Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I received a "Pizzaro Artist Portfolio" for Xmas.  I don't need it.   Would this be of value to one of you?  I think it would be good for one of you that uses watercolors.

It is a sturdy nylon bag with 6 adjustable compartments and numerous pockets.  It measures 11.5" x 15.5" x 3"

Contact me at mary.lynch@rcn.com

Mary Lynch

Monday, December 28, 2015

SUNDAY: Workshop with Hugo

Hugo at  the Cold Spring Event
This fall NYC Urban Sketchers have had the pleasure of meeting and sketching with Hugo Costa.  He’s been here as  the Visiting Scholar at Parsons.  Sadly, for us,  he will be leaving in a few weeks to return to his wife and family in Spain.

(click to enlarge)

Anyone who’s sketched with Hugo has enjoyed his enthusiasm.  If you're like me you've also been hugely impressed by his talent.  The other day I had the chance to slowly look through Hugo’s sketch book and ask questions.  It was the kind of opportunity any sketchers would love.  He gave thoughtful detailed answers.   I asked about his process.  I looked at his drawing and wanted to know what the first line was he made and how he developed the picture. I asked questions about how he handles perspective - his drawings are masterworks in perspective studies.   It was a fascinating conversation. He makes it look so easy - but we all know how challenging it is to draw street scenes from life.   I got some wonderful insights into his creative process

(click to enlarge)

So - when Raylie suggested we run a mini-workshop with Hugo before he leaves, I was enthused to say the least. 

Hugo has been at Parsons on a research/teaching grant, exploring New York City neighborhoods and architecture through drawing.   Hugo is from Portugal and graduated with a Ph.D. // Architecture.  When not in NYC visiting with us he teaches at the University of Valencia in Spain.

(click to enlarge)

This special workshop will be held in Jersey City on Sunday January 3rd. The location is  easy to reach via the Path train.  Unfortunately we have a limited space and the workshop will only be able to accommodate  the first 12 people.  There will be a $15 fee that will include a light lunch and will enable us to present Hugo with an honorarium to express our appreciation.  The workshop will start at 11 AM.

If you’re sure you want to attend please sign up quickly.  Click this link to send me an email  Remember there’s limited space so only respond if your committed to coming.  

This should be a rewarding workshop.  

(Note:  This has nothing to do with the Tom Thorspecken Workshop.  Details about that are still in the works and will be coming soon.)

SATURDAY: Sketch the Hispanic Society

Saturday January 2, 2016

An Undiscovered Gem.

The Hispanic Society of America is a museum and reference library for the study of the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America.

 I think everyone who visits is surprised how many old masters are on display. It houses a really impressive collection of Spanish paintings and decorative arts, including multiple paintings by masters like Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez and El Greco.  The collection also includes the Vespucci Map of the World

For me the major hit is the Sorolla Room which displays 14 ten-foot-tall panels.  To quote Suma one of our sketchers:  The "Vision of Spain" murals by Joaquin Sorolla alone are worth the visit -- they fill an entire octagonal room and are luminous, larger-than-life, drenched with color. If you like Sargent, these are a must-see

The Society is in a Beaux-Arts building that dates from 1908.  Weather permitting the Society has a very sketchable courtyard.

Admission is free although they ask for a donation.  (Personally on my last visit I felt more inclined towards generosity than I usually do at the NYC tourist mega- museums.)


When:  Starting at 10 AM when the museum opens. If you're less insanely passionate about sketching, ...  or more in need of sleep, come anyway - we're there for the day.  It'll be easy to find us.

Where:  The Hispanic Society of America.  613 West 155th Street, on Audubon Terrace, Broadway between 155 and 156 Streets (see map below)

How:  By Subway:
-  The #1 Train Stops at 157th Street - one block away (Best choice)
-  The A & C Train stops at 155th Street and is a longer walk 2 Avenues away

Lunch: 12:30 Directly across the street at the Restaurante La Libertad, 3764 Broadway.  Great fresh food, reasonably priced -  Latino/Salvadoran/Modern Cuisine.

Afternoon:  Back to the Museum for more sketching

Show and Tell: 3:15 off to At the Wallace, at 3612 Broadway (between W 148 and 149th) to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine 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 or attendance taken. All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

See You in 2016

No Group NYC Urban Sketching 
until the New Year.

Please share your Holiday Sketches.

See you in 2016

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Sketching Trip to Union Square

I took the LIRR into the city on Sunday, so it gave me the opportunity to do some train sketches.
I did a few in pencil first. This first guy was sitting with some friends and they were on their way to a game apparently.

This young woman was with a friend and after I sketched her she pulled out her makeup, pulled off her hat, and had her friend style her hair...complete with a touch of hairspray.

I also had a chance to do a sketch with Artrage on my iPad mini. It isn't as easy as I thought it would be, but I'm having fun with it.

When I got in to Penn Station I checked to see if Pat was in her favorite breakfast/sketching location and she was. She was kind enough to give me an Artrage lesson. I don't know if I'll remember half of what she showed me. lol

The Union Square Holiday Market was really busy but I found a spot across from the Karma Living booth. I loved all the vibrant colors and patterns of the pillows, scarves, and fabric items...and all the shoppers.

Next I found a spot facing one of the entrances to the market. I was comfortable until the sun shifted and then my hands and my back got really cold. Luckily when I was nearly finished it was time to go into Whole Foods and warm up while having lunch with the other sketchers.

After lunch the Strand Bookstore was our subject. Mark, Pat and I decided to sketch from a table inside the cafe across the street...a wise decision I think. It gave me not only the bookstore to sketch but I had a view of Mark sketching and some people at the other table by the window.

The Reservoir Bar where we went for our show and tell was lively with lots of football fans. Luckily we weren't conversing much because it was so loud we could barely hear each other. I did get a few sketches done there...one of the guy at the next table

...and a table of Steelers fans.

I'm exhausted thinking about all the sketching I did...and I wasn't done yet. I did one final sketch on the train going home, again on my iPad, trying to put to use some of what I remembered from Pat's lesson...at least I did remember how to use the layers.

Too Cold in Union Square

After awhile I got so cold my hands were shivering to the point where I couldn't sketch any more.  I have nothing but admiration for sketchers who are outside doing their artwork in really cold climates.  I think the Christmas Tree guy kept warm by constantly rearranging his trees.

In the afternoon we went to sketch The Strand Bookstore a few blocks away.  There's a restaurant across the street.  Joan noticed lots of empty seats.  We went in, got a warm beverage and seats by the window.  Now that's the way to sketch NYC streets in December!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekday Sketchers Takes a Holiday Break

 One word to sums up the Holiday Season in NYC.....  BUSY! 

To make it a bit easier the Weekday Urban Sketchers will not meet for the next two weeks.   

But starting in January we will be back in full swing.  

Tuesday January 5, 2016:   Sketching meeting. Location TBD.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016: Watercolor Workshop at Kramer Pigments.  
Ever wonder why some watercolors granulate and other don't? Why some are transparent and some are opaque? These and many more questions will be answered as we watch the staff at Kramer mix the basic pigments with various binders that produce an array of resolutions.  This two hour workshop is exclusive to Urban Sketchers.  There is room for only 25 people. There workshop is $10. Many have already signed up but there is room for a few more.

Wednesday January 20, 2016: Wednesday Wednesday Sketch Meeting.  Location TBD.

Friday January 29, 2016:   We have a special invitation to sketch inside City Hall.  Many of the meeting rooms and (potentially) the City Council Chambers will be open for us. We will be able to view/sketch the portrait collection. George Washington's desk, no problem. The beautiful staircase and atrium, its   yours.  There is no cost but you MUST sign up in advance.  The list is almost closed so if you want to attend RSVP ASAP!  Names of attendees will be posted with the guards for security purposes so you must register to gain entrance. 

Wishing you a most joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy and productive New Year,

Raylie Dunkel

Thursday, December 17, 2015

SUNDAY: Sketch the Union Square Holiday Market

Feel the Spirit

Sunday December 20, 2015

The Union Square Holiday Market 
is the New York destination for an intimate and sketchable holiday shopping experience. 

Let's slow down and wander through the holly-lined aisles, and connect with local artisans who are selling their wares and sharing their stories. It's a delightful place to get swept up sketching the festive spirit.

What: Sketch the Union Square Holiday Market

Where: We'll meet at the 14th St entrance on the Southwest side of Union Square Park

When:  Start time is 11 AM.  Take phone number if you're running late.

How:  Get there taking the 14th Street - Union Sq stop on the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q or R subway.

Lunch:  1:00 PM - The Whole Foods on 14th St opposite the park has a cafeteria on the 2nd floor.

Afternoon:  Sketch the Strand - a New York legend, home of 18 miles of new, used and rare books. Located at 828 Broadway corner of 12th Street.

Show and Tell:  3:15 off to the Reservoir Bar, 70 University Pl (between 11th and 10th) to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.

-  Dress warmly, high will be 47°
-  Bring a hat - very bright day with a low winter sun.
-  Bring a portable stool or chair if you have one.
-  If you get cold - warm up in Whole Foods which has a great view of the park from their 2nd floor cafeteria.

Click to Enlarge
Yellow = Union Sq Holiday Mkt,  Blue = The Strand
Red = The Reservoir Bar

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

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

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Weekday Urban Sketchers At Shrine of St. Elizabeth

In keeping with our December theme of the houses of Worship in NYC, we will go from some of the largest to one of the smallest in Manhattan: The Shrine of St. Elizabeth.  Dedicated to Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint and founder of the parochial school system, it is one of the hidden gems of NYC.  Directly across from the Staten Island Ferry, it is one of the few remaining colonial buildings in lower Manhattan, having survived the fire of 1835 along with the adjacent Watson House. (Fun fact: the columns on the front of the house are masts from old sailing ships.) Weather permitting, we can draw inside or out.  

(NOTE: We haven't forgotten about St. Patrick's on 5th Ave.  Maureen Gorda is making special arrangements for us to visit in January...watch for details.)


TIME: 11:00 AM

LOCATION: 7 State Street between Pearl and Whitehall Streets.

TRANSPORTATION: 1 to South Ferry; N, R to Whitehall St.; 4, 5 to Bowling Green

Depending on the weather our afternoon session can be either the inside or outside of the Customs House which now houses the Museum of the American Indian. Located one block from Shrine of St Elizabeth at Bowling Green, this magnificent Beau Arts building will offer us endless sketching opportunities. 

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at Raylie@verizon.net.  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Bring lunch or purchase it from a vendor. Weather permitting we will picnic in Battery Park.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Balto in Central Park

As a kid growing up in NYC when you think of Central Park you think of the Zoo, the playgrounds and Balto.  My 7 year old son, Ben, finished reading Balto, and I promised to take him to see the statue in the Park.  So of course I figured what a great urban sketching event.  With the fall leaves in late November still on the trees, the timing was perfect.

The area was so busy and alive.  One of the things I just love about the park.  Balto was harder to sketch then I would have thought, especially head on.  But I just had fun with color and went for it. Ben probably did 30 sketches that day, just not "Urban".  When we are out sketching, he spends a lot of time drawing what ever he is thinking about.  Some how, along with 20 star wars sketches he was thinking about having a pet bird.  So this was also one of his many sketches of the day.
We do not have a pet bird, even with the very specific care instructions.
We walked a bit and I was enchanted with the Gazebo on the rocks.  This was a very quick sketch as we were freezing. 
Lastly, no trip to that part of the park is complete, without a visit to the Central Park Zoo.  I just love everything about this small area of the Park.  I also have always loved the clock with the dancing animals.  I am pretty sure I could come back to this place again and have a series of completely different drawings.  There is just so much to see.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

SUNDAY A Two Event Sketch Day

1 - Sketching Lincoln Center
2 - Dr. Sketchy (NUS) in the late afternoon

Special thanks to Laura for hosting this event 

Lincoln Center at Dusk

The day starts at the David Rubenstein Atrium  at Lincoln Center - an interesting spot with a vertical garden wall on one side, views to the outside as well as a cafe.  The afternoon sketching will be conducted from the lobby of Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

The Vertical Garden at the Rubenstein Atrium

The weather says we'll have 66 degree day which means it could be easy to sketch outdoors -  which would be great.  The day however is planned for warmth and protection from December weather.

Alice Tully Hall by Urban Sketcher - Julie Zhou

In the late afternoon you'll have the option of going to Dr. Sketchy's (NUS - Not Urban Sketching) for their highly sketchable presentation of Venus in Furs.  Several sketchers will be walking there from Lincoln Center.

Venus in Furs at NYC Dr. Sketchy (NUS)

What:  Sketching Lincoln Center

When:   Start time:  10 AM - Sleeping late?  What, again?  Come anyway we'll be in the area the entire day

Where:  The David Rubenstein Atrium, 61 W 62nd St. NYC

How:  By Subway:  M, A, B, C or D trains

Lunch:  12 Noon - at the Atrium.   Bring your own, purchase lunch at the Atrium or from food stores and vendors nearby

Afternoon:  1:15 walk across the street to the lobby of Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway

There will be no Show and Tell this week because of the special late afternoon event.

Dr. Sketchy:   3:45 to 7:30 PM  Venus in Furs.  The doors open at 4 PM and the session runs from 4:30-7:30 pm.

Note:  This is not Urban Sketching - but something sketching enthusiasts might enjoy.

Flûte Bar, 205 West 54th St.
$12 in advance, $15 at the door,
there is a 2 drink minimum
(a requirement that has never really been enforced)

If you can’t find us
call or text Laura at 718-928-4059

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sketching the Museum of Natural History

I've been working small.  Tiny actually, a 3" x 4' sketchbook.  The beauty is it's easy to fill up the page

Love sketching the Museum of Natural History

Alan Sketching the Cape Water Buffalo

Closer view of the Water Buffalo

Mother and Daughter

No Passing on the Right

Monday, December 7, 2015

Museum Sketching

I hadn't been to the American Museum of Natural History in many years, so I was excited to be going. We started in the room with the elephant statues and the animal dioramas. The room was difficult to sketch in because it was so dim. Rayle had a brilliant idea to wear her headlight to illuminate her paper. That seemed to work well so maybe I'll be making a purchase. I sketched one of the elephants and a few of our sketchers...Laura on the right and I'm not sure who was on the left.

I also sketch a few of the animals in the dioramas.

After lunch we headed up to the 4th floor. I just had to go sketch a big dinosaur. I was sketching in a 9 x 12 book and did the right side first before opening it to sketch across to the other side so the tyrannosarus would fit. It was a bit awkward to balance the width of the sketchbook. This was done directly in watercolor...no pencil lines.

Here is the sketch with the view. There were lots of people around but I found a good place to tuck myself in a corner and they mostly only got in the way for a short period of time per person. lol

I had a little time to spare before we were meeting downstairs so I did the skull on my iPad in the Artrage program. I am new to digital sketching but have been doing a little practice lately which helped for this sketch.

I thought it was a great place to sketch the day away and I hope we return.

Weekday Urban Sketchers at St. Bart's

As previously announced NYC Urban Sketchers will be visiting the second in a series of houses of worship that have mosaic murals by the Art Deco artist Hildreth Miterer.  This week we will be at St. Bartholomew's Church.  If you have previously registered you will receive a separate email with instructions on where to meet.  Registration is just about closed, but if you are interested please send an email directly to Raylie Dunkel at raylie@verizon.net to be put on a waiting list.

NOTE: St. Bart's has asked for a donation to sketch in the sanctuary.  There is a $5.00 fee for attending this session.  Please bring cash which will be collected during the drawing session. 

We will relocate at Grand Central Station for lunch and an afternoon drawing session. This is open to all who would like to attend.  There is no fee for this part of the program.


                       Park Avenue and East 51st Street

TIME:  St. Bartholomew's Church           11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
             Grand Central  Station                   1:00 PM  - 3:00 PM

TRANSPORTATION: 6 Train to 51st St Station

Please notify Raylie Dunkel at raylie@verizon.net if you are interested in attending AND didn't register  for St. Bart's or would like to meet for the afternoon session  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sketching Around Town

Photo by Tyko Kihlstedt 
Washington Square Park, 
Manhattan, NYC, October 24, 2015: 
An Urban Sketcher

Emily Stedman shared this.  Her friend Tyko Kihlstedt writes a blog about happenings around NYC.  Looks like he chatted with Jeff Levine sketching in Washington Square Park and wrote a short piece.

Tyko wrote:  "When I arrived, I found only this one artist. He was in the process of blocking out a drawing of the Park and the Washington Arch. However, a group known as the Urban Sketchers was planning to begin its 49th "world wide sketch crawl" here on this day, and I imagine that he was getting a head-start as he awaited their arrival."

To see the original article and Tyko's blog - click here

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

We Must be Starting a Trend

Hey Everyone - I think we must be on to something?  

This was sent in Jane Smithers.  

Click to see the entire article,  During the cold months of winter we'll definitely do this and other things.  See you there.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SUNDAY: Sketch the Mammals

Sunday December 6, 2015

They'll definitely hold still for you - so slow sketching is no problem.  

Anyone who grew up in NYC and took school trips to the Museum of Natural History has the views of the museum's incredible world class dioramas imprinted on their childhood memories.

We will start our sketching in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals which showcases large mammals of Africa. At the center is a freestanding group of eight elephants, poised as if to charge, surrounded by 28 habitat dioramas.

As in all of the Museum’s habitat dioramas, each scene is a re-creation based on the meticulous observations of scientists in the field in the early 20th century and the on-site sketches and photographs of the artists who accompanied them. They feature animals set in a specific location, cast in the light of a particular time of day.

Found this must-see video about the Akeley's.   I have to say, if you love living animals there is something very disturbing about taxidermy.  This video get's into some of the details about the history of the original expedition and information about how they taxidermy an elephant.  Although Carl is honored on the museum's plaque  but what I loved best about this video is how it gets into the very interesting story of his wife Delia.


Where:  The American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street.  Meet in the Main Lobby at the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda

When:  SUNDAY 12/6/15 - at 10 AM

How: Take the C subway to 81st Street. You can enter the museum directly.  Two blocks west of the Museum, the 1 train stops at Broadway and West 79th Street.

Lunch:  Noon, before the crowds, at the Museum Food Court on the lower level.

Afternoon:   1:15 - Wallace Wing of Mammals and their Extinct Relatives on the 4th floor.  (Think Wooly Mammoths, but no dinosaurs.

Show and Tell:  3:15 off to Dive 75 at 101 W 75th St ((212) 362-7518) to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.

1)  The Museum is a pay what you wish museum with some very steep suggested prices.  Be as generous as your conscience and pocketbook will allow - but don't be shy about paying a more modest amount.
2)  There is a coat check.
3)  Bring a folding stool or chair if you like.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

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