If wishes were horses, beggars would ride…and one of my wishes, of painting in good ole New York City, came true this past weekend!
Yep, that’s right. As an urban landscape artist on the east coast, New York, NY seems a natural mountain for me to want to climb. I got my 1st shot at it when my plein air friend, Elissa Gore, sent me an email asking me to like a Facebook event she was organizing. I took a look at it and recognized a couple names on the list of participating artists.
I “liked” the event and commented that I wished I lived closer so I could come paint with them. Well don’t you know, the answer I got back from my friend Bob Bahr was …."Come paint”. and when I mentioned funds were low, knowing New York can be expensive, I got. "we've got a couch and are good for 1 free meal" Well, I didn’t need much more coaxing than that! I talked to my wife whose immediate reaction was “Looks like you’re going to paint in New York!” I am blessed.
This was a plein air painting event with no fees and no judging, but there was an exhibition at the end so I did need to have frames. I found that driving up was my best option, but I was not sure if I’d find street parking so I had to plan on fitting EVERYTHING I needed into a rolling suitcase. That took some planning, packing, shuffling, unpacking and repacking but since I was only staying 1 night, it was doable…. I found a way!
It was an absolutely beautiful day. Sunny with a slight breeze. The breeze was so refreshing! I had picked my spot before arriving. I often use Google Maps to aid me in this, especially when I am in unknown territory and on a tight schedule. Bob and Robin went off someplace else… I got my 1st painting underway under an elevated roadway near La Marina.
People were curious and friendly. I enjoyed interacting with them. Many kids spurred me on. I find they are the most opinionated and I get a kick out of them.
Once I completed painting #1, which I ended up titling "Going Under", I found Bob and Robin, ate my lunch and visited with them
a bit. Nice to meet new painters and see their work.
Also nice to just sit and drink some water for a bit. Relax and take in the atmosphere.
Ok, time to get back to "work" ha ha. Bob kindly showed me a few of his favorite spots to paint in the area. We were Actually in Inwood Hill Park. What a stunning place! One in particular spoke to me and that proved to be my 2nd painting. It was late in the day but I wanted to get another one in. After all, I wanted to soak up this experience.
Definitely TIRED NOW.... I’d done more walking on this day than I had in 2 weeks, I think! I slowly made my way back to the apartment just in time for happy hour to start and a wonderful dinner by my fantastic hosts. A relaxing evening of conversation and feet up. Bedtime came early.
Sunday morning. Bob and I decided to get started at 8:30 AM with a traditional Dominican breakfast of Tres Golpes (con magú) breakfast at Albert’s House of Mofongo. I had the mini version. Yummy and filling....fun to try something new! We found a great spot to set up together and got on with painting. It is nice to paint with someone in the city so when you need to get a cup of coffee or find a bathroom, your partner can watch your stuff. Bob did 1 large painting in this spot. I did 2 smaller paintings before we had to pack up and head to the exhibition spot, the Ring Garden, a couple blocks away at 2pm.
It was fun to see what the other artists created over these couple days. Such a talented group and nice welcoming group too. The Ring Garden was a lovely space and we were once again blessed with a wonderful day.
But all good things must come to an end. I hope to come back and paint here with Bob and Elissa again. Everyone needs experiences that recharges their batteries and this did that for me in ways I could not have foreseen. I am grateful and carry that with me forward.
My paintings are available here, on the website, just click the images for more information.
The other artwork created during this event is available to view and purchase via the individual artists at the following website. Please visit this site:
Hope you enjoyed coming along with me on another plein air trip! Please stop back again and if you'd like to get these directly in your inbox DO sign up for my email list.
Thank you for you support and have a fantastic day! Sarah