Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers go to Court

The Criminal Courts of NYC are open to the public and provide a fascinating window into the workings of the law enforcement process in the city.  We will start in Arraignment Court to sketch the ongoing parade of those accused of breaking laws.  The courtroom is rich in opportunities for us to sharpen our reportage skills, capturing those brought before the judge and the array of staff dedicated to overseeing the process. This is the time to quickly capture the action as the accused, judge, lawyers, clerks, police officers and onlookers move around the room.  The afternoon will present another challenge as we move into a trial courtroom where there is less movement but plenty to draw as we observe the judge, jury, defendant, attorneys, clerks and witnesses go about the business of assuring justice to those accused of crimes. 

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TIME: 10:30 AM

NOTE: The court session is from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  You can arrive at any time and proceed into the courtroom on the first floor.  Follow signs or ask which courtrooms are being used for arraignment. The court breaks for lunch at 1:00 PM at which time the room is emptied. We will break for lunch as well and return about 2:30 when the trials reconvene.

 LOCATION: 100 Center Street Manhattan

TRANSPORTATION: 4, 5 train to Brooklyn Bridge, C, N, R, 6 train to Canal Street. 1 train to Franklin St.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? TEXT (can't answer a phone in the courtroom) to Raylie at 201-978-6387. 

No need to bring a stool as there are plenty of benches.  You will have to go through scanners entering the building. DO NOT bring cameras or anything sharp (some people carry X-Acto knives to sharpen pencils).  ANYTHING that is considered a potential weapon will be confiscated. Dry media only.  There is no talking allowed in the courtroom. There may be people involved in the proceedings sitting next to you. 

 Please be as courteous as possible as you work, we are only observers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers Upcoming Dates

In an effort to help you plan to attend as many sketching events as possible, here is a list of events for the next few weeks.  Dates alternate between Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to allow for flexibility with other events on your calendars.  Each event will be posted as usual about 4 days prior to the event.  Watch for full details. 

Wednesday        March 1          Criminal Court, Lower Manhattan

Thursday           March 9           FIT Museum: Paris Re-visioned (featuring YSL's first show)

Tuesday             March 14        TBD

Thursday            March 23        TBD

Tuesday             March 28         Macy's Flower Show, Herald Square

Wednesday        April 5             TBD

Thursday            April 13          Carousels of NYC # 1:  Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SUNDAY: Sketch the Tango.

Discover for yourself why the tango is so seductive.

Tango is a partner dance that originated in the 1880s along the River Plate, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay, and soon spread to the rest of the world.  Tango is a vibrant and playful dance with a rich potential for expression and improvisation. It is often described as a passionate dance, because of the close connection partners can have, the character of the music, and also relating to some of the dance's history.

At the heart of tango is the desire to listen to, understand and converse with the person you're dancing with, through this unique language of dance.  In tango there is a 'leader' and 'follower'. Through the embrace, the leader offers invitations to the follower for where and how to step. The follower decides in what way they will accept the leader's invitations. Both leader and follower try to maintain harmony and connection through the embrace, and with the music, and so the dance is born.   Like the symbols of yin and yang, the roles of leader and follower each have a little of the other within them.

Sketching the Tango might be the most challenging art experience.    Each couple embrace closely, they move to the music in a counter clockwise circle.  They never stand still.  In addition to each couple moving in circles the entire dance floor moves in the same counter clockwise fashion, so there is a new couple being presented  for you to sketch every moment. Constant motion, wonderful costumes and great music.  Sketching the Tango has it all.

A  rare opportunity to be a fly-on-the-wall at an authentic tango "milonga" (dance). It's also a birthday party for new Urban Sketcher member and longstanding tanguera, Lucille Krasne, and you're all invited to partake in the fun. Join us for a warm and welcoming afternoon of sketching dancers, meeting old and new friends, heartbreakingly beautiful bandoneon music, and, of course, cake.

This Sunday, Feb 26, 1- 5 PM
Come when you can for as long as you can

Session 73, 139 1st Avenue, at 73rd St., Manhattan:
A venue known for nightly live music, cocktails, and casual dining.

The new Q subway line stops at 72nd St and Second Ave.
If coming by car and not able to park on the street, here's a map of nearby parking lots

No cover charge for non-dancing Urban Sketchers, so identify yourself at the door

Food and Drink:
A delicious and reasonably priced brunch is available and encouraged, but purely optional; there's also a full bar. Click the link for details.

Casual is fine, though many of the dancers may be dressed in tango attire  

Show and Tell:
4:30 in the back room of the restaurant, where we will share drawing and good stories

Shawne Cooper and Lucille Krasne (aka Guest of Honor and birthday girl)

Contact: Shawne Cooper 
via email or text at  917.880.9249 
or Mark at 973-809-9128

First sketching event?:
All drawing levels are welcome

Weekday Sketchers Correction

Sorry for a typo in the meeting announcement.  The proper address for the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is 

3 West 65th ST  not 66th Street

Friday, February 17, 2017

Weekday Sketchers Attend a Juilliard Concert and Visit a Hippo Tuesday

Join us on Tuesday for a Juilliard Concert in a beautiful church and a chance to see the newest ballerina at Lincoln Center. Suprise!  She weighs 3 tons! 

Thanks go to Nora Katz for suggesting that we attend a concert by the Juilliard Orchestra's Historical Performance which will be held in Holly Trinity Church on 66th St at noon.  Wonderful music in a beautiful building: draw the performers and/or the the architecture. What could be better....Oh, a chance to see NYC's newest Big Ballerina! 

Installed in the small park right in front of Lincoln Center on Broadway, Big Ballerina evokes Degas Little Ballerina but on a much grander scale.  After sketching her for a bit we will walk to the church for the performance. Following the performance we will walk back to Lincoln Center for lunch in the Rubinstein Atrium. Bring your own lunch or purchase something there. The Atrium offers more opportunities for sketching with the crowded cafe scene and the walls of living plants.  Following lunch we will make our way to the new exhibit at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts to see and sketch the new exhibit "Curtain Up", a tribute to the Broadway Shows.

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TIME: 10:30 AM

      10:30 AM        Dante Park, Broadway & 63rd St across from Lincoln Center
      11:45 AM        Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 3 West 66th St. for the concert
         1:15 PM       David Rubinstein Atrium, Broadway btw 62/63rd St for lunch 
         2:30 PM       NY Public Library at Lincoln Center

TRANSPORTATION : 1 Train to 66th/Lincoln Center

Join us for the whole day or just a part of it. You can meet us at Dante Park to draw the Hippo Ballerina or just go directly to the church for the concert.  Stay for lunch and go to the library or head out for whatever you have to do.  While you won't need a stool at the church it might be a good idea to bring one to draw the Hippo or use in the library exhibit. 

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch the MET

The Medieval Sculpture Hall


Okay, so it's winter in New York. But fugget about Miami ... we've got the Met!

A great day at the MET planned by Julie Kessler for Saturday, February 18th.   With 6,000 years of history, art treasures up the wazoo, and zillions of tourists to sketch ... what more could you want?   Fabulous sketching stations are located directly behind and to the right of the Great Hall.


The Tapestry Room from Croome Court

Special Exhibit: Renaissance Maiolica, Painted Pottery for Shelf and Table

Not to mention the Lehman Wing, and European Decorative Arts Galleries, and the Arms and Armor Rooms and ... well, you get the idea.

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue

When:  Start time is 10 AM.  Meet at the Information booth of the main hall, on the three o'clock side (right side as you enter)

Lunch:  12:30 PM in the Cafeteria - Ground floor, with access from the first floor behind the Medieval Sculpture Hall

Afternoon:  Back to sketching in the galleries.  Specific location to be announced.

Show and Tell:  3:00 PM in the Cafeteria (see above) to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.


  • Pay what you wish, despite what the signs say.  Be generous if you can.
  • Enter at 81 St - it's less crowded Buy your ticket there and come up to the Great Hall to meet
  • Rules about sketching are unevenly enforced, mostly they don't want you to block traffic.  Pencil is always okay.  Pens, waterbrush and watercolor are often tolerated. They don't want open water.
  • Bring a stool. Most times they're okay to use.
  • Guards will search your bags as you enter.  Backpacks are not welcomed but a shoulder bag is fine.

Less Crowded Entrance at 81 Street

Click to Enlarge

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
or Julie at 646-704-2760

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


What could new more romantic on Valentines Day than images of little Putti shooting their love arrows at the hearts of the ones we desire?   

These little creatures a part of the oeuvre of classical sculpture that are housed at the Institute of Classical Architecture and Sculpture.  Join us at this unique NYC Institution to study and draw the trove of plaster casts of Roman and Greek statues and architecture on display in their galleries.  The casts are made from objects housed in museums around the world: full and partial figures, gods and goddesses, animals, architecture ...that you don't need a passport to see. Don't like drawing casts? Draw the Urban Sketchers drawing the casts, or the views from the many windows in the building....real urban sketching!  

Who knows,  you might even find Cupid on our Valentine Outing!

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TIME: 10:30 AM



TRANSPORTATION: B, D, F, M  to Bryant Park/42nd Street or F to 5th Ave.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.  We will be able to have a bite to eat in the Institute so bring your lunch along.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch Hearst Tower

NYC Urban Sketchers visits the Heart Tower.

The six-story base of the headquarters building was commissioned by the founder, William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane). The building was completed in 1928

The original cast stone facade has been preserved in the new design as a designated Landmark site. Originally built as the base for a proposed skyscraper, the construction of the tower was postponed due to the Great Depression. The new tower addition was completed nearly eighty years later, ... and 89 years after that Urban Sketchers arrives to take in the site.

The atrium features escalators which run through a 3-story water sculpture titled Icefall, a wide waterfall built with thousands of glass panels, which cools and humidifies the lobby air.

Hearst Tower is the first "green" high-rise office building completed in New York City, with a number of environmental considerations built into the plan. The floor of the atrium is paved with heat conductive limestone. Rain collected on the roof is stored in a tank in the basement for use in the cooling system, to irrigate plants and for the water sculpture in the main lobby.


What:  Sketch the Hearst Tower

Where:  300 West 57th S

When:   Meet at 11:30 - Extra time is being provided for people who want to register for the Chicago Symposium 

How:  By Subway.  The Columbus Circle Stop of the A,C B, D or the 1 train, or go to the
57 Street Stop using the N,Q,R,W subway.

Lunch:  12:30 - 1:30  The Turnstyle:  under the Hearst building in the subway corridor . Modern market in a subway station featuring independent shops & vendors for food, coffee & sweets.

Afternoon:  1:30 - 3:00 - Back sketching at the Hearst Building -

Show and Tell:  3:00 at The Coliseum at 312 W 58th St (212-977-3523) where we will share drawings, good stories and and a snack or refreshments if you're so inclined.


-  Bring a folding stoll if you have one - it's a big help allowing you to sketch from the perfect spot.

-  Our Host and Event Coordinator is Leslie Sim in case you are asked by a guard.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
or Leslie 516-633-2340
or send a quick email to Leslie at:

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers go Ice Skating Wednesday

Get ready for ACTION !

For the past few weeks we have been drawing things that are very still.  This week  its all action as we draw the skaters on the ice skating rink in Bryant Park.  Lucky for us there is an indoor viewing area that is heated and has chairs and tables.  Try to catch the action on the rink or the beautiful park with the classic library as a backdrop. Either way it will be a fine setting for some winter outdoor urban sketching. 

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TIME: 10:30 AM

                      6TH AVE BTW 40TH AND 42ND STREETS
                    NOTE:  We will meet on the second level of the observation area. 

TRANSPORTATION: B, D, F, M to 42nd Street

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.  Bring lunch or purchase it from any of the shops along the street or vendors in the skating rink.  No need to bring a stool.  

RAIN PLAN:  The area we will be in is indoors and covered.  If it is raining we can still sit there and sketch the skyline or go into the Library to sketch the architecture.

Follow Up to China Institute 

Thanks to Muriel Applebaum for sending along the link to a wonderful review of the exhibit we saw at the China Institute.   If you haven't been there the show will be up until March 19.

Friday, February 3, 2017

American Museum of Natural History, February 2, 2017

It's Nothing But Fun

I'm talking about sketching animals with the weekday NYC Urban Sketchers while in the American Museum of Natural History. Everybody was commenting on how dark the museum is. Not me. IPat shines with a glow that comes from deep inside. Doesn't keep me from drawing wonky legs but that's a topic for another conversation.

I had an early appointment (eyeball day) that took longer than usual so I met up with everybody in the museum's cafeteria. There were So Many sketchers, never saw so many, and everyone had beautiful drawings and paintings from the first part of the day- but I had none. Well, I made up for that.

iPadPro; Pencil
Apps Used:
#1 Finngr Pro and Sketch Club
#2 Tayasui Sketches Pro; Sketch Club

Pat Gaignat  (this was reprinted from my blog