Monday, September 18, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers ON the Gowanus Canal

The Weekday Sketchers has been invited by the Gowanus Dredgers to  sketch the Gowanus Canal from canoes! 

The Gowanus Canal will be the site for the Weekday Urban Sketchers on September 28, 2017. There will be two parts to the day:  an early AM trip in the canoes and a later morning meet up on land.  Space for the early AM portion of the day is extremely limited.  We have space for only 12 sketchers which will be awarded on a first come first served basis. (A waiting list will be maintained once the 12 seats are taken).   A note with instructions on where to meet will be sent after the registration is set. 

Here are some parameters for the canoe trip:
  • We will meet at 8:00 AM by the boathouse on the canal. We will be putting in to the water shortly after that so you MUST be on time or you will truly "miss the boat"!!
  • The session will be approximately 2.5 hours. 
  • You must have some knowledge of how to paddle and maneuver a canoe. You don't have to be an expert but there isn't going to be any instruction.
  • You have to be agile enough to get in and out of the canoe and be able to sketch while in the canoe. 
  • You will be given directions on how to get there by subway. If you want to drive it is up to you to find legal parking. There is no off street parking.
  • There is no charge for the trip but we will "pass the hat" to make a donation to the organization. 

If you would like more information about the Gowanus Dredgers please look at their web 

If you would like to take part in this special event, please email Raylie Dunkel at no later than Monday September 25, 2017.   All those going in the canoes will be sent instructions on where to meet. You will also be notified if the spots have been filled. Your name will go on a waiting list.

Please watch for the general announcement about the land based part of the sketch event.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketcher in City Hall Park

Join us for a chance to sketch the beautiful gardens and fountain in City Hall Park before the flowers fade and the fountain is turned off.  Located in front of City Hall the garden offers views of the Woolworth Building, Publishers' Row, City Hall, the Municipal Building, City Hall, the Tweed Courthouse and the entrance to Brooklyn Bridge.  

Getting all this in will be a challenge....and in case you need another, try doing the fountain with its water cascades and gas lights!

Since Wednesday evening is the start of the Jewish High Holidays we will be starting a bit earlier so those who have to leave early can still have some sketch time.  As with any sketching event, come when you can, leave when you must.

Image result for city hall park nyc

Image result for city hall nyc

DATE: WEDNESDAY  September 20, 2017


                         At the apex of Broadway and Park Row 
                         We will meet around the fountain 

DIRECTIONS: 2,3 to Park Place N, R, W to City Hall, 4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  While there are plenty of benches you might want to bring a stool to get specific views. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch Pelham

Pelham,  New York

Saturday September 16, 2017

If you’d like a break from the bustle of NYC come join us for a sedate visit to the picturesque town of Pelham in Westchester.

Pelham is the oldest town in Westchester County. Thomas Pell signed a treaty in 1654 with the Siwanoy Indians to buy what is not only the Town of Pelham but is all of the Bronx, and the land along Long Island Sound, north to the Rye border. That was then - this is now:  The look of Pelham, harks back to its Colonial days with stately trees, stone walls and hilly streets.  Houses built in the 1920s have timeless character.


We will meet at the park across the street from the metro north train. There's 2 parks on each side so it will depend on the way you are traveling . If you are coming from grand central you would keep right when leaving the train and  follow the platform to the flight of steps go right and park is right under bridge. 2 minute walk.  We will meet at the Gazebo
(see map below)

To : Pelham, NY

Approx Travel Time : 33 minutes
Take the STAMFORD STATION bound Metro-North Train
Trains run approximately every half hour.

Departing at 9:36 AM - Arrive at PELHAM STATION at 10:07 AM

   Next train:  Departs at 10:05 AM - arrives at PELHAM STATION at 10:36 AM

    One Way Off-Peak Fare (Station/TVM) : $8.00
         - Reduced Fare : $5.25

Lunch at Noon - We'll eat al fresco picnicing in the park.  Bring your own or buy food from shops in town.

Afternoon:  Continue sketching Pelham

Show and Tell:  3:00 PM - At Rockwells,  105 Wolfs Lane (914-738-5881) - We will share drawings, good stories and a snack or refreshments if you're so inclined.

Click to Enlarge

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers at Morris Jumel Mansion

Take a step back in history when George Washington was engaged in the Battle of Brooklyn and there was a clear line of sight from northern Manhattan to the battery.  Hard as it is to believe that fact put this house "on the map" as a strategic position in the Revolutionary War. 

Join us as we sketch the house (from the outside), the gardens and the fascinating architecture of Sylvan Place which are all part of the Jumel Historic District in Washington Heights.  Our focus will be the exterior of the building and grounds. For those who wish to visit the interior they are welcome to do so and take a tour. There is an entrance fee.

Please note: The Hamilton Grange is closed on Tuesday so we couldn't visit it as originally planned. It will be scheduled at a later date.

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Morris Jumel Mansion

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Sylvan Terrace

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Mansion Garden



                      Jumel Terrance between 160 and 162 Streets

START TIME: 10:30.   Come when you can, leave when you want

TRANSPORTATION:  C Train to 163rd St.  Use exit marked 161 and St Nicholas Ave . Walk past CTown market and walk up the stone stairs.  Museum entrance is ahead of you at the end of Sylvan Terrance

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387  Bring a stool and lunch.  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

SATURDAY Sketching Roosevelt Island

September 9, 2017

Technically considered part of Manhattan, the two mile long island in the middle of the East River is a world unto itself.  The 147 acre tract is home to 12,000 New Yorkers and best accessible to NYC via a Tram ride.  It was once called Blackwell Island, then Welfare Island. In it's long history it's been home to an insane asylum, a prison and smallpox hospital.

Sketchers can enjoy long river walks, with unparalleled views of the river and breath taking views of New York City.

The Tramway
The best way to get there is to use the Tramway.  Until recently it was the only commuter tramway in North America.  Since 1976 over 26 million passengers have used the tram, travelling the 3,100 ft (940 m), at a peak elevation of 250 ft (76 m) above the river.   Surrounded by glass on all sides it provides a spectacular view of the city.


 When:   We'll meet at 10 AM.  Running late?  Meet us on the island - take my phone and text or call.

Where:  At Tram Plaza at 60th Street and Second Avenue.  Best bet - bring a Metro Card, there is no booth although there are vending machines. Note:  The tram is wheelchair accessible and Bicycles are permitted on the tram.

How:  In Manhattan, the entrance to the system is at Tram Plaza at 60th Street and Second Avenue. The closest New York City Subway station is the complex at Lexington Avenue / 59th Street (N Q R trains on the BMT Broadway Line and 4 5 6 <6> trains on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line. Lexington Avenue – 53rd Street (E M trains) on the IND Queens Boulevard Line and Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street (F train) on the IND/BMT 63rd Street Lines are also nearby.

Morning:  Roosevelt Island South (Southpoint Park) - From the Tram terminal we'll head south to the Roosevelt Memorial designed by Luis Kahn. It's an impressive tribute with views that are incredible.  From the tram, it's a 10-minute walk south.

Lunch:  12:00.  We'll walk back to the Tram area for some lunch.  There  are one or two places to buy food.  You might also consider bringing your own lunch for a picnic approach.

Afternoon:  1:15 we'll leave for the Northpoint Light House.  Note: From south to north is the equivalent of 35 city blocks or a 20-minute pleasant walk from the tram.  The alternative is to use the island bus system.

At the northern end of the island we'll be able to sketch the Gothic-revival lighthouse, built in 1872 by the city to help light a nearby insane asylum. The asylum's long gone, but there's some shady lawns and sitting spots by the lighthouse that look north towards Randall's Island. It's truly a unique vantage point.

Show and Tell:  2:45, Leave the north end of the island and we'll take the Tram back to the big island. It's a short walk to the Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites Bar, located at 311 E 60th St at 2nd Ave ((212) 355-2337), to continue sketching, and for us to share drawings, good stories and beer, coffee, tea or wine if you're so inclined (food too if you like).

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Weekday Sketcher in Jersey City 

Update: Added Incentive

Image result for General pencil

As  you know we are scheduled to visit the General Pencil Factory in Jersey City.  It is a very old and cramped facility and we could only accommodate 15 people. However, the company has graciously offered to give us extra goodie bags for anyone who will be joining the group for the afternoon session on the Jersey City Waterfront.  Perhaps this will incentivize you to cross the river on Thursday afternoon.  See the previous post for information on where to meet and how to get there.

How to Make a Watercolor Block

Hello All:

I was poking around on another USK web site because I am going to visit that city and wanted to hook up with their meetings.  I found this post on how to make a watercolor block.  You know, that expensive pad where all the papers are bound into one block that you work on and then peel the sketch from the rest of the pages.

Here is a really neat and inexpensive way to accomplish he same format with a sheet of watercolor paper and a glue gun.

Have fun...make one and bring it to Jersey City for the waterfront sketching at 2 PM on Thursday Sept 7, 2017.  See the previous post for details.

Raylie Dunkel