My Art Weekend, Day Two

Day two of my weekend of art started early. I was on the train by 9:15 for an early arrival at the Museum, hoping to avoid the lines at the ticket counter. I arrived at 9:45 to find that the museum doesn't open until 10, so I wandered around the neighborhood, collecting a bit of breakfast and some supplies. Breakfast was pear nectar and carrot muffin, and I bought a bag of cashews and a bottle of water to smuggle into the museum to keep me going over the day.

10:15 found me inside, but no one else was supposed to be there until 11, so I did a bit of solo sketching, and took in the Hall of Ocean Life, with that great Blue Whale sculpture that dominates the space. Nothing else like it to make you feel small. The museum was oddly empty considering that this is the height of the tourist season in New York, and that it's a favorite destination of families when they visit.

At 11 I turned the corner into the appointed meeting place, the North American Mammals Hall. Danny and his son Jack were there already, and sketching away. I introduced myself and sat down to join the group. The Sketchcrawl itself was a bit scattered, no one seemed sure if we were sticking together, or scattering over the museum, or just staying in one place, or what, so things became a bit disjointed, but I had a few great conversations, one with Danny about figure drawing groups in town, one with Rick about the great ethnic diversity of New York City, and sketching on the subway.

After an hour or so in the Mammals hall Danny took Jack to the cafeteria, which pretty much signaled the end of the group. I ended up chatting with Jason, another sketcher, the last one left in the room with me. Jason was a great guy, and he and I had some fun discussing music, web design, and the joys of freelancing in NYC.

When Danny returned from lunch he, Jack, Jason and I made our way to the fourth floor, deciding that maybe it was time to sketch some of the infamous dinosaur bones in the museum's collection.

The dinosaur room was of course much more crowded. Lots of kids about, and those marble floors don't do nearly as much to dampen the sound as the wooden floors of the lower rooms. Sketching in a room full of kids got me some attention, lots of kids coming over to see what I was doing, and to compliment my work. Oddly it also seemed to make me an instant expert on dinosaurs. I had three different people ask me questions regarding the exhibit that I was drawing, (BTW Jess, why DON'T bronto hip bones have a ball socket? How did they work?). I was a bit offended by one mother's response when her child asked me a question, "Honey, he doesn't know, he's just and artist." Just?! Har-umph!

The disappointment of the day was that I didn't get to meet Enrico. I didn't think he had shown up at the museum at all, but he has pics from his day over at his blog, so obviously he was there somewhere. Maybe we exist in parallel universes?

Danny and Jack cut out of the museum about 2, but Jason and I stayed for a while longer, migrating over to the Hall of Advanced Mammals and concentrating on a couple of mammoth skeletons.

I did a couple of pencil sketches, but mainly I worked most of the day in brush pen, a skill that I'm trying to get better control over. It's a lot easier to sketch with it in a stable setting than it is on the train. I'm especially happy with my mammoth sketch.

Thanks to Danny for suggesting the museum, and to Jason for keeping me company! It was a great day, and a nice capper to an artful weekend.

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