Figure studio sketches

Portrait Party Postscript

Can getting people together to draw be a party as well? That was the idea last Thursday evening at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts when the auditorium area behind the gallery was turned into a figure studio and participants arrived in hats and scarves and some even with instruments!

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(If you’ve received this by email and you can’t see the slideshow, click on the title to view it on the blog page!)

(The sketches here are my own. I have no pictures of other artists’ sketches. Next time hopefully!)

As people arrived we started seating groups of six people. Everyone took turns posing, first for one minute poses and building up to ten minute poses, while music played and a deep concentration set in. Non-drawing spouses watched and took pictures. At the break there were refreshments and a few minutes to do another thing we all enjoy, to make new artist friends!

Suddenly it was eight o’clock and the evening was over!  Sketching faces can be so mesmerizing. . .it’s hard to stop.

If you missed out, don’t worry because we’ll do it again soon! The Art Center has been so supportive of this event and the response has been robust. I thought I knew most of the artist community already, but in addition to familiar faces there were many new people to meet.

As soon as we have a definite date for our next Portrait Party I will post it here. Stay tuned!

 

 

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Model Marathon

While the rest of the world was eating nachos and drinking beer at their Superbowl Parties yesterday I was enjoying the practically deserted freeway which took me to San Francisco for another Urban Sketcher meet-up at Fort Mason, the Bay Area Model Guild Drawing Marathon. I guess a lot of sketchers aren’t Superbowl fans because it was packed with artists and models on stages for poses from 1minute to 10 minute to long poses.

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I brought my acrylic inks and dip pens and dove into the short 1-3min poses in the morning. By afternoon I was ready for the longer 20 min poses, but found that I didn’t do as well with those. Go figure! (Pun there)

The last picture in the slideshow is of my friend Mark Simmons, an illustrator who can draw circles around just about anyone, figuratively speaking. He showed up with a long roll of paper about a yard wide. (I took this pic about 1.5 hours into the morning session!) By the end of the morning alone, as he unrolled the paper, he had filled it with twice as many figures, some in color, that seemed to dance across the paper.

Surprisingly almost all of the models were male, or at least not straight female. But in San Francisco especially one knows to be a bit more fluid in identifying gender or non-conforming gender. The lovely person you see in these sketches is a transexual model Alida, over 6 feet, powerful and exquisitely feminine at the same time, capable of holding strenuous poses and seeming to prefer them.

It’s been a whole week of figure sketching for me – at The Living Room day shelter for women and children, at the Portrait Party at Sebastopol Center for the Arts, and at the Marathon.  Stay tuned for the Portrait party next!

Reminder: Portrait Party This Thursday

If you haven’t reserved your seat for the Portrait Party this Thursday, 6-8pm at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts gallery, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol, now’s the time.

Here’s the scoop again:

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Please reserve your seat here so we know how many chairs to get out. No money required to sign up.

There’s been a lot of interest in this, so please come a bit early. Bring a donation of $10 for the Art Center. And remember to wear distinctive clothing and a hat if you can.

Don’t miss the Portrait Party!

Questions? contact me here.

A Portrait Party!

I’ve been wanting to host a Portrait Party for all my fellow artists ever since I attended one at Arch Art Supply in San Francisco last spring. It was a gas! And this one will be held at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in conjunction with the GO FIGURE art show which opens this Friday. I hope you can come. Details below. All are welcome!

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RESERVE YOUR SEAT

 

Master Quilters

With the colder weather I’ve been enjoying more studio time and practicing my quick capture people drawing skills. When I watched a video about The Master Quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama I couldn’t wait to try sketching the faces of these women, who embody for me a serene wisdom and powerful heritage that I think most of us in this frenetic modern life have missed.

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I hope you can slow down enough to watch the 14 minute video, and breathe deep and then you’ll know what I mean. But I lead a distractible life, and so I got this far and was called away. When I got back I was glad I had stopped! The imagination is always grateful to be left to fill in the rest.

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I really wished I could set a spell on the porch with these ladies, happy to swat flies and keep stitchin.

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If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll watch the video and get to see them talking and making their lovely quilts, a tradition passed down from mother to daughter.

Muslim Fashion

Have you seen the Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco? If you haven’t, then you might only be picturing scarf-clad middle eastern women, rather than the complex and diverse assortment of contemporary Muslim dress styles around the world. The women’s apparel in the show is designed by seasoned and emerging fashion designers from Malaysia to Iran, Indonesia to Pakistan. We’re also talking Muslim Rapper and motorcycle fashion and the bikini a la “Burkini”!

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And modest sportswear, in this case ultra-chic with that red hijab.

Realizing my utter illiteracy in Muslim clothing vocabulary I looked up the word hijab when I got home found innumerable meanings from “veil” to “curtain” to “modesty” and dozens of translations and hundreds of different applications to dress worldwide.

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I do wish that the museum had invested in some mannequins whose hands had more than two positions and more than the non-descript high-fashion model faces. Nothing exotic or interesting about those. But watch the online videos to see real women moving in these creations.

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After an hour and a half of standing and sketching I finally plunked myself clumsily on the floor to give the feet a rest. There were Art Institute students camped out in this fashion. Not my choice, but better than nothing! I added paint to the drawings at home.

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I’m not sure why Red Rose, the most gaudy-glittery evening dress was so distinctly unadorned (immodest) on top, but the black box top on the other model makes up for it.

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Now the Saudi model on the right would certainly have at least had a rich head of black hair, don’t you think? And some less “comfortable” looking shoes? But hey, no one asked me, and I still recommend the show.

I’m wondering how to work some head scarves into my wardrobe without looking like a copy cat. It would certainly solve the problem of hair that frizzes when it rains!

Thanksgiving at Home

Rain outside -thank God- and fresh air after two weeks of toxin laden air from the Butte Co fire.  And cozy inside the kitchen with lots of cooking and so much catching up to do. Ben has been home this week, which means lots of interest in eating and talking and lounging in the window seat in our kitchen/dining area. He is always amenable to Mom’s sketching. The usual pose has a computer on the lap and foot in the air.

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In this one I tried painting direct with watercolor, then added the line into wet paint – not very accurate but fun. Only problem was that he sat that way (mostly) for so long that I got obsessed with getting his face right and ended up making it look like someone else.

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But then he changed position and I gave it another try:  drawing first, then painting, and because of the earlier warm up (and having sketched him a hundred times before at every age) it actually looks like him, though perhaps a bit wider.

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Knowing that I can never sketch the cooked turkey before it gets carved, I went for the uncooked bird this time, though I was being urged to be quick since it was supposed to be in the fridge.

Turkey anatomy  is something I have never actually studied as a subject to draw. But I found myself quite transfixed and challenged by it. The result looked a bit dopey to me, so I added the words for humor’s sake, and then was satisfied.

The cooking of this turkey was also a challenge, which led to various expletives and a promise to never again. . .so I’m glad I captured this much, because we may be considering other fowl or even vegetarian Thanksgiving entres next year!

Hope you had a heart and stomach warming Thanksgiving day!