NYC Urban Sketchers: Park Slope

Yesterday, I met up with NYC Urban Sketchers in Park Slope. We started in the afternoon, so I got there early enough to do a full warm-up sketch of the arch in Grand Army Plaza. Wishing I had done it on smaller paper; I didn't have quite the amount of time I wished I'd had for it. After we met up on the west side of the park, we split up to fan out over a few blocks of Park Slope. I joined forces with a fellow sketcher and we walked down Carroll Street. I sketched some of the brownstones and then a church on the corner. Would definitely visit Park Slope to sketch again!

A Favorite Brunch Place

This may be the first in a series of watercolors I do of favorite eateries around New York. A belated post, I did this before my California trip. Cafe Luluc is one of my favorite places to brunch in the city (Freeman's is another all-time favorite). I might follow it up with Morgenstern's, an ice cream place I finally tried for the first time (and while expensive, it was completely worth it!). This one I did while waiting to be seated at brunch, and then finished up while waiting to order.

NYC Urban Sketchers in Central Park

Yesterday NYC Urban Sketchers went to Central Park to sketch some of the many bridges peppered throughout the park. I started the day with a quick fifteen minute sketch of a statue near the Columbus Circle entrance to the park, while waiting for the sketchers to assemble and head into the park. This first bridge we tackled was Greyshot Arch. We got lucky with a beautiful, sunny day! The second bridge, Pinebank Arch, was originally built to cross over a bridal path. In the 1930's a ball field was installed just beyond the bridge, cutting off that bridal path. Since the path meets a dead end, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to camp out underneath the bridge and take advantage of the l

Oh, New York, I missed you!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my vacation! I've been back for a couple of weeks and before digging into some more photos from California to watercolor, I've been sketching around town. Over the weekend I went to the Whitney (and learned Bank of America customers get free admission the first weekend of every month!!! So I got in for free!) and saw some beautiful art. The man pictured is a very tall candle. He has a flame in each shoulder and one in his head, and he is slowly melting as he's on display. There are wax remains littering the floor around him. Later I did the shot of the Empire State Building, as seen from Fifth Avenue. I did the one of my favorite view from Central Park before

CA Sketchcation: "What do YOU Think the Speed Limit is Here?"

We've reached the final full day of the trip! The Mission: Drive inland up to San Francisco so the next day I could drop off the car and fly home. I decided to make things interesting and find an attraction along the way. I found a circa 1934 gas station that is the part of a small museum in Coalinga that has been refurbished (thanks, Internet!). So I set my GPS for Coalinga, driving up Route 5. My first sketch of the day was from a conveniently located rest stop. My last *real* sketch of the trip is of that gas station, adorable and in the middle of nowhere. But the trip didn't end there. I was meeting a friend for dinner in Santa Cruz, so I checked googlemaps and my GPS and they concurred

CA Sketchcation, LA: "As Much Time in My Car as it Took to Drive Big Sur"

The bride and groom invited anyone who wanted to join out to the beach the day after the wedding. I decided to use my morning to do visit the Griffith Observatory, famous for its views of the city. I did a few sketches from there, one of the view of the city through the smog, one of the observatory itself, and of course, one of the Hollywood sign. The observatory was beautiful, and I'm hoping to do a few watercolors from pictures I took there! My last LA sketch is from Venice beach, at the post-wedding festivities.

CA Sketchcation, Santa Monica: "I Can't Tell Who You're Honking At: A Wedding Story&quo

So, if you read my first "Sketchcation" post, you know the real reason for this trip was to go to my best friend's wedding. Marisa and I have known each other since we were eleven, and went to middle school and high school together. There was no way I WASN'T flying across the country to go to her wedding. But it was a great excuse for the rest of the trip! The night before and night of the wedding, I decided to treat myself to a real hotel (rather than the airBNB's I was mostly staying in. AND (because I was, after all, on vacation) I decided to spend my time leading up to the wedding at my hotel pool. Although it was a day off driving, I decided it wasn't a day off sketching. So I sketched

CA Sketchcation, Santa Monica: "Seeing Art, Not Just Making it"

The next day of the trip began with the short drive to the greater Los Angeles area. Along the way I stopped at Mugu Lagoon Estuary for a warm-up sketch. Then I decided to do some museums, since I knew I'd have limited time in LA. I visited the Getty Villa and the Getty Center. The Villa itself was beautiful, though early Roman artifacts aren't really my favorite thing to see. The Getty Center was more my speed. In a beautiful modern facility, the museum houses a wide variety of paintings, sculpture and photography. I perused a great touring exhibit "London Calling" which was a collaboration with the Tate museum in London, as well as the wings of everything after 1800. To be honest, for such

CA Sketchcation, Santa Barbara: "Sunlight! It does Exist!"

A big perk of Santa Barbara was I stayed over two nights, so I got to spend a full day sketching there before moving on. A second big perk was a FULL DAY OF SUNLIGHT! Up until this point I wasn't seeing much if any sun until the afternoon, and even then it was partly cloudy. It was also finally in the 60's and 70's and warm enough to wear shorts. I finally felt like I was in California! Turns out the Beach Boys had some good points. Before I ventured too far I decided to do a warm-up sketch in the downtown shopping area. When I wasn't even finished with the underlying sketch, a delivery truck pulled up directly in front of me. The delivery guy was really apologetic, but literally had no othe

CA Sketchcation, Montaña de Oro: "The Pie Crust State"

When I arrived in San Luis Opisbo, my lovely airBNB hosts Shiela and Tony ("Hi" if you're reading this!) asked about my sketches and what I thought of the state so far. I told them I was enjoying all of the varied scenery, as well as the flora and fauna that was completely foreign to me. I also confessed that I was surprised that everything was brown....I knew California was in drought and that parts of it were desert, but since I've never been anywhere like that before it legitimately didn't occur to me that there would be so little green! Shiela kindly pointed out that the name "the Golden State" referred to the golden color frequently on display. To me, realizing that the Golden State is

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