Drawing at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Drawings of Architecture by Children

This fall I’ve enjoyed drawing in the courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I’ve met several talented young people, and three of them allowed me to photograph their work. Jennifer’s drawing (on the left) captures the activity at the museum during the Big Draw Family Day, and Amelia’s (in the center) is a colorful design of her dream house. A third anonymous artist drew the geometry of the courtyard skylight in bold black and white.

The museum offers free drawing sessions in the Luce Foundation Center on Tuesday afternoons. The exhibit, The Civil War in American Art, recently opened and will be on display until April 28, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Egyptian Inspiration

Bird
Bird | embroidered and hand dyed silk inspired by Egyptian jewelry | copyright Liz Macklin 2011

Shops open in Cairo today. May peace, religious freedom and respect for individual rights prevail in Egypt, in the United States and throughout the world!

Who can resist browsing through galleries with elaborately decorated coffins, mummified ibis, bronze cobras, linen baboons  and gold amulets inlaid with stones in brilliant blues?  Egypt, your antiquities provided inspiration for me time and time again.

I send my gratitude to  the young people standing  guard at the Egyptian Museum. When its website reopens, visit the collection. Until then, take a virtual tour of the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Two of my  favorite books for children include

ABC: Egyptian Art from The Brooklyn Museum by Florence Cassen Mayers, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1988

Aida, the story of an Ethiopian princess who falls in love with an Egyptian warrior, as told in the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, retold by Leontyne Price and illustrated by the award winning artists, Leo and Diane Dillon, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1990

Nature Drawing and Painting

Daffodils
Daffodils | watercolor | 7" by 8" | copyright Liz Macklin 2010

It’s time to draw and paint outdoors! Join me and more than 40 other artists at the spring art festival at Fort C. F. Smith Park.

We’ll celebrate with an opening reception and exhibit on Friday, March 19th from 6 to 8 pm. Drawings, paintings, ceramics and glass will be on view all week in the historic Hendry House at 2411 N. 24th Street in Arlington.

There will be workshops, lectures and concerts — all free and open to the public. For anyone interested in sketching outdoors, Jocelyn Hunn and and I will lead  nature drawing from noon to 2 pm on Saturday, March 20th. We’ll sketch flora and fauna throughout the park using easy techniques. All ages and abilities are welcome. Children under 12 must be  accompanied by an adult.

For information about the full week of programs, see the Arlington Artists Alliance website. To register for workshops, e-mail sparkerart@yahoo.com.

Art and The Reading Connection

Lilies on Blue Cloth | watercolor | copyright Liz Macklin 2009
Lilies on Blue Cloth | watercolor | copyright Liz Macklin 2009

Help bring books to children in housing crisis.

I’ve donated this watercolor to the fall fundraiser for The Reading Connection! The art is ready to hang in your home or office — framed (11″ x 14″)

Everyone is invited. Please tell your friends.

The Art of Reading
Saturday, September 19, 2009

From 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., celebrate with Kids at Pyramid Atlantic. There will be three read-alouds led by celebrity readers (at 2:15, 3:15, and 4:15), each followed by an art project inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

From 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., join the festivities at an Art & Wine Reception. Artists will display their creations and a portion of sales will benefit TRC.

Location: ArtSpring Store, 8519 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD.

The Reading Connection is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families by helping them create and sustain literacy-rich environments and motivation for reading. See www.thereadingconnection.org for more information on TRC programs.

Designs in Silk

Blue Silk Batik
Blue Silk Batik | 6″ by 12″

Silk. Soft, luxurious and rich with color. Who would have thought that it all began with a lowly worm? Not just any worm – a caterpillar bent on metamorphosis!

In October I visited Korea. I spent many spare moments scouting museums and local markets looking for beautiful handmade objects. In Jeonju, a town in North Jeolla province, my daughter, acting both as my guide and translator, led me straight to the wedding street! Along this side street shops sold both western and Korean wedding gowns. The traditional Korean garments stole my heart. Long robes in brilliant hues of magenta, yellow or blue hung in the shop windows. Each gown had a high waist tied with ribbons, and the most elaborate boasted a garden of embroidered flowers on bodices and sleeves.

Inspired by the designs, I searched for more information when I returned home.  In my local public library I found Silken Threads: A History of Embroidery in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, by Young Yang Chung, a reference book with exquisite color photos.

— Edited to remove expired links, March 24, 2016