Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Greenwood Cemetery(9/20/14)

Come meet and sketch in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn!

Where we will meet: 10:30am  at cemetery main entrance at 25th street and 5th ave. To get there take the R to 25th street and walk up from 4th Ave to 5th ave and you will see the entrance. You can also take the F train to 4th ave and 9th street and transfer there as well. I believe there are 2 entrances on 5th ave, just look for the arches(you can't miss them), it's also across from Brooklyn Bread.

Our main stops will be the arches(at the main entrance), the historic chapel, Valley water and Sylvan water and everything along the way(it's a very small area to cover). There will be lots of interesting things to sketch.

We will stay close to the entrance because it is such a large place it would definitely require more than one trip to sketch all of it.  I see a few benches but if you have a portable bench/chair you might want to bring it. 

Please come even if you are running late! There are no fees or attendance taken. All drawing skill levels are welcome.

If you can't find us text me(Allison) 516-581-4739
Mark Leibowitz 973-809-9128

Monday, September 15, 2014


On Sunday, with  another anniversary of World Trade Center events fresh on my mind, I visited the 911 Memorial in my town.   I live in Wayne, NJ, and like many many neighborhoods and towns in the Greater New York area we were touched very directly by the tragedy thirteen years ago.

Remembrance Plaza

We created a sad memorial next to our library called Remembrance Plaza.  I'm sure there are many similar places throughout the area.  Sunday was a sunny day and the spot is partially shaded by some old trees.  There are nine stone markers that form a ring around two large shapes that evoke the twin towers.  The markers look and feel like headstones in a cemetery.  Neighbors had placed flowers beside the markers and small stones on top.

Seven of the markers have laser portraits of the people we lost.  I had only a slightest connection to any of the Wayne residents who died that day.  One was my friend Frank's cousin, a guy I never met.  But the fact that they were neighbors made the whole thing all the more real.

The people in my town that died in the World Trade Center were:

  • Leo Roberts
  • Barry Glick
  • Greg John Froehner
  • Robert J Deraney
  • Jean Caviasco DePalma
  • Daniel T. Afflitto
  • Paul Acquaviva

As I sketched, I thought about what we all lost on that day.

Sketching in Wave Hill - 9/13/14

After one month break I finally got to join the Urban Sketchers again! We sketched in Wave Hill, about half an hour north by train. I always wanted to capture our day by video, so I did a quick summary of the day and hope to record more in the future:

My sketches:

A quite cooperative butterfly and the greenhouse entrance from the inside!

All in all a great day!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekday Urban Sketchers in Washington Sq Park

Date:  Thursday September 18, 2014

Location:  Washington Sq Park 
                  Under the Arch

Time: 11AM to 3 PM

Directions: A,B,D,E,F,M Subway Lines to 4th St/Washington Sq Station,or
                    N, R To 8th St/NYU

Iconic architecture, a massive fountain, jugglers, chess players, students, musicians and even the Birdman will all be in Washington Square Park waiting for us to draw them under the beautiful trees, on the lawns and walkways in the park. Join us and capture the moment on your sketchpad.

In order to keep general emails to a minimum please RSVP to if you are going to attend.

Can't find us or need to leave a message call Raylie at 201-978-6387

Dog Walking At Washington Square Park Photograph

Wave Hill in da Bronx

 The weather looked rather ominous, so I arrived early to get a jump start on my sketching. I got there 10 minutes before opening so I had a chance to do a warmup sketch from the car. As soon as you walk into the garden, you see this beautiful, heavily planted pergola framing a view overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades. I didn't have to go any further for my first sketch. One by one, other sketchers stared to arrive. Just as I finished this, a few rain drops started to fall, so many of us made a beeline to the greenhouses.

It was a jungle in the greenhouse! I had to stand while sketching. This Staghorn Fern was gigantic and calling out to me. I don't know the name of the other plant, but it resembled coral branches.
After lunch, the drizzle stopped, and several of us went over by the lily pond. I was having a Monet moment!

Mark and I attempted to capture some of the magnificent architecture but the skys opened up, so all of us gathered under a tented patio for more sketching and conversation. This last sketch was of a beautifuly varigated leaf. I was having a bit of trouble getting watercolor down with all the humidity. By this time it was 4:30 and we all called it a day.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sketching at Bryant Park
September 11, 2014
 Overview of park and back of library looking east

 Attempt to draw the carousel. It kept moving!

Chess players

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sketching 60 Wall Street

The irony was that 60 Wall was selected because of the "near certainty" of rain.  Go figure.  We had every possible summer weather that day including a moment or two of actual rain.

It appears I've given up color for the time being, enjoying doing quick sketches and adding tone with a single TomBow pen.  On that quiet Saturday morning the lobby was populated by a few homeless people, seated in the the cold post modern architecture.

These first sketches were done indoors waiting for sketchers to arrive. However the sun was on full force so I walked outside and  setup a stool to sketch the street.  

While drawing the page below I had one of those transcendent sketch moments.  Before this, it  happened most recently when we were at the Chinese Scholar's Garden in Staten Island.  It must have something to do with the sunshine, the sketching and magical ingredient of music.  At the Garden's there was a man playing haunting classical Chinese flute music.  

This past Saturday it was a saxophonist.  He must have been setup across the street from me in a place that was blocked from my view.  He was playing a soulful version of Gershin's Summertime.  Sunlight was streaming through the buildings casting long rays of light.  The sound of the sax echoed between the buildings and I was lost in long moment of drawing.  It was about as close to heaven as I know.

We found out that the Museum of Money (see below) was open and free that day.  They have a gorgeous curved staircase that would be lovely to draw, ...if you were in that kind of mood. I wasn't, and almost immediately regretted that I even tried.  

I went up those stairs and found life size statues of the Burr and Hamilton duel frozen at the critical moment before they shot at each other.  Hamilton appears thoughtful and sad. He's older than any of the other image, and indeed, since he was mortally wounded moments later, - he didn't grow any older.  Burr on the other hand looks angry and feral.  The sculpture and history's opinion of the two men are clear to see.  There were also photos of Dow and Jones of the famous "Average".  Another photo of JP Morgan completed, what for me, were the iconic faces of Wall Street.

From the Museum of Money

Later we sketched the Federal Reserve (see below) which houses a vast amount of gold.  It is purported to be the largest gold repository in the world housing over $400 Billion.  I can tell you they were not giving out free samples that day.  Mike Skelly made an interesting observation as we sketched.  He pointed out the contrast between the hot dog cart setup almost in front of the Federal Reserve - the pinnacle of our Capitalist society and it's smallest cog. 

Later it eventually rained and we went back to 60 Wall Street.  The sketch below shows Mike working on one of his sketches, a fake palm tree and a pair of the ferocious looking guards who patrol the lobby.