Archives for the month of: August, 2017

I sat on a bench next to another sketcher and started drawing. A medium sized bird joined us and just started singing for a few minutes. “Ok ok. I’ll sketch you also. Relax.”

I wasn’t sure about this one but when I showed the notebook to my friend Benedicte a few days ago she recognized him immediately.

**

The woman on the right is Béliza from the symposium – well, really Luxembourg. I did a JKPP portrait of her a few months ago and recognized her name while on the hill waiting for the group photo in Chicago. Without benefit of wine I introduced myself. She was in NYC for a few days and joined the workshop. As soon as I started to sketch her she got up.

Obligatory view from my bench.

**

Marie Roberts didn’t let us rest for a second. As a special treat she posed so that we could capture the different subtleties in the way the light hit her all black outfit. Ok.

There was still time so I tried again. Fun but exhausting. Thank you Marie.

Moleskine gridded small notebook
Pilot Parallel Pen, Lyra Watersoluble Graphite 9B, Waterbrush

NYC Urban Sketchers, as part of the USK 10th Anniversary, is offering 10 workshops. A few weeks ago I attended one taught by Marie Roberts, “The Fast Sketch: Overcoming The Fear of Making Mistakes” held in Stuyvesant Square Park. It was messy, loose and loads of fun. Marie had a lot of drawing tools for us to experiment with as we rapidly filled up pages of the small empty sketchbooks we brought with us.

I discovered her parallel pen and how hard it was to control. What messy fun. The ink was watersoluble so my waterbrush was in constant use. The pages wrinkled and curled but who cared. I discovered that the watersoluble graphite (included in the symposium goody bag) contrasted nicely with the blue hue of the ink.

We sketched each other, the park denizens and locale.

**

**

**

**

**

Moleskine small gridded notebook.
Pilot Parallel Pen, Lyra Watersoluble Graphite 9B, Waterbrush

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.

My rear end was hurting from sitting on my comfortable-for-just-so-long-and-not-a-second-longer stool so I went over to Starbucks and ate a yogurt and sketched. It’s amazing how long one can stretch out the eating of a tiny yogurt.

Then I hit the streets and walked in a big circle: through the financial district – eerily quiet on a Sunday; checked out the “L” (or is it “El” ?) entrance with the elevator (heavy luggage) for the next morning’s trip to the airport; found myself walking the Printers Row Sketchwalk in reverse looking for something I wanted to sketch the other day but not finding it and happy because I was all sketched out. It occurred to me that I should check out the lake so I walked through Grant Park, marveled at Buckingham Fountain, studied it awhile and simultaneously decided I could probably sketch it but I was hot, sun was beating down relentlessly and I was exhausted so I peeked at the lake and walked back towards the hotel and shade while messaging about dinner and “where are you, Benedicte?” I finally reached the shade and everything got sorted out.

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.

Sunday morning, the symposium had ended but there was still sketching in the streets. I started out with Benedicte, Mark, Kate, Dawn and John but soon everyone scattered. I sat on my stool and talked to passersby I knew and didn’t know. Then I wandered off.

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.

Everyone meandered from the group picture taking event back to the Hub. I stopped off in my hotel room to get rid of the tote that held my stool – it was making me drag my feet – and wash my sweaty face. Entering the Hub, just around the corner, I noticed a jazz trio, got my hand stamped with a star (proof I was of drinking age?), found a good spot to sketch and then, when the trio took a break, got my first glass of wine and happily sipped. Sigh. It only took a few sips before I was talking to everybody who crossed my path, stood on line for pizza and spinach thingies, got another glass of wine (!) and settled down for the announcements and raffle and silent auction and goodbyes.

There was discussion about dinner. Benedicte and I, after no discussion, headed out to Dunkin’ for an Ice Cream Dinner. Perfect.

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.

The final Sketchwalk was combined with the 56th Worldwide Sketchcrawl and everyone in Chicago and the world were invited to join us to sketch. Kate and I were joined by a facebook friend , Dawn, from Indianapolis. She sketched, very comfortably, for the first time out in public. Her husband John took loads of photographs of the crowds of sketchers. The symposium attendees were scattered throughout Grant Park, along Michigan Avenue, sketching as they made their way to the General John Logan Monument where the official group photo was taken by an official photographer and a surprise drone.

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.

Silly me. I saw the title “Printers Row” and I got excited. I LOVE printmaking. So I jumped to visions of old-timey print shops, printing presses, the smell of ink. Silly me and my sunburned neck and tired feet.

This Sketchwalk was really challenging. Our first stop was in Congress Plaza where we learned about the history of the Congress Plaza Hotel and then were released to start sketching. But first we were informed that we would only be sketching for 20 minutes at each stop of the Sketchwalk before moving on. Groans were heard from the group as we selected our vantage points. I turned my back on the hotel and headed toward the bronze sculpture, “The Spearman”, by Ivan Meštrović. Phew. Twenty minutes to draw. Phew. I did manage to get in some of the hotel sketching sketchers.

Our next stop was a short walk away and instead of trees I opted for another sculpture, “Spirit Of Music” created by Albin Polasek. And so it went. We walked, we listened, we stopped and sketched for 20 minutes or so, and then we moved on.

It turned out to be a lot of fun and completely do-able.

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.

The next Sketchwalk took us to the river and under the bridge. After the long walk in the hot sun my first goal was finding a shady spot with some people. I lucked out when I spotted a seating area with chairs, benches and a cool breeze.

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.

The first morning Mark texted: “Good morning. I’m at Cafe Luna around the corner on 63 East Harrison for some breakfast…”. Every day thereafter we, Benedicte, Kate and I, met up with Mark and, as the days passed, more Sketchers joined us for food, coffee and chatter.

Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook, Staedtler Pigment Pen 07, Pitt brush pen.