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September 15, 2017

NYC Urban Sketchers and the Morris-Jumel Mansion

Morris-Jumel House:  This was another wonderful USK adventure.  The Morris-Jumel Mansion was built in 1765 and is the oldest house in Manhattan.  In the Fall of 1776 it served as a temporary headquarters for George Washington, and now it is a historical site and museum in Washington Heights.  It is very easy to reach from midtown Manhattan, and you are really transported to the country. 

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Sylvan Terrace:  You approach Roger Morris Park through Sylvan Terrace, up a flight of stone steps on St. Nicholas Avenue between 161st and 162nd Street.  At the top of the stairs there is a cobblestone "street" and two parallel rows of houses. 

http://www.scoutingny.com/a-hidden-treasure-in-washington-heights/ 

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The entrance to the Park is at the far-end of Sylvan Terrace.   Many of us sat on the front lawn of the house, with the Harlem River to the East, and Sylvan Terrace to the left, and it was wonderfully quiet.  This is my painting of the house.  Others sketched the garden house on the back of the Park.

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September 8, 2017

NYC Urban Sketchers Visit to the General Pencil Factory

Yesterday a limited number of NYC Urban Sketchers were able to tour a 6th generation family pencil company that was founded in 1889.  It took our "leader" Raylie 2 years to make this arrangement because they don't normally give group tours.  It is located in Jersey City - and I took a Path Train over the river to meet the group.  This is the front side of the factory. 

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Raylie from Urban Sketchers, and Kirsten, a 6th generation family employee and our tour guide.

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This morning I got out my supply of General Pencils.  I love and use the Sketch and Wash soluble graphite and have the most of them on hand at all times.  They are the ones with the silver tips.

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I loved the area on the back of the building around the loading dock.  I sketched this while there and didn't have time yet to paint it.  The conical machine and all of the pipes on the upper left, transport excess saw dust from the pencils which is then  recycled to make fireplace logs.  The color squares on the upper right are the colors of the watercolor pencils that they gave to us, and the "bag" on the bottom right is a carrier for sawdust.

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I loved the tour and the short glimpse into the method for making pencils.  I spoke to a woman who is still working there after 50 years!  I will always remember the place and time that I saw this as I use my General pencils!  Thanks Raylie!

August 23, 2017

City versus Country Mouse

I always describe myself as a City Mouse.  My childhood home was in NJ, 20 miles outside of NYC.  My college was in a City in mid-Jersey. and then I lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego and San Antonio prior to moving to New York City 25 years ago.  I love drawing in cities, and almost never want to draw a landscape.  We were at a wedding in NY State, approximately 80 miles north of the City, this past weekend, and I forced myself to paint the view from the back deck of the home we stayed in.  Today I'm posting an ink drawing from the NW corner of Bryant Park, and the landscape that I painted in Callicoon NY. 

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April 4, 2017

Macy's Flower Show 2017

New York City Urban Sketchers met at the Flower Show last week and spent the morning sketching.  I've never been, and really enjoyed walking around on multiple floors enjoying this wonderful harbinger of Spring.  The Theme this year was Carnival, and I'm including a few of the photos I took and my two sketchbook pages.

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This is the Central portion of a carousel, with a ring of flower-covered animals surrounding it.  I sketched the rooster, simplifying the number of flowers that were attached.

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And I sketched these beautiful Anthurium that were in a planter on the Mezzanine, overlooking the Ground Floor. 

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These flowers were around the base of a large planter in an area filled with orchids.  They are gorgeous!  Can anyone identify them for me?

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February 28, 2017

Urban Sketchers NYC February 21, 2017

We had a great day at Weekday Urban Sketchers last Tuesday, and a big crowd of artists.  At 10:30, in spite of the cold, we gathered in front of Lincoln Center to draw the Hippo Ballerina in Dante Park on Broadway.  She is 15 feet tall and 2.5 tons and really cute!  I sketched a frontal and lateral view.

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The group then walked around the block to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church for a Juilliard Historical Performance where Juilliard students played period instruments in a free concert.  I loved every minute of it and especially seeing a theorbo played for my very first time.

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After lunch at the Rubenstein Pavilion we went to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to see Curtain Up which celebrates 40 years of theatre in New York and London.

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