Archives for category: library

IMG_5567In midtown Manhattan there’s a townhouse dating back to 1875 that’s home to the Society of Illustrators, an organization honoring some of the finest artwork created in the past century. Walk the halls and you’ll see original art by painters such as Norman Rockwell and Robert McGinnis — even a giant portrait of Olivia by Ian Falconer. And if you’d walked to their fourth-floor library one day this past week, you’d have seen us there too, practicing our figure drawing, and our figure modeling, under the guidance of award-winning painter Gregory Manchess.

IMG_5384IMG_5410It was an extraordinary experience, first just absorbing the atmosphere and history of this unique institution and then getting to watch one of the best illustrators in the world create breathtaking portraits of us in seconds, working with nothing more than some newsprint, charcoal and pencils.

IMG_5915IMG_6078IMG_6056IMG_6068IMG_6089Our own work with the same tools was a tiny bit less polished!

IMG_5534But Greg gave us tips and insight and advice and inspiration, and we went home raring to crack out the pencils again and get back to the drawing board.

IMG_5429IMG_5404IMG_5322Kudos to the Society for having us. Interestingly, down on the third floor while we were on the fourth, another nude sketch event, held weekly and open to the public for a $20 ticket price, was going on, and that room was packed to the rafters. Aside from the two models, it looked like nearly everyone in that room was male, while of course in our room nearly everyone was female (and no tickets were being sold). We make no comment on the why or wherefore, we simply present this interesting fact for whatever it’s worth.

IMG_5737-SweaterIMG_5237Kudos also to the Society’s charming Hungarian bartender, who kept the evening well lubricated with wine and spirits, and to Baked by Melissa and Sprinkles Cupcakes for supplying mini- and maxi-sized treats, respectively. Nothing loosens the drawing hand and concentrates the attention quite like the combination of red velvet and rosé.

IMG_5550Of course we also had books on hand — what is a book club, or a library, without them?

IMG_5815But most of the time our hands were empty, or next to it.

IMG_5781Would you like to join us the next time we cook up a once-in-a-lifetime experience like this one? If you’re a body-positive woman in the vicinity of New York City, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at and maybe someday soon you’ll have the chance to get naked with a skeleton too. 🙂




octpfas_081513-9601The New York Public Library is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Not just architecturally, though it certainly is that, but conceptually. A free space where any woman or man can come to partake of the accumulated record of human thought.  For readers, for thinkers, it is a holy space, more so than any church.

Where better to celebrate our passion for reading, for freedom, and for equality?

Now you might ask, was the crowd that gathered interested in reading and freedom and equality? Was that the spark we saw in their eyes as they marveled at the view behind us?

We’re going to say yes. Fuck it. Call us Pangloss, but we choose to believe we live in the best of all possible worlds, where a crowd can be galvanized at a moment’s notice by a hunger for knowledge and an appreciation for a well-turned serif.

IMG_1606IMG_1607octpfas_081513-9618IMG_1598IMG_1618We also had a lovely time in Bryant Park right behind the library, but that’s the stuff of another post entirely. We’ll just leave you with a taste…



A friend forwarded us this photo he found, dating back at least a couple of decades, proving we’re not the first women to enjoy reading in the altogether. Of course, they didn’t do it outdoors back then.  But they seem to have done it in a combination library/bank vault, which is pretty cool, too.

Because tomorrow’s supposed to be all thunderstormy and today was gorgeous, a couple of us took a trip to the park today…Bryant Park, right behind the main HQ of the New York Public Library.

Today’s reading material included GETTING OFF by Lawrence Block and CHOKE HOLD by Christa Faust.  We spent some time reading out on the grassy lawn…

…and then repaired to the steps of the library for some reading in the shade.