Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sketching in the West Village

Yesterday I decided to join the NYC Urban Sketchers in the city. The best bet for me was to take the LIRR to get there so I took the 7:40 train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station. It is fun sketching on the train if you can get a good view. At first I only had a view of a woman through the opening between the seats. I used my wc pencils and ink for these sketches.

But then a woman sat across the aisle and one row ahead of me.

Finally someone got on and I got a good view of him...and finished 
just before we pulled into Penn Station.

Mark scheduled us for a walking tour of locations related to writers.

We met at 1 Washington Square North to sketch the former home of Henry James and Edith Wharton.
It is a lovely red brick building.

Here is my sketch of it.

I also did a quick sketch of the view down Washington Square North.
This was done directly in watercolors with no pencil lines.

Next we headed off to 130 Macdougal Street which was the home of Louisa May Alcott.
No luck there. Either the building is gone or it was turned into part of the college.
By this time we were freezing and spied the Tea Spot just across the street at 127 Macdougal Street.
What a find! It was warm and cozy with an interesting interior perfect for sketching.
And the woman behind the counter (and the other customers) couldn't have been nicer.

I did a view of the counter with Angela working behind the counter.

Of course when she brought over our assorted teas and a teapot of extra hot water it made a still life that none of us seemed to be able to ignore.

Part of the fun of sketching with other artists is seeing what they find interesting to sketch, talking about sketching and supplies, and just enjoying the day...and often the food we eat.

Here are Mark and Mia who were sketching across from me.

Suma was sketching to my left.

Marie was trying to help Svetlana with a problem she was having loading ink into her new pen.

We were there for quite a while so I also had time to do some sketches of people...some look a bit like the person I was sketching but some not so much. 

Here is the whole group at the table...from the left are Svetlana, Marie, Me, Suma, Mia and Mark.

We noticed the sun was finally out so after a bit of lunch we bundled up again and headed outside.
There were several places related to writers along Grove Street. We stopped at 10 Grove Street which is where O'Henry lived when he wrote the short story "Last Leaf." It must be a popular spot on tours because big groups of people would stop to see the garden behind the gate.

Here is Mark sketching the building.

And Svetlana sketching.

Here is my sketch from that location.

By this time some of the artists were ready to call it a day. Mark, Mia and I headed off to the White Horse Tavern for something to warm up and have something warm to drink before we headed to our trains/buses. I didn't sketch inside (Mark did. He sketches everything.)

We walked back to the subway while the sun was going down. It was a great day of sketching. My thanks to Mark who did so much research and organizing for our day. I didn't get to sketch on the train going back home because my car was very empty and I didn't have a view of anyone near me.
All in all I think it was a productive day!


  1. Good morning Joan!
    On a cruise with poor internet connections. Trying to catch up on your wonderful posts!
    Love, love, love your portraits!
    Of course I still love all your other work but the portraits really got my eye!
    (Good to be back on line! I missed checking out all our artist blogging friends!)
    Take care.

  2. How busy you have all been. I so enjoy going on your travels with you. Great paintings, every single one

  3. Love this post Joan. I feel I've been part of your sketching day virtually speaking. Wish I could join something like that here, it looks such fun :)

  4. Thanks, Michael. I hope you had a great cruise.

    Polly - Thanks. Days like this are so much fun.

    Ann - You should look around for a sketching group. Thanks!

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful day. So much to do and see and sketch. I love the peekaboo sketch of the woman through the seats. So much great work here Joan. Thank you so much for sharing. You are an inspiration.

  6. All your sketches are awesome, Joan! I think you'd be great to live near because you'd keep me going and working at my drawing skills. Love your last one best of all because of all the trees and leaves around the home.

  7. Tina - Thanks. It was fun but cold outside.

    Jacqui - Thanks. It amazes me how much sketching you can do in a day if you put your mind to it.

    Sherry - If you were nearby we would be out sketching all the Thanks!

  8. Sounds like you had a fun time. Loved your sketches.

  9. wow you have a busy time, lovely sketches, thanks for sharing :-D