a look at one artist's experience in NYC

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)


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