Wednesday, November 29, 2017

SUNDAY: Sketch the Tree

Our chance to sketch the world’s most famous tree

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Each year the world's most famous tree is lit the week following Thanksgiving.  The 2016 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony was held on Wednesday, November 30.

Sunday looks like it’s going to be warm-ish.  The crowds will be building throughout December so this is our chance to sketch the world’s most famous tree.  Our focus will be the Rockerfeller Center Christmas Tree and the skating rink, but the surrounding area will be filled with sketchable sites. There are also numerous places to duck in to warm up.

Where and When10:00 AM on Sunday we will meet outdoors at the Rockefeller Center
Promenade which connects Fifth Avenue with the Skating Rink (located between 49th and 50th Streets).  We’ll be facing the gold statue of Prometheus, the skating rink and of course the tree.

Lunch12:00  lunch at Hale & Hearty in the Concourse Level at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. This is also known as the GE Building and is directly behind Prometheus( the gold reclining figure where the tree is set up).

Afternoon1:15-3:00 PM   Back out to do more sketching in the area.

Show and Tell3 PM at the Ipanema Restaurant, 43 W 46th St, (beta 6th and 5th Aves) (646) 791-7171  where we will share drawings, good stories and a snack, beer or wine if you're so inclined.

-  Bring a portable stool if you have one. It adds to your comfort and increases your sketching possibilities.
-  Dress in layers so you can adjust during the day.

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

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers at La Marqueta

Tucked under the NY elevated rail tracks on Park Avenue and 115th Street is a bit of Spanish Harlem that many don't know about....La Marqueta, a market and food hall.  Retail and commercial food vendors, green grocers, and urban garden stands are enhanced at this time of year with a pop-up seasonal market.  Lots of color and aromas will greet us as we try to capture it all in our sketch books.  Some seating is available but bringing a stool will help you capture the scene you are after.

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                       1590 PARK AVE AT 115TH ST.

TRANSPORTATION: 6 TRAIN TO 116TH ST.  Walk west one block to Park Ave and South one block to 115th Street.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at

Looking for us? Call/text Raylie at 201-978-6387

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Suffering from Post Thanksgiving Pseudo-Exhaustion?

Join Suzala - at the Center of the Universe 
for a "rogue" NYC USk outing
this Saturday, November 25th, at 10:00.

Suzala will be waiting in the lobby of the Main branch of the NY Public Library on 42 Steet and Fifth Avenue.

Enjoy sketching the stunning Beaux Arts architecture throughout and be sure sketch the Main Reading Room which was recently refreshed.  Of course, weather permitting the group may also be able to visit the library’s backyard - Bryant Park.  The ice skating rink is open for the season and so is the Christmas market. The ice skating rink has a second floor viewing room which could be perfect for sketching - crowds permitting.

If you can’t find the group
call or text Suzala at 516-238-0220

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome

Friday, November 17, 2017

Weekday Sketchers take a Thanksgiving Break

This is a reminder that there will be NO weekday sketchers event the week of November 20th because of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Derek Buckner, “Gowanus,” oil on canvas, 32 x 46 inchesion

However, here is an urban art event you might like to check out.  The Lodge Gallery on Christie Street is hosting a show of urban landscape painters titled "The Outer Boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens & The Bronx".  It will be up until December 17th.  Hopefully you can take a break from holiday activities while giving yourself a small present by going to see this show.

Here is a link to the article about the show:

Our next Weekday Sketchers event will be on Wednesday November 29th.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch Sotheby’s … Plus

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The world famous Sotheby’s not only auctions works of art and other valuables, they also display them on many floors in galleries that are open to the public.

Founded in 1744 Sotheby's is the place to see exquisite highly sketchable art objects of all kinds - that then become available at their high profile auctions.   Collections are only up for a week or two, and they change constantly.

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PLUSThe High School of Art and Design in holding their annual fundraising Draw-A-Thon. Grab your sketchbook, paints, brushes, pens; whatever your medium and join us.

The nine-hour drawing and painting event provides an opportunity for art students and professional artists to work side by side from a group of live models. Poses vary from short sessions of five minutes, twenty minutes and one hour poses. Extended poses of three and six hours are also be available.  There is a dedicated room for costume (heroic/cosplay) figure drawing and a separate room for nude/traditional figure drawing.

We’re going to skip our usual Show and Tell to support this event.


Where:  Sotheby’s  New York City, 1334 York Avenue - On the east side between 71st and 72nd Streets

When:  We will meet in the lobby at 10:00.  From 10:00 till 12:30, pick your spot and have fun sketching.  Please be respectful - this is a place of business filled with high value art objects.
The View from Sotheby's

Lunch12:30 we’ll head up to the Sotheby’s café on the 10th floor for lunch, chat, and sketching (of

Afternoon1:15 - return to the galleries or the lobby,... or try your hand at the views off the roof outside the café, if the weather is inviting.  The views are stunning.

The Draw-A-Thon -   3:00 For everyone who can’t get enough sketching we’re off to the High School of Art and Design, 245 East 56th Street (bet 2nd and 3rd Ave).  It’s a one mile walk or take the M31 bus down York Ave and across 57 St to 2nd Ave.  The event ends at 7 PM.

Directions to Sotheby’s:

-  The nearest subway stop is the Lexington Avenue local stop at 68th Street (the 6 train).  The express trains (the 4 and 5) stop at 59th Street and 86th Street.

-   The 72nd Street crosstown bus will take you right there; the 68th Street crosstown will get you to 68th and York.

-  If you’re coming by subway and the weather is bad, you can hop onto the 68th Street crosstown at Lex and 68th Street, instead of walking the four rather long blocks from the subway to York Avenue.

Can't find us?  
Call or Text Mark - 973-809-9128

There are no fees or attendance taken. All drawing skill levels are welcome

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers at Cast Hall

This week we will visit another hidden treasure of NYC.  Tucked away in the Mechanics and Tradesman Building on 44th St off 5th Ave is the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art that holds a fantastic collection of casts (molds or models) of famous statues and architectural elements.  The top floor room, flooded with light from the skylight and lemon yellow walls, hold the a sample of the collection and is lined with tables and chairs making sketching an easy task. Unlike our usual outdoor perches you can bring your big sketchbook and watercolors to capture the elements in the room.  You might also want to go into the lobby and hallways to sketch the stairwells, railing and stained glass in the lobby.

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TRANSPORTATION: B, D F, M to 42nd Street/ Bryant Park

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call/text Raylie at 201-978-6387.   We will be breaking for lunch in the room so bring something along with you.  No need for stools this week!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

SATURDAY: USk World Sketchcrawl

At least 110 Urban Sketcher Regional Chapters, groups like ours from all over the world will be participating.  It’s a celebration - Ten Years of Urban Sketching together!

We’re going to be sketching in one of NYC’s most iconic locations - Times Square.  You are requested to upload your artwork as it’s being created using the hashtag #nycurbansketchers.  If you’re new to social media there will be people there to help.  Katie Woodward, our Manager of Social Media will be gathering our sketches and adding them to our NYC USk Instagram Account. 
Father Duffy Square

During the 24 hour sketchcrawl Katie’s International counterparts will be scanning all the sites, all over the world and uploading everyone’s drawings to one central location - the International Instagram account setup for this event: #USkGlobal24hrSketchwalk.

We’ve never tried anything like this - it should be great.

Times Square is, of course, an amazing sketching location.  It’s got everything, people, lights, buildings, ... you could sketch till your hand ached and still not capture even a fraction of what’s happening.


When:  This Saturday, November 11, 2017 starting at 12:00 PM - noon.  We will be sketching together until 4:30

WhereTimes Square.  We will meet in Duffy Square - the northern triangle located between 45th and 47th Streets, Broadway and Seventh Avenue.  It’s easily recognized by the statue of Father Duffy and the TKTS reduced-price theater red stairs and ticket booth located there.  We’ll meet behind the statue.

Philosophy:  As Urban Sketchers we are recording the changing world around us. It’s easy to forget how quickly it’s gone.  Look at the two photos of Duffy Square.  The view is the same but separated by 80 years.

Duffy Square in the 1930s

Show and Tell:  Since we’re starting later than usual and ending later than usual the Show and Tell will be shorter.  At 4:30 we’ll go to the restaurant/bar area of the Marriott Hotel where we will share our drawings, good stories and a snack, beer or wine if you're so inclined.

Advice and Sketching Strategies:
-  Definitely bring a stool or chair if you have one.
-  Definitely dress warmly, you will be happy you did.  Consider overdressing - Warmth!!!
-  Clean bathrooms and a chance to warm-up are available in the Marriott Hotel 1535 Broadway.
-  Upload your work to our Facebook Page as you complete each piece.  Be sure to include the hashtag #nycUrbanSketchers so we can find your work.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome

Monday, November 6, 2017

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Merchant Marine Memorial

Weekday Urban Sketcher at Downtown War Memorials

In honor of Veterans Day, this week we will be visiting the many memorials to the solders, sailors, merchant marine and coast guard who have served our country through many wars over the past century. 

We will meet at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and then work our way through the Memorials  in Battery Park. Bring a stool, a cap and lunch for a full day's sketching as our tribute to the brave men and women in our armed forces.

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WWII Navy Memorial 
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Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Eagle Statue at Navy Memorial
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Coast Guard Memorial

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Korean War Memorial


                                           55 Water Street, Manhattan


TRANSPORTATION: 1 or 5 train to South Ferry or the N, R, W to Whitehall Street. When you exit the subway you will be on the plaza in front of the Staten Island Ferry.  Facing the Ferry Terminal turn left and walk north along South Street for 2 blocks to the Vietnam Veterans Plaza.  

We will meet at the Plaza and sketch for a while then move into Battery Park to have lunch and continue sketching. The weather is supposed to be nice making this a pleasant day for perhaps our last outdoor events this year.

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