Often times when visiting a museum you will catch a professional, or a student, with a sketch pad, capturing a favorite work of art. You can also sometimes see people painting in corners of the city. Just the other day, I passed an elderly gentleman sitting in front of an easel on York avenue, painting the cafe on the corner.
Janet Ruttenberg, 83, is on a different level, making art in Central Park nearly every day for the past 15 years. She uses Sheep Meadow as her inspiration and creates park “portraits” that can be as large as 15 feet wide. She works in oils, watercolors, and on the day I was at the park, pastels.
Unfortunately, you can’t see any of Ms. Ruttenberg’s finished works. She says she isn’t interested in selling any of her work and she’s had only one exhibit. It was last fall at the Museum of the City of New York. I asked her if she would be exhibiting again, and she demurely said, “no, not again.” You can read more about the artist in a profile the New York Times did when the MCNY exhibit opened. Or you can wander over to the northern end of Sheep Meadow and catch her creating art in the park.