One day in May, Shirley and I, and then another day, Benedicte and I, went to the previews for the big impressionist, modern, contemporary and post war auctions at Christies. Remember the Picasso that sold for a whopping $179 million recently? The previews for those auctions. There was so much art that they had printed up a map on a nice large, accordion folded, card stock type of folder. Sturdy. Well, I collected “a few” of them to repurpose. I covered one with white and a bit of black gesso to get a grayish base and re-folded it so it would open as a book with two flaps that open out revealing the inside. I hope that made sense.

My book and I went into the city one day to see what would happen. I walked from Penn Station down to Union Square with the intention of sitting on a bench and drawing whoever sat within my view. I never made it to the benches. I was caught by the road crew working, started to draw the jackhammer guy (second picture below) in the middle of the outside of the book (front cover) and then his fellow workers to the left of him. The women with the red scarf and the sketchers behind her were drawn later after I reached Figure al Fresco down in Battery Park (back cover).

The farmers market was in full swing.

I started to walk through the crowds making my way down to the #4 train at 14th Street. This is the flap that opens up into a continuous image with the front cover.

On the upper right there is a sliver of one of the sketchers drawing the red-scarved model. The woman with the red hat was sitting on the steps doing a crossword puzzle while her husband, the artist, sketched with the rest of us.

I took the bus back uptown to Penn Station. I could have taken the 5:35 (see below) but I don’t like that train for a very stupid reason so I opted to sketch the commuters and wait for the 6:01.

Just to clarify. If you open the whole, long thing and look at the outside from left to right it starts with the commuters and ends all the way on the right with the farmers market shoppers. A bit out of order chronologically but that how it turned out.

Believe it or not but this whole thing just seemed to come together of itself. At each point I just started drawing with very little forethought. One thing followed the other. At first I used a mechanical pencil but the rough surface was eating up the lead and my left hand was excelling at smearing. I switched to the Sharpie fine pen because it holds up well to rough surfaces but I couldn’t see it very well and it wasn’t fun. This all happened with the jackhammer guy. I switched to the Pitt Brush pen from that point on. Color was added a few days later while at home.

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Repurposed folder, gesso, Pitt Brush pens (black and colored), Molotow White acrylic markers, Signo Uni-ball 153 pen.

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