I signed up for my PhD the same week as I took a group of 40 students over to New York for a cultural field trip. I did the usual stuff; walk the high line for sunrise, photographed the flower markets, visited galleries and The Sketchbook Library, walked a lot, went to Premier Vision, the bead shops and had an inspiring [if not freezing] time.
With my PhD in mind I decided to engage with a few things that may or may not prove useful. I was hoping to engage with something that allowed me to meet other [perhaps] amateurs and found the wonderful sounding Paint Along classes, unfortunately timing did not allow me to participate but had I made the time I would have been able to do a 2 hour class in which I could have painted a blue vase in the style of Picasso or the Eiffel in Moonlight styled by Monet.They provide step by step instructions to create a 16″x20″ canvas.
One place I did visit was a quilting shop [store] which claimed to be the best in NYC, I do not know if this is fact but it was like falling into a dream world when the doors closed behind me. The City Quilter had a small exhibition on, a sewing machine area, book store and a lot of fabric.
It had a great range of stock, organised by colour groups, I bet there are so many different ways [like albums, wines and books] that you could order them in. I was pleased to see traditional sitting alongside modern, different scales of pattern next to solid shades.
I ended up leaving with a small selection of fabrics some thread and needles. I felt inspired to have a go and see what it was to quilt. It was only after I returned home that I realised I had not bought a book to teach me what to do…
Proud painters: http://paintalongnyc.com/
The City Quilter, detail: http://www.heatherkojan.com/2011/04/city-quilter.html