Trip2012: Day 15 - A wet but huge sketching day in NY

August 10, 2012 | Leave your thoughts

Day 4. A very wet day and as a result my 2 scheduled social sketching arrangements were cancelled. This worked out fine for me as I did feel the need for some time on my own. Of course I sketched a lot even though I spent a good block of time in a tearoom.

I was continually inspired by the view out my window ….

When I left my hotel it wasn’t actually raining and I thought I would head towards a new park – green acre park that Richard recommended I check out- and see what i would come across. But it started pouring and that would have been crazy. I really wanted to sketch the outside of the Waldorf Astoria but not an option. So I went inside assuming it would have a nice lobby. I was disappointed but of course still sketched. ( I sketched with water brush at the time but later added watercolour with a real brush … As you all know I hate the washed out washes that a waterbrush tends to produce)

It was still raining… But as it was my ‘big day’ to sketch in an uncontrolled manner, I was on the look out for a spot to sketch, and when I saw a sheltered alcove opposite St Barts (a building I sketched last time) I seized the opportunity. I sure got a lot of curious looks, sitting on my stool, painting in such weather.

A photo of a beloved building which I couldn’t sketch this time – Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building.

Next stop, the wonderful Radiance tea room. I ended up spending 3 hours there (ironically, it wasn’t raining for most of my visit) I was the only customer when I turned up so was able to choose the seat with a good view.

AMAZING tea collection and I am so glad that the waitress suggested this sweet treat (rather than scones… Surely I can’t do scones in an Asian tea house!?!) How excited do you think I was when I saw how pretty the tea pot was and having the offer to re-brew my wonderful oolong tea leaves, knew that I was going to be for a while. This is about the only time I ‘allow’ myself to chill on one of my big trips!!!

Still going and lunchtime came around, so more food and more tea. By this time I had made friends with all the waiting staff and was bold enough to request a different pot for my second choice of tea. I suppose I should get going… But the rain started again… Oh well…

I wanted to sketch the outside of the Hearst tower by Sir Norman Foster, so instead I went inside the lobby. I was given a detailed talk by the guard on duty about all the particular female design features of the building (including accessory shelves for shoes and bags etc under each workstation.) Very quick sketch because I had a long walk in the rain ahead of me…

…even quicker sketch halfway through my wet walk of the Lincoln Center…trying to sketch all eras of architecture this trip….

Crazy thing to do on a wet day, but visiting this hat store was one of the things I had to do! When my nanna passed away in 2010 I was given one of her hats. It is a very cute 60-70s blue beret made by Kangol (UK)… And as they are still in business and have an American chain (and I wasn’t going to London) decided that I would buy a hat in my nanna’s honour. Anyway, I ended up buying three and crazy enough to sketch inside the store (colour added later!)

The guy in the store was trying to talk me into buying the black bowler hat “very few people can wear that hat!”… I can’t believe that I willing post such silly photos of myself these days- but all part of my adventures!

Now that I had spent some money on something other than tea or art supplies (or books) I headed a few blocks north to check out a very sketchable apartment building. I wasn’t sure I would be able to sketch it (rain etc) so imagine my excitement to find a small café directly opposite it and a table with the perfect view… (a tea was required to be purchased for the use of the table!)

So here it is- the Dorliton… Isn’t that amazing. I can’t tell you how much fun I had doing this… In fact, how much fun I was having all day, all week, all trip!

Ok, I was getting tired and cold and my feet were very wet so I went back to the hotel to rest…but it stopped raining…and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to try to sketch Times Square (I was not sure of when I would get a catch… Running out of time) SO I went out again, and the rain started again (only light though this time) I stood on the slippery red stairs (TKTS) and sketched the view. How could I possibly paint this scene….

Well, I really wanted to capture the moment in paint on location… So hung around for a little bit and then thankfully found a slightly damp bench to sit on.
I am thankful to the friendly tourist (of course, I don’t count myself as one of them!) who kindly took this photo of me.

And here it is….

Ok… NOW I can go back to my room…. Inspired by Miguel (freekhand)’s amazing sketch of the view out of his home that I saw IRL in Santo Domingo, I started a careful ‘meditative’ sketch of my view – one that I could complete over a number of sittings… But seriously!!?! I was way too much in a buzzing mood to try anything so unrealistic.

A final page (no. 14 for the day!) was my microwave dinner and a map of my day’s adventures. Sigh – this is tiring doing these posts!!! I have to say that this is one of the best solo sketching days I have ever had!

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