Thursday, October 8, 2015

SUNDAY: Sketch the Great Firehouses of NYC

Sunday, October 11, 2015

We are all thankful to the brave men and women 
who place themselves in danger every day saving lives. 
On Sunday we will honor NYC Firefighters  by sketching two of their most iconic Firehouses 

Our first stop will be to sketch the house located at 42 Great Jones St.
Engine 33 resides there with Tower Ladder 9 (Chemical Protective Clothing - (CPC)) and Purple K Unit 33 (Purple k is a type of dry powder extinguishing agent carried on these rigs used to control gasoline, petroleum oil and paint fires as well as flammable gases such as propane and butane  Purple K is also used on electrical fires) They are part of the 6th Battalion, Division - 1, servicing the Bowery.

In the Afternoon we will visit the house at 147 East 67 Street.  Engine 39 is there with Ladder 16 and High-Rise Unit 2 (They carry equipment, lights, and generators that are used in combating high-rise building fires. Click to see video.)

Each firehouse contains 1-3 fire companies. There are six different types of fire companies that operate six different types of fire apparatus, or "rigs". Each company serves a different and unique purpose at a fire or emergency. The five fire company types are: Engine Companies, Ladder (or Truck) Companies, Squad Companies, Rescue Companies, the Haz-Mat. Company, and Marine Companies.

Each individual fire company is commanded by a Captain and three Lieutenants. The Captain is in charge of that company's firehouse. In a firehouse that contains more than one fire company, the Captain assigned to the engine company is in charge of the firehouse. When a Captain is not on-duty, one of the three company Lieutenants commands the unit. Each company, depending on the specific unit (i.e. Engine, Ladder, Squad, Rescue, Haz-Mat.) is assigned 4 firefighters on Engine Companies with the fifth man or woman being the on-duty officer. Ladders, Squad, and the Rescue Companies staff the units with 5 firefighters per tour or shift, excluding the on-duty officer. During each tour, each firefighter is assigned a specific "riding position" on the company's apparatus that designates what task each member is to perform at the scene of a fire.

When:  Sunday starting at 10 AM.  Sleeping late?  You're missing the good stuff, but come anyway - join us when you can.

Where:  First stop will be the firehouse at 42 Great Jones St. It's 3 blocks east of Washington Sq Park and near the 8 St. stop of the N or R train or the Astor Place or Bleeker Street stops on the #6 train. (see map below)

Lunch:  12 Noon - We'll enjoy the good weather and have lunch al fresco in Washington Park.  Bring your own or buy something on the way.

Afternoon:  1:15 We will travel uptown to the firehouse at 147 East 67 Street.  Take the #6 train to Lexington Ave (63rd St) or the 68th Street stop at Hunter College.

POST Sketching Event - 3:15 NUS (Not Urban Sketching)

Dr. Sketchy will have their HAMMER HALLOWE’EN!show. If you've never checked out Dr. Sketchy it's weird and lots of sketching fun.   Doors open at 3:30 PM. at the Flûte Bar, 205 West 54th St.  Session runs from 4-7 pm. Please bring your own art supplies. Seating is first come first serve!   $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and a 2 drink minimum from Flûte Bar's delicious happy hour menu.
(Click for details.)

Click to Enlarge the Morning Map

Click to Enlarge the Afternoon Map

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

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Doing Battle WIth The Samurai

After some warm up sketches I decided to attack the Samurai using a pen as my weapon!

If you read Elaines' post below, we attracted a pretty large crowd. We should have set up a tip jar, after all, if the Met can charge for looking at art, shouldn't we be able to?  ;^)             

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sketching at the Met

I'm so glad that we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to see the Sargent show before it closed. I loved so many of his pieces, but this is one of my favorites. That's how I want to paint when I grow up!

Inspired by his paintings and sketches Susan and I headed off to sketch. We wandered into the the gallery with the musical instruments. This saxophone was 6'7'' tall. Imagine trying to carry that around. lol I did this on Strathmore toned paper and used a bit of watercolor pencil and white gel pen.

I've always been impressed with that grand staircase that leads up from the main lobby. I sketched from a view above the stairs and had fun trying to catch some of the visitors coming up or going down the stairs. I left this one in just ink in case I wanted to use it for my Inktober sketch for the day...but I did another one later that I decided to use instead.

After lunch we headed over to the armor which we loved on our last visit. The samurai armor (gasaku) was impressive and beautiful, with subtle colors and patterns.

I left Susan, Elaine and Ben sketching by the samurai and moved over to one of the mounted knights. Neither of the two sketchbooks I had looked like I could fit the sketch on one page, so I worked across the spiral binding in the center and didn't have to cut off the knight's head or leave off the front of the horse. lol This was the sketch that I used for my Inktober sketch for the day.

Susan and I opted to stay and sketch when everyone went off to the show and tell, so we missed seeing what everyone else did during the day. I hope that everyone posts their work. On the way back to get Susan's car we stopped to see if anyone was left at the bar, but we were too late to catch anyone...maybe next time.

Weekday Urban Sketchers Trying Again for Pier 25

We were rained out last week but the forecast is for good weather this week.

Pier 25, at the foot of North Moore Street, is a reclaimed treasure on the NYC waterfront.  With beautiful river views, historic ships, playgrounds, miniature golf, and lots of people we should have plenty to draw.  

In the afternoon we will take advantage to one of the remaining outdoor figure drawing sessions in the South Cove of Battery Park City.   


DATE: WEDNESDAY October 7, 2015

TIME: 10:30 AM  Note: in order to allow enough time for sketching on the pier before we head to the figure drawing session, we are meeting a bit earlier.


TRANSPORTATION:  1 train to Franklin Street or A,C,E to Chambers Street then walk west to the waterfront.

LUNCH:  Since there are not many places to eat in the area, please bring something with you.  
Please RSVP directly  Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us, call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Sketching at the Metropolitain Museum of Art

Sometimes you wonder, why do I sketch?  I have a family, I work, I have obligations and so on.  I read the stories of, I had to squeeze in my journal time on vacation or they had to wait in the café.  But I have been blessed.  My child, my 6 year old son is an Urban Sketcher.  He has come with me on several outings with the group.  I have taken him all over just to find the "spot to sketch", and we have hurried each other when realizing, it really is time to go! 
For this outing, we started in the museum with the group in the Hall of Statues with the great Marble Roman statues which were awe inspiring.  We were early enough to find chairs so a bunch of us lined up and drew what was in front of us.

Although, I found these amazing and inspiring, my 6 year old was unimpressed and colored in a coloring book, and moved onto making a star wars inspired creature. (According to Ben this is Kodi?)
After lunch we decided to explore the museum a bit and find something we could both enjoy.  So we, with a few other sketchers, went to the Medieval section. This was where we found our stride. After exploring the entire Section,  Ben found a corner and I stood, and we drew and drew. With Susan, we were somewhat of a spectacle.  A lot of people stopped to see what we were doing, and admire our work.  I think we may have inspired a few kids to bring a sketch book next time.
I fell in love with a dragon helmet....
 ....and Ben loved the armor and the dragon symbolism, which led to drawing one of the figures and his own dragons...

He also drew the shields and one of the huge swords.  They were as tall as the ceiling, and decorated with animals and eagles.
There were many dragon themed armors, and we are reading a dragon series, so this was all very exciting.

So, why do I sketch?  The enjoyment I have to share with my son is a big reason.  We draw together in the evenings, when we go places and we share the moments.  I am sure there are so many other reasons, but at least I know together, I feel a little less guilt when going to "just sketch". 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

SATURDAY Sketch: a) Rain, or b) Shine

SATURDAY:October 3, 2015

Every time I look there seems to be a different forecast for this weekend.  Although there is some chance we could have a nice Saturday, I think the smart move is  a defensive strategy.

Our Meeting Place

Let's meet at the Met - 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street).  The Metropolitan Museum opens at 10 AM.  
a)  If the weather looks like intermittent rain, or worse, we'll stay indoors.
b)  If the weather looks promising we'll go to Central Park to sketch the Mall (the tree-lined walkway that starts just below Bethesda Fountain and extends down to the Literary Walk at 66th Street.

Good Weather = The Mall in Central Park
This is the last weekend to catch the Sargent show if you haven't seen it. (It will almost surely be too crowded to sketch there.)  We'll use the European Sculpture Hall as our base.  I've just finished reading The Goldfinch and am curious to look at furniture as art to sketch. And, of course there's years worth of things to sketch.

The Central Park Mall is one of the most photographed romantic spots in the city - well worth sketching.

Bad Weather = The Sculpture Hall at the Met


When:   We'll meet at 10 AM.  Text of call me if you come late.

Where:  Meet at the Met - Information Desk at 10 AM.  Located at the center of the Rotunda (look on the left side as you enter) We'll determine whether we'll have an indoor day or not.  From there we'll go the European Sculpture Hall.

Lunch:  Noon - At the cafeteria for indoors, picnic style if we're in the park.

Afternoon:  Back to sketching wherever we are.

Show and Tell:  At 3:15 (weather permitting) we'll start walking to Carlow East, 1254 Lexington Ave, near E 84 St. to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.

1)  The Met requires a voluntary contribution.  Their suggested amounts would bankrupt a devoted art-lover.  I take the world "voluntary" seriously and provide a modest admission contribution.
2)  The Met doesn't want us sketching wet.  The rules are not uniformly administered.  Last time there I used a pen, water soluble graphite and a water brush.
3)  They will check your bag.  My intention is to carry as little as possible into the museum.
4)  However if we end up outside,  the ground will be wet, and having a folding stool will be a real help.

From East Side of Manhattan: 
Subway: Take the 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street and walk three blocks west to Fifth Avenue. This walk is about a half mile and takes approximately ten minutes. Bus: Take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus along Fifth Avenue (from uptown locations) to 82nd Street or along Madison Avenue (from downtown locations) to 83rd Street.

From West Side of Manhattan
Take the 1 train to 86th Street, then the M86 crosstown bus across Central Park to Fifth Avenue; OR take the C train to 81st Street, then the M79 bus (free transfer) across Central Park to Fifth 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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sketching in Brooklyn Heights

We lucked out again because Sunday was another beautiful crisp day with lots of sunshine - a great day to sketch Brooklyn Heights.  I started early and set up my plein air rig in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This area was a wasteland ten years ago and is now a beautifully sculpted park.

This one took me about two and a half hours.  I used a bamboo pen with Sumi Ink, along with my watercolor set.

Here it is finished... well, almost.  There's still a lot of room for improvements but I just set it aside.  

I joined up with the group in time for lunch.  Here are the sketchers on the Brooklyn Heights promenade with our fearless leader, Mark.

While the group fanned out on the sidestreets I set myself up in front of the Heights Cafe.  What a splendid neighborhood with lots of young families and good vibes.  

Here is the finished product, spanning two pages of my sketchbook, which is a Strathmore 500 series. I used a Japanese pen with a name I don't know, and my regular watercolor set.  Thats a Ginko Tree with hanging branches at top.  The dog appeared at the very end and I needed to use white paint to accomodate him.  He adds a lot.  

So sketchers, enjoy the fall season, and I hope to see you all again soon!