PAPER FOR COLLAGE

February 2, 2011

Did you read about the snow?

Last Thursday NYC found 19 new inches of snow in Central Park. It set a record for January (36 inches). We are facing another huge storm system with icy rain.

Nikkal, Winter Thaw 1

I did a collage series titled “Winter Thaw” (seen nearby)

I can hardly wait for March. That’s the month for winter thaw – not February. We have a whole month more of winter weather.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says February temperatures in the Northeast will be 2 degrees above average with alternating rain, rain to snow, snow showers, very cold, a snowstorm, rain and rain again.

In the recent post titled SNOW, I wrote I am philosophical about snow.

The blog was a response to an interview for a local paper. A reporter stopped me in the street, asked if I liked snow and if I had a problem with all of the snow. We were expecting a big snow storm the next day.

I said I like snow and don’t have problems with snow because I can work at home if I can’t work in my Media Loft studio in New Rochelle, NY. That was 2 weeks ago.

Nikkal, Winter Thaw 3

Last Friday, the day following the BIG SNOW storm, I was in NYC. I had 2 appointments, one Midtown and the other uptown.

It was a glorious sunny winter day. I wanted to be outside,  and I made time for an art excursion to my favorite store to purchase hand-made and decorative paper for collage at New York Central Art Supply.

The commuter train from home took me to Grand Central Station. With snow piled high in the streets in NYC, I was not planning to drive a car. I expected the streets were a mess with snow everywhere.

The ride in was easy and I left the station, walked outside and saw how much snow was removed as I walked west to Fifth Avenue and then downtown to 34th Street.

Traffic in Midtown moved at almost a normal rate. The sidewalks on Fifth Avenue were mostly cleared. But, it was definitely better to walk and use subways rather than drive a car or take a taxi.

Some side streets, even in Midtown, were single lane only because the snow wasn’t completely removed from the streets. Sidewalks on some side streets were not completely clear, which also slowed down pedestrian traffic.

Crossing every street was a sloggy effort through a narrow gully at the curb. You had to wait your turn to get beyond the snow banks and  puddles to the other side of the street to the next narrow gully at the opposite curb.

Where did they take all the snow?

I wondered how the City got so much snow removed so quickly. Where did it go? The day after the storm the streets were basically cleared and people were everywhere, getting to places they needed to be.

Following my stop on 34th Street, I walked to the subway station and took a #6 train to Union Square (16th St), then walked through Union Square Park,  a lovely, snowy, picturesque scene, busy with pedestrian traffic. Trees were heavy with snow. Park benches were covered.

The snow was cleared and made a wide path through the park from Union Square West to Union Square East. I was quickly on my way to 11th Street..

NY Central is a store for artists named for a train.

NY Central has been in business for over 100 years and has a fascinating history. The name comes from the train line which never passed anywhere near the store location (the only thing nearby was the old 3rd Avenue El (an elevated train).

The image nearby is the storefront of NY Central Art Supply. The building and interior is old. Once inside the door, you can walk upstairs to the paper showroom and check out the vertical racks and horizontal shelves stocked with the ultimate array of papers from around the world. The excellent staff can help you if you get overwhelmed with making your selections.

The first floor is stocked with paints, brushes, pens and other art supplies. The lower level includes printmaking supplies.

I love paper and am in Art Heaven when I’m in that store.

I selected papers to take with me and papers to ship home, including 15 sheets of BFK Rives 19×26 inch printmaking paper, 13 sheets of sturdy 9×12 handmade paper for collage substrates (from India), and 2 each of 10 additional decorative hand-made papers for collage from Thailand, India and Japan for myself and to share with students in upcoming workshops I teach. I didn’t buy as many as I wanted, and didn’t buy the most expensive papers, but I did splurge.

Union Square Park

See the image nearby of George Washington in Union Square Park. It was unveiled in 1856.  According to wikipedia, the equestrian statue of Washington was the 1st statue erected in NY since the statue of King George III (erected in 1770).

Wikipedia also gives a good summary of the history of Union Square Park. Did you know the name has nothing to do with the Federal Union or labor unions?  The name originally was about the union (intersection) of Broadway and Park Avenue South (formerly called Bowery Road – now also called 4th Avenue).

I learned there are four historic statues and a fountain with sculptures in the park. The 1st was George Washington. The 2nd was Abraham Lincoln (erected in 1870); the 3rd was the Marquis de Lafayette (erected in 1876), the 4th was the Temperance Fountain (in 1881), and the 5th was Mahatma Gandhi (erected in 1986).

Union Square is a National Historic Landmark, and is maintained by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. It’s a fun spot in the summer.

The two collage images in my Winter Thaw series (above) are made with assorted papers, including Japanese Washi, bark, intaglio printmaking, painted, and tiny appropriated magazine papers. They are about 7×7 inches each.

I hope you enjoyed the information about Union Square Park.

If you are an artist who works in collage or printmaking, I recommend a visit in person or online to NY Central. It’s a real treat to be there.

Your comments (below) are welcome. Thanks for the visit.

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2 Responses to “PAPER FOR COLLAGE”

  1. Susan Boyes Says:

    Thank you for your blog post. We go to NYC a couple of times a year and I am so delighted to have New York Central Art Supply added to my migratory route! It sounds like a place in which I can lose all perspective and overspend on delicious art supplies. What a delight.


    • Hi Susan, Yes, a trip to NY Central for paper is a challenge to your budget. Whatever you order, even if you think it’s not enough, will be ok. I got the package with the all papers I ordered in person, and everything was absolutely wonderful – and enough.


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