My Park

First drawing done after the park reopened

First drawing done after the park reopened

One of the many wonderful things about where I live is that’s just a block from Washington Square Park — 10 acres of trees and benches and squirrels. It’s where we walk ourt dogs there several times a day. It’s where Jack learned to skateboard. It’s where we read and draw and chill. We’ve written books about it, made films about it. It’s our front yard.

Jack gave this tour of the park in the Spring of 2001. He’d been learning its history in school and gave it a uniquely Jack re-interpretation.

Almost two years ago, we learned that the park was going to be renovated and, in short order, a huge  ugly cyclone fence encircled most of it. Ever since we walked around the perimeter, like kid’s outside of Willy Wonka’s factory. I took to drawing what I could see of the park from my kitchen window, asecond rate substitute. Last summer was the hardest leg of the exile: no fountain, no concerts, no lolling on the lawn.

Last week, I got an excited text message from Patti: the fence was coming down! We’ve flowed into the park and discovered it was (almost) worth the wait.New flagstones,  rich lawns, lovely plantings, new benches and lamps. The fountain has been moved to line up with the Arch and Fifth Avenue and the park seems a lot less ramshackle and scrappy but still like home.

Here’s a collection of drawings done before after and during our years in exile. (Click on a thumbnail to open the gallery)

7 thoughts on “My Park

  1. I like how each window of the art in the gallery conforms to the size of the drawing when it's displayed.
    Those quick watercolors are excellent. I get intimidated to draw details, but something loose and colorful is inspiring. Glad you're posting again! ~Sharon (HouTX)

  2. What a lovely retrospective for this historic moment of the re-opening of the park! It'll be a great summer now that it's back and betta than ever. Hope to see some new paintings of the new areas.

  3. Pingback: Self Distortraits - DannyGregory.com

  4. Hey Danny:

    Great post! I visited NYC for the first time in my life last summer (I'm 40) and I love it! I'm not sure I made it to Washington Square Park, but I do remember taking a breather in a neighborhood park in Greenwich Village. Of course, I visited Central Park, which was amazing as well. Here in Chicago, I live just a block or two away from a neighborhood park and I am so grateful it is here. We must preserve, protect and enjoy these urban oases.

    BTW I love your book, The Creative License, and I love your drawings. They are amazing!! Between that and the Drawing from the Right Side of Your Brain book, I should make some much-needed progress because I draw like a third grader. I just need to get busy.

  5. Hey, after all these years of reading your books, I loved seeing the photo of your wife and boy. I'm teaching drawing and journaling here in Portland, OR. You have been my inspiration. Was struck down with breast cancer back in '05, but not down forever. In short, closed my advertising agency and got back the real, serious work: drawing and painting. Now after two years into teaching at Portland Community College. I am loving every moment of my life. Drawing keeps me in the NOW. Thanks you for sharing.

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