Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Week of Tea and Cup Art in the Prow

I embarked on Week One of Hypergraphia at the Flatiron on a sun-filled Tuesday morning. The weather is still hot and muggy for September. Coffee cups floated by outside the windows as the foot traffic eddied around the Prow, many people passing from Argo Café just next door.

Cups of the Day #88
Morning at the Flatiron

Wednesday and Thursday were filled with visitors. I was delighted when Scott Kahn, painter, and Dilys Winegrad, curator, both University of Pennsylvania connections, stopped in and lightened my drawing hours.

The street views in every direction intrigue me - up and down Fifth and Broadway, across into Madison Square Park, both ways on 23rd Street. I can see everywhere, the grid exploded in crazy cubist angles. What a vantage point!

I am getting the measure of the space as a studio, enjoying the light-filled circles of the display platform. I spread out my pens - a welcome donation from Faber-Castell. I discovered their Pitt brush pens with their saturated light-fast colored India Ink several years ago and have used them ever since. They give just the right balance of line and brush mark.

Thursday it poured cats and dogs and cups. Rain lashed the Prow and I felt indeed as if I were abroad ship, riding on waves of umbrellas.

Saturday the sun broke through in time for our reception in the Prow Art Space. I shared my art pens with visitors who tried their hand at upcycling their own coffee cups.

Heat built up inside, but we were kept afloat by a vat of iced Hibiscus tea with lemonade courtesy of Argo Tea. Argo Tea has certainly fueled all of Week One. I have thoroughly enjoyed each perfectly brewed cup - no tea bags there.

Week Two is upon me and I am heading out the door for another drawing session in the window studio. You will see me there Tuesdays - Saturdays 11 am - 2 pm, pen in one hand, cup in the other.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Studio in the Prow Opens in the Flatiron Building

It was a grueling couple of days, but my cup art installation has taken flight at the Flatiron! 

Cup of the Day #88
Flying Cups at the Flatiron

We got in Monday morning and lost no time sorting, untangling, stringing and hanging. I was deeply grateful for everyone who helped hang, and for friends who stopped in with coffees and stayed for hours. The cups expanded and took their suspended places. Who knew I had so many? The hundred cups I did over the summer make a bright and breezy contrast to the ones I drew last Spring on the rainy side streets of the Garment District.

About noon on Monday the black drapes came down and the public began to gather on the sidewalks outside. The space is filled with beautiful light and the city spreads out beyond the glass. A veritable river of humanity flows by and around the Prow. As I set out my art materials and prepared to use the space as a studio I was filled with joy and anticipation. What an extraordinary place to be drawing daily for the next three months!!
  Stringing cups all day Monday

 The view from the ladder Monday afternoon - the installation taking shape

 The curtains are down and the space is filled with light.

 The finished installation as seen from the front

 View from the East side of the Prow.

 Just goes to show that if you build it, they will come and take photos.

  Getting down to work in a new window studio. 
I will add to the exhibition as the drawings are finished. 

See you through the plate glass Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 2PM, from now until December 31, where Broadway and Fifth Avenue meet at 23rd Street!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Cup Drawings Go to the Flatiron

 Cups of the Day #87 by Gwyneth Leech
Colored India ink on white paper cup 
In the Flatiron

Be careful what you wish for - it's just one of those sayings, right? 
But I understood it as I surveyed with excitement and trepidation the large windows of the Prow Art Space at the Flatiron Building on 23rd Street where Fifth Avenue and Broadway meet. 

 Cup Art Installation by Gwyneth Leech
500 drawings on upcyled paper coffee cups 
More added daily

My art dealer, Cheryl McGinnis called me a few months ago and said - "go see this space. This is where Hyerpgraphia needs to go next!" I went the very next day and I was filled with desire. What a set of windows! What a location! How great would it be to sit in these windows and draw on cups every day - at the heart of New York City, surrounded by life and the most incredible buildings. There is no telling the directions it would take my art.

And here I was, looking at my name in the window, both thrilled and terrified, and contemplating the soaring interior. Thanks to the curatorial skills of Cheryl McGinnis and the vision of Sprint, a wish is reality and it all starts now.

Surveying the curtained exhibition space before hanging, full of ideas.

A Glimpse through the curtains. These came down as soon as the cups went up.

The Cup Drawings - Studio in the Prow
was unveiled Tuesday, September 20th. 
It will be on view 24 hours a day until December 31st.

Gwyneth Leech, The Cup Drawings - Studio in the Prow
Sprint Flatiron Artspace

Gwyneth Leech will be in the space working
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 2pm
September 19 – December 31, 2011 

 Reception with the Artist: Saturday, September 24 - 11-2 pm
For the Full press release click here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Water Towers and Ice Coffee

Summer sweltered and rain drenched us repeatedly, but cooler breezes are blowing in now. The kids are back in school and I am drawing plants and bees in the community garden and remembering a summer camp trip up the Empire State Building.

 Cup of the day #87
Garden cup by Gwyneth Leech
Colored India ink on white paper cup

What is it with groups of kids and high places? I also escorted Grace's second grade up the Rockefeller building in June on a 98 degree day. The views were hazy and we were like eggs frying in a pan on those shadeless terraces.

On both trips I longed to high dive into the water towers that be-deck so many rooftops - the quintessential New York view. Or to find my way to a scintillating roof top pool or secret garden. Surprising things to see from above. At least the Art Deco interiors of both buildings are lined with cool marble, delightful to lean against while waiting in endless lines to ride up and down in tiny elevators. 

Dropping the kids back at air conditioned buildings after each trip, I rushed for the nearest ice coffee and then retreated to the community garden where I could recover in the shade of twining grape vines and spreading trees to draw plants and bees in blissful silence.

The city is full of contrasts!