Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sketching the Gowanus Canal

September 27, 2014- NYC Urban Sketchers returned to the Gowanus Canal for a second time this year to join with the Gowanus Conservancy to celebrate 'Plein Air on the Canal,' an event to raise visibility for the organization working to improve the Brooklyn waterway.

We started at the 'Salt Lot', a vacant lot bordering the Canal where we were joined by plein air oil painters also invited by the Conservancy.  After drawing a while, lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and veggies was served.

I am told the floats in the foreground were field tests of aquatic plants that could survive in the water of the Canal.

A view to the north with the largest Whole Foods market ever off to the right behind the bushes.

This was a cement factory across the Canal from the Salt Lot.

 Here is Michael risking life and limb in the service of great art.  He climbed under the Carroll Street Bridge to sketch out of the sun.

The Carroll Street Bridge was quite interesting: one of only two 'retractile' bridges in NYC and four in the US, it moves horizontally and back to open the Canal to boat traffic.

This is a view north along the Canal: notice the energetic development in Brooklyn. The same cannot be said of the dilapidated pier directly in front of us. To the right is the iconic Williamsburg Bank Building. After the strong sun and heat, it was a welcome relief to retire at the end of the day to Lavender Park for drinks in a cool bar.

Jim W.


  1. Nice sketches Jim. If I recall correctly, Michael wasn't the only one that got under the bridge!

  2. Love your sketches Jim. Did you get down there?

  3. Jim great job on these! The Gowanus is such a fun place to sketch, isn't it?


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