Tuesday, August 28, 2018

DRAW: The Event

(with friend and painter Robert Szot) 

Sugarlift's DRAW: Artists Take Over the Subway event last Saturday was a success.  More people than we expected showed up to draw with us and many of them very talented.   There was an incredible energy at our meeting spot in Union Square, as artists from all walks of life introduced themselves and chatted.  Before you knew it sketchbooks were being shown off and everyone talked about what they did and how they went about it.  We were all dorking out with each other, an experience I've never had before in my years as a practicing artist in NYC.  
This is the group of five sketches I made during the event, the one on the top left was done while I rode the train on my way in to meet the group.  I had more time to work on it…the rest, well, there was no time.  I don't think anyone realized how quickly it would all go, the train ride from Union Square to 96th St. on the Q train was only about 15 minutes, not a lot of time to find your victim in a train car packed with artists and then draw said victim.  But we all did what we could and had fun with it.
I'm new to drawing subway riders, I mostly draw my imaginary landscapes in the moving train which works fine for me, but this was another beast.  I experienced difficulty when in the middle of making my first drawing my fountain pen stopped working.  I got another fountain pen out and as I opened the cap the ink splattered on the paper.  Then it turns out the the inks were different shades of black, one greener the the other, and the new fountain pen had a thicker nib.
The following drawings were done with another finer fountain pen I had, not bad I guess, just wish I had more time to get a good sketch.

 (Installation view of Robert Szot's work and mine)

After going up to 96th St and back down town we all walked to the gallery space at 2 Rivington St, where the host artists frantically put the last finishing touches on their sketches and hung them up.  
 (Installation of Robert Szot and Anne Watkins' work) 

These are a few shots of some of the work that was up during the opening.  The sale of all the drawings done during the day by the exhibiting artists and door cover fee went to Young New Yorkers's #ArtnotJail program.  It is estimated that we made $2 - $3K for this program.  Not bad for a bunch of artists doing a little sketching.

(Installation of Sugarlift Director Wright Harvey's drawings on left, next to Guno Park's subway riders)  
 (Guno Park's subway riders) 

This was an amazing experience, so much so that I think I may keep drawing subway riders.  I was inspired by a lot of the people I met on Saturday, and I took a few pointers as well.  Stay tuned.
(Drawings by Evan Kitson) 

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