Thursday, March 31, 2016

SATURDAY: Sketch the Bronx Museum

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Bronx Museum of the Arts maintains a permanent collection of 20th and 21st-century works by New Yorkers of Latin, Asian & African-American descent. Current exhibits include Michelle Stuart's Theater of Memory and Jill Baroff's In a Grove.

Theater of Memory

COMMUNITEA TIME:  Bronx-based artist Michele Brody presents CommuniTea, a performance series featuring a shared tea service. participants share loose-leaf tea with the artist and relate their stories, memories, thoughts, poems, and reflections, to be transcribed onto repurposed tea stained paper filters which will be woven into a fluttering room-sized quilt

The Tea Performance

What:   Saturday Sketch the Bronx Museum of Art

Where:    1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, 

When:  Starting time is 1 PM - this is later than usual, because the Tea Ceremony doesn't start until 3 PM.  We will be there until 4 - 4:30.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is FREE ADMISSION to all ages. 

D OR B TRAINS to the 167 STREET STATION. Exit at rear of station, walk south along Grand Concourse two blocks.

PLEASE NOTE: D Train stops all times except rush hours peak direction (6:15 am - 9 am to Manhattan, 4 pm - 6:45 pm from Manhattan). 
Take B Train at 145 St. to 167th St./ Grand Concourse.

4 TRAIN to the 161 STREET/YANKEE STADIUM STATION. Walk east three blocks to the Grand Concourse, then, walk north four blocks along Grand Concourse to 165th St.

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, March 27, 2016

Weekday Sketchers Paint Magnolias

Weekday Sketchers Paint  Magnolias

Spring is here and the plants know it better than we do!  Everything is starting to bloom and it is high time to get out there and start sketching it.  This week the magnolias are in full bloom and some of the prettiest trees are right in a small park across from Thomas Paine Park on the corner of Worth and Federal Plaza/ Centre Street,  across the street from the Courts and the Manhattan Municipal Building and diagonally across from the Criminal Court where we sketched last week. Bring pink paint and be ready to capture one of the most magnificent blooms of the season.

DATE: Wednesday March 30, 2016

TIME: 10:00 AM

LOCATION: Thomas Paine Park 
                      Worth and Centre Street/Federal Plaza 

            After lunch we can move to City                                                                                                                     Hall park for the forsythias and daffodils. 

TRANSPORTATION: A, C or R to City Hall: J, Z to Chambers St.: 4,5,6 to Brooklyn Bridge. 

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at 

Thomas Thorspecken Comes to Manhattan

This past weekend NYC Urban Sketchers sponsored a class with master sketcher Thomas Thorspecken at Pearl Studios on Eighth Avenue.  I was thrilled as I've studied from his book since joining with the Sketchers a year and a half ago.   This was a power packed class and lots of local Sketchers showed up.

I did this sketch over my notes…

As belly dancers gyrated next door, Tom demonstrated his technique and led the class on exercises that brought the lessons home.

I have a fascination with palettes and here is Tom's. His warms are mostly cobalts: red, orange and yellow.

Here is one of the exercises… anchors of large, medium and small figures.  

Our fearless leader Mark (with his very distinguished new beard) posed as we did another exercise demonstrating depth.

Over lunch I sat in Tick Tock Diner on 34th Street and did a portrait of Pat, whose work I like.  She said I made her look 22 but she is already 22.

Then joined the group at Grand Central Station where I did a sketch of a young woman checking messages….

After the class we gathered for some beers, after which I wandered to Herald Square and did a sketch of the bar at The Harold, trying to incorporate what I just learned.

I never went to art school so its a thrill to catch up and learn from a great teacher.  Thanks Mark for organizing the event.  And thanks Thomas Thorspecken for sharing your talent!  Hope to see all you Sketchers soon on the streets of New York City!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Saturday: Sketch the Morgan

The Morgan Library & Museum

For those who are not attending 
the THOR Workshop, 
we have a great day of sketching planned. 

Just a short walk from Grand Central and Penn Station, the Morgan is a NYC major exhibition venue for fine art, literature, and music, one of New York's great historic sites and the home to end all sketch-able homes.  They also have a copy of Gutenberg's book - worth seeing - it's biblical.

Highlights for this Weekend:

  • Warhol by the Book
  • Sight Reading: Photography and the Legible World
  • Wagner’s Ring: Forging an Epic
  • Pierre-Jean Mariette and the Art of Collecting Drawings
  • Trees: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection
  • Plus Treasures for the Morgan Vault


Where:  The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street

When:   We start at 11 AM

      $18 Adults
      $12 Children (13–16)
      $12 Seniors (65 and over) and Students (with current ID)

If you can’t find us
call or text your Host for today
Denise at 516-263-4818.

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Monday, March 21, 2016

In and Around the Jewish Museum

Saturday I took the LIRR into the city, walked to Park Ave and took the 6 Train up to the Jewish Museum. It was a day for creating art and surpassing my 10,000 step goal.

There was a great Isaac Mizrahi exhibit with wonderful dresses and gowns displayed. This garment was the one that called to me first so that's the one that made it into my sketchbook.

I wandered on the other floors looking for some historical artifacts. I found a display of earthenware vessels and a beautiful menorah.

This intricately designed Torah Scroll Case was beautiful. It is always hard to decide how much detail to include in a sketch.

After lunch some of the sketchers headed back inside, but Mia, Sue and I decided to find a sunny spot and stay outside. I was wearing my winter sketch clothing so I figured I would be warm enough. 

I've sketched the Guggenheim from the inside, but this was my first opportunity to sketch it from the outside.

Guggenheim Museum

Looking the other way was the National Academy Museum which I've never visited.

National Academy Museum

By the time I was nearly done with the National Academy sketch we were getting too cold to sit there any longer, so Mia and I started heading to our respective modes of transport. I headed back to Penn Station where I sketched a few people. I had done a sketch there at Central Market in the morning after I had my breakfast. There is always a cast of characters inside Penn Station.

Central Market in Penn Station done after breakfast.
Travelers on the 7:40 am train out of Ronkonkoma.

Lady in the coffee shop.

Lady on the return train to Ronkonkoma.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weekday  Urban Sketcher in Criminal Court

"There are a thousand stories in the naked city....." was the opening line of the classic TV drama "Naked City", and eventually those stories wound up in the criminal courts. Well those courtrooms are open to the public affording us a wonderful opportunity to practice reportage skills as the defendants, prosecutors,  attorneys, police and judges act out the daily drama that is the NYC Arraignment Court.

Join us for a morning of sketching the players on both sides of the bench.  

DATE:  Wednesday March 23, 2016

TIME: 10:00 AM

LOCATION: NYC Criminal Court 
                       100 Center Street, Manhattan

Image result for NYC criminal court 100 Center Street

NOTE:  We will meet in the lobby just past the security check point.  If you come a bit after 10AM and don't see us check the listing of the courtrooms in session and look for us there. There is no talking inside the courtroom but you can sit and sketch.  No need to bring a stool as there are benches in the public area. Don't bring a camera as it will be taken from you by the security guards. 

Please RSVP to Raylie Dunkel at  If you are looking for us TEXT Raylie at 201-978-6387.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SATURDAY: Sketch the Jewish Museum

 Saturday, March 19, 2016

We're going to be going to the Jewish Museum.  I'm astounded to say in five years sketching together we've never gone there.  The weather is right on the edge where maybe we could be outdoors.  It's supposed to be around 50 degrees with full sunshine in the afternoon. Saturday is admission free and since the museum is right by the park so we'll have good weather options in case we want to be outdoors.

I hope you can make it.

For sketch maniacs the High School of Art and Design is running their bi-annual fund raiser - The Draw-a-thon. This three ring circus runs from 10 AM to 7 PM and features 12 professional models in costumes and posing nude doing slow and fast sessions.  It's not Urban Sketching (NUS) but might be something you'd enjoy.  IFor anyone interested we will be leaving to go there at 3:00 PM.


What:  Sketching at the Jewish Museum (an indoor venue) Admission is free on Saturdays.

Where:  1109 5th Ave at 92nd St, New York City

When:  The Museum opens at 11 AM

Lunch:  The Cafeteria is closed but either bring food or buy from the vendors in the park. We'll leave for lunch outside at 12:30 and returning at 1:30

Afternoon:  We'll continue to sketch indoors or if the weather is kind enough we'll spend the afternoon in the park.  Good choices either way.

Show and Tell:  3 PM Cancelled for today.  Instead you have the option of joining coming the High School of Art and Design Draw-a-Thon Fundraiser. 245 East 56th Street cafeteria, 5th Floor. Between Second & Third Avenues, NYC. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance and $25 at the door. (It's for a good cause.)  Click above to buy advanced tickets.

Traveling by Subway
-  Go to the 96th Street stop of the 6 train
-  Or come up the Upper West Side to 96th Stand take the cross town bus through Central Park to Fifth the 1,2,3, B or C trains.

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

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Weekday Sketcher at the Oculus

The new Calatrava Oculus has just been opened to the public.  The structure which will be the entrance to the transit hub for the PATH and the NYC subways has been compared to everything from a cathedral to a turkey carcass.  You can decide for yourself when we meet to sketch it.


TIME: 10:30 AM

LOCATION:  Calatrava Oculus on Church Street between Vessey and Liberty Streets.  There is an entrance on the corner of Liberty and Church.  We will meet inside the building but there is an option of sketching the exterior as well.

Note: bring a seat as it is only a large empty space with no seating or amenities.

Lunch:  We can go to Hudson Eats for lunch. Bring your own or buy something from any of the vendors. 

Afternoon options:  Sketch Barclay Place or any scenes along the river and parks of the Battery Park complex.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Touch of South Carolina

Last week I was off taking a watercolor workshop with Ted Nuttall in Myrtle Beach, SC with my sister. The workshop was "Painting Figures from Photographs." When it was done I was craving some outdoor sketching. We stayed an extra day to do some sketching down there. We headed over to Georgetown which was about 45 minutes away. It has a gallery, a few stores, some good restaurants, and a walkway by the water. Since it was a little chilly we avoided sketching by the water and looked for locations where the wind was blocked and the sun was shining on us.

We sat in front of Big Tuna. They had some really interesting nautical "stuff" in the windows of the restaurant. Like most buildings, it was hard to get far enough away to be able to sketch the whole building without sitting in the middle of the street. lol

After visiting the gallery and then having lunch at Big Tuna (she-crab soup and oyster po' boys) we sat by the River Room Restaurant. A couple were conveniently posed outside on a bench.

Next we headed back in the direction of Myrtle Beach and stopped at Murrell's Inlet hoping to find some pelicans. I don't know if the pelicans go to a warmer location or if all the commercialization along the waterfront scared them away, but there was not one single pelican in sight. So we found a view of one of the restaurants (I sense a trend) to use for a final sketch.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sketching the Divine, anyone?

This is my first blog since joining the USK NYC after Christmas last year.  I'm so glad to have found this group of creative and talented people sharing their artistic talent in documenting what they see at each every Saturday sketch outing.  I finally found the courage to share my work with you starting with the event, "Sketch the Cathedral", at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.

It was a clear sunny day, yet a very cold one.  I managed to sketch the backside of the church before my right hand started feeling numb from the cold.

Then it was time to go inside this magnificent church.  I was struggling to capture the ceiling arches with ink pen, so I ditched the pen in favor of the water soluble graphite pencil.

Finally, after having a group lunch at a nearby Italian Restaurant, we all went back to sketch some more of this beautiful cathedral.  Here's what I found interesting - some stone carvings of Medieval figures (I think), and some prominent sculptures along a left side column facing the altar.

At the end of the day, I went home happy knowing that I had a productive sketching session at the amazing Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.  Until the next sketching event!