Saturday, January 30, 2016

Grand Central Station

"Grand Central Station"
Day 30
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

I have always wanted to go inside the iconic Grand Central Station and on this trip we did.  It truly is an amazing building.  Unfortunately we only had time to see the vast interior main concourse and it  is magnificent.  Made primarily from granite, it was completed in 1903 and the basement area with all the train tracks covers 49 acres.  The terminal is one of the worlds most visited tourist attractions with almost 22 million visitors a year.

This is the final day of this challenge I have given myself.  I have enjoyed the topic because I could relive memories of that fabulous girls weekend in New York City back in December with my daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.   Perspective is what I chose to concentrate on because it is something I am not accustomed to doing.  But I must say I am so glad it is over because for the most part it  has been very embarrassing for me to put out works that I am not proud of.  But I continued to participate because I wanted to learn and practice and I chose to do it in this public way.    I feel that I did learn many things and perhaps got a little bit better as the month went on but I can assure you that landscapes will be what I will continue to concentrate on.     

Later in the week, I will post a coastal marsh that I have been working on so I hope you come back! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lunch at Joe's

"Lunch at Joe's"
Day 29
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

Earlier in this month's challenge, I painted a street scene of Joe's Pizza on E. 14 Street.  So I thought I would attempt to show you what I ate.  This is a delicious slice of Caprese pizza with huge chunks of mozzarella, tomato slices and basil along with my orange cream soda.

Wish I was back at Joe's to have another slice!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Giant Light Display

"Giant Light Display"
Day 28
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

If you have never strolled the streets around Radio City Music Hall at Christmas time, you are probably wondering what this is! 

We were on our way from our hotel to catch an early-morning performance of the Rockettes and came upon this GIANT, colorful light display along the Avenue of the Americas.  Each individual light, I am guessing, is approximately 10-12 ft. tall.  Quite a colorful display and of course a great photo op!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Union Square Park

"Union Square Park"
Day 27
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

Union Square Park is a relatively small three-block green oasis down near the intersection of Broadway and 4th Avenue.  The afternoon we were there the park was filled with tourists, nearby residents and families with children in strollers doing their weekend shopping for fruits and vegetables from the many vendors selling their wares.   There also was a holiday market selling Christmas greenery and small trees, jewelry, soaps and a myriad of other items.  

It was also busy with people relaxing by enjoying the mild December weather.  Since it is so convenient to nearby subway routes, the restaurants and bars near the park were doing a brisk business.  People also were playing chess and I hear it gives Washington Square Park a run for its money because of all the foot traffic Union Square gets.

All in all it was a beautiful spot to roam around and people watch which is one of my favorite activities. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Two Boots Pizza

"Two Boots Pizza"
Day 26
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

When we were standing in Greenwich Village looking down the street in front of West Village Florist, if you looked across the street you would see this very colorful corner business.  It is Two Boots Pizza and the signage was something you just could not miss!  The orange and turquoise really pop!

Monday, January 25, 2016

West Village Florist

"West Village Florist"
Day 25
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

After we left Battery Park and the view of the Statue of Liberty, we started roaming again and hoped eventually to find Chelsea Marketplace where we wanted to eat lunch.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed wandering the streets and snapping photos.  This scene is West Village Florist on Greenwich Avenue and the whole neighborhood was most colorful and very lively.  I enjoyed working on this one.  Hope you like it.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Going Downtown

"Going Downtown"
Day 24
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

I had a slight interruption to my painting NYC street scenes but I am back now and hope to continue painting the rest of this week.

I receive a daily blogpost from Seth Godin and recently he had a quote that is very apropos to me and this challenge I have undertaken to try to strengthen my lack of skills on perspective.  "Learning something new is frustrating.  It involves being dumb on the way to being smart."  I am by no means smart yet but rather becoming less dumb, but at least I am heading in the right direction.  

I hope you come back tomorrow to see where we roam.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Just Before Sunset

"Just Before Sunset"
Day 21
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

What a difference 15 minutes can make!  Today's painting is based on a photo taken only 15 minutes after the painting from yesterday with the colorful skies.  The sun was setting lower in the sky with just these thin ribbons of color remaining.  I changed the composition to a horizontal layout and I rather like the way this one turned out with just a suggestion of the twinkling lights.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

From the 86th Floor

"From the 86th Floor"
Day 20
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

This 30-day series has been labeled by me as New York City street scenes.  But today I am taking you up 86 floors to the Empire State Building observation floor.  My granddaughter Lindsey and I went on this adventure together and I have to say it was totally breathtaking and a memory I will always have in my heart.

Fortunately, Leah was able to nab two express tickets for us which allowed us to bypass all the crowds and long lines and get straight to the top in a very expedited  manner.  We started our journey up at 4 pm (I can say this because of the magic of iPhones and their technology by labeling the time of each photo I took) and were able to take in a few minutes of daylight before experiencing the sunset and then complete darkness with all the twinkling lights of this magnificent city.  

This particular photo that I worked from was taken right at 4:30 pm looking out over the Hudson and across to New Jersey.    I allowed myself to play with these glorious sky colors which is something I do not usually tackle, but I must say it was fun.  In fact, there will be another one tomorrow so please stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Central Park Ice Rink

"Central Park Ice Rink"
Day 19
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

January sure is marching on!  Cannot believe I am already at day 19 of painting 30 paintings in 30 days.  I truly am enjoying myself and one of the best things is that I am learning new things about myself and what I can do with my art.  None of these are masterpieces but some are quick studies and some take longer to complete but I am still learning something new each day.  I am greatly influenced by so many other artists and am continually inspired by them.  

Here is another of my daughter-in-law Leah's photos.  She ingeniously put together a soft-bound photo book of about 58 photos from our weekend in New York City to give each of us as a Christmas present.  I just love looking at it!  She used a site called Artifact Uprising to put it together.  Of course, I had never heard of it but that is nothing new. The photo quality is superb. You might want to check it out!

While we were on our carriage ride through Central Park we all were snapping photos and she caught a glimpse of the skating rink through the trees with part of the New York skyline in the distance.  There can be a painting everywhere you look.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Statue of Liberty

"Statue of Liberty"
Day 18
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

No series about scenes from New York City would be complete without the Statue of Liberty, so here is my version.  

If you read my blog yesterday, you may remember my vivid blue skies above Battery Park.  I mentioned if you looked to the left across the Hudson River this is the eerie sight you would see.  It was almost as though a curtain had been drawn to separate the beautiful blue skies from the misty haze over the water.

My color palette consisted of three values of Torrit Grey by Gamblin Artist's Oil Colors and a little yellow ochre and a dab of ultramarine blue for the trees surrounding the base of the statue.

A very simple and monochromatic scene which I rather like!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

View From Battery Park

"View From Battery Park"
Day 17
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

This view is from a photo my daughter-in-law Leah took.  We were down in Battery Park on the southernmost tip of Manhattan looking north.  It was a beautifully sunny day but if we turned hard to our left to look across the Hudson River, we could see the Statue of Liberty and the ferry taking passengers over to Ellis Island and The Statue.  That whole area was shrouded in fog which seemed so eerie since we were standing in complete sunshine.  I guess it was the mist from the waters of the Hudson River.

In the distance, the silver and blue 104-story monolith is One World Trade Center which was completed last year and stands across from the site of the former World Trade Center twin towers. It is the tallest building in New York City even though from this perspective the building on the right looks taller.  That building on the right is much closer to where we were standing.  

Battery Park was teeming with people and lots of activity and I tried to put a sense of that liveliness into the courtyard areas.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Magnolia Bakery

"Magnolia Bakery"
Day 16
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

We had tickets for an early morning performance of the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and needed to get up early, pack, check out, stow our luggage at the hotel and then hoof it to Radio City Music Hall.  We made good time and suddenly spied Magnolia Bakery which is just a couple doors away from Radio City.  Of course, we had to make time to go in for coffee and cupcakes!   Doesn't everyone eat cupcakes for breakfast??

My daughter Kim remembered Magnolia Bakery from when she watched "Sex and the City".  That TV show and the movie "The Devil Wears Prada", among others, featured their wonderful desserts and helped the store gain worldwide attention. 

Sure was a great start to our last day in New York! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Riding Through Central Park

"Riding Through Central Park"
Day 15
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

The inspiration for this painting came from our carriage ride through Central Park.  I have been painting so many city sidewalks and buildings for this 30 day challenge and this was a nice diversion to add a splash of nature into the mix.  

I think this painting shows the much needed balance of the hardscapes and steel structures against the calming forces of nature.  As I have said before, New York City is blessed to have so many welcoming green spaces scattered throughout this vibrant city that provide a welcome respite for all to take advantage of.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Urban Corner

"Urban Corner"
Day 14
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

This scene may look familiar to you if you saw my pitiful posting yesterday.  I decided to use the same photo but I changed the format to an upright composition.  In addition, I also used a brush exclusively to complete this one instead of a palette knife. I also changed the color palette drastically and I am much happier, though not completely pleased, with this version.  This 30/30 January challenge road I am travelling has lots of potholes along the way but it is a journey worth taking because I am learning new things each day and that is what this challenge is all about for me.  

Thanks for coming back to join me in my journey.  Let's see what happens tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Urban Soho

"Urban Soho"
Day 13
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

This 30/30 challenge for me is about discovering and trying to learn something that is totally out of my comfort zone.  I am sharing it for all to see and some days that can be embarrassing but so be it.  I am stretching myself and without struggle I cannot grow.  So please bear with me as I continue to stretch.  Look away if  you must!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cobblestone Street in SOHO

"Cobblestone Street in SOHO"
Day 12
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

We had just left Kate Spade and we wandered up Mercer Street and noticed the cobblestone streets.  I did a little Google search and learned Mercer, Wooster, Greene and Bond Streets in SOHO are in a protected historic district.  The cobblestones are actually flat rectangular Belgian granite and were brought over in the 1830's as ship ballast much like what I have always known about some of the streets in Charleston SC.  Charleston is a favorite city of ours to visit since it is only a three-hour drive from where we live.   

I am doing this 30/30 challenge to help me with perspective and that is why I choose this street.  I am sort of pleased with the perspective on this one but it is not realistic to have a NYC street without cars so I had to attempt them.  Please overlook my poor excuse for these vehicles!

I plan one more piece tomorrow using this same Qiang Huang limited color palette so I hope you come back tomorrow for Day 13!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Roosevelt Hotel

"Roosevelt Hotel"
Day 11
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

Can't believe it is day 11 of Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge but I am still standing so that is good.  I am really enjoying myself and learning little things each and every day.  It is demanding but it truly is fun.  

One evening we were on 5th Avenue and got caught in the masses of people looking at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the spectacular light show on the facade of Saks 5th Avenue.  As soon as we could we ducked down 45th Street to escape the crowds and came upon this beautifully lit Roosevelt Hotel.  It was so magical to me and I snapped several photos.  It was built in 1924 during the Roaring Twenties and Guy Lombardo and his orchestra played there for 30+years and even broadcast "Auld Lang Syne" from there one New Year's Eve!

I had already chosen my photo of the Roosevelt Hotel to paint today and I had just received Qiang Huang's blog where he talked about using a monochromatic color palette of black, white and transparent red oxide.  I felt this would be a perfect image to try to use his limited palette.  Since I already had these colors I started mixing and only added a little yellow ochre to bring in the bright lights needed.  I used a brush but a lot of palette knife for added texture.  Check out his blog if you are not familiar with him.  He does a lot of beautiful still life paintings but also does street scenes from his trips to China.  I have long admired his skills and hope you will check him out!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Central Park View

"Central Park View"
Day 10
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

Today I felt the need to play with my palette knife and be loose and carefree.  I am learning that the hard edges and angles needed to define buildings are cramping my style!  I normally paint landscapes which allow me to be much looser than the angles of buildings require.

One afternoon we did something that has been on my bucket list of things to do while in New York City...take a Central Park carriage ride!  It was so nice to sit and enjoy the scenery and learn a little about what we were seeing such as the history and purpose of what some of the structures are and what movies and television shows were filmed in certain locations of the park.  We also learned which celebrities had apartments in which buildings overlooking the park.  I shot many photos from our horse-drawn carriage so you may see some more of these.

I really loved playing today and learned a lot.  That is one of the things that this challenge is supposed to do.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Radio City Music Hall

"Radio City Music Hall"
Day 9
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the annual Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.  We attended an early morning performance which gave us several hours later in the day to continue our trek through the city.

This show features not only the very talented and precision-dancing Rockettes but live animals like camels and donkeys when the Nativity scene takes over the stage.  It is quite moving and reinforces the real reason for our celebration of Christmas.

We used the subway system to get to far off places and my daughter Kim and daughter-in-law Leah were very knowledgeable when it came to figuring out where to get on and get off once we decided where we needed to go.  It is nice when roles can be reversed so my granddaughter and I could just be tourists and let them make all the decisions and calculations.  Age has its benefits!

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Tree Grows in Washington Square

"A Tree Grows in Washington Square"
Day 8
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

When I was a young girl, I read a book called "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith.  Since we had hoped to get over to Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge but ran out of time, I snapped several photos of trees in Washington Square Park that will just have to suffice!

As I mentioned yesterday, New York has given its residents and visitors a welcome respite in the middle of all the hustle of the big city.  The parks give a quiet place to sit and reflect or join in on the frivolity of the area.  We chose to sit and relax and take in the scenery before moving on in our travels in the city that never sleeps!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Washington Square Arch

"Washington Square Arch"
Day 7
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

Washington Square Arch is a very imposing marble structure in the Greenwich Village area of lower Manhattan.  It was built in 1892 to celebrate the centennial of GeorgeWashington's inauguration which took place in 1789.

We were walking down 5th Avenue and all of a sudden happened upon Washington Square Park and this huge Arch.  I don't know if this large evergreen tree, which was decorated for Christmas, is there all year round or was erected  to give it a more festive quality for the holidays.  My daughter said she always remembered seeing the Arch when she watched "Friends" back in the 1990's.  I will have to look for it the next time I see some reruns.  One of the many wonderful things about New York City is that green spaces such as this park pop up just when you need them which can force you to sit and relax and take in the atmosphere.  The park had hundreds of NYU students, tourists and others milling around, relaxing and enjoying the day.  We even saw a group of groomsmen gathered for a photo op.  Never did see the bride!

I hope you come back tomorrow to continue your tour of Manhattan!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Kate Spade Shop"

"Kate Spade Shop"
Day 6
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

Here is my entry for Day 6 in my journey on perspective for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Late Saturday afternoon on our one full day in the city we were exploring lower Manhattan and really enjoyed our time wandering through SOHO and the many interesting shops in that area.  Kate Spade, with its brightly lit interiors, made for a great photo op.  This painting really was a challenge for me with all its angles but since that is what I have decided to tackle this month, I took on the challenge.  But just let me tell you it was an exhausting day!

Hope you enjoy these street scenes and hope you sign up for my blog to continue receiving them in your email inbox.  See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Joe's Pizza"

"Joe's Pizza"
Day 5
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

Continuing with my paintings for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge and my quest to improve my perspective skills (or lack thereof), I offer you my Day 5 painting of "Joe's Pizza".

On saturday of our weekend trip to New York City in December with my daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, we explored so much of mid to lower Manhattan.  We walked and walked and experienced so many places that I have never been to on previous trips.  In fact, my Fitbit told me I walked just under 24,000 steps that day.  That may not be a big deal for your body but believe me for this body that is quite an accomplishment!  I loved every minute of it and really enjoyed experiencing so many new places.  

For lunch we fortunately found Joe's Pizza on 14th Street near 3rd Avenue.  I had a HUGE slice of Joe's Caprese pizza.  Let me tell you how delicious it was and I urge you to please put Joe's Pizza on your "must eat at" list when you are visiting New York.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

NBC Studios

"NBC Studios"
Day 4
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

On our last day in NYC we had the wonderful opportunity to see the amazing Radio City Rockettes in their annual Christmas Spectacular.  We had tickets for an early performance but we made good use of our time and roamed the area around Radio City Music Hall.  We strolled down W. 50th Street on our way to see the Rockettes and passed by the NBC Studios entrance of The Tonight Show.  I wish we had the time to go inside but we did not on this trip,  I love Jimmy Fallon and it would have been exciting to go inside to roam around a bit.  I guess I will just have to add that to my list of things to do on my next trip!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Daytime in Rockefeller Plaza

"Daytime in Rockefeller Plaza"
#3 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

Granted, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is not as glorious in the daytime as it is in the evening, but the beautiful blues skies and balmy temperatures we experienced in early December still make it exciting to see.  This perspective of the tree viewed from a lower plaza level down near the ice-skating rink makes it look like the skyscrapers are falling in on the tree.  My resident art critic says it looks funny but I am pleased with it!  

I hope you will continue to follow along with me as I wander the streets of New York City.  My challenge to myself is to work on perspective and all these cityscape photos I took give me the perfect inspiration.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Stately and Elegant

"Stately and Elegant"
#2 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas panel

I do not know what this building is, but I thought it was so elegant in its simplicity.  I loved the touches of greenery and red ribbons signaling the holidays.  We were walking down 5th Avenue near NYU and we were just a couple blocks away from the Washington Square Arch near Washington Square Park down in Greenwich Village.  Stay just might see a painting of that scene too.

Thanks for following along with me on my travels thru New York City.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Olive Market

"Olive Market"
#1 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

     Time to once again dust off the ole blog!!!  I am once again participating in Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  For me this month will allow me to focus on angles and perspective, a skill for me that sorely needs improving!

     In early December I flew to New York City with my daughter, daughter-in-law and almost 13 yr old granddaughter for a wonderful girls weekend experiencing NYC during the Christmas season.  I think the hundreds of photos I snapped on this trip will provide me with plenty of practice working on perspective and architecture as well as document memories of a fabulous time in NYC.

     I hope you follow along with me as I roam the streets of New York City.  This particular scene was snapped through the car window as we were heading back to the airport.  I loved all the lights sparking through the windows as we drove by.