Thursday, September 30, 2010

Central Park Photos

Lots of pictures today. I stopped and sat on a park bench and drew with my watercolor pencils (no ink drawing first) and over did it. I am thinking a simple ink drawing, some simple lines of color, wash it out over the ink lines and be done. I'll try that next...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


So I guess the new news is my new hair. I didn't cut it but I needed it colored and I found a place, Ouidad, which, if you have curly hair, you will know. I guess Ouidad herself (this is a person's name?!) is at this particular Ouidad Salon on 57th St. I called them and got an appointment to color my hair. The man who did it criticized my hair products (I had to admit to what I used on a form I filled out) and said my hair felt awful. OK. So we talked about what fun thing we could do and he did it. I am glad I am in NYC because I'm not sure what the rest of the world would say about what I did to my hair. I should be on 101 Dalmations as Corella DeVille, and oh, if I could spell that right. He colored all of my hair dark - like it was when I was young, but gathered up the hair across my forehead and about 2" back and bleached it platinum blond. Yep. He did go back and put in some streaks of dark, wait - this process took 4 hours:

1. Color main hair dark and bleach top knot.
2. Rinse out and condition my hair for 15 minutes.
3. Put more dark color on my hair and more bleach on my top knot.
4. Rinse that out.
5. Put dark streaks in my top knot.

Then, he did what Ouidad is famous for - style my curly hair. He did a lousy job - I mean, ya, it was in these nice, tight, ringlets - if you like those things (ok, maybe not exactly ringlets but I'm used to something a lot looser) but my top knot was a straggely mess. He didn't like that part and did it again - but it didn't get any better. I said I liked the color (and I think I do, but it's a little shocking when I see myself in a mirror - it is SO dramatic) and thought it just needed to dry a little more so off to the counter to pay I went. $425 dollars later - WHAT!? - SO many processes (AND a condition!) and I still had to tip the guy AND his little helper! I should have stopped right then and said, hey, for $425 I would like to leave this place with FABULOUS looking hair - don't ya think? I cringed and hid and pulled and wished the wind would blow harder all the way home (yes, I was walking because that is what I do here).

This morning I woke up and washed it and styled it myself. I had a very hard time using my lousy products because they are destroying my hair - or so he says - so it doesn't look quite as nice as usual and it is SO dark but it's nice. I worried about the dark against my old face but that platinum blond takes your mind totally off that...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sculpture Class II

Very rainy today but I couldn't sleep last night so I slept in on a drizzly, dark rainy day. I left for school 55 minutes early thinking I'd time myself to see how long it REALLY took me to get there. I walk straight to the subway stop (a great feat) hop on and ride like a pro then I get out. Now, here's the stickler. If you're walking, you go block to block - 64th, 63rd, 62nd and you know which way you are going. Or you go Lexington, Park, Madison, etc. you GET it - east, west, north south. I get all turned around on a subway, underground, and when it dumps me in the middle of an intersection - say 6th Ave. and 3rd WHICH WAY DO I GO? One way will take me to 5th Ave., one way will take me to 7th Ave. but how do I know? I DON'T and I continue to go totally the wrong way. You'd think I'd get it right 50% of the time, wouldn't you? Nope. So a 5 minute walk to school from the subway turns into a 15 minute loser battle. All I can think to do is to start looking for things I recognize - like Washington Square Park - that's a good landmark, if only it were visible from the subway stop...

The teacher was at class today - YEA! He claims, and I have no reason not to believe him, that he simply wasn't told school started last Monday. He is great. He wonders around and looks and doesn't bother you much but you can ask him anything and he'll jump right in and give you the simplest tips and the best advice and - funny, it is all starting to sound like the same. No matter if it's drawing or painting or sculpture. Look. Don't assume. Don't make an eye. Find the form. Feel the form. (Please don't laugh) connect with it emotionally. It is the emotional connection that makes for great art. If it makes you FEEL something, I think you will like it. This static, reproduction of things doesn't do it. I'm sure this is not the only thing that's important here, it just happens to be the last important thing that I happen to be in the mood to grasp.

My head was too European for this Japanese guy. I had to take a lot of clay away and I got too into his mouth - he had a great mouth. It is interesting - we all made ourselves (how do we do that without mirrors?) but it is, evidently, what we know best. Right now, I need to find the FORM - to heck with the details. After 2 weeks of working on this guy - 'Jun' - I cut him up and made him back into the clay blocks from which he came.

I am doing this art for me, I have to remember this, for no one but me. No one else cares and if they DO care, it'll only be for a few seconds, then they're off to what they really care about. Me though, I think about this head for a long, long time. I so love being able to do art for so much of the time in NYC.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

These are not much fun without photos.

Today, Sunday, I went to the MoMA. Me and the rest of NY. I will take note - Sunday is not the best day to visit museums around here. I went back because they are having a Matisse show. The entire 6th floor is full of his drawings and paintings and sculptures. Everything comes from a 3-4 period and the museum did an incredible job of writing things up in chronological order and used old photos and letters that helped you see the progression of where Matisse started and ended up in this short time.

It was good for me in that his work is really, really simple and minimal. He would spend years, sometimes, editing things down, going from bright bold colors to grays and blacks, using very little shading but mostly just flat, single colors in a black outlined area. There were a lot of little mono prints where he drew just single, simple strokes on a black background so it looked like a single white outline of an apple - one line, that's all. He also did a lot of scraping the paint off and painting over the top of full paintings with one color - letting only the impression of the painting underneath show through faintly, if you really looked.

So many different ways to do things. One thing my drawing teacher said - when is it a flaw and when is it a real choice? Sure love being here...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oil Painting Class #1

You know, this is pretty incredible, really. I just spent 4 hours in class with a really, really good teacher and we painted a model on a 4' square canvas - huge! There were about 10 of us in the class and we met in the sculpture room, temporarily, but man - it was great fun. I didn't take any photos because I wasn't comfortable taking photos of a naked model but I was super pleased with my painting! Next Saturday I will be sure and take a photo right when I get there and get set up - who knows, I may end up messing it up and it looks so good right now!

It was absolutely AWFUL getting there. I took the subway with my little Zuka but I used a bungicord to tie my 18"x24" piece of masonite to the side of it - it certainly wouldn't fit inside. It's like an octopus, my bungicord, it's got 6 arms and 6 hooks so you could totally encircle your victim. It looks very strange. I took the subway to Utrecht, the art store, where I went to pick up an 18"x24" pad of drawing paper and my HUGE 4' square canvas then, out on the street I went. (I should have had crocs, a full circle skirt, a shawl and huge dangling earrings.) Just the slightest breeze flung that stupid canvas around and my octopus bungicord struggled to hang on to my newly purchased huge paper tablet. I walked only about 6 blocks to school but when I got there, I asked the guy at the front desk - how do people get these monstrous things here? He just said it's a problem... (Luckily, I am in Greenwich Village where I really don't look that strange at all.)

Then, when we're done, we're told we can only leave the canvas here, I have to take the huge tablet and mansonite back home - we didn't even USE THEM! Me? I hid them behind my canvas and left them there. Now, there IS a chance another student may find it and take it as their own but my drawing class is Monday and I figured, Saturday evening to Monday evening? I'll take a chance and wheeled my Zuka home, unencumbered.

Central Park

I walked down my street (64th) past 3rd, Lexington, Park, Madison then to 5th Avenue to Central Park. It was a beautiful day so I found a bench, pulled out my sketch pad, my pencils, my watercolor pencils, stuck my ear phones in and lost myself in the view. Lots of people walking by but no one bothered me - I hardly noticed them! I took a photo and drew this picture. I'm not crazy about the colors - I'm feeling really limited by the pallet these pencils are in but maybe I can learn to mix them a bit more to be what I'd like them to be. What great memories these little drawings will evoke when I am back in Pasco! How blessed am I? Whew!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Drawing Class 1

Meanwhile, at the actual Drawing Class, I am not prepared to draw a model - I have brought smaller sketch books, so I sit while
everyone else stands at easels but I'm okay with this. I sit in a chair, with my sketchbook on my lap and go to it.

have come prepared to draw the outlines of the things I am drawing - to get the composition right and to try to paint more simply so I start out with this:

The teacher then tells me to be more free and 'feel' the volume... Nice.

And then there is the lesson on hips and ribs planes and how they move in opposite directions (always) and that no 2 points are ever on the same plane and to look for the Centers and the Axis...

And then I end up with this: YIPPPEEE!!

Drawing Class 1 - Getting There

I was late for class. I have never gone to the school directly from my apartment and didn't realize I had no idea which subway to take until an hour before class. It's quite amazing that you can Google your route on the subway - I had no idea! So, off I go, a bit stressed, jump on the 'F' train and realize I am going the wrong way - AAHHH! I get off in one stop, walk over the tracks (well, not literally) and get on going downtown for a 22 minute subway ride and the minutes are counting down. I get out at a stop I've never seen before and am SO TURNED AROUND (this is not a new thing) it takes me 15 minutes to walk in a circle to get to school - 15 minutes late. The GPS on my phone is totally worthless - it places me a block from where I really am and adding that to my total lack of sense of direction - I'm lost, constantly. I am certain that once I determine which way I should go if I stop, turn around 180 degrees and THEN start walking, I will right 100% of the time. My way home was not much different. I found the subway stop after school just fine (holy smoke it took like 5 minutes to walk there) but when I got out - 2 blocks from home on 63rd - I started walking and ended up on 62nd, not 64th, so I turned off of Lexington on 62nd and ended up on Park - totally the opposite direction of where I needed to be! So I turned again, walked 2 LONG blocks to 3rd, where I belonged in the first place and up 2 blocks to 64th. I SWEAR - if there just weren't so many buildings and I could see the water...

Oh, and add to that that I have this very cool little Zuka wheeled cart that I drag behind me with all my art supplies in it but this particular model happens to have little twinkling lights on the wheels when you go - like baby sneakers. I am not that cool. Walking off the subway train I pass this group of like 10 gangster guys (this is 10:00 at night) and 10 feet further a gang of like 10 NYC policemen and I SWEAR I heard sniggering. How do I turn these things off?


I didn't plan well. THREE suitcases and still - not a THING to wear! Eh eh. It's going to 85 degrees here in Manhattan today - I didn't plan for this. SO, I went shopping to buy a warm weather top and spent over $400 on FOUR. Something has to go (me?).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Roof Top Shots

I went on my building's roof - there's the greatest terrace up there - some 30 floors up - and took lots of photos. I sat and drew for a bit and am nervous about drawing and lack a lot of confidence. I just don't do it enough. Good that I start my first drawing class tonight (cross your fingers there's a teacher...)!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Obama's in town

Sunday night, walking home along Lexington Ave. when I come to the Waldorf Astoria and notice the street is completely blocked off from traffic (though they let us pedestrians walk on the opposite side of the street) and there are lines and lines of black suburbans and police cars and a big, black limo parked right outside the hotel door - waiting. They even brought in concrete barricades in front of the hotel leaving just enough space for a person to get to the back door of the limo. I stopped and watched, waiting, until one particular SUV with 4 guys in it pulls out into the middle of the street, jump out (leaving their doors open) and spread out looking in 4 directions - I mean these guys are in full camo, goggles, headsets and big, long GUNS - while a big group of people exit the building, all at the same time and several people get in the limo. These 4 guys immediately jump back into their SUV and 8 vehicles zip out into the street and race away. It took like 5 seconds - COOL! Obama was at the NBC station here in NYC the next morning on TV...

Monday, September 20, 2010

First day of school!

So this evening was the first of my Sculpture classes. The school is in this really great old building and the studios are really great - if only the teacher had shown up! There were only 6 people in the class and 1 guy is a day student so he just got everyone going even though the teacher wasn't there. We only sculpt the heads of our models and the class is 3 hours long. We go for 20 minutes with a 5 minute break - then off again. (I've been walking miles and miles every day since I got here and standing for 3 hours was torture!) Here's my head - 3 ways!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wandering around NYC

There's this nice little street scene, the Empire State building, a cool water tower...

Me N Elvis

It cost me $2.00 but, heck...

Underground Apple Store!

Was wandering around the underground Apple store on Fifth Ave. with about a million other shoppers when all of a sudden - a HUGE DOWNPOUR! It was so cool - the only thing above ground is this big glass square with the Apple logo and you go down this circular glass stairway underground to the store. They shut the entry doors and stopped everyone from coming in while 3 guys frantically laid out special treads made for the glass stairs so they aren't slippery when it rains. Who thought of such a ridiculous thing as slippery glass stairs? The rain was sure beautiful on the glass though!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


First night in the apartment - first of SO many (Yahoo!). Here are a couple photos. I am thinking my office at home is larger than this entire thing. I am also thinking my entire home costs as much as this apartment...

I set out this morning for a mocha and this part of the city has not been discovered by Starbucks (yet) and these guys really look down their NY noses at us mocha drinkers. Coffee - black, and you're in. But I finally found an Italian deli - 2 blocks away - that have cases of prepared salads and all things Italian (oh my they looked delicious) and THAT nice lady made me a great mocha. I am thinking she waited until I left to shake her head that I didn't ask for a cappucino.

Today, I find a clock big enough for me to read without my glasses. I paid for my sculpture class that starts on Monday night. Wow, big day!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Here's the plan:

1. Cram as much as you can into as many suitcases as you own.
2. Lock the dogs in the yard and put the fish in small bowls to take to Flynn.
3. Cancel EVERYTHING - garbage, DISH TV, internet, etc., turn down the thermostat, and credit that measly little amount each month to living in NYC.
4. Lock the door, take a cab and fly off to the City of Your Dreams.
5. Hope the dogs survive, hope the neighbors survive the dogs, hope the fish live.
6. Come back for a short visit in October to check on things - one more time.
7. Plant yourself in NYC and GO!