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Saturday,  October 13th was the 37th World Wide Sketch Crawl.  I don’t know where I was for the other 36, but I’m sure glad I made it to the 37th.   I did it with the NYC Urban Sketcher group.   We met at the new Barclay’s Center (Barbra Streisand would be singing there that night) and did some sketches, moved on to the Atlantic Center and then over to the Brooklyn Academy of Music area.

Not being a plein air anything it felt a little odd to be outside sketching, but the NYC Urban Sketchers group were a friendly, welcoming, TALENTED bunch and I felt right at home in no time although a bit intimidated at their sketching ability. I had a small 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 sketch book and every sketch I started was too big! Oh well, that’s why I only have part of a food truck or some of the windows of a building.

In the small world category, I met a “blog friend” who I had never met before. Joan T had come in from Long Island and I recognized her from some pictures she had posted of herself.  Wow!   It was wonderful to meet a blog friend. And BTW, She is a fabulous sketcher.  Click on her name and it will bring you to her blog post about that day.

My sketches were simple compared to many who did amazing city scenes.  But what fun.  They do it each weekend and I have no doubt I’ll be joining them often.

A shout out to Alex Zonis who was the one who suggested I try the NYC Urban Sketcher group and who made the contacts for me.  So thank you Alex!  I will most certainly be going out sketching with them again.

Spilling Strawberries – 13″ x 9″ in 140# arches cold press

I don’t have too much to say today.  I am recovering from passing a kidney stone. And if any of you have experienced that, all I can say is ow, ow, ow.  And I wasn’t even owtside when it happened.

I may add that this kidney stone passing is self diagnosed, but having had one before that was diagnosed by an MD with a degree I have to say that I will put my imaginary medical degree up against any real one in this particular diagnostic situation.

The above painting was done from a reference photo from Wet Canvas.  The lovely and talented Beth Parker had a link to it at her blog.  Thank goodness, because for the life of me I cannot navigate that website.

I forced myself to think “simplicity” when doing this painting.  A sketch, a few washes and I was done.   I used a bit of frisket in the colander, but I used wax to keep some of the highlights on the berries and on the colander hole reflections on the tablecloth.

My friend Judy said to me this week:  I’m going to get my hair relaxed.   Do you think they can do anything for my soul?

If only, Judy.  If only.

Kaiya – 5 years old – May 2010

When I moved into my apartment it was located in a “transitional” neighborhood.  There was a corner bodega with bullet proof glass that did a brisk drug business.  Empty lots dotted local blocks.   And shady looking kids hung out on the corner.  It’s  NOW a very desirable location.

If there was any doubt at all that my neighborhood has experienced full-out gentrification (actually, there was no doubt; it happened years ago), this latest experience sealed the deal.

Time: Evening dog walk (approximately 9:45 pm)

Place: 4th Ave in front of McDonald’s

Situation: A man in a suit is complaining to two police officers that he walked up to the McDonald’s drive through window and the man wouldn’t sell him two cheeseburgers.  AND THEN, apparently the McDonald’s’ employee said something like “you people”  which caused Mr. Suit to feel he was being discriminated against.

Charlie and I were extremely amused by the whole exchange but when a SECOND police car came screaming down 4th Ave., lights and sirens blaring, made a U-turn and pulled up on the sidewalk in front of Mickey D’s  I looked at Charlie and said “THIS is the biggest thing happening in the 78 precinct tonight?”

Apparently it was.

Since Mr. whiny suit wearing yuppie didn’t have a license plate nailed to his ass and the drive-through window guy didn’t want to serve him, Mr. wswy CALLED THE POLICE?  Really?  The police?   And they showed up at the scene of “the crime”.  We were amused for days.  I would have given the employee a frosty glare and gone home.   Damn entitled yuppies.

Another way to tell your neighborhood is too gentrified?  When your dog’s bed looks more comfortable than yours. Here is a sketch of Kaiya, our 5-year-old Akita/Shepherd/Lab(?) rescue on her new bed which is “paprika” and black. Paprika? You bet!  That’s what the catalog said and I’m sticking to it!   She’s about 95 lbs, and is a great dog, is very loving, except when those really yappy dogs start with her (I’m talking to YOU, Mango)  or when she meets another Alpha female.  Oy!

Could be worse.  I could be trying to get two cheeseburgers from the drive-thru at  Micky D’s without a car!

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