Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

mr. edwards & mr. jack

Posted in art, arts of the sailor, salty talk, swim, Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/02/29

für Oncle Ralph!

Happy Leap Day! Captain Bill says you have to make a captain lie down and jump over him. Some kind of an old mariners’ tradition…

 

 

creatures of the deep

Creatures of the Deep: this one sank in the Cape Cod Canal, was raised in 4 days and went back to work, busy in NYHarbor.

This one sank in the Wicomico River, was raised after 3 years, came to NYC under her own power (at 4kts), and works hard as a restaurant/bar on pier 66.

And this one sinks and rises for a living, and did so in Lower Bay and left, carrying some of our tugs off, away to the East. Type in Blue Marlin or “Ground Hog Day” to see Tugster’s reportage of her ups and downs.

And this one laid in harbor mud, was salvaged, and now is the Waterfront Museum, the host of the Creatures of the Deep art show. Curated by Karen Gersch, the show is currently on view until August 22. The Artists’ Reception will be on July 22 at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Thank you, Tugster for sinking in the sinking/raising idea which gave rise to this post!


Happy July to all! see you in August!

think before you tattoo

Posted in art, arts of the sailor, hudson river, tattoos by bowsprite on 2011/04/26

Elizabeth, of Green My Bodega, loves the Hudson River: “I thought of getting a tattoo of the Hudson River that ran along the length of my leg. But then I realized it would look like a giant varicose vein.”

Join her and many others at the Festival of Ideas for the New City,  May 4 – 8, at happenings around the city. Green My Bodega and Foodshed Market‘s Mapping Present and Imagined Food Systems will be at the StreetFest on Saturday, May 7th from 11:00am – 7:00pm.  It is “A presentation of posters, maps, and illustrations visualizing aspects of our present and imagining the potential regional food system.” Here are two designs that were submitted:

tools of the trade

Posted in art by bowsprite on 2011/01/15

Voila! this is it: a hand-cut reed pen, made from bamboo sticks available at any gardening store to stake up plants. It is with this pen that I make what Monkeyfist calls, with characteristic sensitivity, ‘blind retard lines’.

Dip pen into black ink. I prefer calligraphy and drawing inks for their fluidity, but they are not waterproof, and washes will bleed, which I do not mind. I like waterproof inks, but the lacquer coats and suffocates my pen.

I like to draw on site, directly with ink and pen (no pencil) in a 9″ x 12″ recycled paper sketchbook. FleetWeek merits the 14″ x 20″ big guns pad. For the washes, I like charcoal paper because of the texture; rarely use watercolor paper. I like papers that drink the washes unevenly. Bank statements and bill envelopes were great, but I’ve gone online.

To do lettering or fine line details (Plimsoll marks) I use metal pen nibs in a simple wooden nib holder.

With exotic names like Aviator, Bronze Falcon, Globe, Figaro, Herald, Imperial, Magazine, Mail, Panama, Pedigree, School, Silversteel, and others, the nibs are shaped differently. I cannot tell the differences.

Colors are usually added later, but sometimes I like to paint at the spot. I always carry a plastic bucket on a long line that I throw off the pier to collect water, and I wet my palette and rinse my brushes in the briny. Therefore, I technically make saltwatercolors.

clearwater’s great hudson river revival 2010

This weekend: Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival 2010
A musical and environmental festival; the venue looks amazing!

Uglyships has its Flashbacks, BibliOdyssey has its Image Dumps. Here is mine, for John Sperr’s old Instant Button Machine in the Dutchess Outreach booth this weekend. He asked for a few images to represent river and harbor activity, so I collected a few together. I have to draw more tugs! According to Roberta Weisbrod, since 1991, there is a 37% increase of tugs operating in NYHarbor. Taurus is foist on the list!

All artwork is ©2010, but is available upon request for altruistic, beneficent, benevolent, charitable, eleemosynary, good, humanistic, philanthropic, public-spirited causes, and for birthdays and ship anniversaries.

The Rafts of Troy

Posted in art, junk in the harbor, tugs, vhf by bowsprite on 2008/09/04

0802
In front of the Colgate clock, I spy a raft towing a shattered houseboat. They are colorful, with scrappy sails on dubious masts, and I cannot make out if they are manned by crew, stuffed dummies, or–er–art. And, they say (on 13): “This is a raft, requesting miminum wake and safe passage.”

And, they get:
“You want safe passage, get a real boat.”
“Get out of the way!”

Undaunted, they motor on, and reach the Battery quickly.
Captain 1: “Uh, Mike, what the heck is that in front of you?”
Captain 2: “It’s…a pirate boat.”
Captain 1: (Laughing) “Hahaha, they all got life jackets on.”
Captain 2: “Yeah, I’d wear one, too!”

Captain 3: (in a raspy voice) “I want your booty.”
Captain 4: “Is the idea here to put garbage on the river to see if it floats?”

Raft: “There’s two rafts in front of you, in front of your starboard, requesting miminum wake and safe passage.”
Captain: “Get the hell out of our way!”

They make it past the Battery when at the World Financial ferry, two more assemblages go by. A police patrolboat has sort of stopped one.

In the meantime, the project is at http://www.switchbacksea.org/

They started out from Troy, NY, August 15, and will end the 3-week Hudson sail at Long Island City.

The NYTimes described it as “… part floating artwork, part performance, part mobile utopia and seemingly part summer camp for grown-up artsy kids.”

The flotilla is seven strong, all built of recycled motors and–things.
Well! welcome to our friendly harbor!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 406 other followers