Monday, January 21, 2019

"Sketchbook Vol 1" the Opening

This weekend was the opening reception of Sketchbook Vol 1 at Sugarlift in Long Island City, NY.  The show was a success, there was a big turnout during the four hours the gallery was open Saturday afternoon and visitors enjoyed going trough our sketchbooks.  There was a lot to be inspired by in the room and you could feel the excitement with every page turned.  Below are a few images of my work in the exhibition.

There is some buzz around this exhibit, Sotheby's will be publishing an article linking this show to their Old Master Drawings auction which will be happening soon.  Other articles are also in the works, so make sure to check back for those links.
 In the meantime here's a link to a write up that was just posted online.  Two images of my sketchbook made the cut.

Cultura Inquieta also wrote about the show, if you can read Spanish knock yourself out and click on the link to see that piece.

Colossal also published a short w\rite up, click on the link to view. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

"Sketchbook Vol. 1" an Exhibition

 Luis Colan 

I am very happy to announce that I have been included in a group show with an amazing group of artists, some of whom I've been following on Instagram for quite some time.  Sketchbook Vol. 1 is presented by Sugarlift and curated by Dina Brodsky.  
 David Morales

To most artists a sketchbook can be very personal, it is the space where ideas and random thoughts can be jotted down.  Inspirational quotes laid down in ink to help overcome problems and doubts that may arise during working session in the studio.  And of course the sketchbook is the place where the first lines are set for future art works. 

 Diana Corvelle

This exhibition is a good chance to flip through the pages of these artists' books and get a glance of their working minds.

 Dina Brodsky

Visitors will be provided gloves to handle the sketchbooks and will have the opportunity to learn more about how this tool is used in the process of art making during a Q&A with the artists. 

 Evan Kitson

There will also be a pop-up event in Union Square with exhibiting artists drawing in a life size sketchbook.

 Guno Park

Opening reception Sat., January 19 2:00 - 6:00 PM
On view through Feb. 8 by appointment 
Sugarlift LIC: 43-01 22nd Street, 2nd Floor Suite 264, Long Island City, NY 11101

 Nicolas V. Sanchez

Fri Jan 18, 4:00-6:00 PM: Pop-up event in Union Square (south west corner), in case of rain even will take place on the underpass of Union Square train station, between 16th & 14th street.

Sat Jan 19, 2:00-6:00 PM: Opening reception with artists talks by Dina Brodsky (2:30 PM), Guno Park (3:30 PM), Joshua Henderson (4:30 PM)

Sun Jan 20-Fri Feb 8: Exhibition on view by appointment.

 Paul Heaston

Paul Heaston

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Moleskine Sketchbook 5, part 1

A new sketchbook has been underway since Labor Day weekend, and so far it seems like I'm filling it faster than previous books.
I'm trying a variety of pens, branching away from my usual black Uniball Vision Elite pen which has been my trusted companion for years.
Regardless of all the new pens I've been purchasing since last summer, nothing feels better than the one you've grown accustomed to.  There is nothing new to figure out, it always performs the way I want it to.
I did find this pen though, the Pentel Hybrid Technica, a gel pen with a fine point that just glides on the page.  The big plus is that it is black pigmented, bleed proof, water and fade resistant.  Any pen with water resistant ink is ideal since recently my water bottle opened in my bag and spilled all over my sketchbook.  All the pages were wet, but thanks to the pen I have been suing none of the actual drawings were damaged. 
I will be posting more photos of this sketchbook as I continue to fill it up.  Actually, most of my work now is mostly done in the book, especially since it has been getting some notoriety on Instagram.  If you are not following me yet then I suggest you do...I tend to update that account more often than the blog. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Southern Colorado

Southern Colorado I, 2018, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 12 inches

It has been a strange year when it comes to painting.  I know that I spent a lot of time in the studio, but I don't have much work to show for it.  I have been doing a lot of drawing since last year and 2018 was the year of the sketchbook, mainly because I saw that my sketches were becoming extremely popular on Instagram.  Trying to give people what they want I lost focus for a bit, but since the end of summer I picked up my brushes again and began a series of three paintings. 
Southern Colorado II, 2018, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 12 inches

I worked on these landscapes simultaneously as I raced my own clock to finish x amount of paintings by the end of the year.  I think I'm on track so far, I guess we'll see once Dec. 31 arrives.  I have been wanting to do some Colorado paintings, the place where my husband grew up, a Colorado that is far from the picturesque ideal of what people think when you say the name. 
Southern Colorado III, 2018, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 12 inches

Over the years we have visited a number of times, and it always hits me every time we land; Southern Colorado is a very harsh, dry, expansive place.  I hear that it used to be more green perhaps fifteen to twenty years ago, climate change has bestowed upon this area of the country drought.  This has caused the land to be very arid, as if this desert place could get any more dry.  To a person who grew up in the North East, where lush tall tress grow and the landscape tends to be very green in Spring, Summer, and part of the Fall, Southern Colorado can feel like Mars.  There is always a deep sense of loneliness when I look at this landscape, the vastness of it all can feel suffocating yet free.  From time to time this area is awarded some moisture, and green can begin to creep in on the pale grey brown of the ground.  It's almost like a little glimmer of hope that one day things will get back to the way they used to be in a not so distant past.  These three paintings are my first takes exploring this landscape, and what it means to me as a painter with no emotional attachment to it and experiencing its expansive dry geography.  As I visit more in the years to come and become intimate with the place it will be interesting to see how my views change about Southern Colorado through my paintings.         

Friday, November 16, 2018

Missing Summer Fun

Summer loving had me a blast, summer loving happened so fast...and fast it was!  As usual summer comes too late and goes too soon, I'm missing those warms days of fun painting at the park or painting poolside. 
Yesterday NYC was covered in slushy snow, most of the city was not ready for it causing major delays and the shutting down of Port Authority.  Many trees throughout the five boroughs were downed due to the weight of the snow, which is too bad because this city needs as much green as possible.  I say the only acceptable chilly thing that needs to be downed is a nice glass of Martini. 
This summer we got to stay at a friend's East Hampton home for a long weekend, and as usual with any long or short trip I bring things for me to work on.  I have a problem with sitting idle, my hands need to be busy all the time. 
I was able to get some watercolors done, it's been a while since I put this book and watercolor box to use and boy did it feel good.
There's also nothing like waking up to a nice cup of tea, sunshine coming through the window, and yes some painting.  As I sit here typing this post with chill seeping into my bones I look at this image and feel the warmth of that sunny day wrap me up like a blanket. 

The three watercolor sketches above were done that weekend in East Hampton between swimming, laying down under the sun, and taking in some libations.  Not a bad way to live right? 
I miss sunny hot days, I feel like I'm at my happiest during summer months.  With winter now upon us I cover myself up in many layers and patiently await for warmer days to come. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Last Few Pages, Part 2

It's #inktober on the Gram and everyone is posting their ink drawings on a daily basis.  So I thought why not bring it to the blog world and do the second post of the last few pages of my Moleskine Sketchbook No.5.  During the weeks leading up to the Sugarlift event I began sketching subway riders as a way to prepare myself for it.  It was fun while it lasted, and also very frustrating.   
You think you have a perfect candidate to drawn and shortly after you begin the sketch they get up and leave.  This one I had to finish from memory, not bad I guess, but would have preferred for this guy to remain seated while I finished drawing him. 
This guy remained in his seat long enough for me to get some of his feature but my gosh did he move around...a lot!  It's hard to capture fidgety people, and also it's hard to draw people while others are staring at you.  Sometimes it made me feel like a creep, forcing me to close my sketchbook to hide the proof that I have been watching someone else.
Then you have the "sleepers" which are the perfect catch, if only they also would stay still.  There are some who don't move while they sleep, then there are those who in their sleep swing from front to back and sideways, or like this guy, just changing their position every few minutes.  Even though he moved a lot it was good to have him in front of me as reference during my half hour train ride into work.
For one of the last few pages I went back to drawing trees.  I had free time one afternoon after work and I walked through Central Park, and while admiring runners I came across this tree and I couldn't resist the urge to draw it.  I only had time to get some of the outlines done before I had to leave, but it was enough to get something going. 
I finished that tree drawing from memory poolside at a friend's home in East Hampton...not a bad way to conclude my fifth Moleskine Sketchbook. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Last Few Pages, Part 1

Recently I completed my fifth Moleskine Sketchbook which is great because I get to move on to another one with endless possibilities, and on the other hand it is like saying goodbye to a long time companion.  Once the book goes on the shelf I rarely look at it again.
The last few pages of this sketchbook were exciting because I started working with different things such as fountain pens and watercolor. 
I've always know that this sketchbook is not meant for watercolor, but decided to try it out anyway.  The paper is thick enough that it should be able to hold up.  To my surprise it absorbed water quicker than expect, it wasn't ideal but it did exceed my expectations.  Only down side is that the yellow color of the paper can change the appearance of colors.  I'm working with old Moleskine Sketchbooks when they used to be made with a very yellow paper and a little thicker than the newer ones.  I was able to buy a few at a discount when I worked at Kremer Pigments many years ago and then a received 5 free ones from Moleskine when I participated in their first sketchbook tour which exhibited books from around the world at different art and stationary fairs. 
As always my trusted tool remains the UniBall Vision Elite pen.  Ink flows great, it sticks to the paper right away and it dries fast.  No smudging has ever occurred from using this pen. 
The fine point of this pen also allows me to get more detailed if I need to and gestural when necessary.  I'm a big fan of this pen. 
I'm mostly a tea drinker, and at nights when I'm home there's nothing better than making a pot of tea and sketching the night away. 
There are times though when the mood is right I end up at a coffee house and all I want to drink is a cappuccino.  An Italian friend made fun of Americans for drinking cappuccino at any time of day, she said that it is only a breakfast drink and that not respectable Italian gets caught with one after breakfast.  True or not I don't care, I love cappuccinos and I live in America, so the Italian rules don't apply.  Besides it goes well with my sketching and fountain pen. 
Another cup of cappuccino down in the late afternoon...I'm such a rebel!  I'll be posting a few more of the last pages of Moleskine Sketchbook No.5 in the coming days, so come back and check it out. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Moleskines to Die For!

Doing a random search online for Moleskine sketchbooks I came across these three artists.  It's always interesting to see what people do in these little black books which have a huge following world wide.  Each one of these three artists has a different vision and style, but all are connected through the expression of drawing/sketching on a regular basis.

These three books are a testament of how creativity is boundless, all you have to do is pick up a pen or pencil and start putting down some lines on paper, you might be surprised where that may take you.  I hope you enjoy these videos by Marco Mazzoni, Nicolas Weis, and Little Su.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

DRAW: The Event

(with friend and painter Robert Szot) 

Sugarlift's DRAW: Artists Take Over the Subway event last Saturday was a success.  More people than we expected showed up to draw with us and many of them very talented.   There was an incredible energy at our meeting spot in Union Square, as artists from all walks of life introduced themselves and chatted.  Before you knew it sketchbooks were being shown off and everyone talked about what they did and how they went about it.  We were all dorking out with each other, an experience I've never had before in my years as a practicing artist in NYC.  
This is the group of five sketches I made during the event, the one on the top left was done while I rode the train on my way in to meet the group.  I had more time to work on it…the rest, well, there was no time.  I don't think anyone realized how quickly it would all go, the train ride from Union Square to 96th St. on the Q train was only about 15 minutes, not a lot of time to find your victim in a train car packed with artists and then draw said victim.  But we all did what we could and had fun with it.
I'm new to drawing subway riders, I mostly draw my imaginary landscapes in the moving train which works fine for me, but this was another beast.  I experienced difficulty when in the middle of making my first drawing my fountain pen stopped working.  I got another fountain pen out and as I opened the cap the ink splattered on the paper.  Then it turns out the the inks were different shades of black, one greener the the other, and the new fountain pen had a thicker nib.
The following drawings were done with another finer fountain pen I had, not bad I guess, just wish I had more time to get a good sketch.

 (Installation view of Robert Szot's work and mine)

After going up to 96th St and back down town we all walked to the gallery space at 2 Rivington St, where the host artists frantically put the last finishing touches on their sketches and hung them up.  
 (Installation of Robert Szot and Anne Watkins' work) 

These are a few shots of some of the work that was up during the opening.  The sale of all the drawings done during the day by the exhibiting artists and door cover fee went to Young New Yorkers's #ArtnotJail program.  It is estimated that we made $2 - $3K for this program.  Not bad for a bunch of artists doing a little sketching.

(Installation of Sugarlift Director Wright Harvey's drawings on left, next to Guno Park's subway riders)  
 (Guno Park's subway riders) 

This was an amazing experience, so much so that I think I may keep drawing subway riders.  I was inspired by a lot of the people I met on Saturday, and I took a few pointers as well.  Stay tuned.
(Drawings by Evan Kitson)