Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sketching the Gowanu

What a great day.   We started at Wall Street and took a ferry ride to Red Hook section of Brooklyn.  We stayed at the ferry terminal for awhile waiting for late arrivals.  Even as the boat was pulling into the Brooklyn slip I spotted a crane that I wanted to sketch.

The complexity of the girders was fun.  I also enjoyed highlighting the closer steel beams with white and shading the rear beams gray to support the three dimensionality of the crane.

We met-up with five people involved with the ecology of the Gowanus Canal, a 19th Century commercial waterway that has been incredibly polluted for centuries.  They were part of the group who, for years, have been working to cleanup the canal.  Growing up in Brooklyn I have memories of how toxic and awful the canal was and can appreciate the progress they've made.  It's hard to be there without thinking how truly beautiful the canal could be.  Everyone loves water and an inland waterway could be a tremendous attraction.

Several of the volunteers are Landscape Architects.  As a general rule I've observed that Landscape Architects are all frustrated sketchers.  They are easy recruits for the pleasures of Urban Sketching.

They showed us a secret path to a great view of an Asphalt Plant across the waterway.  Not the Urban view I would naturally be drawn to, but I loved sketching the area.

The weather was near perfect and the company, as usual, was great.


  1. Mark, sorry we missed connecting. It looks like you found some great views to sketch too.

  2. Super sketches, Mark. I enjoyed reading and hearing about your group's Gowanus adventure.


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