Monday, March 2, 2015

Feb 28. 2015 Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Beyond

Detail of cactus blooms

Green leaves and stone

Looking east, Admin entrance and Washington Ave beyond

Fence detail at Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden

Tooker Alley in Brooklyn. Left, people at the bar. Right, detail of bottles.

Susan's Bloody Mary. 

Trainspotting in New Jersey

The term "trainspotting" is slang for injecting heroin causing dark tracks to appear on the arm.  As a doctor I've seen this more times than I would care to, but I've found a new context for this word.  It's sitting on a train and finding a commuter to draw and actually pulling it off thereby triggering a brief euphoria.  Here are sketches done this past weekend when going to visit a friend in New Jersey.

So Sketchers, I would never advocate the use of drugs but as you know, completing a great sketch is a handy substitute!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sketching in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden Conservatory

Sketching in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is like taking a mini trip to different areas of the world.

You have to stop and admire the Japanese pond no matter the weather...a little snow and ice just add to the beauty of it. I love the icy white against the red!

Entering the Conservatory I made a right and headed into the Aquatic House, home to ponds, a bog, orchids, waterlilies, and tropical plants en masse. It is a challenge to figure out what to include and what to leave out...all the while dodging the drops of water falling from the condensation on the ceiling and the plants. It was cold outside but tropically warm in there.

I needed a dry climate next so I headed downstairs to the Desert Pavillion. Michael kindly shared the steps he was occupying so I could sketch some of the cacti and succulents near us.

Lunchtime is always a good time to sketch people and get in a "mandatory Jim" sketch. 
I had a few other cooperative models too.

I walked around all the different areas but each of them felt too hot (Did I really say that?) so I went upstairs to the Bonsai Museum where I knew it would be colder. I had to put my coat back on to sketch in there, but I love the grace and elegance of the plants there so I happily put up with the colder temperatures.

The entryway had some nicely landscaped areas and I tried to capture the little waterfall over the rocks.

Around 3:30 we headed over to Tooker Alley to share a drink and our sketches. It is always such a pleasure to see all the work that everyone did during the day. What a perfect time to get acquainted with Florian who was visiting from Berlin, as well as today's new members...and to catch up with our regular members. It is also a perfect opportunity for another sketch, so I zeroed in on the couple sitting at the bar nearby.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Pictorial organization in a jungle jammed with green stuff is like trying to pick the thread of one conversation in the jumble of many voices simultaneously. In the end the drawing shows more about the mind of the sketcher than about the reality of the it should be! 

I have been juggling near/far relationships in my plein air paintings for the past year. It came out in these sketches below. The verticals are 18x5 inches, the square is 9x9. All were drawn in my handmade folding sketchbook (5x9) which has some pages that fold out to nearly square. Despite the fact that it flops open awkwardly at times, I love the flexibility to paint in either format
All-in-all, it was a very productive day.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

SATURDAY: Eyes Starved for Color?

February 28, 2015

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Conservatory in Summer

Colors that will sooth your winter eyes
My eyes are hungry for green, for the natural vibrant colors of summer.  Escape the cold and discover the plants of South Africa, Australia, and Brazil! Join us sketching at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Conservatory where it's warm and colors of summer are alive and waiting for you.

Nature's Tranquility

When:  From 10 AM to 4:30.  Sleeping Late?  Come anyway - join us when you can.  See instructions below on how to find us.

Lunch:  At 12:00 in the Basement Cafeteria, which has excellent food.

Afternoon: Back to sketching at 1:15.

Show and Tell:  3:15 walk to Tooker Alley 793 Washington Ave,  to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.

The Winter Above

The Desert Below

Where:  The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Conservatory
150 Eastern Parkway (or enter at 990 Washington Avenue,) Brooklyn, NY 11225

Admission:  Free from 10 AM to Noon (incentive to come early.
From 12 PM on

  • Adults - $10
  • Seniors (65 and over) - $5
  • Students with a valid ID - $5
  • Children under 12 - Free
How:  Best Bet - 2,3 Subway,
           Close but not as convenient - Q to Prospect Park
           Note:  No 4, 5, B train service this weekend.
By car:  There's convenient parking behind the Brooklyn Museum which is adjacent to the Gardens.

Click to Enlarge

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

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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Radegast, Williamsburg

The bratwurst was delicious, the light lovely and the company excellent.

Stuck in Orlando Airport

When I left NYC for my medical meeting in Florida a little birdie sat on my shoulder and told me to take my sketch bag.  Its a great thing that happened because my return flight was cancelled due to bad weather and I was stuck for hours in the Orlando airport with crowds and crying children.  So I took out my equipment and went into my meditative mode and here is what magically appeared on the pages of my sketchbook:

So now I am back and happy to feel the cold weather once again!   Follow me on my Google Page for more sketches.  Thanks for looking, Sketchers!