Saturday, May 24, 2014

Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park

I made a quick trip to New York this past week, and we took a leisurely saturday wandering around Brooklyn.  Here is the Manhattan skyline, as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park. What a gorgeous day it was to lie on the grass and paint.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sketching at High Park

I was hoping to see the famous cherry blossoms at High Park during our sketching session, but the heavy rain fall from the previous days and the unusually cool temperatures of the past few weeks have considerably reduce the volume of flowers in the trees this year. So it's not as spectacular as it could be but it was still nice to be in the park and take in the scenery. There were a few petals on the ground and a fewer flowers holding on to the trees. It was interesting to see the amount of people taking pictures along the path.

Today was a particularly cold day and, despite our good intentions, it was just too cold to spend the whole day sketching outdoor. I managed to sketch a view of the pond with a little cherry tree closer to the pond. The tree was more green then pink, but still attracted a good amount of photographers and models. Some even picked up petals from the ground and threw them in the air to simulate petal falling from the sky.

After about an hour and a half, we called it quits and decided to look for a warmer place to sketch. According to the Sakura Cherry Blossoms website, this long weekend is the last chance to see them in full bloom as more rain is expected in the next couple day, most likely knocking out the remaining flowers. I guess I'll have to wait until next year to experience this display of natural beauty the as shown in the video below from last year.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sketching at the Brookfield Place

A little over a week ago, our sketching group met at the Brookfield Place to do some sketches of the office building complex located near the Union Station. We gathered in the spectacular Allen Lambert Galleria, also known as the "crystal cathedral of commerce", which was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Looking up at the curved ceiling, it definitely reminded me of Spain.

The place was rather quiet during most of our session. There was classical music playing in the background and people passing by at various time. Two couples came with their photographers to apparently take engagement pictures. It's a very popular place for that. It just goes to show the importance and impact of designing spaces to not only be functional but aesthetically pleasing. The design for this space was the result of an international competition to comply with Toronto's public art requirement. I would say that this is a success, judging by the amount of people who felt compelled to stop and take photos while we were there.

Once again we had a great turnout for our event and lots of great sketchers from the participants, as shown below. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm hoping we'll be able to sketch outdoors a little more. But on a cold day, this is a great place to hang out. The only thing missing in my opinion, are seatings for people to fully take in this beautiful space.