Drawing New York (some NSFW)

I’m still processing (and trying to write about) my responses to the verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case. I have many, many paragraphs written and they all seem incoherent, so I’m not sure they will appear on my blog this week. But until I finish that post, it feels inappropriate to fill this space with selfies, “look at all the things I ate,” “NY is awesome,” etcetera. Not while my thoughts on the verdict sit so heavy on me.

Sketches, though… sketches feel reasonable to share.

A tree grows on Governors Island:

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Outdoor concerts are great for drawing people.

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I haven’t done enough sketching of architecture — it’s too hot. This one I did from the window of a burger place, while having shakes with a fellow writer and crafter (hi Jane!).

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On Tuesday we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. To those of us who grew up reading and rereading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler, this museum can never be anything but extra-special. Even so, sketching is the only way I can handle such extensive galleries without suffering overwhelm. The Met, like nearly all of this city’s major museums, allows sketching only in pencil, which I don’t like to do on regular paper (something I learned from my pencil sketch of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston). Anticipating this problem, I went last week to an art supply store and got a nice Japanese-made sketchbook with sturdy, lightly textured paper. Much better for pencil. By making sketches I was able to handle five hours in the museum without getting too tired.

I hadn’t expected the Met (which I’ve visited before) to remind me so much of the Louvre, but it makes sense; the American founders of the museum conceived of it in Paris.

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That evening, I returned to the Society of Illustrators for more live music and models. After a day of looking at art, my own got off to a slow start. Actually for the first half of the session, I hated everything I drew. As usual when that happens, though, a day later, things don’t look so bad. But you can see me fiddling with pens, approaches.

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My definite favorite from the night:

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