Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sketching at the Museum of the City of New York - Sunday, December 8, 2013

(This is a compilation of three blog posts)

I sat at the window on the tall chair, looking out at the Sunday morning Penn Station Station characters. On weekdays there is a constant, massive, flow of quick moving determined commuters. This morning everyone is either picking through the large clean trash barrel (the station employee charged with trash keeps it clean, polished and tidy) just a bit to the right of my view or standing and staring at the train departure board which is located above and to my left.

Directly behind my tall seat were a few tables. Seated at one was an elderly gentleman. “Is that the shoeless man?”, I wondered. If I turned my head to the left I could see the top half of him. Sound asleep with his head bent way over. Still alive? When I glanced to the right I discovered I could see his foot out of the corner of my eye. Ok. That answers that question. Back to the egg and cheese sandwich and book.

I lost all sense of time while sketching the two guys in Penn Station (priorities: had to finish eating first) so my schedule was totally off and I quickly headed to the first of three subways. I was to meet the Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group on the upper East Side inside the lobby of the Museum of the City of New York

Puff puff hurry hurry.

I arrived about 10 minutes late which is very unusual for me. It appeared as if everyone was in the first gallery busily sketching or still pondering “Picturing Central Park: Paintings by Janet Ruttenberg.  They were extremely large works on paper that covered the gallery walls – my depiction is pretty much not an exaggeration. I took advantage of the sketchers who can be counted on to sit still. At noon we all gathered at one end of a back gallery and displayed our drawings against one of the walls.

Taking the elevator to the third floor everyone split up. I went into the exhibition “Gilded in New York“. Paintings, gowns, jewelry, decorative objects – things the other half spent their money on. I decided to copy a painting. Later I found out that even the frame was one of those objects – the maker’s information was listed on the card next to the painting. Of course, I totally ignored the frame. Again, at 1pm we all gathered on the second floor and displayed our art.

I went back up to the third floor, bypassing “Gilded” and entered the gallery at the other end (Norman Bel Geddes: “I Have Seen The Future”) not knowing what to expect. Well, it was fun. At first I planted myself in front of an old typewriter but the perspective of each and every surface defeated me even though I put on my Wonky Hat. So I walked around and was immediately captivated by the drawings for Macy’s third Thanksgiving Day parade by Norman Bel Geddes in October, 1926.

This brief article discusses the conservation work on the piece from which I copied the two clowns. There is a low resolution photo of the entire plan showing all the clowns/balloons.

At 2:00 we all gathered together for the last time and displayed our artwork and said goodbye.

I hightailed it back upstairs and did one more sketch.

I topped off the day with a long bus ride (E103 & Fifth to W32 & Seventh) and checked out all the fancy Fifth Avenue Christmas store window displays and the BIG Rockefeller Center tree as we drove by – safely away from the zillions of tourists on the avenue.

iPad, ArtRage app, New Trent Arcadia stylus.


  1. Love them Pat. I tried to do an iPad sketch based on what you showed me. Not so easy. You make it look effortless.


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