First full week of Figure Drawing class

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 7:38 PM

A quick sketch done before class.  It was a beautiful day with the sun shinning and I cheated and wore capris and a light cotton blouse......even though it really is winter still.
I'm not going to post all my sketches from class today but they are all on Flickr now as a set.  Today she had us doing gestures.  I really had to step away from what I think I know and try to approach this class as if I know nothing.  
First a series of gestures but beginning with what she called the 'spirit line'...that one gesture that tells us which way the body is moving or going.  Next we were to just try and make relationships between the anatomical center of the body, the shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip points.  From there she gave us two 20 minutes poses in which we were to begin with our stick figure gesture (the first mark being the spirit line) and build form pretending we were using wire to wrap around the body shapes.  Our last pose was 30 minutes and we were to make a 'smoke man' using the side of our conte crayon to make swirls and ribbons around the forms.  I didn't do so well on this one and used linear marks which she didn't want.  But I was happy none the less.  These exercises were difficult!

wired figure, gesture
click on above figure to see the rest of todays exercises.  All are done on 18x24 inch newsprint.
Monday, February 25, 2008 at 7:29 PM
drawing lessons
My figure drawing class officially began today with a brief round of introductions of everyone in class and then right into the first assignment.  She split the class into those who have taken it before and those who are beginners.  I am a beginner.  We had to take hand mirrors and sit at a draft table and do self portraits.  I really like doing self portraits but I like working at an easel and using a larger mirror.  This 30 minute drawing is pretty accurate but I made my face to0  elongated....perhaps "Modigliani-ish?"  She had us label this 'marker no. 1.'  
Next we were to draw an imaginary nude figure.  This was hard without a reference to look at.  I didn't do too bad!  That was marker no. 2.  Next, some guidance on how to set up, use the studio area and what is expected at clean up time.  She let us have a 10 minute break before starting our drawing of a live model. 

Okay: funny story:
Some months back at one of the museum figure sessions I had felt like I didn't care for the model.  His poses were too exaggerated and I just couldn't connect and left early.  Today, who is the model?  The guy from the museum session!  During the break he came up to me and said, "Don't I know you?  You go to the museum figure class don't you?"  He then starts to just chat with me telling me he works as a security guard at a hospital and that he loves art and has been modeling for 11 years.  I thought him a nice man and my previous bias about him dissipated.  I did a very nice 20 minute sketch of him.  When done he came over to see and was pleased with my drawing.   He offered his phone number if my friends and I would like a drawing session outside of class.   The chit chat helped put me at ease and I think made for a good session.

marker no. 1marker no. 2marker no. 3

Nervous sketching

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at 4:04 PM
While waiting for my class to begin I hid out in the student library, out of the rain.   I plugged in my ipod earbuds (like a good college girl should) and found a spot at a table against the back wall.  I quietly brought out my moleskine and my Lamy pen and began sketching the activity at the table in front of me.  I next took out my W&N travel paint box and painted in my drawings.  Then, it was time to head to class.  I think I'm off to a good start!

rcc_library_01 rcc_library_02


at 3:24 PM
My dear friend Martin from Dibujandoarte tagged me to list 5 things about myself.  Back in May another 'tagging' was going around so you can go to that post for the deeper me!

1. I began school today! I am enrolled in the figure drawing class at Riverside Community College. The class meets twice a week until June 11th. Today we got a short lecture, the course syllabus  and list of materials. Beginning next Monday we begin our first lessons with a live model. I must confess that I am 100% sure I am the oldest person in the class with 98% being under 21! I am a bit nervous about this new venture but excited as well. I hope to take all of you along as the weeks go come by often to see my exercises and assignments.

2.  You might have noticed the Nike widget on the upper left hand corner of my blog.  I have begun training for a 5k run in April.  I signed up a few weeks ago to do this run for the Children's Cancer Research Fund.  It's been ten years since I was running and so I am miserably out of shape.  But I began last week and hope to run 3-4 times a week to prepare for the run.  Right now I'm only able to run for a bout 3 minutes without having to slow down to a walk.  Keep your eye on how I'm doing and wish me luck!

3.  I have a tattoo.  Yes, body art.  It's a dolphin on my right ankle.  The thought of one on my shoulder is not totally out of the question.  But I remember the pain and so have not mustered up the courage yet.

4.  I am TERRIFIED of cats.  

5.  I have some good secrets......I'm not telling.

Here are my picks for 'tagging.'  I choose these blogs because I would really like to know more about these artist who inspire me every time I come by to visit.  Knitting Painter Woman from Journal to a Muse,  Wendee from The Digital Fridge Door,  Sherry from Late B(l)oomer,  Sharon of Flat Sound of Wooden Clogs,  Ai at Ai Arts and Bec from A Drawing A Day.   

This blog wouldn't be possible without other artist to come by to encourage, suggest and help me grow.  I gain knowledge and inspiration abounds on these virtual pages.  Thank you all for sustaining me!


Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Cheers, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Okay, Okay.......all I did today was exercise my beer lifting arm.  This is a start of a big week for me and going out for a nice lunch and enjoying a glass of raspberry beer was just the way to mentally prepare for the week.

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

Culinary Art

Friday, February 15, 2008 at 5:57 PM
Valentine's Day Cooking Class

Rudy and I rarely spend Valentine's Day together; he being a fireman and me a nurse, many times one or both of us is working.  But yesterday we were both off and so we signed up for a cooking class at a local Cooking Store.  What a great plan that was!
After signing in we found two spots near the front.  The front was a large kitchen with tv screens set up and directed at the counters and stove top.  The tables were set up so pretty with fresh rose buds and napkins folded into hearts in the wine glasses.  We were given all the recipes to take home for the dinner we would be eating.
Then the fun got started.  They came around and poured the wine and began the 'lesson'.  First up were Duck Canapes with Port Demi Glace.  I can't even begin to describe how delicious they were!  And not that difficult to fix so I might try this appetizer some future date.
Next a crab salad with avocado relish and citrus vinaigrette dressing on a bed of greens.  I alread was so lost in the experience that I forgot to take a photo!
A champagne intermezzo was severed next to cleanse the pallet.  Mint leaves and cut up kiwi were placed in the flute and the champagne poured over.  We then all got up for a break, flute in hand to browse the store and shop. LOL!  I bought a big skillet and some other fun stuff!
Next we learned how to make beef Wellington with BĂ©arnaise Sauce.  And then we ate.  Oh my die for!!!!!  
I was so close to gastronomic orgasm by this time that I was almost afraid to have my dessert:  Creme Brulee  topped with a chocolate covered strawberry.  I almost forgot to snap an iphone photo so that is why it's half eaten.
Yes, the evening continued in this way with the pi de resistance coming at home, late into the night..........sigh.......... Definitely the best Valentine's Day I've ever experienced...well except for the one when Adam was conceived, but that's another story.

Duck Canapes Beef Wellington with Bernaise Sauce Creme Brulle with Chocolate Strawberries

Felice Dia de San Valentine

Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 10:52 AM

el corazon, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Wishing all of you a most happy, romatic and sweet filled Valentine's day!!! I celebrate all my friends and loves today!

Ah, so where am I today?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Ah, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

click on this Lichtenstein photo to see the rest of the photos from todays adventure.

I had a great day!  I had tickets for the members only preview of the new museum at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art):  BCAM (Broad Contemporary Art Museum).  I loved the building, the galleries and had lots of fun roaming the building and grounds.  

"NO PHOTO"  is all I heard today.  LOL!  But I got lots of pictures with my treasured iphone and only got barked at twice.  I normally do not take photos at museums but thought it only fair that if I was spending a day drinking champagne and discovering a new museum....all my blogging friends should get a look also.  If you live in the area or are planning a visit...GO see the new LACMA and it's fine collections.  Also on display now are many pieces of Picasso, Matisse, Giancometti and many others.  

3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches in small moleskine wc sketchbook. 

LA Skyline
5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in small moleskine wc sketchbook.

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

New Little Sketchbook

Monday, February 11, 2008 at 2:32 PM
orangecrest sports complex

small moleskine watercolour sketchbook 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.

While on a walk this warm and sunny February morning I stopped to rest on a bus stop bench and to sketch the view of Mt. Baldy from the Sports Complex at Orange Terrace Community Park in our Orangecrest neighborhood. The mountains around so. california are all covered in snow from last weeks storms. Soon the sun will melt it all away but for now they are breathtaking.

Kissing Pears: Art Lesson no. 4

Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 6:57 PM
Kissing Pears in Gouache
This is my gouache painting on bristol board, 9 x 12 inches

Today Annie and I spent the afternoon learning about blind contour drawing. 

 First we stopped by for a visit at my friend Diahn's blog: Art by Diahn to see what a blind contour drawing was.  Annie's eyes flew wide open anticipating this lesson would be challenging.  I told her our brains were going to work very hard with our drawing hand and arm!

Kissing Pears: blind contour
7b pencil in Canson 9 x 12 inch sketchbook

For a look at what Annie worked on today go visit her at Annie's Adventures with Nina.

I love contour drawing and enjoyed sharing the concept with Annie.  And what fun we had bringing out the gouache for us to add color to our drawings!

Super Tuesday, Fat Tuesday

Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at 5:22 PM
What excitement!  A presidential primary where we are all watching with hope and anticipation!  I mailed my ballot a couple of weeks ago and will soon find out if my choice won.  I think it odd that so many of us Californians vote absentee when we can easily go out and vote.   I think it's because we just have so many activities in this land of sunshine that we don't want to have to choose between going to vote or going to do something fun!  

I was at the art museum today to meet up with one of the curators who also runs the adult ed program there.  He was a very nice man with some good ideas.  We are hoping to increase the figure sessions at the museum and perhaps even offer instruction once in awhile.  Of course it all comes down to money.  But I offered to do what I can to get the word out and hopefully increase participation in the program.

While there I wandered into a new exhibit by California artist Millford Zornes.  Wow!  I fell in love with his watercolors.  His use of bold stokes of color and minimal detail left me breathless gazing upon his landscapes.   I came home inspired to put paint on the page of my moleskine wc sktechbook and then added the ink with my Lamy Safari fountain pen.  It will take some planning but I want to play with this idea on a larger format and with big brushes!!!  ah....another trip to the art store!!!

As for being Fat Tuesday.....hummm....I have lots of eating to do in order to catch up!!! I should have planned better, maybe made another platter of lemon squares just for me!

studio snippet

Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, San Diego, Ca

Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 1:38 PM
Organ Pavilion: Balboa Park
I had the opportunity to spend 4 wonderful days visiting my girl Amy in San Diego, California.  I drove south on a sunny afternoon and enjoyed a few days of shopping, going to the SD Art Museum in Balboa Park and having a languid lunch over sangria and blood orange cosmopolitians at El Prado.  It's difficult to get sketching time in when with a non artist.  Rudy is always patient with me but the girl wants to move on.  But I managed to get in this quick sketch of the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.  While sketching the organist was practicing and it was so delightful to be drawing and listening to a private little concert!  At home I dropped in the watercolour and added a bit of zinc white and rich gold gouache.  
The two hour drive home today was in a heavy rain that made the roads slick and dangerous.  No sunshine in southern california today.  I have a most busy week but will dedicate some time to browsing the blogs and see what you all have been up to!

Where in the world is Marta?

Friday, February 1, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Where in the world is Marta?, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

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