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August 13, 2016

NYC Urban Sketchers at Columbia

New York City is in the middle of a heat wave!  The NYC Urban Sketchers Weekday group met on the campus of Columbia University on Thursday and it was unbelievably hot.  I went into St. Paul's Chapel with my grand daughter and another 8 year old who was also joining our group with her grandmother.  This is the front of the chapel.

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St Pauls Chapel Interior:   There were 4 large fans set up in the sanctuary and we found a place to sit while I  sketched what I could see from my cool seat.  It was a side alcove with a beautiful stained glass window, a loft, and a decorative chandelier.  The perspective was a challenge for me.  The girls sketched and painted the chandelier.

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In an adjacent campus square, in front of the Philosophy building, there is a Rodin Thinker sculpture.  It was hard to find a spot of shade close to the statue, and I didn't finish my sketch.

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Many members of our group sat on the steps of a facing building - and this was our view of the Rotunda of Low Library.  There were a few members of our group that sat in front of Low in the sun and did wonderful sketches.  Not me! 

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As we sat and talked while eating our lunch, my grand daughter Annabelle and her new friend Quinn had a wonderful time mixing colors from a set of watercolor pencils.  They were incredibly enthusiastic and energetic, in spite of the heat. 

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It was a wonderful place to sketch, but brutally hot.  We decided we would return in the Fall! 

July 8, 2016

Urban Sketchers on Roosevelt Island

Yesterday our NYC Urban Sketchers Weekday Group took the Tram over to Roosevelt Island.  We met at the Tram station on 59th Street, and for me it was my first time on the tram.   It is a short ride, but I never get tired of seeing the density of buildings and the Manhattan skyline from all positions and angles.  Here are a few photos taken.  The FDR Memorial Park is the triangular area at the bottom of the Rossevelt Island photo.

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Entering the Tram: 

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On the tram approaching the East River and Island. 

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Our goal was to walk to the south end of the island to visit the FDR Four Freedoms Park, but I was immediately mesmerized by the skyline and chose a point of view from the UN to the Chrysler Building for my sketch. 

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Two years ago I sketched the Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn Promenade using an art technique I love.  I randomly collect tourist maps of NYC - great tourist/map booths are in Grand Central Station and near Pier A in Battery Park. I collaged a portion of the map to watercolor paper, brushed Golden Absorbent Ground (white) over the map and allowed the map to lightly peek through.  When it was dry, I packed it up for our trip to Brooklyn painting the skyline from the Ferry Terminal to the WTC1 Freedom Tower.

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http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/06/lower_manhattan_from_the_brook.php

 

And here is my painting from Roosevelt Island - from left to Right - The UN, the Empire State Spire, and the Chrysler Building. 

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May 20, 2016

Monotypes, Ducks, and A Cow

I went to my second Monotype session this week at MoMA and made 3 prints - but only uploaded two here - another ballerina and another Axel print.

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Weekday NYC Urban Sketchers met in Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City this week, and I was completely mesmerized by ducks.  When I arrived I watched a male swimming all over the pond behind a female and a total of 7 ducklings that were scattered and having fun.  I sketched them quickly and spent the next hour watching them to determine their coloration.  I can't describe how much pleasure I got from sitting in the sun, watching and photographing them.  Midway through the hour 3 gangster males arrived and fights began.  But the original male kept them away from his family.  It was very noisy! 

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I quickly sketched one of Dubuffet's four large LaVache paintings when at his exhibit at Acquavella Gallery on the Upper Eastside.  My goal was to paint it with my acrylic paints before putting them away after my abstract painting class ended.  The painting is on a watercolor postcard. 

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Monotypes, Pen Drawing with Watercolor Wash, and an Acrylic Painting - I think I need to focus! 

April 26, 2016

NYC Urban Sketchers May 23rd

I went to the morning session of the weekend NYC Urban Sketchers for the second time, and in spite of early drizzle and rain, I really enjoyed sketching Cooper Union.  It is a major historical building in the City and I hope that I can draw their other building which is very modern sometime this summer. 

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"The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, established in 1859, is among the nation's oldest and most distinguished institutions of higher education. The college, founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist, Peter Cooper, offers a world-class education in art, architecture and engineering as well as an outstanding faculty of humanities and social sciences. 

Peter Cooper wanted his school to play a role in the political and cultural life of his city and country. The means he chose was the establishment of the Great Hall in the basement of the Foundation Building. It seated 900, the largest secular meeting room in New York and soon after it was opened, and it made history when Abraham Lincoln, an unannounced candidate for president of the United States, and a virtual unknown in New York, was invited to speak there by the Young Men's Republican Union."

https://www.cooper.edu/about/history 

 

I sketched this across two sections in my most recent handmade accordion watercolor journal, and I love that the previous two are filled with outdoor paintings done with the weekday Urban Sketchers over the last two years.   

This is the current watercolor book.  I used Fabriano Artistico 140 lb watercolor paper for the 8 panel strip and paste paper from my last production for covering the binders board.  I can draw and paint on both sides of every panel.

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This is an example of the first and second accordion sketchbooks I filled at Urban Sketchers Weekday sessions. 

 

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March 18, 2016

Visit to the Oculus With NYC Urban Sketchers

New York City Urban Sketchers met at the new Santiago Calatrava Oculus on Wednesday, and viewed the inside and sketched the outside.  As I walked from the Fulton Center subway stop I took photos of the exterior from the East, the interior, and exterior from the West.  While the group was sketching at the foot of the Freedom Tower, I went across West St. to Brookfield Place and sketched from there.  The Oculus is still a construction site inside and out, but it is fun to see this very interesting new center to the Lower Manhattan Transportation Hub.

Oculus from the East (Dey and Church St.):  That is the World Trade Center Freedom Tower behind it.

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The Entrance I went in is at the NW corner of Liberty and Church St, just inside the door to WTC4.  Follow the signs to the Path Station down 2 escalators, and two long white marble corridors to the Oculus. 

 

Interior:  The wall covered in posters hides the continuing construction, but it is really the side walls and ceiling that are the main attraction.   

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Oculus From the West:  I sketched this view (see below), from the front of Brookfield Place and across West Avenue from the Oculus.

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It will still be a few months before all of the entries are open and the construction tools are gone.  This is a map of the area, including all of the World Trade Center Buildings that will eventually be accessible from the whole Plaza.  This is the Map I photographed from within the Concourse linking many of the buildings.  

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My Oculus Painting From the West:  I was lucky that the trees were still mostly bare. 

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