Monday, April 29, 2019


Experience Nature’s Love Letter to Spring
With its floral clusters, sweet fragrance, and heart-shaped leaves, the lilac is nature’s love letter to spring. The Burn Family Lilac Collection at the NY Botanical Gardens takes the spotlight as we celebrate this American garden favorite in all of its glorious forms, colors, and aromas with plein-air painting, music, guided tours, and talks.

Every year, to help mark the New York Botanical Garden’s rites of spring, distinguished plein-air artists from throughout the Northeast gather across the grounds in a public display of painterly talent and nature appreciation.  NYC Urban Sketchers are part of the event.

It's an amazing day.  Some really talented artists participate.  Between the artists participating in the invitational, the Urban Sketchers and all the visitors who try the Garden's Drop-In and Draw program - there are people sketching everywhere you look.

Everything is starting to come alive and the gardens are gorgeous. NYBG will provide free admission for the first 50 Urban Skertchers who sign up.

If you'd like to join us this coming Saturday May 4th please * click this link for your free admission (BTW admission is $28):

*  the deadline for the free admission sign-up is Thursday at 4 PM.


When:  This coming Saturday, May 4th.  From 10 AM to 4 PM

WhereThe New York Botanical Gardens. 2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY.  We will be meeting in the Lilac Garden.

By subway:
Take the B, D, or 4 train to Bedford Park Blvd. Station. From the station exit: Take the Bx26 bus east to the Garden’s Mosholu Entrance.

OR walk eight blocks down the hill on Bedford Park Blvd (approximately 20 minutes). Turn left onto Southern Blvd. and walk one block to Mosholu Entrance.

Take the 2 train to Allerton Ave. station. From the station exit: Walk three blocks west on Allerton Ave. Turn left on Bronx Park East and walk two blocks to Waring Ave. At the park entrance, walk up the small hill leading directly to the Garden’s East Gate (daytime access only)

Metro North:
Just 20 minutes from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan! Take the Metro-North Harlem local line to Botanical Garden Station. Cross Southern Boulevard to the Garden’s Mosholu Entrance.

Lunch12:30 - Bring your own or purchase food at the Pine Tree Cafe.  We will be eating al fresco in the Lilac Garden.

Afternoon1:30 - Back to sketching.

Show and Tell:  3:00 PM - Meet back at our lunch spot to share drawings and good stories.

-   Bring a stool if you own one.  It gives you more options.
-   Be sure to sign-up clicking the link above if you want free admission to the Gardens.

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

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

Friday, April 26, 2019


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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Weekday Sketchers Schedule May,  June & July

In an effort to help you plan to attend as many weekday sketching events as possible, here is a list of events for May and June.   Due to unexpected circumstances or weather the events may change. Every effort is made to adhere to this list of events but apologies in advance for any inconvenience due to last minute changes.

Week of May 1:  no group session scheduled due to previously scheduled invitational event.

Wednesday May 8, 2019                Derfner Judaic Museum and Sculpture Garden

Thursday May 16, 2019                  Teardrop Park

Tuesday May 21, 2019                     Bushwick Graffiti Tour

Wednesday May 29, 2019.              Belvedere Castle Central Park

Thursday June 6, 2019                     Queens Farm Museum

Wednesday June 12, 2019                Weir Farm , Wilton Conn

Wednesday June 19, 2019               Staten Island Lighthouse Museum and Pier

Tuesday June 25, 2019                    Pulitzer Plaza, Fountain and "Tilted Head" Sculpture

Week of July 4th                               NO PLANNED EVENT

Wednesday July 10, 2019.               Merchant's Garden, Snug Harbor Staten Island

Tuesday July 16, 2019                    Alleys of Lower Manhattan and Capsouto Park

Please Note: Because of the 10th Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam, there are no scheduled events for the NYC Urban Sketchers for the last two weeks of July. Any member who would like to volunteer to lead a group activity for the day is welcomed to do so. Please contact Raylie Dunkel at to volunteer and make arrangements for posting events.  

Let's Take the Show on the Road

Spring is here.  Let's hit the road!

There has been a lot of interest in having events for the NYC Urban Sketchers outside the NY Metro Area.  Here are three trips that will be taking place over the next few months.  Put the dates on your calendars and join in the fun.

Overnight Trip to Philadelphia June 8 

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Suzala is coordinating with the Philadelphia USK group for Saturday June 8, 2019.  Details will follow.  

Day Trip to Weir Farm, Wilton Conn June 12  
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You may not have heard of Julian Weir but you do know his friends and associates. 

Julian Alden Weir (1852 to 1919) was one of the pioneering American Impressionist.  He and his famous friends—artists Childe Hassam, John Twachtman, and Albert Pinkham Ryder—painted at his summer home in Wilton Connecticut, a farm whose landscape offered the perfect setting to paint en plein air

Today, the farm is a 68-acre National Park, only one and a half hours from NYC and the only National Park dedicated to American Impressionist painting. We will be able to sketch the site’s meadows, woodlands and pond and the exteriors of its historic buildings. Park Rangers will happily give us tours of building interiors, including the artist and sculptor studios, the Weir house and his famous portable studio on wheels.  Unfortunately we can’t sketch inside those locations but the exteriors and grounds are ours for the day. To learn more, visit the Weir Farm website at

Early June will be a perfect time to capture the flower gardens and meadows.  Join us for a trip into the past to walk, sketch and paint where the great American Impressionists did.  

Note: There is no public transportation to the area and parking is limited,  so we will have to arrange car pools for those who don’t drive.  If you are interested, please contact Raylie Dunkel at by May 15th   Only those who RSVP will receive updates and instructions for transportation, materials and food.

Two days In Mystic Seaport September 10-12, 2019

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Join us for a drawing excursion to Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Ct., the nation's largest maritime museum, a fully realized 19th century fishing village on the banks of the beautiful Mystic River.  Among it's 17 acres are more than 50 historic houses, shops, galleries and trade buildings that promote an understanding of life in a seaport of that time.  It features the Charles W. Morgan, the last of the wooden whaling ships, a beautiful subject for the sketcher/painter.  In addition, musicians and role players can be found walking the streets and performing in venues. 

 Date; Tuesday, September 10 through Wednesday, September 11 

Group rates for hotels have been arranged.  Interested? Contact Raylie Dunkel at for all the details.  

This trip will be announced again during the summer.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

SATURDAY: Sketch the Gritty and the Glitzy

Sketching Gritty History, 
Glitzy Buildings 
and Sculptures, ... 
all at Riverside South Park

April 27, 2019

This Sketch Event was planned, written and designed for us by Laura Rosen and Nora Katz

 Riverside South Park, the waterfront park on the Hudson between 59th Street and 72nd Street, first opened in 2000. Previously it was the site of a gritty New York Central freight rail yard in the shadow of the elevated West Side Highway. The last remaining piece of the old elevated highway and an old gantry that allowed rail cars  to roll from barges to rail yard tracks are all that remain of the site’s past. Today,  New luxury apartments on Riverside Boulevard overlook not only those relics but also the park’s fresh green lawns and landscaping.


When:  We’ll meet at 10 AM by the Pier i café’s outdoor tables with umbrellas.

WhereRiverside South Park: The entrance to the park is at West 72nd Street and Riverside Drive.
 (see map below)

By subway - the 72nd Street stop of the 1,2,3 trains is  a two block walk to the park. 
Cross Riverside Drive from the NORTH side of 72nd Street. Once across, you will find a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt. Behind the statue continue walking past a dog run on the left and then through a short tunnel.

Directly ahead you’ll see the Hudson River. Take either the stairs or the dirt path down to the promenade below. Turn left and continue walking until you reach Pier i Café, about two blocks south. We’ll meet at 10 by the café’s outdoor tables with umbrellas.

Lunch:   12:15 PM - After a morning of sketching, we’ll again meet at Pier i Café for lunch at 12:15.

Afternoon1:15 PM - After lunch we’ll sketch until 3:00

Show and Tell3:00 PM  - Gather at Pier i to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined. 

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, April 22, 2019

Westchester Sketchers at Lasdon Park Thursday

Let's celebrate Spring by sketching at Lasdon Park and Arboretum. 
In this beautiful park, you'll find lots to sketch: flowering trees, spring flowers, orchids (in the glass conservatory), a historic tree walk, and much more.

The park contains woodlands, an open grass meadow, and formal gardens with flower and shrub specimens from all over the world. It also contains a Chinese Friendship Pavilion as gift from the People's Republic of China to the citizens of Westchester.

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Lasdon Park also features the Westchester County Veterans Museum, with exhibits of photographs, historical documents, artifacts and memorabilia about Westchester County residents who served in the United States armed forces in time of war, from the Revolutionary War to the present. In addition to the museum, there are four memorials to Westchester residents who served in the military.


Where: Lasdon Park and Aboretum, and Veterans Memorial2610 Amawalk Road (Route 35) Katonah, NY 10536 Phone: 914-864-7270

When: Thursday, April 25th. 10:30 AM.
We'll meet in front of the fountain at the park entrance from the upper parking lot.

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Transportation from NYC: Metro-North Harlem Line to Katonah Station.
The 9:22 AM off-peak train from Grand Central arrives in Katonah at 10:28 AM.
Please call Cathy or  Marianne to arrange for pick up and ride to the garden.

Lunch: 1 PM Bring your own food. We'll be picnicking together.
Show & Tell: We'll share stories and sketches during the social part of our day.

Bring a stool if you own one.  It gives you more options.
- Date was changed due forecast for showers on Friday.

If you can’t find us
call Cathy at 914-625-0766 or Marianne at 914-355-6507

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

Weekday Sketchers at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Friday

Can't get enough cherry blossoms!! 

This week we will visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Friday (free admission before noon), to capture the beautiful cherry blossoms, magnolias, lilacs and tulips that are currently in bloom. 

Sorry for the change in schedule from the one posted, but this is the time for the cherry blossoms, so let's get out there and capture them in our sketchbooks!

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DATE:  FRIDAY, April 26, 2019

STARTING TIME: 10:00 AM. ( for early risers: BBG opens at 8:00 AM)

 At 10:15 we will enter the gardens.   If you come later, just make your way to the cherry blossoms and look for us.  Lunch will be at 12:30 at the Cafe.

                       990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn

NOTE:  We will meet at the entrance on Washington Ave behind the Brooklyn Museum.  The entrance on Eastern Parkway is closed. 


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

Some points to be aware of: 
  •  BBG will be very crowded. Try to accommodate the directions that guards might give you about where you sit or use of a stool. (you might want to bring a cushion to sit on the ground)  
  • You can use watercolors. 
  • There is no food allowed in the gardens. 
  • We will meet for lunch at the cafe at 12:30. 

Friday, April 19, 2019


Our participation in the 
International SketchCrawl 
is cancelled

The weather forecast all are saying heavy rains the night before (tonight) and all Saturday morning.  Even if the rain stops in the afternoon everything will be soaked.

It's a Holiday Weekend.  I hope you enjoy time with family and friends.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

CANCELLED: The International SketchCrawl

A whole day of intense drawing will be happening around the entire world!  The International SketchCrawl is this coming Saturday April 20.  NYC Urban Sketchers will participating in this global event, and you're invited.

Our SketchCrawl Ambassador - Parker Gambino has planned an excellent day for us at a location I bet you've never visited.

Williamsbridge Oval Park is in the Norwood section of the Bronx.  The park will be the site of spring holiday festivities for the community, including an Easter Egg hunt.  The park was originally a reservoir.  There are a couple a couple of historic structures including the second oldest structure in the Bronx  We will be joining the local community recording the sites and activities of the day.

Parker is bringing his scanner so we can upload our sketches and share them immediately on the international site. 


Meet in front of the Recreation Center in Williamsbridge Oval Park at 10 AM. The park is not too large, so it will be easy to keep track of the group.

Scenic historical buildings:
- 1889 Reservoir Keeper's House;
- 1758 Valentine-Varian House, second-oldest house in the Bronx;

Take the D train to the last stop. Exit the 205th St. station from the rear of the train, not from the ramp at the front of the train. You will emerge at the intersection of Bainbridge Avenue & 206th Street. Walk uphill (north) on Bainbridge Avenue for two blocks. The entrance to the park is through a tunnel on the right. We will meet in front of the Recreation Center on the right.

There is no parking lot for Williamsbridge Oval Park. Start looking
for parking on Reservoir Oval, which encircles the park except for a short stretch bordering Bainbridge Avenue.

From Henry Hudson/Saw Mill Parkway:
- Take exit #24 Mosholu Parkway;
- Stay on Mosholu Parkway, which will go under Jerome Avenue
(elevated subway);
- Turn left onto Van Cortlandt Avenue East;
- Van Cortlandt Avenue East will lead directly to the park entrance (a tunnel) at Newman-
Goldman Plaza;
- Start looking for parking on the perimeter street, Reservoir Oval East, directly to the right of the
park entrance.

From Bronx River Parkway:
- Take exit #9 Gun Hill Road;
- Drive west on Gun Hill Road, up a serious hill toward Montefiore hospital;
- At the top of the hill turn left on Bainbridge Avenue;
- Go south several blocks on Bainbridge Avenue;
- At the third intersection, on the left is the tunnel entrance to the park (at Newman-Goldman
Plaza). The street names at this intersection are Reservoir Oval East (to the left) and Van
Cortlandt Avenue (to the right). Start looking for parking on the perimeter street,
Reservoir Oval East, directly to the right of the park entrance.

Lunch:   12:00  Bring your own food. We'll be picnicking together.

Afternoon:  1 PM  Back to sketching the park

Show and Tell:  Will be held in the park at 3 PM.  We'll share stories and sketches during the social part of our day.

Bring a stool if you own one.  It gives you more options.

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

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

Weekday Sketchers at Roosevelt Island for Cherry Blossoms

The cherry trees win!  Whatever else we had scheduled has been usurped by the cherry trees that have come into full blossom this week.   This year we will travel to Roosevelt Island to capture the NYC skyline and the 59th St Bridge framed in beautiful cherry blossoms.  Afternoon sketching possibilities include the Roosevelt Memorial and the Queens side of the island, also framed by newly planted cherry trees. 

Bring a stool, some lunch and lots of pink paint to capture the softness of the blossoms against the hard edges of the city.

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NOTE:   We will meet in front of the subway entrance on Roosevelt Island. From there we will walk south along the river on the Manhattan side of the island.  If you miss the group just come along the walkway and find us.

TRANSPORTATION:  F train to Roosevelt Island or take the tram to Roosevelt Island, or the NY Waterways East River ferry to the island.  All modes of transport will put you in the same vicinity to the meeting spot.

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

SATURDAY: Sketch the Great Bridges of Central Park

SATURDAY April 13, 2019

There isn't single thing in Central Park that happened by chance.  Every detail, every view, every vista was carefully thought out by the two original landscape architects - Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. It’s impossible not to see beauty everywhere you turn walking through the park, and many artists before us have taken inspiration there.

Our focus this Saturday will be on the Bridges of Central Park.  The bridges were a solution to one of the design problems.  There were three types of roadways in the Park,  walking paths, carriage paths and bridal paths.  The three roadways twisted around the park and the bridges were designed to keep traffic flowing and to prevent the people, the carriages and the horse riders from intersecting one another.  The park has 40 bridges and each one is completely unique.

 Our sketch day will focus on three bridges located in the southernmost portion of the park and will include an example of the three types  - brick, steel and stone. 


We will meet at the Columbus Circle Entrance at 10:00 AM.  Look for people sketching.  We’ll enter the park at about 10:15.

Parker Gambino 

First stop  Greyshot Arch:
Located in the park at about West 61-62 Streets:  Greyshot Arch, popular with bikers and runners, was built by Vaux in 1860. The arch is made of white-gray gneiss, while its balustrade has been crafted from New Brunswick sandstone and decorated with fleur-de-lis carvings. One of the most frequently used arches in Central Park, this arch is 80 feet long and ten feet high.  From 10:15 to 11:15

 Second Stop - Pinebank Arch: 
Located in the park at about W 62 Street.  Pine Bank Arch is one of five of the original seven cast-iron bridges remaining in Central Park. The 80-foot span carries pedestrians over the bridle path 11 feet below.  Built in 1861 by J.B. and W.W. Cornell Ironworks One of the parks' few remaining cast iron bridges. It was rescued from decline and lovingly restored in the 1980s.  It was a bridge over the bridal path.  A ball field was built in the 1930s and this portion of the bridal path was abandoned making the bridge more of an ornamental structure.  Approximately from 11:15 to 12:15

 LUNCH   We will have a picnic lunch in the area near the Dairy.  Your choices will be to buy food from the park vendors, or lunch at the dairy, leave the park to buy food or pack your own feast  Approximately from 12:15 to 1:30

 Third Stop - Gapstow Bridge:
Located in the park at about E 62 Street.  Maybe the most iconic bridge in Central Park.  It is so beautifully designed and so frequently drawn, painted and photographed that it is almost a visual cliche.  It’s actually the second bridge built on this spot. The original bridge was a mix of wood and stone and supposedly was much more elaborate.  It was replaced with the stone arched bridge in 1896.  There are tremendous skyline views at this location.  Brides come to be photographed there in their wedding dresses and the area is heavily frequented by tourists.  There will be lots to sketch.  Approximately 1:30 to 3:00 PM

Show and Tell:  3:00 PM.  We'll find a place nearby to to share drawings, good stories and close out the day.

Note:  Bring a stool if you own one.  It give you more options.

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

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