This week I went to the Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW. It is a huge exhibition from the Musee National Picasso, Paris, while it is closed for renovations. You have to buy a ticket in advance and go at your allotted time. This quite simple drawing of Sacre Coeur was probably my favourite of all. This image of a seated woman was probably the one that most inspired Santa. There was something about this one I liked too – particularly the mouth – though I do rather like Cubism after quite a lot of exposure to it at art school.
The sculptures were all quite interesting. There was one I loved, but do you think I can find it online? No.
What spoilt the more recent paintings for me were ugly strokes. Wonderful composition and colour, but strokes put on roughly. What was that about? More sales?
Last weekend I went printmaking. I had made some new solar plates from my drawings I did at the Asian Gallery of the Art Gallery of NSW one wet day. You can see the original drawings here.
I printed these in some brighter and more vivid colours, but these are my favourites. I think the pale colours are more serene – like the buddhas.
I inked the plates up in black, then put a colour roll of a blend over the top.
For the 28th sketchcrawl we were drawing in the Asian Gallery at the Art Gallery of NSW due to a totally wet Sydney. The rain had stopped by 10am but everything was soaked. There were four sketchcrawlers.
Borromini Bear is with Urban Sketchers in Portland Oregon, so I had to draw FAST to make up for that. She’s usually the most prolific. I put on my timer in my phone and all my drawings took about 15 minutes. One time the timer alarm went off and workmen who were in the gallery but just out of sight said ‘what’s THAT”. I think they thought they were going to have to evacuate.
We went to the Asian Gallery first so that any latecomers could meet up with us there. However there was so much to draw that we just continued there. The pinkish statue on the right reminded me of Percy who is an art school friend. I was very surprised that it was from Vietnam as I had convinced myself that it must be Sri Lankan like Percy.
The only way I could achieve my fast drawings was ‘straight in with the pen’ – no pencil. Then at the end I used Prismacolours to add colour. Trouble is – those Prismacolours break all the time and that means lost time while sharpening. I’m using Como paper ( like a cartridge paper about 280 gsm I think) and I’m not using wet media at the moment as a challenge.
This last drawing took 25 min. I drew some lines with pencil first to get the angles of the limbs correct. It is on the title page of my sketchbook where my name and address go, so I didn’t want it to be a disaster. I have yet to draw a suitable border.
On 2nd January we went to the Art Gallery of NSW to see the Monet Exhibition. We thought it was so quiet, everybody away, what a good day to go. Wrong!
We arrived just after they opened at 10am and there was an enormous queue right around in a circle. OK, coffee now, we thought. But it was no better after the coffee, and people were still pouring in the doors. We did the Japanese exhibition and an Australian Landscape exhibition – no change – they were still arriving. Round the shop (no purchases this time) and they were still joining the queue, so we gave it a miss.
We went to the gardens, had lunch outside (hoping to draw birds, but they weren’t co-operating) so we went to the lotus pond and drew that. Well, I wish I’d just drawn the leaves really. The flowers make it look too ‘pretty’ and I was more interested in way the light felll through the leaves to the ones below.
On Friday I met up with Alison from Canberra, who I knew only online from the everydaymatters sketching group. We met up at the Art Gallery of New South Wales at 10am on another scorcher of a day. I was more prepared for the sun this time with suncreen and a hat (that I didn’t wear.) First, we went to the Sidney Nolan exhibition. A large show, with mostly great work. A few works left me a little cold, probably because I don’t have the affinity with the Ned Kelly legend that Australian-born people do. I loved Nolan’s use of colour – just fantastic.
After the gallery we went to sit in the park, down near the harbour. Alison looked at the Fast Sketching Techniques book that I’d brought along, while I looked at two books that Alison had brought. One in particular was just fantastic, Taking a Line for a Walk: 1100 Miles on Foot, Le Havre to Rome. We’d also brought along a few of our own sketchbooks, so we sat under a tree, in a stiff breeze, by the harbour, and looked at each other’s sketchbooks. Finding the breeze a bit strong and even cold, (though the temperature was 84F) we moved on towards the Opera House, and sat under another huge tree where I did this drawing . I must say it took me far too long. It’s supposed to be the fast technique, and I can’t say that it was in this case. It was not long after midday, so the tones of the sails of the Opera House were very subtle indeed. I was working right across my sketchbook, so the finished drawing was about 8 inches by 11 inches. Too big.
From there we went on to the Museum of Contemporary Art to see the Shahzia Sikander exhibition. Just loved it. Amazing detail from this Pakistani-born artist who has studied Persian miniatures. Also a wonderful small video (about 15 inches across, maybe) – all painted, in the way that William Kentridge draws each frame in his videos. If you’re in Sydney, don’t miss this one. Alison and I are both going to create our ‘response’ to this one, so watch our blogs (though don’t hold your breath.)
The next stop was Parker’s Art Supplies, in The Rocks – the historic area of Sydney by the harbour. Parker’s are known to have art supplies that are hard to track down. I did a little damage to the credit card there. Bought some Schminke watercolours, hoping that I will be able to get those beautiful clear colours as Laurelines does. Last stop was Basement Books, where we each found art books to buy, although as of Friday the stock had not been replenished much after the stocktake earlier in the week.
Said goodbye to Alison, and staggered home with all my books. Thank heaven for the Matisse artist’s travelpack with wheels that I won at the consultants’ day last October. I was exhausted, but I had a great day.