No Justice, No Peace: The Millions March for Eric Garner

Last night I attended the Millions March protest for Eric Garner at Foley Square to do some reportage illustration with friends Audrey Hawkins, Evan Turk and Chris Brody. When we arrived there were already hundreds of people gathered; the square was packed and people were spilling into the streets.

The atmosphere was peaceful but charged with a kinetic, positive energy. It was heartening to see how many different people turned out to demonstrate. There were parents with children, teenagers, college students and elderly people of every race and gender. People were chanting "Hands up don't shoot" and  "No justice no peace." I overheard a mother shout out “hands up!" and her toddler yelled "Justice!” I had to laugh.

Protestors in Foley Square in front of the United States Court House.

Protestors in Foley Square in front of the United States Court House.

Soon we began to move toward the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, with protestors chanting "Eric Garner, Michael Brown, shut it down shut it down!" and "Racist, sexist, anti-gay, NYPD go away!" Once we got to the entrance to the bridge we stopped; I heard that police had blocked entry to the bridge. I was at the very tail end of the group, behind police who had formed a line standing shoulder-to-shoulder. They started to back up as I drew; one bumped into me and apologized.

The crowd moving toward the Brooklyn Bridge

The crowd moving toward the Brooklyn Bridge

There were news crews, photographers and journalists everywhere, as well as a few different helicopters circling overhead shining spotlights down on the crowd. Some other chants I heard were "Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!" and "How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D!" One guy even had a saxophone that he played the whole time we marched, though as I began drawing him he was lost in the crowd, so unfortunately he doesn't make a cameo here!

Protestors attempting to gain access to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Protestors attempting to gain access to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Some protestors had made large cardboard cutouts of bodies that looked like chalk outlines. Each one had a name of a black person killed by the police. Some people had megaphones, but the crowd chanting in unison seemed to be the most impactful. For a large group, the protestors marched fast. While Audrey and I said goodbye to Chris and Evan, the crowd disappeared down Centre Street. We found them again on Broadway, where they had taken over the street and traffic was at a standstill. Then we turned and marched up Canal Street.

Protestors march down Canal Street toward the Holland Tunnel.

Protestors march down Canal Street toward the Holland Tunnel.

This adorable little girl riding on her dad's shoulders had made her own sign. It was a bit scribbly and hard to read, but I think it said something about paying reparations to the families of those killed by police. While a few motorists/commuters seemed irritated, most were actually cheering on the protestors. A few cars and trucks beeped their horns to the beat of the chants, some people put their hands up as we walked by, and a few work crews had made signs saying "Ferguson is everywhere" that they hung in the windows of their trucks! As the crowd moved toward the Holland Tunnel, Audrey and I decided to hang back and draw some of the scary-looking cops in riot gear. They were standing shoulder-to-shoulder holding their batons out in front of them, and had economy packs of plastic handcuffs at the ready. The leftmost cop in the drawing below said I made him look fat.

NYPD in riot gear lined up along Canal Street.

NYPD in riot gear lined up along Canal Street.

In addition to the hundreds of cops on the streets, there were hundreds more in vans following the protestors. It seemed like overkill for such a peaceful protest, and I definitely noticed that many of the cops were treating bystanders/commuters (and us, with our sketchbooks) with more respect than they showed the protestors. While we were there, it seemed like the police were, for the most part, standing back and letting the protestors do their thing. However, just after I left I saw photographs and reports of police indiscriminately arresting and pepper-spraying people, including children and elderly women. Not exactly the best PR move for them, considering the protest was for ending police brutality, but I guess they got bored of standing around. In all, it was a wonderful and moving experience. It was so inspiring to see all the different people that came out on such a cold night to demand reform and an end to police violence!

The Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest

Yesterday I went to Fort Greene Park for the 16th Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest hosted by Fort Greene PUPs. As I expected, it was a hilarious event with many creative costumes. There were over one hundred entrants and they went by pretty fast, so it was a good challenge! Here are some of the dogs I drew! The winners were Ira Glass in first place, the G train in second, and third was Devo, who unfortunately I didn't draw. As always, please do not print or reproduce these without permission! If you see your dog and would like to purchase a print, or would like to use the drawings for some other purpose, please contact me at carly@carlylarsson.com. Thanks!  

Liberace Sled Team dog - this guy had a partner that I didn't catch © Carly Larsson 2014

Liberace Sled Team dog - this guy had a partner that I didn't catch © Carly Larsson 2014

Stay Puft Marshmallow Dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Stay Puft Marshmallow Dog © Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

© Carly Larsson 2014

Balloon dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

Balloon dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

Therapist dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Therapist dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Barking Bad dog, complete with a bag of blue meth © Carly Larsson 2014

Barking Bad dog, complete with a bag of blue meth © Carly Larsson 2014

This Dogzilla costume was hand knitted. © Carly Larsson 2014

This Dogzilla costume was hand knitted. © Carly Larsson 2014

This dog was wearing a green shirt with kale glued all over it © Carly Larsson 2014

This dog was wearing a green shirt with kale glued all over it © Carly Larsson 2014

Little Mermaid dog (had a Flounder counterpart) © Carly Larsson

Little Mermaid dog (had a Flounder counterpart) © Carly Larsson

Hula girl © Carly Larsson 2014

Hula girl © Carly Larsson 2014

This Hungry Hippo dog did not look amused © Carly Larsson 2014

This Hungry Hippo dog did not look amused © Carly Larsson 2014

Tater Gets a Bath © Carly Larsson 2014

Tater Gets a Bath © Carly Larsson 2014

Fluffy strawberry dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Fluffy strawberry dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Pineapple dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Pineapple dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Yankees player dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Yankees player dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Firedog © Carly Larsson 2014

Firedog © Carly Larsson 2014

Pug lion © Carly Larsson 2014

Pug lion © Carly Larsson 2014

Dust bunny dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Dust bunny dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby clown © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby clown © Carly Larsson 2014

Dorothy and a tornado © Carly Larsson 2014

Dorothy and a tornado © Carly Larsson 2014

Indiana Jones dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Indiana Jones dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Times Square Naked Cowboy (he didn't have a guitar though!) © Carly Larsson 2014

Times Square Naked Cowboy (he didn't have a guitar though!) © Carly Larsson 2014

Photoshopped Beyonce dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Photoshopped Beyonce dog © Carly Larsson 2014

F22 Bomber dog © Carly Larsson 2014

F22 Bomber dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Bee dog © Carly Larsson

Bee dog © Carly Larsson

NYC sewer gator © Carly Larsson 2014

NYC sewer gator © Carly Larsson 2014

Chia Pet © Carly Larsson 2014

Chia Pet © Carly Larsson 2014

Lobster bisque © Carly Larsson 2014

Lobster bisque © Carly Larsson 2014

Taco dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Taco dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Skeledog © Carly Larsson 2014

Skeledog © Carly Larsson 2014

There was a whole pack of these emoji dogs, but they went by too fast! © Carly Larsson 2014

There was a whole pack of these emoji dogs, but they went by too fast! © Carly Larsson 2014

Unicorn ballerina dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Unicorn ballerina dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby butterfly © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby butterfly © Carly Larsson 2014

Baby Christmas ham dog © Carly Larsson 2014
Brooklyn Bridge dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Brooklyn Bridge dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Paper shredder © Carly Larsson 2014

Paper shredder © Carly Larsson 2014

Selfie dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

Selfie dog! © Carly Larsson 2014

The G train dog won 2nd place. Its costume transformed into a shuttle bus. Jokes were made about the dog arriving on time. © Carly Larsson 2014

The G train dog won 2nd place. Its costume transformed into a shuttle bus. Jokes were made about the dog arriving on time. © Carly Larsson 2014

Hungry Hippo guy again © Carly Larsson 2014

Hungry Hippo guy again © Carly Larsson 2014

Cup Noodles! © Carly Larsson

Cup Noodles! © Carly Larsson

Wooly mammoth dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Wooly mammoth dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Minion dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Minion dog © Carly Larsson 2014

An adorable burger pup © Carly Larsson 2014

An adorable burger pup © Carly Larsson 2014

Shih Tzu in a toilet © Carly Larsson 2014

Shih Tzu in a toilet © Carly Larsson 2014

Morning after Mardi Gras dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Morning after Mardi Gras dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Mail dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Mail dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Eeyore dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Eeyore dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Chipwich dog... was actually white, but there was some ink spillage, so I just went with it ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Chipwich dog... was actually white, but there was some ink spillage, so I just went with it ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Hedwig and a dementor. There was a child with them dressed as Harry Potter © Carly Larsson 2014

Hedwig and a dementor. There was a child with them dressed as Harry Potter © Carly Larsson 2014

Fish dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Fish dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Alter cockerpoo © Carly Larsson 2014

Alter cockerpoo © Carly Larsson 2014

Star Wars ATAT © Carly Larsson 2014

Star Wars ATAT © Carly Larsson 2014

Shark dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Shark dog © Carly Larsson 2014

50 Shades of Grey dog © Carly Larsson 2014

50 Shades of Grey dog © Carly Larsson 2014

Sexy police lady (note the garter) © Carly Larsson 2014

Sexy police lady (note the garter) © Carly Larsson 2014

The winning costume, NPR's Ira Glass © Carly Larsson 2014

The winning costume, NPR's Ira Glass © Carly Larsson 2014

My friend Audrey went and drew at the Tomkins Square Park Dog Parade on the same day - For more cuteness, check out her adorable and hilarious drawings!

Bethesda Fountain

Well, my daily blogging has officially become a thing of the past. Due to this hectic thing called life, I'm afraid I must slow the posts to a minimum of one per week. Monday I visited Central Park with my friend Audrey to draw at the Bethesda Fountain. There is so much going on in the park. While we drew, there was an opera singer performing behind us, and at least three pairs of models/photographers doing their thing. When I first arrived, there was a guy in a spiffy suit and nifty red socks playing the saxophone, but the opera performance behind us was apparently too much competition for him and, regrettably, he left before I had the chance to draw him. 

The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park NYC © Carly Larsson 2014

The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park NYC © Carly Larsson 2014

The fountain sculpture was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1868. Stebbins was the first woman to receive a commission for a major public work of art in NYC. Pretty cool! The sculpture is also known as "Angel of the Waters" and refers to the Gospel of John where an angel blesses the pool of Bethesda, giving it healing powers. The four cherubs below the angel are supposed to represent temperance, purity, health and peace. I can get behind three of those symbols (hint: none of them are temperance). 

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Late post today - deadline tomorrow! Here's a painting I did a couple Sundays ago at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Fort Greene Park

I've been spending a lot of time drawing in Fort Greene Park lately; the fall weather has been lovely and there are so many good characters, colorful trees and funny dogs to draw. Here are some quick studies I did while there a few days ago.

Squirrels make great models and will stick around when fed walnuts. © Carly Larsson 2014

Squirrels make great models and will stick around when fed walnuts. © Carly Larsson 2014

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My boyfriend Greyson reading a book © Carly Larsson 2014

My boyfriend Greyson reading a book © Carly Larsson 2014

From My Window

Another quickie post today because it's a gorgeous Sunday and I'm itching to go out and draw! This one is a scene from my kitchen window a few weeks ago. The light was reflecting so beautifully off the buildings that I dropped everything & made this! Those Keds hanging off the traffic light have been there for over a year now. They used to be yellow; now they're bleached white from the sun. They've been through many a storm - snow, rain, sleet, etc. and still, there they hang. Pretty good endorsement for Keds' durability! 

Subway Portraits

Yesterday I took the subway to meet a friend in Queens. It was rush hour, so there were plenty of great characters to surreptitiously draw. 

A very serious man reading the newspaper on the G train © Carly Larsson 2014

A very serious man reading the newspaper on the G train © Carly Larsson 2014

Some men on the G train. I was inadvertently gracious to the guy in the front - he was about 20 years older than I drew him, but he moved so I had to fudge it a little ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Some men on the G train. I was inadvertently gracious to the guy in the front - he was about 20 years older than I drew him, but he moved so I had to fudge it a little ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Man on the 7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Man on the 7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Girl on the 7 train. Loved her puffy jacket and floral handbag. © Carly Larsson 2014

Girl on the 7 train. Loved her puffy jacket and floral handbag. © Carly Larsson 2014

Drawing on the train really makes the ride fly by. There have been times I missed my stop because I was so focused (luckily that didn't happen this time!)

When I showed my friend Siyeon the drawings later on, she knew exactly what train I saw each person on without me telling her. I thought that was pretty funny - It's so true that there are different types of characters that frequent each subway line! 

This cute little guy on the G kept peeking out at me. So cute in his little Converse sneaks. © Carly Larsson 2014

This cute little guy on the G kept peeking out at me. So cute in his little Converse sneaks. © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Chic ponytail lady, G train © Carly Larsson

Chic ponytail lady, G train © Carly Larsson

I loved the shape of this guy on the 7 train - so round! © Carly Larsson 2014

I loved the shape of this guy on the 7 train - so round! © Carly Larsson 2014

I must admit, I drew this kid out of aggravation. He was playing his soccer game with the volume on full blast. 7 train. © Carly Larsson 2014

I must admit, I drew this kid out of aggravation. He was playing his soccer game with the volume on full blast. 7 train. © Carly Larsson 2014

Dragon Boat Festival

A drummer at the bow of a participating dragon boat. © Carly Larsson 2014 

A drummer at the bow of a participating dragon boat. © Carly Larsson 2014 

In August I met up with NYC Urban Sketchers to draw the Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens. The Dragon Boat Festival is an annual event which originated in China. The festival is based off a legend about the poet Qu Yuan who was a court minister & advocate for reform in his home of Chu. He was disliked by the emperor for his outspoken ways and was banished. During his exile, after hearing that his home was invaded, he jumped into the Ni Lo River and drowned himself. Local fishermen tried to save him but were unsuccessful. To prevent his body from being eaten by fish and as an offering to his spirit,  they threw rice dumplings into the water. Today rice dumplings are traditionally eaten on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival which is held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. After the races, it is customary to spend the remainder of the day observing street theatre, martial arts, Chinese dance performances, and other cultural festivities (all while eating rice dumplings, of course).

Dragon boats racing while spectators look on. © Carly Larsson 2014.

Dragon boats racing while spectators look on. © Carly Larsson 2014.

A giant dragon costume worn by about 20 people winds by during the parade. © Carly Larsson 2014 

A giant dragon costume worn by about 20 people winds by during the parade. © Carly Larsson 2014 

Drawing this event was certainly a challenge, as it was about 95 degrees and there was nary an ounce of shade. Regardless, it was a great experience and I'm glad I went. 

DUMBO Arts Festival

This past weekend was the annual DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn. After 4 years living in Brooklyn and never having gone, I decided it was due time to check it out. 

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

There was so much to look at and so many people everywhere that it was a bit overwhelming at first, and I must admit I spent more time wandering around with my mouth hanging open than actually drawing. One of the first things I stopped to see was "Circle Circus" by Saul Schisler, an interactive sculpture consisting of an oversized spirograph accompanied by giant pencils. Both kids and adults were having a blast trying to operate the mechanism, and I heard a few people say they had a difficult time using the giant pencil. 

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

While I was drawing one guy told me he'd be more impressed if I was using a giant pencil. Unfortunately, I didn't have a large enough sketchbook for that (and also, random man, this may be shocking- but I was not there to impress you). 

The Eat Morris food truck on Water Street, DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014

The Eat Morris food truck on Water Street, DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014

After watching and drawing the Circle Circus for a while, my friend Betsy was hungry so we decided to check out the many food trucks lining Water Street. The lines were pretty long, so instead of waiting I snacked on some almonds and drew. The drawing above is of the Eat Morris truck which serves fancy grilled cheese. It smelled awesome and I learned later that they do gluten-free too.

Jumbo DUMBO Puppy sculpture by Shinji Murakami. © Carly Larsson 2014

Jumbo DUMBO Puppy sculpture by Shinji Murakami. © Carly Larsson 2014

Next stop was the Jumbo DUMBO Puppy, a huge sculpture by Shinji Murakami made out of cardboard boxes! To be perfectly honest, I wasn't 100% sold on going to the festival until I saw the Jumbo DUMBO Puppy online. It just seemed so goofy, and how can you NOT want to go draw an enormous puppy made out of cardboard boxes!? I was very tempted to draw on it, but alas it was not an interactive sculpture and I figured that would be frowned upon. 

Reflection / Kolonihavehus by Tom Fruin and CoreAct. © Carly Larsson 2014

Reflection / Kolonihavehus by Tom Fruin and CoreAct. © Carly Larsson 2014

Last stop was Reflection / Kolonihavehus by Tom Fruin and CoreAct. This one could be experienced both as a sculpture and a piece of performance art; there were 5 performances inside of it. The audience was invited to wander in and out of the piece as they liked. It drew a lot of attention as it was right on the main walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Overall it was a good time - of all places I've drawn in public, I seemed to attract the least weird looks at the DUMBO Arts Festival :P Can't wait to go back next year!

Myrtle Village Green

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I forgot to mention; I got my very own key to the Myrtle Village Green community garden today! It's like having a key to Narnia or something... step inside and the concrete jungle suddenly becomes an actual jungle! The garden even has its own kitten, as of now unnamed, and she is the sweetest, most loving little thing. She wanders from person to person seeking chin rubs. And chickens! There are chickens! So maybe it's not exactly a jungle per se, but that's about as close as we get to wildlife in Brooklyn...

Just about a year ago, the space was a barren vacant lot, one of an estimated 596 acres of vacant public land in Brooklyn. A dedicated group of people have worked incredibly hard to repurpose this public space to become an area that all members of the community can enjoy. You can apply for your own garden bed, or you can take advantage of the community garden beds that the public is invited to pick from. I've had the pleasure of watching the space bloom (literally) over the past year or so, and the transformation has been truly amazing. 

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This key business is super exciting because I can now go draw whenever I want. A large portion of my senior thesis project involves reportage illustration of the garden, and up until now I have only had access on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 PM, IF a gardener is there. The restricted access is due to a select few individuals who have been stealing produce from other families' garden beds :( Totally uncool. 

Here are a couple snippets from my location sketchbook, as well as some possible textile motifs based on the herb garden. When it gets a little cooler outside, I'm going to go back to the chicken coop, but let's just say the herb garden smells a lot better in the heat ;) 

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