Thursday, May 30, 2013

Urban Sketchers NYC - June 1, 2013

Got a great site selected for this Saturday - the newly opened  Franklin D. Roosevelt - Four Freedoms Park.  

It's located at the southernmost point on Roosevelt Island, designed by Louis Kahn in 1973 and completed forty years later.  It's said you really can't see NYC when you're in NYC.  Roosevelt Island has one of the most breathtaking views of the big apple.

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  1. Tramway Car at 59th Street & 2nd Avenue Station.  Exit at Tramway Station on Roosevelt Island.  Walk approximately 15 minutes south to Park
  2. Take Queens-bound F train to Roosevelt Island stop.  Walk approximately 15 minutes south to Park.
We'll meet at 10 AM at the Park (see map) and then explore the island and it's views.  If you can't find us call Mark 973-809-9128 or Richard, 917-925-3350

Future Plans
Other Sites under consideration for June include:
  • The Haunting Beauty of Green Wood Cemetery - the National Historic Landmark in Brooklyn, established in 1838
  • Knitting in Public Day - Bryant Park - a possibility for June 15th
  •  Coney Island, 
  • Belvedere Castle in Central Park, 
  • Governor's Island
  • The High Line, ...redux 
  • Your Suggestion are Encouraged!
June rainy-day back-up plan
All of the contemplated sketch sites are great if the weather is good.  Check the night before. If  the weather says rain we'll meet at:
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, 
Opens at 11:30 AM on Saturdays
(We'll send an email confirming we're going to the rainy-day plan )

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NYC Urban Sketchers 05-25-13

The weather is driving me crazy.  

We were out sketching the 1/2 avenues, ... those short-cut alleys that cut through the long avenues in midtown.  It's the second time we've gone there.  The first time in November - we froze.  It was too cold to sketch outdoors.  I don't know how the Urban Sketchers in Minnesota do it.

Last Saturday should have been warm and pleasant - it's almost June.  Instead we got rain, wind and cold.

Yes, they even have signs

I asked Richard to give me a short course in perspective.  I like the way he tackles complex street scenes.  I figured his architecture and teaching background would make him a great source.  He explained the system he uses.  I tried it out on this barrel-vaulted alley and was pleased with the results of the quick sketch.

We ducked into the Hilton Hotel on the Avenue of the Americas and stumbled into the GNYBA - The Greater New York Bridge Association  - Eastern Regional Tournament.

If you like drawing people bridge players are great.  For the most part they sit very still.  You can get some interesting body postures and facial expressions.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Riverhead Mosaic Street Painting Festival

On Sunday I took a ride out to see the Riverhead Mosaic Street Painting Festival 
sponsored by the East End Arts Council.
The street was divided into rectangles and people decorated each of them with chalk designs. Some of them were really good, but since I forgot to bring my camera I can't show you how good they were. Adults as well as little kids participated. Here are a few sketches of people at work.

They also had an area for kids where they could have their faces painted, play music, or create art. One of my friends was working at a table where the kids could create their own ATCs (artists trading cards) and actually trade them with other people. Here are two of the kids working at her table.

Outside there was a group being taught how to play drums.
I sketched the two leaders of the group.

It was a fun afternoon.

Lapin Visits New York - May 24, 2013

Veronica sent a message that Lapin was visiting from Europe.  She suggested anyone who could make it should meet at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.  Great location but a terrible weather day.  It was very cold, windy and raining.  Not the ideal day we'd all hoped.

Bethesda Fountain in the rain.

Lapin arrived with his wife Isabelle and their lovely daughter Louise.  
Although we'd already done a few sketches 
it was easy to convince us to shift our sketching to the Museum of Natural History - 
a short walk.  
We agreed to go the dinosaur section on the fourth floor .

 A small crowd watched Lapin sketching. T
he woman on the left photographed his work in progress.

By mid-day it was nap time for  Louise, who fell asleep with her little bear.

It 's hard not to notice when you're sketching at the museum that there are all these wildly different forms, but when you get right down to it, it's mostly the same anatomical structures, just formed into different shapes, sizes and weights.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Midblock Connectors and Bridge

Ok, it rained and it was cold. I'm guessing that the mid block connection will forever remain unsketchable, at least in a comfortable way. After a couple of hours we decided to sketch at the Hilton Hotel lobby; warm and dry.

What we didn't expect was to find the Greater New York Bridge Association's Regional Finals...yes a room that quickly filled up with bridge players.  We got there early enough to sketch and stayed until it was apparent that we were going to get kicked out.

Mid block access at 57th Street
One of the mid block connectors

Observing the crowd

None of us had a clue of what any of this was...

These people knew...

The room quickly filled...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 25th Sketch Date- Let's try it again!

Last November we tried to sketch the mid block promenade between 6th and 7th Avenue.  It was bitterly cold and we didn't get to finish, so we say "let's try it again".  It's also a good place for a day with rain in the forecast (there's plenty of cover). We can also head down to Rockefeller Center later in the afternoon.

Midtown mid block promenade from 57th to 51st street
Meet at mid-block between 6 and 7th avenue on 57th Street.

Location Map:

Trains:N,Q,R,F to 57th St; B,D,E to 7th Ave.

See you there!

View May 25th, Saturday Sketch-Between Blocks in a larger map

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A few sketches from Galway

I am finally home from my 4 weeks in Ireland and it looks like I missed a few great locations here. I did a lot of sketches.

Here are a few Galway sketches - pubs, pubs, and lunch.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gritty-Urban Sketching Long Island City Style...

WOW! Last Saturday Urban Sketchers met graffiti artists at the Long Island City Art Studio Open House. In short, there was art, sketching, urbanites and happy people all around.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Graffiti in NYC

I'm going to miss the graffiti outing, but it's a topic I love to paint and document.  I often try to incorporate graffiti whenever I can in my NYC scenes since I feel it's so integral to it's history.

Here is one I did in March, on Broome Street.

I have a few more examples on my site

Thursday, May 16, 2013

At the church

It was rain at the start of the day, and rain towards the end of it. And everything in between involved high ceilings, arches, warm colors, and fun. I didn't get to sketch the sculptures from the show, though.
The grand, gothic entrance to the church and the surprising, enthusiastic tourist groups come for a visit.

Looking towards the choir.

A platform was set up for the jazz band performance that weekend.

Looking towards the entrance of the church.

Outside in the garden, without the resident white peacock. (He was taking a break. Posing for admirers is hard work, after all.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 18th Sketch Date: Courthouses and Graffiti

This Saturday we're in Long Island City (LIC)!
We'll meet at Albert Short Triangle at 10:00 (The Plaza with the glass enclosure).
We will sketch at MOMA's PS1, 5Pointz, the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca”, and at the Courthouse.

Trains: 7,G (Court Square), E, M (Court Sq-23 St)

Location Map:

See you all there!

View May18th Sketch Date: LIC in a larger map

The Cathedral Church meets the Dog People

The whole day was threatening and overcast.  Although we eventually had an epic storm in the late afternoon the day provided lots of good sketch time.  We spent the morning in the church.  After a great lunch we  returned for more drawing.

Although I was struck by the beauty of the church architecture and the solemnity of the interior space, none of my sketches seemed to capture that.  So I got distracted and drew the guides and their tour groups.

I could have spent much more time with the Jane Alexander sculpture installation:
Her very strange sculptures were integrated into the church setting and mixed in with the sculptures and religious objects you'd expect to find.  The contrast was startling and a little jarring.  Her sculptures seemed pagan, like Pre-Christian artifacts.  There were dog-headed people, and monkey faced people.  Some were distorted and looked cartoon-like and others were done  realistically and were grouped like they were a comment on conformity and militarism.  .

Her notes indicated there was a
political element to her work

After lunch we went back to the church and spent time in the gardens.

A white peacock that must live on the church grounds was the main attraction.  

Divine Creatures

Sketches from Jane Alexander's Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope) exhibit. I found the work and setting powerful and moving. Regardless of the context or artist's intent the sculptures themselves were delicate and forceful expressions of pain, injustice, patience, cruelty and grace.