If you’re wondering, I passed the test with flying colors.  🙂

 

clothed model 1-12-16

Last week was the largest lottery drawing EVER in the history of lottery drawings.  A $1.5 Billion dollar jackpot had everyone fantasizing about what they would do with that kind of insane money. Myself included.

ME:  One day I will win the lottery…..

The Husband:  You already won it 27 years ago.

We laughed and laughed.   Yes I did, my dear.  Yes I did.

Still. Stoopid money like that would allow one to do so much stuff.  Help charities.  Travel the world.  Afford tickets to the hit Broadway show Hamilton which I am currently fixated on.

I waited on the Hamilton lottery line twice to try to win $10 tix to see the show. With only about 11 pairs of tickets available and a bazillion people waiting to get them, I probably had a better chance of winning the actual powerball lottery.  At which point I could have afforded to pay for real tickets to Hamilton and get to see it sometime in this lifetime. Sadly I won neither. So it’s back to whatever it is I do all day.

I’m still getting used to this new place and my re-wirement.  I found a drawing/painting meetup group here and went to, so far, one meet-up.  Since it’s been cold they met indoors and had a model,  A clothed model.  And boy was she clothed.  A turtleneck sweater, a shawl over the sweater and a long skirt to her ankles.  My two-minute gestural drawings looked like a potato sack with a head.

I was finally able to get the drawing above even with the handicap of having a fractured bone at the base of my right pinkie of my dominant hand.  The fracture was a result of a fall while walking on an unpaved road.  4-6 weeks from now I should be splint and bandage free and able to draw with more than the first two fingers and thumb.

Once I have all 10 fingers working properly again, I’m sure it will feel like I’ve won the lottery.  Woo Hoo.

 

 

 

 

Two hands blind contour

One hand blind contour Thumbs up - blind contour

Blind contour portrait

 BLIND CONTOUR DRAWING

Every summer in June there is some sort of perfume -y smell that comes off the trees.  It is delightful.  I have no idea what tree it’s from, but it makes me happy every June.   And then July and August roll around and the City just stinks. From people, from trash, from cooking.  All those smells congeal,  bounce off the simmering sidewalks and melt into the humidity to create a miasma of Stinky Summer City Smell.  And don’t even get me started about the smell in the subways in the summer.

To emote how I feel about summer in the City, I found this handy, dandy guide about how to properly act tragic emotions on stage here.

Hopelessness

I’m taking a basic drawing class locally with a friend.  We started by doing some blind contour drawing which Leslie White always teaches in her classes too.  If you don’t know what it is, here’s a description.  I did some of my hand and then a quick portrait of the young guy sitting across from me.  Blind contour drawings are great fun.  I should have tried a blind contour drawing of my hand holding my nose.

June 25, 2011 – UPDATE:  Unfortunately, the book is all out of order.  I’ve notified the sketchbook people, and hopefully they will fix it.  

It’s finally here.  My sketchbook project from last year has been digitized for all the world to see.  Lucky you.  If you want to take a gander, please click on this link:

http://www.arthousecoop.com/users/carolcocoking   Ignore the HORRID photo of me and click on the ARTWORK TAB

You will be able to see my sketchbook along with some paintings I had uploaded to the sketchbook site.   For all of you who also worked on the sketchbook project and signed up to get your book digitized, please let me know by commenting and adding your sketchbook link to the comment.   Thanks.

Just returning from a trip to Peru, I did a quick self – portrait wearing one of those goofy hats you can’t leave Peru without.   They look good in Cusco, and then you get home and say “what was I thinking?”   But more about Peru in another post, this post is all about the self-portrait challenge.

So here it is Linda.  Thank you for the challenge, it was an eye-opener.  I don’t think this looks much like me and if it did it would be a MUCH YOUNGER version. But hey,  It’s my self-portrait, I can perform a little surgery on my self if I want to.

If you want to see Linda’s as well as other’s self portraits, go to Linda’s blog: http://lindahalcombfineart.wordpress.com/

Kaiya – 5 years old – May 2010

When I moved into my apartment it was located in a “transitional” neighborhood.  There was a corner bodega with bullet proof glass that did a brisk drug business.  Empty lots dotted local blocks.   And shady looking kids hung out on the corner.  It’s  NOW a very desirable location.

If there was any doubt at all that my neighborhood has experienced full-out gentrification (actually, there was no doubt; it happened years ago), this latest experience sealed the deal.

Time: Evening dog walk (approximately 9:45 pm)

Place: 4th Ave in front of McDonald’s

Situation: A man in a suit is complaining to two police officers that he walked up to the McDonald’s drive through window and the man wouldn’t sell him two cheeseburgers.  AND THEN, apparently the McDonald’s’ employee said something like “you people”  which caused Mr. Suit to feel he was being discriminated against.

Charlie and I were extremely amused by the whole exchange but when a SECOND police car came screaming down 4th Ave., lights and sirens blaring, made a U-turn and pulled up on the sidewalk in front of Mickey D’s  I looked at Charlie and said “THIS is the biggest thing happening in the 78 precinct tonight?”

Apparently it was.

Since Mr. whiny suit wearing yuppie didn’t have a license plate nailed to his ass and the drive-through window guy didn’t want to serve him, Mr. wswy CALLED THE POLICE?  Really?  The police?   And they showed up at the scene of “the crime”.  We were amused for days.  I would have given the employee a frosty glare and gone home.   Damn entitled yuppies.

Another way to tell your neighborhood is too gentrified?  When your dog’s bed looks more comfortable than yours. Here is a sketch of Kaiya, our 5-year-old Akita/Shepherd/Lab(?) rescue on her new bed which is “paprika” and black. Paprika? You bet!  That’s what the catalog said and I’m sticking to it!   She’s about 95 lbs, and is a great dog, is very loving, except when those really yappy dogs start with her (I’m talking to YOU, Mango)  or when she meets another Alpha female.  Oy!

Could be worse.  I could be trying to get two cheeseburgers from the drive-thru at  Micky D’s without a car!

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*

negative space stool

This is not my self-portrait.

I forgot to tell you about the class involving negative spaces.  Then I will show you my self-portrait.  By drawing the space around the object, you get the object.  While I understood the concept, I found this difficult to do.  I kept wanting to draw the stool instead of the negative spaces.  However, it was another interesting lesson and now I can’t stop seeing negative spaces .

As long as I don’t see dead people.

Here is my in-the-works self-portrait which we did on the final day.  I don’t know why the background is green.   One of those camera mysteries I never know how to solve.

portrait - in the works

I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing.

OK?

Are you done?

Here is the final version:

Serious ly ME  10-4-09

I look like I’ve been stunned by the flash of the camera in the police station while they were taking my mug shot during the booking process!  I should be holding a sign with numbers on it.   Most of us came out looking like we were “staring” since we were staring into a mirror for 3 hours.  (The teacher did his self portrait in about 20 minutes!)  And yes,  I had a lot of help from the teacher.

You know how they say owners and dogs end up looking alike?  Well, I think I am starting to look like my lovely dog Kaiya whose portrait was done by my dear friend Judy.

Serious Me 10-4-09 KAIYAportrait

Now If I could only get my ear to stand up like that.

Here’s a bit more about the drawing class.   After we drew Igor Stravinsky upside down and then drew our hand, we went on to perspective.  After a lecture and a demo, we all split up to find a corner to do a perspective drawing.

Since I’m having hot flashes lately (I KNOW!  What’s up with that????) and it was a nice day I decided to go upstairs onto the roof to do my perspective drawing joined by one other classmate.  We had an interesting view, looking through some broken lattice at roof tops.  So, in addition to doing my first “perspective” drawing, I was also doing it plein air.  (So there WRJones.)

City Scape 10-09The light changed so many times it was making me crazy.  One time when the teacher came up to check on us, we complained about the light.  He laughed and said that’s what made the Impressionists go insane.

Unfortunately, the above photo is not the best quality.  I was on a roof deck, looking through some woodwork with the lattice-work below and some bamboo on the right side.  Through this I could see some roof structures and then more buildings.  I really enjoyed doing this drawing.

The following day the instructor talked about portraits, did a demo and then it was our turn.  YIKES.  After the obligatory apologies to our “models” off we went.  My model was Brian (not the teacher Brian).   And here he is with help from the teacher.

My Portrait of BrianI needed help, but did a lot of it myself.  First of all, WHO KNEW the ear was SO FAR AWAY from the facial features.  And the back of the head???? Miles away.   The photo is a little blurry.  Sorry.  It’s probably for the best.

Next post will be my “final” which was a self-portrait.   I am giving you time to laugh now.

On another note, I have decided I am old.  How do I know this?

1.  I no longer know who the “people” are who are featured in People Magazine.

2.  If I see Jon and Kate on TV one more time my head will explode.  That will NOT make an attractive self portrait the next time I give it a try.  (I never even knew who they were before they split.)

3.  Does anyone care that David Letterman had an affair?  Or affairs?  My only reaction was REALLY?   Women actually agreed to sleep with him?

Wow.