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From the Streets of New York

Sketch of a woman looking at a painting by Joan Miro in the Guggenheim Museum.

In 1984 I went back East to visit a friend from Pond Farm Pottery School. Towards the end of the trip, I spent a week in New York City visiting museums and galleries.

I returned home with the sketchbook I’d carried as I roamed the city streets making sketches of New York.

That winter, I spent much of my time in the printmaking studio at the University of Alaska.

As with all my studies, it was an intensive immersion into a single field. A ‘dawn to dusk affair’ that didn’t adjust for the dwindling winter daylight.

After learning the basics, I took scrap mat board and an Exacto knife to Monday night life drawing instead of pencil and paper.

Later, I inked and wiped the sketches and printed them as you would a metal engraving.

A couple of the prints I made were from the New York sketches.

‘New York City Shopping’ is a classic street scene. Here’s the original sketch.


Sketch of a woman carrying bundles of shopping bags on the streets of New York.

I pulled an intaglio print from a similarly incised mat board plate of the design. 

Later, I enhanced the print with pastels to boost the color. An image of the finished picture is available in a variety of sizes as a metal photo print which can be seen below.


The idea for the second came from the Guggenheim Museum.

I was lucky enough to be looking at a large colorful abstract painting by Joan Miro, at the same time as an Asian woman whose black hair and long blue sweater blended perfectly into his design. 

Miro’s painting, titled ‘Mural Painting’ is currently part of a Joan Miro exhibition at MOMA in New York.

Sketch of a woman looking at a painting by Joan Miro in the Guggenheim Museum.

I made a color woodcut print and framed the original block, which I later photographed for the metal print. It’s called ‘Looking at Miro.’

Here’s another sketch from the trip. I’ve yet to do something with it. 

I was browsing the exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art and happened upon a couple who were trying to comprehend Brancusi’s ‘Blond Negress II.’

It’s called ‘Baffled by Brancusi.’

Sketch of a couple trying to make sense of Brancusi's Blonde Negress II at the Museum of Modern Art.


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