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NYC Urban Sketchers invade the NY Botanical Gardens

On Sunday the NY Botanical Gardens had a plein air invitational, where they invited 30 urban sketchers and famous plein air artists to paint in the gardens. Mark, the leader of my urban sketchers chapter, was out with materials so passersby could also jump in on the fun. It was an obvious choice for our NYC Urban Sketchers meet-up for the week, so there were maybe 10-15 uninvited sketchers (not counting the ones that Mark got to sketch!). Right now the gardens are also hosting a Chihuly exhibit, which is gorgeous. I definitely recommend it to anyone in the New York area.

I started the day by doing a little wandering and checking out what other sketchers (invited and gate-crashers alike) were up to. Here's some photos that I took of them!

The first two photos are of Hiu Lai Chong, the first artist I saw.

Next I found Elissa, who is a fellow NYC Urban Sketcher (and official invited painter!).

Garin Baker chose a prime spot in front of the conservatory, with a beautiful, yellow Chihuly scuplture front and center.

Meeting Marc Taro Holmes was great, in part because it already felt like I knew him. I took one of his (awesome) classes on Craftsy, and have been following his blog for years. It's been really helpful, both for painting techniques and when it comes to ideas for kit setups.

I was also very excited to meet Shari Blaukopf, as I was already familiar with her work! (And check out those flowers!)

When I got situated to sketch, I chose the back corner of the conservatory. I was drawn to the reflection of the building in the water, disturbed by the water lilies. I was challenged by the fact that the early afternoon sun was putting an even wash of light over the roof, which made it hard to give the conservatory dimension, and also by the water lilies. I could almost feel Monet's ghost laughing at me.

I guess water was my theme of the day! Here's a part of the Chihuly exhibit, plant-like glass sculptures surrounded by real plants in a reflecting pool.




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