a look at one artist's experience in NYC

Archive for June, 2011

Sketching your hands

One thing I’ve always enjoyed is drawing my own hands.  Well, mainly my left hand since I’m a righty.  I remember sitting in class as early as elementary school and sketching my hand as the teacher would talk away.  I believed, at that young age, that you could draw almost anything else if you could draw a human hand.  I still think it’s a pretty good measuring stick.

Since I’m still only in my first week of getting back to sketching I thought I’d give it a shot and see if I could pull it off.  The rust is definitely there and will take some time to shake off but I could feel a little bit of the old artist coming back.  Just a little bit though.  Well, at least my measuring stick has it’s first reading.

Feel free to comment.



A Quick Sketch at the Double Windsor Bar, Brooklyn NY

This quick sketch was done at the Double Windsor Bar in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.  I stopped in for an IPA and pulled out my sketchbook to see what I could come up with.  There was a table of about 5 people seated about 10 feet from me and the guy at the end of the table caught my attention the most.  Unfortunately he got up and left after about 30 minutes or so.  The rest of the drawing is of the girl that was sitting next to the man.  Overall I felt OK about this sketch considering I didn’t have much time.  I once again felt  very stiff while drawing and things definitely felt labored.  Oh well, it’s all part of shaking the rust off I guess.  Better luck next time.

Please feel free to comment.


sketch at the Double Windsor (30 min)

Sketching in Union Square, New York City

Today marked my first attempt at trying to regain that creative spark that I regrettably smothered out about 10 years ago when “life” got the better of me.  I had the entire day to myself since my wife had a show out in Sag Harbor, NY and she took the kids with her.  She’s a children’s musician and performs quite regularly all around the city.  You can check out her music at SuziShelton.com if you’re at all interested.

The High Line

Anyway, I decided to ride my bike into Manhattan and just go with the flow of the day.  I wasn’t going to have any agenda besides trying to stop and sketch somewhere for a bit.  The ride from Park Slope, Brooklyn into the city is absolutely amazing.  I gotta say, Mayor Bloomberg has done an incredible job of having bike lanes throughout the city linking all parts of the boroughs.  My  path took me from Park Slope across the Brooklyn Bridge and then over to the Hudson River where you can ride up the entire west side of Manhattan.  I stopped for a bit and almost got sucked into a pickup basketball game but decided I better keep riding since it was such a beautiful day.  Heading up Hudson River Park I soon found myself  walking along the High Line in Chelsea.  The High Line is an elevated park that was once an old rail line that kept freight cars off the city streets.  Since it was a Saturday it was packed with tourists but still beautiful to see.  From there I rode over to Union Square  just to check out the market and rest for a while.

When I arrived at Union Square I sat down behind the tables of chess players that hang out at the square trying to get people to sit and play a match.  I was struck by these two men that were playing just to the left of me.  They were so focused and austere that I knew this was going to be my chance to pull out my sketchbook and see what I could come up with.  I gotta say, it was a struggle trying to get any kind of feel back when you haven’t sketched in so long.  If you’re an artist you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I kept telling myself though to just keep going and see what happens.  A few people would gather behind me to see what I was up to, but for the most part I was left alone and remained focused on what I was doing.  The struggle was mainly with the older gentleman that was facing me.  He constantly kept moving his head and shoulders in relation to his torso so it was a challenge to get the proportions correct.  I think overall I’m pleased with the sketch and definitely see myself going back to try my hand at it again.  It felt good to put pen to paper.

Please feel free to leave a comment or critique.



Chess players at Union Square- (1 hr)

Rediscovering Creativity

I remember when I was about 8 years old and Kellogg’s brand cereal asked kids to send in their drawings of the characters that appeared on their cereal boxes.  Obsessed is the best way to describe my commitment to the endevour.  I made sure that my Mom came home with at least one box of Kellogg’s every week with a new character on it.  Needless to say, granola wasn’t a big part of my young diet.  The frog on Sugar Smacks, the macaw on Fruit Loops and  Snap, Crackle and Pop on Rice Krispies all helped to shape my young artistic mind.  Much like Da Vinci and his Mona Lisa, Tony the Tiger became my obsession and my own commitment to perfection.  The only difference was I was hyped up on sugar from polishing off bowl after bowl of those delicious frosted flakes.  After all, “they’re GGGREEEEAAAATTT! ”  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Looking back at that young time in my life, I realize now that it was probably the happiest I’ve ever been when it comes to creating something.  I know that sounds pretty sad but I think it’s true.  During that time you couldn’t pry a pencil from my hand and any free time I had was spent sketching anything and everything in sight.  It was a time when opinions didn’t matter and I created just for the sake of having fun and doing something that I loved.  I sketched just for the joy of it.

This blog is about trying to rediscover that feeling.  It’s about picking up a pencil and brush again and seeing what comes out of it.  Good or bad.  It’s about figuring out why I quit drawing and making artwork entirely and my attempt to be creative once again.  After all, having Tony the Tiger that embedded in my creative mind isn’t something I’m particularly fond of.

Dave Mitri (oil on canvas, 42 x 64)

Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope to hear from you.