urban sketching

Sketching Michael Arenella's 11th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party, Governor's Island

A few Fitzgerald-y pages from my sketchbook from last weekend's Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island.  In case you missed the straw boater hats, champagne cocktails and old timey jazz from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, the lawn party's second act this summer is August 13 and 14.

Van Gogh's Ear in Rockefeller Center, NYC

I took a very cool urban sketching workshop with artist Tom Thorspecken a few weeks back.  It inspired a thought provoking look at my drawings and some reflection on that types of things I want to record in my sketchbook.  Most motivating was the way creates a really detailed rendering filled with fascinating characters in a location that wouldn't obviously resonate with many artists--a community board meeting or a Subway restaurant.  It's a good reminder to always be observing and using your everyday surroundings, and that doing so will create a story as unique and interesting as anyone else's.  So I bought some new sketchbooks which I'm hoping to fill to capacity this summer with full color New York happenings.

I'm lucky to work right in Rockefeller Center, always bustling with people and activity. I broke in my new book on my lunch break and made a quick picture of Van Gogh's Ear by Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset (of Marfa's Prada store fame) with the Public Art Fund.  The sculpture of a suburban will be at the top of Rockefeller Center's Channel Gardens all summer, reminding us that we have no pools for splashing or floating or lounging with daiquiris in our NYC backyards.

vanGoghsEarSketch.jpg

Mexico City Painting and La Pegatina

Sunday morning painting and daydreaming about Mexico City.

Sunday morning painting and daydreaming about Mexico City.

This morning the Spanish band La Pegatina is providing the soundtrack to Sunday watercolor painting. This morning I discovered their yet unopened CD in the bottom of the backpack I'd taken to Mexico City last fall. 

We had paid a visit to Tianguis Cultural del Chopo, or "El Chopo", a Saturday flea market in Colonia Guerrero near the Metro Buenavista subway stop. This market trades in anarchist literature and art, used tapes and CDs, punk paraphernalia, band t-shirts, piles of Doc Martins. And at the end of the slithering, tented aisles of memorabilia from the teenage wasteland, you are rewarded when the alley opens onto a blocked off intersection crowded with mohawked Chilangos and a band playing.  While a hard core band throbbed meters away, La Pegatina played their impromptu jam session across the intersection, between parked cars and the dazed victim of a recent brawl, weaving their way Pied Piper style through the crowd and cars for their following fans. It was a loony scene to encounter, and I bought their latest CD, finding out later that the band is not local to DF--they're actually from Barcelona.

I thought it'd be fitting today to give the CD I bought that day, Revulsiu, a listen while I revisit Mexico City as inspiration for my paintings. Today, I worked on a smaller painting of some down and out hotels in the Zocalo area.

On location sketch at Tianguis Cultural del Chopo in Mexico City. October, 2015.

On location sketch at Tianguis Cultural del Chopo in Mexico City. October, 2015.

Finishing up today's painting--hotels near the Zocalo in Mexico City.

Finishing up today's painting--hotels near the Zocalo in Mexico City.