The NYC Urban Sketchers picked the Gowanus Canal area in Brooklyn for our sketch crawl on Saturday. For those of you outside of NYC, the Gowanus Canal for a long time has been known as one of the most polluted waterways in the country. Recently environmental projects have been done to try and improve the conditions. It is making a slow comeback, and they are trying to get it declared a national historic area. Most of you know that I tend to paint attractive landscapes that are "pretty." Well, this was gritty and dirty and just so much fun to sketch. I was really pleasantly surprised. Just to give you an idea of the area here is a photo of the Union Street Bridge. This was one of the prettier spots.
Anyway plans were made for the group to meet in Manhattan and take the ferry across to Brooklyn and do a walk with some participants that are actually working on improving the canal. My friend, Susan and I were already on the Brooklyn side so the plan was to meet along one of the bridges. One other sketcher did meet up with us, but we didn't ever link up with the rest of the group.
Susan and I started at the Union Street Bridge (pictured above). While we were sketching an instructor came along with two kids and their parents. He was giving them a perspective lesson and it was great to see what they had sketched. I did one of most of the bridge and then one of the bridge house.
Next we drove over to the Ninth Street Bridge. Sunil found us sketching there. He is one of those people who has an easy time sketching standing up...not me. LOL
I sketched the Ninth Street Bridge with the oil tanks and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway with the traffic on it. Then I sketched an interesting jumble of "stuff" alongside the canal.
At this point we heard voices calling to us. The other sketchers that we were supposed to meet were up on the elevated subway platform to take the train to the next location they planned to sketch. We decided we would rather stay where we were. There was a small fleet of cement mixers with colorful polka dots that I just had to sketch. LOL
Susan and I headed over to the Whole Foods Market by the 3rd Street Bridge. They had a wonderful park-like path around the parking lot that had views of the canal. I did one final (double page) sketch of the 3rd Street Bridge. I sketched it on location and started painting it, but it was getting late so I decided to finish it at home. It was really fun to sketch things so different from what I normally do.