Homage to Chagall

scan0220I had this postcard (top) of Marc Chagall’s “Homage to Gogol”, which I used as an idea for a birthday card for Spencer. Chagall’s art has a strange, dreamlike quality to it, often with floating, sinuous figures. How did he come up with this stuff? Anyway, I thought I’d try my own version of it. He used gouache and pencil on paper. Mine is collage and watercolor, pencil and pen on paper. This was a fun little project and wacky enough to suit Spence. He says that’s just what he looks like walking to classes.

Drawing Class

draped figure 001skeleton2 001We are working on skeletons and draped figures in drawing class. Working from printed handouts of master works, using charcoal. Messy but satisfying. I especially like drawing with the kneaded eraser– creating highlights by removing charcoal. The creepy skeleton is copied from an 18th century engraving by Jan Wandelaar. Not sure who did the upper left draped figures (top photo), but I’ll find out. You should be having this much fun!

A Good Egg

scan0211Well this was fussy! But it was fun to draw once I settled down to it. Sort of meditative except for the part where I hold my breath. That can’t be good. This egg falls into the category of candles I can’t burn. It’s just too pretty. But then I’m a saver as you know. I was fine with this until I put the shadow in–ugh. Me and my shadows–geez. And the perspective, the curvature of the egg–tricky! Parts are a little awry. A little more time spent tweaking the initial sketch would solve some issues. But never mind all that, it’s still a good egg.

Painted Plate

watercolor plate 003Sweet little plate, love the soft colors. Makes me think of spring…no, summertime. Well, I can dream. It’s 20 degrees with a biting wind here today. Maybe next week it’ll start warming up. Anyway, if you’d like to immerse yourself in exuberant flowers, check out Robert Zakanitch — www.zakanitch.com  I came across some of his work (Hanging Gardens series) in a summer issue of Veranda magazine and was struck with joy. Joy! He does wall sized works of colorful flowers and lush scenes. Lots of pattern and decoration. Stuff like that inspires me. Plus I love his quirky paintings of charm bracelets (of all things!) which make me want to draw some too. And paint huge flowers on the walls! Ok, maybe not that. PS: The Hanging Gardens series is not on his website but you can see them on www.nancyhoffmangallery.com

Portrait With Fanciful Headpiece

scan0191Portraits with fantastical hats and headpieces still intrigue me. This one was cut from a fanciful chandelier in a decor magazine and I added ivory tulle on the sides and the gold feather flourish. By the way, I was perusing a Veranda magazine yesterday and saw a little watercolor I liked by Harrison Howard. I went to http://www.harrisonhoward.com and enjoyed his gallery of paintings. He does these whimsical garden scenes with flowers as ladies–the blooms being on their heads. And a couple of portraits have whole bouquets on top. Light, delicate, colorful pictures, quite enchanting. Time to start cutting out flowers…

Year Of The Sheep

sheep 012Home again!  And happy new year–it’s the year of the sheep, or goat, according to the Asian zodiac calendar. For this image I smudged charcoal on paper and drew with a kneaded eraser. It’s fun, and I like the soft effect. The downside is having to spray it with a fixative. Oh well. I just got a new book by Maira Kalman–one of my favorite artist/authors. Have I mentioned her before? It’s a children’s alphabet book called Ah-hA to Zig-Zag. She picked 31 items from the Cooper Hewitt museum in NY and painted them for this book accompanied by her unique text. I just love her quirky, whimsical style. Plus I like drawing random objects too, so it’s encouraging that she does that. All of her books are worthwhile–such an interesting person. I’m glad there are people like her in the world. Take a peek sometime.