Tag Archives: Grand Central Station

Posing at Grand Central Station

25 Jan

Sketchbook drawing. Posing at Grand Central.

 

I take my sketchbook travelling with me. I haven’t always done so, I used to take photos but I ended up with loads of images that I never looked at, especially after I started using a digital camera. Sketching takes me longer than snapping so I have to stop and immerse myself in the moment. It’s more of a communion with what’s going on around me than taking a photograph, which I’ve always found to be a bit detached.I also get a more rounded and vivid memory when I look at my travel sketches; the act of remembrance is much more intense and I often get memories of smells and sounds and action as well.

I’ve been to New York City a few times and Grand Central Station is one of my favourite place – it’s in the film Madagascar which I love! My husb took some terrific black and white photos of this scene while I scribbled it – very film noir – and I noticed a woman posing in the foreground. I don’t know if she spotted us but it seemed so. It’s a very quick sketch, just a couple of minutes, but I spent quite a lot of time sitting in the dining concourse, which is beautiful,  sketching people at length.

 

Drawing A Postcard From America.

25 Nov

Ink drawing: Homeless man in Grand Central Station.

When I’ve visited New York City I’ve spend a lot of time hanging out and sketching at Grand Central Station. It’s a gorgeous building and there’s a vast crowd of people moving through it and lots of opportunities for sketching. There were always a lot of apparently homeless people there, getting their heads down in a corner for a sleep. It was awkward for them because railway police kept waking them up. This young man was asleep behind his hat. It seemed to work as I spent a long time sketching him and other people and the police didn’t seem to notice him.

The drawing is in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into a Tate Gallery Postcard sketchpad, with very thick card pages robust enough to send through the post. I didn’t rip the pages out; I filled the book with drawings while I was there and wrote messages on the back of each postcard to my husband and gave the little book to him as a present when I got back to Blighty.

People Watching in Grand Central Station

16 Oct

Ink sketches: Heads in Grand Central Station.

When we visited New York City a couple of years ago we often went to Grand Central Station because it was easy to find our way there and it’s a fabulously beautiful building. It also has a very good dining concourse with little stalls selling food of all nationalities around the edge with loads of tables and chairs in the middle so everyone takes their food into the dining area to sit and eat and there’s an eclectic mix of travellers, sightseers and homeless people taking refuge from the freezing weather outside.

I often just sat and drew the people around me, a good opportunity for studying faces. This is one of the pages I did in Faber Castell Pitt pens into an A6 watercolour sketchbook. The young man was impeccably dressed and carried a very expensive briefcase, obviously wealthy and he sat very quiet and still and read while he drank his coffee and waited for his train. The smartly dressed older man seemed deep in thought and ate very, very slowly, chewing each mouthful very methodically. The elderly man in the hat was homeless and needed somewhere to doze. He kept falling asleep but security personnel woke him up whenever they spotted him. They didn’t move him along, just shook him awake and asked him politely not to sleep. The woman in the hat was extremely grumpy, complaining to her companion who didn’t get a word in edgeways. She had the biggest burger I have ever seen and didn’t once stop talking while she ate it – so much for not talking with your mouth full!

 

Sketching My Way Round NYC #1…the disabled man in Grand Central.

7 Sep

Ink drawing: homeless disabled man in Grand Central Station.

 

I’ve been to New York City a few times and it’s a great place for drawing people. One of my favourite places is Grand Central Station. There’s a large Dining Concourse with a beautifully painted ceiling and little stalls around the edge selling all sorts of food – Middle Eastern, Jewish, Italian, Chinese, Indian, American…… and you buy what you want and sit in the middle to eat. It seems to be a great leveller; you’re as likely to sit next to a smartly turned-out executive in an expensive cashmere coat as a homeless person. I loved drawing there as people were really interested and friendly and came to chat.

I went back quite often and there seemed to be a lot of people who stayed there all day, possibly homeless and I drew some of them. They sometimes fell asleep and security officers would wake them up but rarely moved them on. I saw this man several times. He was very clean and tidy but was usually sleeping in his wheelchair and had one leg amputated and wore a very basic prosthetic; the other leg was heavily bandaged and he wore an orthopaedic shoe. I wondered what his story was but I was too shy to ask him. This drawing was done on Easter Sunday and although I’m not religious, I found it even more poignant to see someone in such a sad situation on that day.

I was very shocked at the amount and condition of street people I saw in NYC. I know we have problems here but it seemed to be on a much larger scale and of course, there’s no National Health Service in the USA. We should be grateful for what we have. The drawing is done with Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens into a small Cotman watercolour sketchbook.

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