Sunday, July 27, 2014

Serenity at the Chinese Scholar's Garden

Yesterday the location for the NYC Urban Sketchers was the Chinese Scholar's Garden at Snug Harbor in Staten Island. Just walking through the doorway into the beautiful garden gave me such a feeling of serenity. What a gorgeous peaceful place! A few minutes after we arrived a gentleman started playing a flute, which just added to the meditative feel of this location. 

Susan and I arrived before any of the other sketchers who were coming by ferry and bus from Manhattan. We drove directly there. So for about an hour we had the garden to ourselves.

I started with a sketch of the front area of the main garden which has a pond, a courtyard, a pavilion, and windows that are open to extended your view to the outside. Apparently all the architectural components including the roof and floor tiles, columns and beams, doors and windows, bridges and paving materials, as well as the rocks were shipped from the Suzhou area of China. This is the only garden like this in the United States! It is definitely a treasure.

There are cutouts and windows in the walls. I loved the hint through the round opening in the wall of the treasures in the next area of the garden.

I continued into the back garden area which had so many views to sketch.
I included Christine (up top) and Shaun (on the right) who were also sketching that area of the garden.

Here are a few photos of some of our sketchers at work as well as the musician.

After a lengthy lunch break some of us returned to continue sketching. Luckily there were many covered areas around the pavilion because we did have some rain for a while.

I just had to do a view with the small stone bridge in the distance.

The garden closed at 5 and we had to be dragged out so they could lock the gate, otherwise we may have spent a few more hours there.  The guard took a group photo of us. By this time we had lost about half of our sketchers who left after lunch.

We did stop to display and share some of our work.

Each of us told a little about what we did today and our process. 

The photo of me sharing is missing since I took all these photos. Maybe Mark will post one later and I can add it to the collection.

Everyone else headed back to the ferry but Susan and I remained to sketch one of the buildings in the park before driving back home. These little buildings had a lot of character.

It was a wonderful day of sketching...even the light rain didn't bother us.
The garden had worked it's magic!


  1. Wow, great photos and great art work. Looked like a fun day. Welcome back and looking forward to Old Westbury Gardens on Wednesday. Hope you can make it, take care.

  2. Really nice sketches and photos, too! I'd love to visit this place.

  3. You are so luck to spend a day sketching there, Joan. Your sketches convey the magical quality and the peacefulness of this special place. I enjoy seeing your friends work as well.

  4. What an absolutely gorgeous place to sketch! That all came through in your art too, Joan. So beautiful!

  5. Dear Joan - another gorgeous spot of sketching found by you. Love your is really outstanding. So glad you didn't let the light rain ruin your time there. Loved seeing the other sketchers and their work as well. Have a beautiful week.

  6. Thanks, Joan!

    Tina, I think it is just your kind of place. Thanks.

    Celia, thank you. It is always fun to have a group to share the day with.

    Sherry, thanks so much!

    Debbie, it was so relaxing. Thanks.

  7. What a perfect place to sketch, and your sketches are lovely and serene just like the location. Thanks for posting the photos of the artists and their work, too - I recognize a lot of those faces!