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Seated woman 2Seated woman 1

Hello Sailor!   Which is what I always want to say to these boys and girls who are in town for Fleet Week.  I also want to break out into the Village People song “In the Navy”.   I’m sure they would think I was a kook.  It wouldn’t be the first time.

They stand out in their blindingly white uniforms against New Yorkers who are mostly clothed in the City’s official color of black.  (We are allowed, in the summer, to accent the black with white or gray and maybe just a soupçon of a different accent color for the more adventurous of us.)

Navy, Marines and Coast Guard personnel have taken to the streets to enjoy our fair city.  You can’t miss them due to the above mentioned blindingly white uniforms.  How do they keep them so white and clean and crisp?   It’s a mystery.

It’s also Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.   Summer is not a season I am a fan of.  Too hot.  Too humid. Too sticky. Too smelly.  I already miss the polar vortex!!!!!


short poses 1

short poses 2


I completed this month’s classes of figure painting in watercolor at the Art Student’s League. This week we had a woman pose for us instead of a man. Unclothed, a bit chubby and bottom heavy.   What a difference from painting a muscular man in a tank top and shorts.  She was all curves.   It was great to have this change, to have to study her figure and her curves and (dare I say it) the flab in her belly and thighs.   Once again we started off with quick thumbnail sketches of just two minute poses or so. This time when I started the thumbnails I was told I was getting too fussy.  JUST PAINT THE SHAPES! Don’t outline, don’t draw. And then on to the longer poses. We sort of got cheated out of a 4th class because Monday is Memorial Day but the teacher, Naomi Campbell, will be back in September and so will I. In the meantime I found a figure drawing class (no instruction, but a model) close to my apartment, so I may continue there.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.   I am really looking forward to having 3 days off!  Enjoy and remember that Monday is also a day to remember the men and women who died while serving our country.




seated figure - long post

I signed up for three watercolor figure drawing classes at the NYC Art Students League with Naomi Campbell (the artist, not the model). This was the first time I did figure drawing in at least 35 years.   (When I was around 3 years old.)

Naomi only wants you to work in one color, no drawing first, no outlining with the brush.   Just use a wash of color to capture the largest shapes first.  We did a number of 1 and 2 minute poses and then a few thumbnails of short poses.  Then a long pose.  The painting above was the long pose.  The ones below are the gestural sketches. Naomi told me I used too much paint, which made me laugh because usually I use too little.  But she was pleased with my early sketches, and thought the top one was ok too, but I had to lighten it up a lot.   Class again next Monday night.   Very sleepy at work on Tuesday.

gestural sketchesModel standing hold boxthumbnails seated figure

Beach sketch from PMP Karina Robin

Beach scene from Paint My Photo – photo courtesy of Karina Robin

Winter.  I’m tired of it.  And what is the polar vortex?   I thought it was just called winter?  Since I was too tired and too cold to join the NYC Urban Sketchers today I decided to stay home, watch watercolor videos on you tube and play with my watercolors. Using a watercolor sketchbook given to me by my nephews, I did this beach scene using a limited palette, no more than 2 washes and no drawing first. I’d like to be there right now.

Dog  from pmp ESP

I moved on to this dog, again courtesy of Paint My Photo using ESP’s photo. No drawing first, only using a few colors and a few washes.  He looks a little sad. Why do all my painted dogs look sad?

Pears 1-25-2014

And finally I did every watercolorists’ favorite subject.  Pears.  I did sketch the shape of the pears, but again used a limited palette and not many washes.

I’m off to do some weight lifting. My friend Christine and I were talking about how we can’t remember things anymore and she told me about how weightlifting helps to stave off Alzheimer’s.   And I hear curls keep you warm.

Tomatoes Nov.2013

And let’s face it, I say tomato too.   If I said ToMAHto, I’d deserve a beat down cause really, no one says TOMAHTO unless you’re a pretentious jerk.   Or a Brit and if you’re a Brit of course you get a pass.

Tomahtoes Nov.2013

Speaking of tomatoes I had some that were about to go into the Husband’s salad and a few clementines that should have already been consumed 3 days ago. I had some scrap paper, one was a piece of Arches 140# hot press and one was a piece of 300# cold press.  And I had the urge to try painting without drawing.  Add those together and you get a couple of watercolor “salads” shown above. I wasn’t crazy about using either the hot press or the 300 lb paper.  It was the first time for me using these papers and I suppose I just have to get used to them.

I’m happy to report that the tomatoes finally went into an avocado and tomato salad.  The clementines, on the other hand are still just sitting there looking sad.

Now, can we talk about this new trend using “because” as a preposition? Because stupid.

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