38th Worldwide SketchCrawl

Monday, January 21, 2013

38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl

On Saturday I participated in the 38th Worldwide SketchCrawl. I wasn't able to meet up with the NYC group in the morning but ended up doing a daylong dual-state crawl.

I started off with a quick sketch over breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien in Stamford before going to a few local garage sales.

Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, Stamford, CT

At one of them I scored a set of unused watercolor pencils, among other art supplies, so I brought them along with me to my next stop -- Brooklyn, New York, where I met my friend Alison. We had lunch and sketched each other. Then I sketched the expansive view from her window, with the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in the distance:

Sunset over Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Brooklyn, NY

We went up a few flights of stairs to the roof, where we enjoyed breathtaking views of the sunset over Brooklyn and Manhattan. I quickly sketched two views before my fingers began to freeze:

Sunset over the city, Brooklyn, NY

Sunset from a rooftop, Brooklyn, NY

When we went back down to warm up, I drew her daughter practicing piano (finally broke out those watercolor pencils):

L practicing piano

Around 6:15 I headed back to Connecticut so I could catch The Sig Brothers playing at Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford -- got a prime seat right in front of the band so I could draw them as M. and I enjoyed the music:

The Sig Brothers at Coalhouse Pizza, Stamford, CT

The next Worldwide SketchCrawl will be on Saturday, April 13. Mark your calendar and join in the fun!


Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

To cap off 2012, M. and I drove down to Washington, D.C., on Dec. 30. After the requisite stops in the 'burbs for yummy unfamiliar food and the Tyson's Corner Levenger store, we sat down for an Ethiopian dinner at Etete and browsed at Kramerbooks before calling it a night.

New Year's Eve was a whirlwhind of art supply, bike and pen stores within Metro-ing distance of the Dupont Circle Hotel (scored the Utrecht travel brush set I'd been looking for and three inexpensive new fountain pens from Farhney's). Then it was off to Redwood in Bethedsa, Maryland, for dinner -- their NYE fete was titled "Last Dance in Old Havana," but the Hawaiian shirts and leis strewn about seemed to imply Polynesian tiki bar. Glad we were only there for food and left before their dubiously themed party kicked off!

While we were eating, I noticed this fabulous silver-haired woman perched at the bar with her feet up on a stool -- she seemed to embody a certain old-school style, with her cashmere sweater, silk scarf and jeans, so I just had to draw her.

New Year's Eve at Redwood, Bethedsda, Maryland

After a few bites of rather cheesecakey flan, we were ready for our next stop: the New Year's Eve swing lesson and dance at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. Last time we'd been was in the summer -- and it was broiling. This time, it appeared to be unheated -- we couldn't wait for the dance to get started so we could contemplate shedding the warmth of our coats.

New Year's Eve Swing at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo, Maryland

We went over the basics in the lesson but also learned some Charleston-esque moves, so that kept things interesting even for the more experienced dancers.

Tuesday morning we decided to stop in Annapolis on the way back home. The last time I'd been there was in the fourth or fifth grade, when our elementary school unit on state history culminated with the obligatory trek to the state house. All I remember of the trip is that as we waited for the school bus to pick us up, some of the girls in our group were chatting up the (much older!) Naval Academy students.

Anyhow, turns out it's quite a cute and sketchable capital city. And oddly enough, it was *bustling* on New Year's Day. Shops and restaurants were open, and people were out and about. M. took a bike ride while I parked my folding stool and drew the view up Main Street (and yes, that's the state house dome in the back).

New Year's Day, Annapolis, Maryland

Will have to go back in warmer weather to explore it (and the Eastern Shore) some more.

Hope everyone has a happy and art-filled new year!


Christmas in Mystic

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Mystic Seaport Community Carol Sing

Nothing says holiday like a blast of salty spray from the Sound! As usual, we packed up our presents and drove off to Mystic, Connecticut, on the Eve of Christmas Eve, to spend the holiday at M.'s family's waterfront cottage.

This year, we went to the 57th annual Mystic Seaport Community Carol Sing, benefiting the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. Everyone gathered at the Seaport's Anchor Circle to sing popular Christmas carols (with the aid of helpful booklets to remind us of the more obscure verses).

 Community Carol Sing at Mystic Seaport

Community Carol Sing at Mystic Seaport

On Christmas Eve, we went bowling at Spare Time in Groton, with my sister-in-law and her family. We started that tradition a few years ago. She and I often take our knitting projects, but this time I took the sketchbook along, determined to capture something of the action.

Bowling at Spare Time, Groton, CT

I find it's really hard to draw people bowling. The experienced bowlers contort themselves into an odd stance when they release the ball -- right arm just so in front; right leg curving behind the left, toe grazing the ground -- and in a second it's over. Yes, they do it over and over again, which should be helpful, but I still haven't quite mastered the pose.

Bowlers, Spare Time, Groton, CT

Bowling on Christmas Eve at Spare Time, Groton, CT

In the evening, we went to the Christmas Eve service at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. It's a smallish, intimate church, and the service included lots of singing, which I enjoyed. The musicians were in the back behind the pews, so I had to crane my neck around to draw them.

Christmas Eve at St Mark's Episcopal, Mystic, CT

We were all given paper stars (gifts for the child in the manger) so I promptly used mine as a stencil to add some interest to the page. I was also fascinated by the people lighting the glass hurricane lamps next to the pews -- but I couldn't sketch them properly as they moved so quickly.

Christmas Eve at St Mark's Episcopal, Mystic, CT

Speaking of things that move fast -- M.'s parents recently got a King Charles spaniel. She's a bundle of puppy energy, so I was only able to get a few quick sketches of her in during the holiday. Perhaps she'll nap more when she's older. :) Hope everyone had a good holiday!

King Charles spaniel