New York, Part 2

As an artist who loves to travel, I tend to distill my trips down to what I consider to be the essentials: art, books and coffee. As long as I have those things in place, I know everything else about the trip will be icing on the cake – or gilding on the canvas, for a more artistic analogy.

With that in mind, here are my top tips for travel to NYC if you’re an artist or just an art appreciator.

Art:

Kremer Pigments. I know I have mentioned this store before, but visiting in person was a real treat! With just a few exceptions, Kremer focuses on the raw materials needed to make paint, and has walls and walls of pigments in every shade and luster imaginable. They’re also known for their high-quality pigment paint palettes made in-house. Their pearl luster palette was a special investment during one of their rare sales, and I have enjoyed it so much that I treated myself to a souvenir of their landscape colors palette while I was in the store.

International Center for Photography. My husband is a photographer, so this museum topped his list of places to visit in NYC. We both really enjoyed the main exhibit, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “The Decisive Moment,” but my favorite was found downstairs, in “Multiply, Identify, Her,” which showcased various women artists across different mediums. I was excited to see collages by Wangechi Mutu, whose “Water Woman” sculpture is one of my favorites at Austin’s Laguna Gloria. I wasn’t aware that she made other types of art, so this was nice to see. I also really enjoyed Lorna Simpson’s “Redhead,” “White Roses,” “Big Yellow” and “Blue Wave” mixed-media collage pieces

New York Historical Society. We saw the Bill Cunningham exhibit here, which was small, but very impactful. He was such an interesting man, and did so much to make women feel special and beautiful through his artwork, without ever objectifying them or making them vulnerable to ridicule. The exhibit also showcased some of his hats from his early career as a milliner. I love that he had many acts in life.

Books:

The Strand. Everyone knows about the Strand book store, but I must list it anyway! We only made it through the first floor and somehow still left with a bag of literary goodies to wedge into the suitcase.

Coffee:

Irving Farms Coffee Roaster was around the corner from our hotel, so we went there a few times to start our day.

Daily Provisions was about a half-block closer, for when we needed caffiene but our feet hurt.

Two thumbs up for the large ice cubes in the latte at Jack’s Wife Freda, where we had breakfast on our last morning in town.

New York, Part 1

I’m leaving for a trip to NYC soon, and I can hardly wait! This destination is special, because not only is it full of wonderful things to experience, I also once lived there and go back every other year or so, so in a way it feels like going home.

Because it’s such a busy city and action-packed trip, I know I won’t have much time to draw there. And that’s ok! Artist trips that soak up inspiration are great, too!

One thing that I am really looking forward to is a visit to Kremer Pigments, a specialty art supplier from Germany, whose only US presence is in NYC. I have placed orders with them before, but I’m excited to go see the store for myself.

We have tickets to the musical Come From Away, and plans to visit The Guggenheim, the International Center for Photography and the High Line. On each visit, I also stop in at the famous Stephen A. Schwartzman Building of the  New York Public Library. Not only is it an interesting place to see, it holds special memories for me.

When I first arrived in New York in 2001, I was staying across the river in New Jersey with some married friends in an apartment with no doors. So to give them as much privacy as I possibly could, I would sit in the library, read vintage magazines and write postcards to my friends at home before walking the few blocks to Port Authority for the bus ride back to Hoboken. I loved how accessible such a beautiful place was, how anyone could sit there for hours and take in all the history and resources it had to offer. I still love that about the Schwartzman building, even though when I visit now, I don’t stay nearly as long. Memories are inspirational too, and when I return I am sure I’ll be motivated to create many scenes of New York’s present, and maybe its past as well.