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July 25, 2014

Sketching with Urban Sketchers NYC

 

I spent one day this week sketching with the New York City Urban Sketchers Group.  All of our time was spent in the West Village and I used an accordion watercolor book that I made last year for my paintings. 

Here is the open book showing the portion of the paper that I covered. 

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The front and back were covered with paste paper that I made in a 2013 workshop at Center for Book Arts.

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Flowers, a bird feeder, and a house sparrow in a garden of a St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Hudson St. 

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A landmarked house in a beautiful area near the Cherry Lane Theater. 

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Table items at Pain Quotidien where 8 of us stopped for cold coffee and tea.

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This group was the new "weekday" portion of the NYC Urban Sketchers Group - and hopefully the group will be able to support both a Saturday and Weekday group to accommodate many different work schedules.  I will fill the rest of this accordion the next time I sketch with them.

 

July 15, 2014

Drawing and Painting in Central Park

We went to the Conservatory Water again this weekend for morning coffee and I did 3 watercolor journal pages.  The first is a line drawing of the home we visited on Martha's Vineyard last month (from photo).  I still haven't decided whether I will paint this. 

 

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It started to rain, but we were nicely protected by the big umbrellas on the tables on the Snack Shop Patio.  We invited someone without an umbrella to join us in our extra seat and she stayed and talked for awhile after the rain shower ended.  Meanwhile I sketched a partially opened umbrella at an adjacent table.  She arrived Saturday night from London and was here to work on a West End play that is moving to New York City. 

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When the sun came out, I sketched two of the many types of flowers that are in bloom around the patio.

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July 12, 2014

Summer Mornings in Central Park

My husband and I love to go to the Conservatory Water early in the morning for coffee and some quiet time in Central Park.  This is the Conservatory Water, which is on the East side of the Park just north of 72nd St.  We call it the "Toy Boat Pond" because there are privately owned and rented remote control boats sailing the pond.

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There is a patio with tables, chairs, and umbrellas, and a full Snack Bar and we sit with our coffee while my husband does the NY Times crossword puzzle and I sketch. 

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This morning we even had soft live music from a keyboard and bass.

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I worked on my homework for Sketchbook Skool - this week Koosje Koene is the teacher and the focus is "Selfies."  I took a photo from the beach this week and sketched my self-portrait in graphite from the photo. 

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Yesterday I did my first self-portrait of this class - sitting in front of a mirror.  I look sad, forlorn, and worried - probably because I was waiting for the results of medical tests (which were fine).  I didn't intend to post it, but my dear friend, a wonderful art historian, said "I think if your self-portraits show those emotions, it's a testament to your skills and honesty as an artist.  So there!"  What a good friend!  So here it is -  

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I also did a quick sketch of tourists who were eating at the table next to ours. 

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July 1, 2014

Central Park Drawing and Art Meet Up Group

Our Meetup Group met at the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace in Central Park last Saturday. 

http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/bethesda-fountain.html 

http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/bethesda-terrace.html 

It was sunny and very hot and we all looked for shade during the 3 sketching sessions.  I took one 12 X 18' sheet of watercolor paper so I could make a composite of several drawings.  In the end I did two paintings - without linking them.

I stood under the arches of the 72nd Street portico and sketched a man dressed in a gold sequin top hat and tails - and then the Angel of the Waters atop the fountain.  The man was posing for pictures in exchange for some small donation to his pail.  I painted him in bright gold gouache, which can only be seen in the original.

 

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For our second 20 minute drawing, I turned around and sketched the arches on the other side of the portico, with the long staircase leading down to Bethesda Terrace from 72nd St.  through the Park.  It was a bit boring, but my position under the roof was cool.  For our 3rd drawing, we walked over to the Band Shell and Mall area, just south of 72nd St.  and I was thrilled to see two young ballet dancers posing for photos on the stage.  They are teenagers who are in New York City for the American Ballet Theater summer program.  When I first saw them they were doing amazing jumps but they eagerly took simple 5 minute poses for me to draw and paint them.    They look like ghosts as I painted them over the prior painting. 

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June 15, 2014

9/11 Memorial Museum

I am devoting this blog post to the recent opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum - with only one small drawing that I did there on June 9th for my daily sketchbook.

The following description of the  9/11 Memorial Museum was taken from the website:

https://www.911memorial.org/ 

"The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened on May 21, 2014. It is located beneath the
Memorial plaza. Visitors enter the Memorial Museum through a pavilion where two
steel “tridents”— remnants of the North Tower’s façade — stand in the building’s atrium.
The main exhibition space is located seven stories below the 9/11 Memorial at the
bedrock foundations of the World Trade Center. The Museum offers displays of
artifacts from the WTC and 9/11 attacks, interactive exhibitions, contemplative areas,
and programs that convey individual and collective stories relating the experiences
of survivors, responders, area residents and eyewitnesses. A memorial exhibition
honors the individual victims of the attacks." 

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The museum is the low building behind the row of trees, between the Memorial pools that were created in the foot prints of the North and South Towers.   

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As soon as you enter the building you begin to descend stairs and ramps, past two of the original girders from the North Tower and adjacent to the Vesey St. stairway  down which many of the survivors fled from the area.

I loved seeing artwork that was created to commemorate the event and the victims, including a 60 foot quilt that contains photos of the victims from both Towers,  the Pentagon, and the Flight that crashed in Shanksville PA.

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 This tall ceramic urn, which was created by a University of Minnesota Professor and contains the names of

all of the Victims.

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Vehicles damaged on 9/11 make up some of the artifacts within the museum.

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The bottom level, at the end of the ramps, has one wall which remains from the "bathtub" that was part of the foundation of the North Tower.

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This area also contains a girder from the site of destruction

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- and the main historical account of 9/11, the cleanup, and the building of the Memorial and Museum.  The main exhibit is very well done will take several visits to look carefully at all of the photos, videos, and other displays.