Today the NYC Urban Sketchers joined Richard Alomar and a group of Landscape Architects sketching Roosevelt Island. We met near the subway and then Richard told us a bit about the history of Roosevelt Island. Like most parts of NYC it originally belonged to the Native Americans, then the British took control, later selling it to the Dutch. The island had a smallpox hospital, a penitentiary, and an insane asylum at times through its history. For a long time it wasn't a place you would want to visit, but over the years many of the buildings were abandoned. The island, like all NYC real estate was eventually renovated. Roosevelt Island is now home to lovely apartments. It is still rather isolated and connected to Manhattan by subway or tram. It is also connected to the borough of Queens by a bridge.
We started walking and went to an area that had a great view of the river and the Roosevelt Island Bridge. We were told to walk with one sketchbook and one drawing tool. We were given about 25 minutes and were supposed to do 3 sketches...one toward the bridge, one looking up north along the river and one directly ahead. I don't sketch quick enough to do 3 sketches so I used my Lamy pen to sketch the view of the bridge. There was no time to add color.
Our next stop was about midway along the western side of Roosevelt Island looking across the river to Manhattan. Rather than just doing the view of the city I included some of the sketchers sitting on the shaded bench in front of me. This was done directly in watercolor.
More to come...