This afternoon, I went out to paint with two newly-made friends and young artists in New York. They were David and Ariel. When I was painting the Austin Ale House a week ago, They two happened to pass by. Without I knowing it, David made in his notebook a sketch of me painting there. You may find the sketch below. The whole thing was totally a stroke of serendipity. David's full name is David Ezra Stein. He is an established children picture book author and illustrator. He won 2011 Caldcott Honor Award. I happened to be a picture book researcher.
Today we agreed to paint/draw together at Forest Park. I did two really quick oil sketches of people on the lawns. Then we went to a pizzeria on the street corner of 116th St. and Metropolitan Blvd., sitting under the umbrella and sketching the pedestrians. It was fun. I made a sketch of Ariel there. The color sketch was about the houses across from my home. David did it a few days ago. He lives nearby.
I knew the best time to paint this scene was around 3 PM when the sun lit up the sidewalk behind the woods, but I didn't feel like going too far from home since I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon. So right out of my apartment building, I walked down Park Ln. Shortly after I made a right turn, I stopped in front of an English villa. I liked the view of the Park from street.
I didn't go very far this morning. After leaving home, I turned onto Beverly Rd. Walking a few blocks, I came on a hilltop. It was the intersection of Audley St.. I remembered I painted about two years ago the water tank on its right-hand side. As I turned around to see its left-hand side, I noticed a quiet sidewalk in the sun, intermittently shaded from the roadside trees. The street was lined with a variety of cozy residential homes. All these things formed a naturally beautiful picture. Therefore, I stopped walking and set up on the street corner to make this painting.
It took two hours from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. It was only a block away from the Austin Ale House I painted a few days ago. The intersection was a hill top. From where I stood, a small curving back street, the place was almost at my eye level.
I went to the Forest Hills Library this afternoon for the "Soulful Sounds" Concert. It was one of the best concerts the Library has ever sponsored, as far as I know. Saxophone player Ka Blacksmith gave a very beautiful and authentic presentation. His music evidently struck a resonant chord in the audience and they responded with great enjoyment. I made a couple of sketches there. The following are two of them. One is the musician; the other a lady sitting across the aisle.
This is the first painting I have done in New York this time. When I reopened my painting kit, which I left behind when I went back to Florida, I noticed the mineral spirit had became a kind of milky gel. Since I was in a painting mood, I tried to make do with it, knowing it could be a problem. I didn't want to change my plans and go get a new jar of it. However, I made the painting almost without using any thinner. The mineral spirit I left in New York a half year ago didn't work at all. The Place I painted is a restaurant named Austin Ale House, not far from my NY residence. It was on Austin St. next to the Long Island Railroad.