With the NYC Urban Sketchers

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Attended a Saturday sketch date with a few NYC Urban Sketchers a few weeks ago. We met at Frederick Douglass Circle in the morning. Here's my sketch of the street, looking south from the circle.

Looking south from Frederick Douglass Circle, New York, NY

We then proceeded toward the Cathedral of St. John the Divine but stopped to sketch a farmer's market along the way.

Farmers market, New York, NY

I wasn't very inspired at the cathedral, but I did like the next venue -- the walkway on the Columbia University campus.

Columbia University walkway, New York, NY

 Unfortunately I had to rush off to meet someone for lunch, so I couldn't stay very long. Hopefully I'll be able to join the group on future weekends when I'm in the city!

art supplies

Maine Sketchbook

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Custom House Wharf, Portland, Maine

Drove up to Maine for a glorious weather-perfect end to my birthday week. After a night in Portsmouth, NH, we proceeded to Portland to meet and sketch with the lovely Jennifer Lawson. Following lunch at The Grill Room, we drove to Artist & Craftsman Supply so I could browse the wares. They sell Daniel Smith watercolors, so on Jen's recommendation I bought a few new colors to add to the ones I already had.

Also picked up a block of Cartiera Magnani Italia Acquerello paper, which I used right away for the sketch of Portland's Custom House Wharf above. Yes, Jen and I did mean to spend more of the afternoon sketching, but at least we got *some* drawing time in! Update: See Jen's sketch of the scene here.

After the sketching session, M. and I spent an hour getting our feet pampered and savoring tea popsicles at Soakology. Dinner was outdoors at the Portland Regency Hotel's garden cafe, where I used my new Visconti Rembrandt Eco Roller (a birthday gift from M.) to sketch some fellow diners. The ink that came with it is water-soluble, so I had to be very careful when adding watercolor.

Garden Cafe, Portland Regency Hotel, Portland, Maine

The next morning we went to Cape Elizabeth to see the Two Lights lighthouse and the rocky coast. I can see the allure of living here -- it's positively rural and yet just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. Capturing the foggy, atmospheric scene was a challenge!

Figure in fog, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Fisherman in fog, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Our next stop was Rockland, where we visited the Farnsworth Museum, home to many Wyeth paintings (N.C., Andrew, and Jamie). And at The Loyal Biscuit Co. (a local pet supply store), I found the H2O4K9 water bottle I'd been looking for! It's a stainless steel bottle with a cap that serves as a water bowl -- perfect for plein air watercolor sketching. Now I won't have to carry along a separate water container.

On our last day we woke up early to walk along the nearly mile-long breakwater to the lighthouse:

Breakwater and lighthouse, Rockland, Maine

Along the way back home, we stopped in Prouts Neck -- Winslow Homer territory -- to eat lunch at the Black Point Inn and walk along the Cliff Walk. We ate on the deck, with a view of the beach beyond:

View from Black Point Inn, Prouts Neck, Maine

M. and I both felt a weekend in Maine just wasn't long enough -- next time we'll have to stay longer. And someday -- someday -- I will see that elusive moose!