Monday, January 30, 2017


February 2nd is Groundhog Day....let's go drawn some animals!  

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most amazing places in this city, especially for sketchers in search of animal subjects: big ones, small ones, on, over, and under the ground and seas....all waiting for us. And the best part is they all stand still so we can draw them!   

We will meet at the Planetarium Entrance on 81st Street where it is a bit quieter.  The museum has a pay-as-you-wish policy, so even a $1 or $2 donation will get you in the door.  (You will have to pay extra for  the special exhibits if you want to go to those.)  Bring a stool and your supplies.  Adding a head lamp (that little flashlight that is on a band that goes around your head) is a great idea as the galleries where the big dioramas are rather dark. There are cafes and a large cafeteria in the building so we can have lunch right there.

Image result for american museum of natural history

Image result for american museum of natural history

Image result for american museum of natural history


TIME: 10:30 AM

                        Central Park West between 79th and 81st Streets

NOTE:  we will meet at the entrance ON 81st Street  by the Planetarium NOT the main entrance on Central Park West!


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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch the Chinese New Year

Welcome to the Year of the Rooster

New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival
Saturday, January 28, 2017
11am – 330pm

Get ready for one of the best NYC events in January—Chinese New Year! NYC will be chock-full of dragon dances, vibrant floats and yummy vendor foods during the annual celebration. The Lunar New Year celebration includes stunning visuals, tantalizing treats and impressive performances

By the way:  If you were born in any of these years, you’re a Rooster!  1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

You are practical and resourceful, 
and you use what you have to succeed without taking a lot of risks. 
A hard worker, you say what’s on your mind 
and have a sense of style that sets you apart

When:   Starting at 11 AM on Saturday January 28th

Where:  We will start at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. (Grand Street at Chrystie St.)  We will meet at the corner of Forsyth and Grand Street.

How: By Subway the Grand Street stop of the B or D train stops right in front of the park.

Lunch:  Bring your own or partake of the many street vendors and restaurants nearby.

Show and Tell:  At 3:00 we’ll take a short walk (2 1/2 blocks) to go to Randolph Beer NOLITA - ,(bet Bowery and Elizabeth) where we will share drawings, good stories and and a snack or refreshments if you're so inclined.
343 Broome St

Walking Directions: one block north on Christie and one and half blocks west on Broome

-   Dress warmly. We will be outdoors most of the time.
-   Bring a stool or portable chair

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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers Celebrate Chinese New Year

This week is the beginning of Chinese New Year and Urban Sketchers Chapters around the globe are celebrating by sketching at the various exhibitions and celebrations in their cities.   We will join the celebration at the China Institute in lower Manhattan.  The current exhibition "Art in a Time Of Chaos" has a timely ring to it.  The exhibit focus is on the 3rd to 6th Centuries in Chinese art. The work produced in this epoch is responsible for "laying the foundation for Chinese artistic standards, genres, subjects and themes that continue to define Chinese art today". Join us as we explore this  little known cultural institution in Manhattan's Financial District. 

Related image

Image result for china institute nyc current exhibition


TIME: 10:30 AM
              We will spend the morning in the China Institute. After our lunch break we will decide to go back or move to another location. (Trinity Church or Federal Hall or an outdoor location if the weather permits) 

                       100 WASHINGTON STREET (temporary entrance at 40 Rector St. 2nd floor) 
            NOTE: There is an entrance fee of $4 for Seniors and Students and $8 for "Juniors".  You will need of ID to get through security in the building.

TRANSPORTATION: 1 train to Rector Street or the 4, 5 to Wall Street.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.    Bring a stool and dry medium (pencil or color pencil only) to work with. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Weekend Sketch Notice

Upcoming Sketch Events

1.  There will be no sketch event for this coming weekend.  I have a family commitment.  There will be many activities happening in NYC.  If you’re out and about - take a sketch book and share what you find.

2.  I need help.  We’ve been running the NYC weekend group with weekly sketch events since we started nearly six years ago.  That’s a demanding schedule, but frankly it’s been a labor of love.  However the group will be better served by having more people become active.  If we all take turns our individual small efforts will produce large results.

3.  I intend to share our upcoming 2017 calendar so you can see dates that are available:

     January 21 - No sketch event

     January 28 - Sketch the Chinese New Year Parade

     February 4 - The Portrait Party

     February 11 - Sketch the Hearst Tower with Leslie Sim

     February 18 or 19 - OPEN

     February 25 - 26 - OPEN

4.  If you have an idea for a sketch event send an email to me directly and we’ll work on it.  Any weekend date for the rest of the year is open to your creativity and inspiration.

 January 28 - Sketch the Chinese New Year Parade

   February 11 -
Sketch the Hearst Tower 
-  The Chinese New Year sketch will be outdoors, details to follow.

-  The fourth annual Portrait Party isn’t really Urban Sketching but is a NYC tradition.  The Portrait Party is an awesome event but involves hours of sketching. It has specific rules and requires you to sign up in advance - details to follow.

-  The Hearst Tower is going to be real treat.  This architectural award winning building is not open to the public. I’ve wanted to get in to look around and to sketch the interior for years.  NYC sketcher - Leslie Sim has gotten us special permission to get inside.

If you want to pick a date that you will help organize - send an email directly to me at:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Queens Museum Sketch Day: Special Lamp Edition

This past Sunday, the NYC Urban Sketchers (including this sketcher from Connecticut) took to the Queens Museum to sketch Mierle Laderman Ukeles' Maintenance Art exhibit.  It was great.  For those of you not familiar with the Queens Museum, it also boasts a phenomenal panorama of New York City (all five boroughs) and is set in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park amid some structures from the 1964-5 World's Fair.

The panorama

The Unisphere

It also houses the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany lamps, which I quickly became obsessed with.
Pieces of Tiffany's Favrile glass above.  See, graduate school paid off.

I spent most of the sketch day with these gorgeous lamps.  If you haven't read it yet, Susan Vreeland's book Clara and Mr. Tiffany tells an absorbing tale of the female designer credited with the Dragonfly and Wisteria lamp designs.  Get yourself a copy to keep you company on the long ride on the 7 out to Flushing!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers at Bronx Zoo

The zoo in winter?  Why not? The animals are still there and there are far fewer people.  The Bronx Zoo is a true treasure of NYC. So much to see and capture on our sketch pads.  AND it is Free on Wednesdays!!

Image result for bronx zoo images


TIME: 10:30 AM

                       2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx NY

         NOTE:  We will meet at the Visitor Center to start. We will then wander where we want and meet again in the cafe back at the Visitor Center at 12:30 for lunch.

TRANSPORTATION: #2 Train to Pelham Parkway. Walk west into the park and the Visitor Center.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201978-6387.  

Note:  There are many indoor exhibits so weather should not be a problem.  If the weather is warm enough we will work outdoors.  Bring a stool and lunch if you want but the cafe has a full menu.

Weekday Sketchers' New Year's Resolution: Attend More Events

In an effort to make it easier for all of us to attend more Urban Sketchers Events this year meeting dates will be posted a few weeks in advance.  Please put these dates on your calendar.  The meeting place will be announced approximately 5 days prior to the event.  We will also be switching the day of the week to accommodate other fixed events on your calendars. 

Hopefully this will allow everyone to plan their other appointments around the Urban Sketchers dates  and become a regular at the meetings.  

The list below has the some locations (full details will follow the week of the meeting).  Some were suggested by group members.  If there is a venue that you think we should be going to please let me know.  There are so many hidden treasures in this city that one person can't possibly know them all. So share your thoughts on where we can go for a day's sketching.

Schedule for January and February

WEDNESDAY January 18       Bronx Zoo

THURSDAY January 26          China Society in honor of Chinese New Year. 

THURSDAY February 2          American Museum of Natural History in honor of Groundhog Day

WEDNESDAY February 8       TBD

TUESDAY February 14            Valentine's Day (Is there a romantic hideaway you know of?) 

TUESDAY February 21            Juilliard Concert

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SUNDAY: Sketch Maintenance Art

“Full and exemplary retrospectives of major but under-known American artists are rare. "
The Queens Museum has such a show.

The New York City’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has had an artist in residence for 40 years. Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art, the newest exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art is a celebration of Ukele’s tenure there documenting the seemingly mundane work of maintenance workers in provocative ways.

Since the late 1960s, Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ performances, sculptural installations, and writing have explored issues profoundly important to society today: the role of women in society, cultures of work and labor, and urban and community resilience. Her MANIFESTO FOR MAINTENANCE ART 1969! laid out the hidden, yet essential role of maintenance in Western society—and the radical implications of actively valuing rather than dismissing or hiding it


When:   Sunday - January 15th, starts at 11 AM

Where:  At the Queens Museum  (see directions below)

Lunch:  12:30  At the Delish Café.  All dishes price at $7.95, or bring your own.

Afternoon:  1:30  Sketch the galleries and outside - weather permitting.

Show and Tell:  3:00 at the Delish Café where we will share drawings, good stories and and a snack or refreshments if you're so inclined.

Suggested Admission
-  $8 for adults
-  $4 for seniors
-  Free for children 18 and under
-  Free for students of New York colleges and universities with current ID
-  Free for all NYC Department Of Education employees with ID

Directions by Subway
Take #7 Train in the direction of Flushing, Queens. Your stop is Mets-Willets Point, the second to last stop on the 7 train.

Follow the signs to Flushing Meadows Corona Park through the exit ramp of the station into the park.

Then, follow signs for the Queens Museum which is located next to the Unisphere, the giant steel globe. There are two entrances to the museum, one facing the park and the other facing Grand Central Parkway.

The Park entrance is directly in front of the Unisphere. Please allot 15 minutes for the walk from the Mets-Willets Point subway station to the museum.

Click for Directions by Car

-  Bring a light weight folding stool if you own one.  It makes sketching so much easier.

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.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch SAS (the Second Ave Subway)

There really is no choice.  We must go to sketch NYC’s newest subway line.  New Yorkers have been patiently waiting for a Second Avenue subway since the city’s founding in 1624.  It’s too good not to sketch.

On the very first New York subway ride, on Oct. 27, 1904, Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. was tasked with starting the first train.
He was supposed to turn over the controls to a conductor, but driving the train was just too enticing. The mayor drove from City Hall all the way to 103rd Street.  The trip included an abrupt stop, which threw passengers forward, and warnings of “slower here — slower!” and “easy for the curve” as he barreled down the tracks.

At one point, the mayor was asked, “Don’t you want the motorman to take hold?”

“No, sir!” the mayor said. “I’m running this train!”

The trains have gotten a lot nicer and hopefully the driving has improved.

It’s supposed to be cold.  Let’s me inside at the 72 Street Station.  Our first destination will be the uptown platform on the uptown platform. Sketch anything that grabs you.  After an hour we’ll take the train to the next stop - to 86th Street, and then an hour later we’ll go to the last stop on 96th Street.  Each station has different art.

When:  Saturday.  Meet at 11 AM

Where:  Inside - the Second Avenue Subway at 72 Street.  Our eventual destination is the uptown side.

How:  The new portion of the subway is an extension of the Q Line which can be found at Times Square and also the Herald Square station.

-  11 AM Meet at the 72 St station (inside)

-  12:15 Travel one stop north to 86 St.

-  Lunch:  12:30 Bring your own or pickup up food at the Fairway Market  240 East 86 St (leaving will cost an additional subway fare)

-  1:45 Travel one stop north to 96 St. to continue sketching

-  Show and Tell: 3:00 PM at the Drunken Munkey NYC at 338 E 92nd St (b/t 1st Ave & 2nd Ave) where we will share drawings, good stories and and a snack or refreshments if you're so inclined.


  • Bring a stool if you own one, it makes sketching comfortable in a setting like this.
  • Call or text (973-809-9128) if you can't find us  - we'll talk you to the group
  • Bring your own lunch it's cheaper and provides more sketching time.
  • Say hello to anyone you see sketching, they are undoubtably with us!

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.