Wednesday, May 18, 2022

SATURDAY: Sketch the Little Island


New York City's Newest Island

You’ve sketched Long Island, Staten Island, Roosevelt Island and now we’ll be sketching New York’s newest island - The Little Island, which features a gorgeous park built on a striking stilt design, featuring flower beds & shows at a waterside amphitheater.

Components of the pier, nestled among more than 350 species of flowers, trees and shrubs, include a 687-seat amphitheater and an intimate stage and lawn space, along with dazzling views of other portions of Hudson River Park, New York City and the Hudson River.

The landscape provides a visually surprising and inspiring experience as visitors walk across the park. The plantings are varied to provide an environment that changes with the seasons, with flowering trees and shrubs, fall foliage and evergreens. More than 66,000 bulbs and 114 trees have been planted, some of which will grow to 60 feet tall.

Little Island’s distinct exterior is supported by concrete piles. On top of the piles, 132 concrete “tulips” make up the structure of the park. Each tulip’s shape is unique and has a different weight load capacity to hold the soil, lawns, overlooks and trees. The original Pier 54 piles remain to provide habitat for aquatic life.

Little Island often gets crowded in the afternoon, so our strategy will be to sketch on the Little Island in the morning and we’ll sketch views of the Little Island in the afternoon.


What:   We’ll be sketching The Little Island

Where:   Pier 55 at Hudson River Park Hudson River Greenway, To get there walk past 10th Avenue on 14th Street, cross the West Side Highway  (see map below)

WhenSaturday, May 21, 2022.  Start time - 10 AM.   Running late?  Come anyway - we'll be there.


-   By Subway:  

Take the A, B or C train to 14th Street - Walk three blocks west towards the Hudson River.

Lunch:  We'll break at 12:30 PM.  Location to be determined.  Bring your own food and drink or rely on vendors.

Afternoon1:30 PM  Back to sketching.  For the afternoon we may step off the island to sketch the views of this incredible structure.

Show and Tell:  3:00 PM - Location to be determined.  There are many suitable spots nearby.   We’ll share stories from the day, show our artwork and talk about the things artists talk about when they’re together.

(click to enlarge)
-     Bring a hat.  There is not that much shade in the area
-      Bring a stool if you have one, it gives you more options.

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

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

New Jersey Urban Sketchers at Montclair Iris Garden Thursday May 26, 2022

Presby Memorial Iris Garden.jpg | New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

The Presby Memorial Iris Garden in Montclair is referred to as the "Rainbow on the Hill"....and that it is!  With thousands of bearded irises in bloom, this is truly spectacular scene to  capture in a sketchbook. 

Join us for a day of sketching only available for a few weeks in the spring. Bring a stool and your brightest watercolors to get the best views and brightest colors onto your paper. 

For more information about the gardens and driving directions, visit the web site:

Presby Memorial Iris Gardens – Spring is Here – Montclair NJ – Photo  Gallery | You Don't Know Jersey | From High Point to Cape May

Sketching Tip:  the iris looks like a complicated flower but it is really easy to draw once you know that there are only 6 petals on every flower.  Three are curved down and three are curved up.  The little "beards" run along the midline of the downward curved petals.   That's it!  Add a green stem and some unopened buds and you've done it!

Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, Montclair, NJ | Iris garden, Memories, Iris



                      474 UPPER MOUNTAIN ROAD, MONTCLAIR NJ

DIRECTIONS: Please visit the web site for directions by car and public transit: 


  • Please RSVP directly to Margaret Casagrande at:
  • Looking for us? Call or text Margaret at 646-515-9913 or Raylie Dunkel at 201-273-0445
  • Bring a stool and lunch. There are no food services on site 
  • There are bathrooms on site
  • There is no parking on site. You must park on the street along side the garden. 
  • Please visit the web site for and read the page on Garden Etiquette 
  • We will break for lunch at the tables at the top of the hill

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Weekday Sketchers at Gowanus Canal

Please note that this is a change from the previously posted schedule.  

Brooklyn's Putrid, Beloved Gowanus Canal Has Been a Horror for Centuries -  Atlas Obscura

Join us this week as we visit one of the notorious areas of NYC, the Gowans Canal.  Carved out of ancient salt flats and fresh water streams it was once one of the busiest waterways in the country.  Now know for its infamous pollution it was designated a superfund site.  Now initiatives by many public/private organizations are breathing new life into this area.  For information about the history, the pollution and the re-establishment of this district, visit the Gowanus Canal Conservancy website:

We will meet in the park boarding the canal behind the Whole Foods on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street in Brooklyn.  From there you can wander along the edge of the canal and walk across some of the bridges to capture the scene that best captures the old industrial and the new environmentally corrected views of the canal and the neighborhood. 

Superfund – Gowanus Canal Conservancy



                           Behind the Whole Foods parking lot

TRANSPORTATION: F or G to 9th Street Station or the N, R, W, or D to 9th Street Station. 
This will leave you off at 4th Ave and 9th Street,  Walk to 3rd Ave and 3rd Street to the meeting spot.


  • Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at
  • Looking for us? Call or text Raylie at 201-273-0445
  • There are benches in the park but bringing a stool will offer you more options
  • Bathrooms are available in Whole Foods 
  • Bring lunch or purchase it at Whole Foods or the many vendors in the area. 
  • Optional afternoon sketching at the Old Stone House of Brooklyn

City invests $11 million in Old Stone House preservation • Brooklyn Paper
Old Stone House

THURSDAY: Westchester Sketchers at Glen Island Park, New Rochelle


This 105-acre island property is connected to New Rochelle by a drawbridge built in the 1920s. After Playland, Glen Island is the second most widely used park in the County Parks system. One of Westchester’s unique jewels, it was initially developed as a summer resort by John H. Starin. The original design exhibited the five cultures of the western world on individual islands linked together with piers and causeways. Today the islands have been merged with substantial fill areas totaling 130 acres and providing a beautiful crescent-shaped beach with access to the Long Island Sound.

Cannons, sculptures, and castles with coursed rubble stone, arched openings, and round towers still remain from the days of John Starin’s resort. The castles, reminiscent of those in Germany's Rhineland, were constructed on their present site in the late 19th century for use as a beer garden and restaurant.


The bathhouse was originally built in a Neo-Georgian style with a cupola marking the center of the front fa├žade. A courtyard looks out to the beach and is completed by a colonnade. The bridge, bridge house, seawall, and castles are all eligible for listing on the Register of Historic Places.

When: Thursday, May 19, 2022

Location: Glen Island Park, Weyman Avenue, New Rochelle 10805 

Time: 10:00 AM We'll meet in front of the castle located to the right as you enter the parking lot.

Transportation from NYC: Metro-North New Haven Line to New Rochelle Station.
The 9:07 AM off-peak train from Grand Central arrives in New Rochelle at 9:40 AM.
Please call Marianne (914-355-6507) to arrange for pick-up and ride to Glen Island.

Lunch: Bring your own lunch/snack/water. We'll be picnicking together.
Show & Tell: After lunch, we will share stories and sketches during the social part of our day.

Please RSVP to Cathy Gutterman
Looking for us? Call Cathy at 914-625-0766 or Marianne at 914-355-6507

- It can be breezy by the water - you may want to bring a light jacket.
- There are lots of picnic tables, but a stool can offer more options.
- It's before Memorial Day, so there should be no fee for parking or the need for a park pass. 
- Restrooms are located in the Office building located on the right as you enter the Park.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

SATURDAY - May 21 - South Pacific

In celebration of Asian American - Pacific Islander Heritage Month we are sketching the beautiful landscapes, peoples and cultures of the South Pacific. The landmasses of the South Pacific are mostly small islands scattered across a huge ocean larger than all the other oceans put together. The region comprises of around 30 island nations, some mere dots on the map. 

Papua New Guinea

The largest island nation is Papua New Guinea followed by New Zealand which are both quite considerable land-masses, but it's then followed by Fiji whose collective islands compressed would be smaller than Wales! In terms of cultural identity, the South Pacific Islands are split into three regions: Polynesia, lying in the west and including Samoa, Cook Islands and Tahiti but also extending north to Hawaii and south to New Zealand; Melanesia, in the east and including Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands; and Micronesia in the north-west and including Kiribati, Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia.

 New Zealand

Come enjoy virtual sketching inspired by the rich beauty, history, and diversity of the peoples and places scattered across the South Pacific.

There are no fees. All skill levels are welcome. 

Registration is required. Use the Eventbrite link below:

Photographic references for this virtual event are below:

What is coming up next:

May 28 - Sketchers Holiday

June 4 - Waterfront Amusement Park

June 11 - African Safari

Maori of New Zealand

NYC Urban Sketchers is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization (EIN 84-3937060). Tax-deductible donations by check made be sent to NYC Urban Sketchers, P.O. Box 1083, James A. Farley Post Office, New York, NY 10116. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

SATURDAY - May 14 - New York Botanical Garden

Join us for a day of virtual sketching the New York Botanical Garden, a 250 acre site in the Bronx established in 1891. It contains over one million living plants, a conservatory shown above, and a research library. The Garden was inspired by the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew, and has been a national historic landmark since 1967. 

The NY Botanical Garden contains over fifty different gardens and plant collections. There is a cascading waterfall, wetlands, and a 50 acre tract of original, old growth New York forest along the Bronx river. 

There are no fees. All Skill levels welcome.

For photographic references for this virtual event, click on the link below:
The New York Botanical Garden:

What is coming up next:
May 21 - South Pacific
May 28 - Sketchers Holiday
June 4 - Waterfront Amusement Park

NYC Urban Sketchers is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization (EIN 84-3937060). Tax-deductible donations by check may be sent to NYC Urban Sketchers, P.O.Box 1083, James A.Farley Post Office, New York, NY 10116. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Weekday Sketchers at St. Marks in the Bowery

New York Daily Photo: St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

Join us this week as we explore the second oldest church in NYC: St Marks in the Bowery. (Extra credit for anyone who can name the oldest church in NYC!)  Peter Stuyvesant along many other dignitaries of early NYC history are buried on the site: mayors, a governor who became a Vice President, and Commodore Perry amongst many others.  Alexander Hamilton helped incorporate this as the first Episcopalian Parish outside of Trinity Church, where he is buried. For more information on the history of this church and the surrounding area, click here:

The church is set back on an angle from Second Avenue with trees and a garden as background.   Read why it is on an angle and why it is call "in the Bowery" when it is on 2nd Ave, in the history noted above. Bring a stool to capture the best angle for your drawing

NYC - East Village: St Marks Churchyard - Peter Stuyvesant… | Flickr

NOTE:  Many, but not all,  of the sketch sites we will visit this spring and summer will be in Manhattan below 14th Street to provide many possibilities for entires to our second art expo this winter.  The theme for the show will be "Drawn Below 14th Street".  If you have a favorite garden, park, corner or site below 14th Street, let us know so we can include it in our line up.



                       2nd Avenue between East 10th and East 11th Streets

                                Walk east from Astor place to 2nd Ave via Stuyvesant St, a diagonal street that goes between 3rd and 2nd Aves and will lead you right to the church. 

History — St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery


  • Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at
  • Looking for us? Call or text Raylie at 201-273-0445
  • Bring a stool and lunch. Or purchase lunch from the many vendors in the area.

EV Grieve: A visit to St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery