Tag Archives: reportage illustration

MATERIAL MEMORY: exhibition at Emerge Gallery by Veronica Lawlor

The Machine Age, acrylic on canvas, 54″ x 30″

Material Memory

Veronica Lawlor’s solo exhibition with Emerge Gallery in Saugerties, NY, from July 15 – August 27, 2023

View the exhibit on Artsy HERE

The show features her on-site reportage drawings of abandoned brickyards of the Hudson Valley and the paintings they inspired, as well as her reportage of the 2017 deconstruction of hte 1930s era Kosciuszko steel truss bridge connecting Brooklyn and Queens, and the paintings inspired by that.

Additional work from the bridge series can be viewed in an Emerge Artsy exclusive companion exhibit HERE.

Thank you to Robert Langdon of Emerge Gallery as well as the Woodstock-Byrdcliffe Guild, the artist residency where Veronica did much of this work in 2022.



2021 Calendar

New Year's Time Square Animation
Animation by Veronica Lawlor

Happy New Year!

Studio 1482 would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you that visited our site, liked our work, or just offered a note of support this year. It made a very difficult situation a little bit easier knowing you were there.

Because we couldn’t physically mail our annual calendars to you this year we have made them available as a FREE pdf download. We hope that our art brings you joy in the year to come.


If you prefer a print edition you can purchase it at cost here


Wishing you all the best in 2021!


Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly. Enjoy the holidays in New York City…by Veronica Lawlor.

As a life-long resident of New York City, it is hard for me to separate the idea of the holiday season from the city that does it up right every year. This year, due to Covid19, many of these revered NYC holiday traditions will be cancelled, or presented in digital form. So I thought it might be nice to time-travel for this edition of Armchair Travels, and visit the ghost of NYC holidays past…

For me, the holiday season kicks off with Halloween, and if you’ve never attended (or marched in!) the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, I definitely recommend you check it out. These drawings were made one year when fellow Studio 1482 illustrator Margaret Hurst and I decided that it was just balmy enough to head down to 6th Avenue and capture the goings-on. (That’s her at right in the drawing below, sporting that snazzy headgear.)

The scene above pretty much sums up the energy of the parade – frenetic!

Really it’s a fun time, and the spectators are usually in costume as well as those walking in the parade.

It’s kind of like going to a Halloween party that just happens to be in the middle of NYC, with about 1,000 of your closest friends. :)

Oh and a parade happens too.

After Halloween, the holiday season in New York starts to pick up steam. Every year since 1924, Macy’s hosts a Thanksgiving Day parade which starts in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and ends at their flagship store on 34th St. and Broadway. According to the Museum of the City of New York, that first parade in 1924 featured three balloons, four bands, and animals from the Central Park Zoo (which scared the kiddies.) The first helium balloons debuted in 1927, and the rest, as they say, is history. The scene above is on 79th St. outside the Museum of Natural History, the staging area for the parade.

For years it has been a personal tradition to visit the streets surrounding the Museum of Natural History on the night before the parade to see the balloons being inflated. It’s quite the “Gulliver’s Travels” moment to see these giant denizens of pop culture laying on 79th St, tethered by the many ropes that will be used by the handlers to control them as they fly down Broadway the following day. Kids come looking for their favorites to squeal at –





I always liked the Snoopy balloon the best, and Felix the Cat was pretty cool too. Growing up as a kid in New York, we felt like the parade was ours, and we each had our favorite balloons. My Mom loved Bullwinkle, and when we were watching the parade on television we would call her out of the kitchen to come watch him float down the street with his big floppy antlers.

When I first started going to see the balloon inflation the night before Thanksgiving, it was more like a neighborhood block party, with mainly New York locals and kids who lived nearby selling hot chocolate off of card tables for 10¢ a cup. Now it’s become a major tourist event, complete with police barricades and throngs of visitors from countries as near as Nassau County and as far away as China. The guy in the drawing above was just one of many tourists taking a selfie with the Ronald McDonald balloon.

The last time that I went, the crowds were so large that it took us an hour just to get around the corner. Wow. I guess the locals will have their streets to themselves this year, wonder what kind of pre-parade event there will be, if any.

And then of course, there is the parade itself. These two illustrations were made years ago when I lived on the Upper East side of  Manhattan, near Central Park.  I had plans for later that day, but just could not resist running over to sit behind the park wall and make a few drawings of my favorite parade, on my favorite holiday, in my favorite city. I remember how warm the day was, and the brilliantly colored the leaves on the Central Park trees were. Plus there was a Kermit balloon that year – what could be bad?

Of course, if Halloween is the kick-off to the Thanksgiving holiday, then Thanksgiving is the official kick off to the holiday season of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa in NYC. The yearly Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is a beacon for all New Yorkers, as well as a reminder to the locals that it is again, time to stay out of midtown. Ha ha. The tourists are usually so thick this time of year that you have to swim upstream on 6th Avenue, and you can only cross 5th on certain corners at certain times.

Seriously, it’s serious.

But even though it can be difficult to move through the crowds, I find that it isn’t the holidays for me without a few trips to Rock Center to see the tree and all the beautiful decorations around the skating rink. I think I did skate there one year as a child, but I’m not sure if it really happened or if it’s just a dream.

And of course, it would not be the holiday season without the holiday shopping in the city! I really hate shopping, but once a year at Christmas-time I actually enjoy it. There’s hot chocolate at the holiday market in Union Square or Grand Central, the shops on 5th Avenue decked out in ribbons and tinsel, a huge crystal snowflake hanging at 59th St., it’s cold but not super February-frigid, and there are white lights and beautiful decorations on every building and in every lobby. Including the Penn Plaza lobby that I drew, below, for an AMC holiday card one year. It’s such a special time in the city, I do understand why the tourists like to be here – I like being here too!

The Thanksgiving Parade will be virtual this year, I don’t know if there will be a tree at Rockefeller Center, and the holiday markets will probably not go up. But no matter, the holidays are always a special time in New York City.

It may be quieter this year, but my city always shines brightly. NY Strong! And happy holidays!

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482.We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Chicago by Greg Betza…

The first drawing I remember making looking down the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

I first visited Chicago back in 2010 or 11, I can’t remember exactly, but what I do remember is that I fell in love with what I saw. Now Chicago is a sprawling area and I only had time to see the “downtown” area, but it was beautiful. Being from New Jersey New York City is my major U.S. city of record, and it is second to none, but Chicago is similar to New York just less crowded, congested, and to my eye, much cleaner (probably due to the almost 6 million! less people than NYC…). The major differentiator though for me is the Chicago River that cuts right through the city.

Chicago River

That was my first visit. What I missed, and a major reason why I came back, was that I did not have the opportunity to spend time drawing the city. In 2013 the opportunity arose when the Workbook announced their Creative Carnivalwould be held there. Fellow Studio 1482 member Dominick Santise and I decided to hit the road and head out to the windy city to attend…and spend a few days drawing!

Cloud gate, better knows as the Chicago Bean

Willis Tower

And draw is what we did. All day. For two guys in their late 30s (at the time) we really got around. Looking back at the drawings I’d think we had bikes, but I assure you we did not.

Trump tower Chicago

Chicago Theater sign

Chicago Theater

The city had a great energy, and for October it was quite comfortable. It was the perfect time to just be out drawing. And what I enjoyed so much about my time there was that the time was just spent drawing, for the love of doing it and nothing more. I picked up whatever materials felt right at the time, played around, made a mess, found something new here and there.

Chicago Theater and passers by

Picasso public sculpture

Rides at Navy Pier

Navy Pier ferris wheel

Chicago is a city full of incredible architecture, attractions, food/drink, and friendly welcoming people. I’ll always remember fondly the time I spent drawing there and the late night meals Dominick and I had to end our long days. A cider for him and a few local craft beers for me, not to be missed!

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly. Enjoy The Essex Market in NYC, circa spring 2019…

If you never went to the original Essex Street market on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, you might not have noticed it was there. Opened in an unassuming little building on the corner of Delancey and Essex Street in 1940, the Essex Market was the outgrowth of the original pushcart street market of the Lower East Side.

A pushcart, if you don’t know, is a moveable vehicle used to push and sell goods in the street – basically a platform on wheels, piled high with all kinds of stuff to sell, that can be pushed by a vendor. For the many immigrants who settled in the lower east side during the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries from Southern and Eastern Europe, the pushcart became a way of life. Need some fresh fruit or vegetables? Need your knives sharpened? Need fabric? How about a nice pickle? The pushcart sellers had it all. Eventually the downtown streets became so congested with carts that Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia declared ‘war’ on them in the 1930s.

And so, the Essex Market was born – essentially, it was a large indoor space set up for the vendors to bring their pushcarts inside. Nothing fancy about it, just sheer utilitarian design. Throughout the 20th and early 21st century, the market kept that casual pushcart feel, growing with the neighborhood, serving each new generation of immigrants who came to call the Lower East Side home. After the Immigration Act of 1965 lifted quotas, that included a large number of those who came from Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, as well as Europe. The Essex Market was a place for the people of the neighborhood: A place not only to shop for fresh produce, meat and fish, but also a place to meet with others and form community. Besides the grocery and food stands, there were coffee shops, bakeries, a few small restaurants – even a botanica and a tiny barber shop.

Recently, in the name of progress, the old market has been closed, and many of the vendors have moved across Delancey to the brand new “Essex Crossings” market. That one has more space and more chi-chi restaurants, but it’s lost that neighborhood soul. In the early spring of 2019, I had a chance to make a few drawings of the old place just before it shut down, preserving the memory of one of the last old school places of the city.

I love the body language of the older couple in the drawing above. They moved through the stands like one unit. You would see a lot of old-timers shopping for essentials at the Essex.

Another thing I loved about the old Essex Market was how tightly PACKED everything and everybody was. The groceries were stacked from floor to ceiling, and you’d see a hand pop out from the stack to weigh your produce, take your money, or give you change.

The people who worked there seemed to know just how to fit into every nook and cranny, and the patrons had figured out a way to weave in and out of the stacks of goods, and each other, without major collision.

When making the drawing above, I found it hard to see where the produce stopped and the vendor began. Many of the shopkeepers at the Essex had been there for 30 or 40 years and had become part of the fabric of the neighborhood. You would hear so many languages flying around as people greeted each other while they shopped.

I love the body language of the fish seller in the center of the drawing above, and the customer at left. He is leaning forward so strongly – saying “LOOK HOW FRESH THE FISH IS!” And she has her chin tilted up and her eyes slightly narrowed, saying “OH YEAH, LET ME SEE THAT FOR MYSELF!” No one is going to push either one of them around! Classic old-school New Yorkers, I love them. So direct, to the point, and no-nonsense. And just in case you think that means that they are rude or uncaring, New Yorkers are the first ones to ask if you need help, if you find yourself lost or in trouble on the street. By the way, notice the woman at right, how she is surveying the interaction between the other two – keeping an eye on the whole proceedings. That’s the New York City way – never let your guard down for a minute! Ha ha. I love it.

This Nordic Fish and Wildlife shop was really just fun to draw: Crammed with taxidermy deer and bear heads, little tchatchkes (Yiddish for knick-knacks), as well as good smoked salmon and other Scandinavian delicacies.

The shop has moved to the new Essex Crossing on Delancey, and they took some of their cramped decor style with them, so definitely check it out if you go.

At one point in the day I found a table and chairs along the side of the market to sit and draw from, and this lady above, Magnolia, sat across from me. An immigrant from Colombia, she was a sweet lady with such a sweet smile, who was resting while her daughter did the shopping for the family. I had to draw her – she didn’t mind. We spoke a bit in Spanish about how good the coffee from the nearby kiosk smelled. It really did.

I’m not normally into drawing still life pieces on location, but really, I had to do at least one drawing of the stacks and stacks of stuff that was squeezed into the alleyways of the market. With so much stuff piled together, it’s hard to really call it a ‘still’ life. It’s more like a crowd scene.

These dudes at the fish market didn’t mind me drawing them, but they were keeping an eye on me, just in case!

This is the last drawing I made in the old Essex Market. It really sums things up – an old school bucket and mop (and man using them to clean the floor) a woman buying a coffee from a vendor crammed into a shop the size of a telephone booth, and a guy hanging out, not really doing anything but people watching. I’ll miss people watching at the original Essex Market too. But really, I miss people watching anywhere, in these anti-gathering days of the coronavirus. Stay safe everyone, and let’s all give a big THANK YOU to the essential workers out there, in whatever market they may be employed at.

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482.We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Times Square, NYC by Greg Betza…

Times Square, that section of midtown New York City that has been referred to as the “Crossroads of the World”amongst other things (both favorable and not so much). It is a place that many native New Yorkers avoid at all costs and yet it is a not-to-be-missed destination for all tourists.

As a New Jersey native that spent a great deal of time in New York City, I have a certain fondness for Times Square, though I completely understand why you’d want to avoid it as well. What a contradiction!

Get me outta here!

Speaking of contradiction, could there be a place more antithetical to our current “new normal”? To think of the thousands of people that would traverse the area each day; have it reduced to a near ghost town in a matter of weeks. Chalk that up to things I’d never thought I’d see.

It was the masses of people that first brought me to Times Square to draw. It was a challenge. So many people, so much movement, even more personality. The architecture, the advertising, the lights! To learn to capture and tell that story was a lesson so important in my development as a reportage artist and illustrator. Here are a few early attempts.

Trips to draw here gave me the full sensory experience. Ears assaulted by honking horns, indiscernible shouts, tourists asking for directions…, music, discernible expletives, and of course, the pigeons!
The smells. Oh boy. From hot garbage in the summer, to the constantly wafting smell of something frying from the endless row of chain restaurants.
And watch your step, the garbage cans often overflow!
Now while this may sound horrible, it is what makes Times Square unique and as an artist you need to take it all in…the good and the bad, to tell the truth with your reportage. And despite all of this (and there is more) people flock here anyway and stay awhile. As did I, many, many times.

On a more positive note, looking up and around when you are here is inspiring. On the surface it can appear a soulless theme park devoted to consumerism, but if you can get past that tired and overused criticism, Times Square is home to so many visions realized. As a student of advertising I love to see the campaigns compete with each other publicly. How each brand approaches this space and how they utilize technology to bring their message to the masses is truly impressive. It’s a constantly evolving gallery.

One of the last times I spent a long day drawing in Times Square was back in 2010 when Mayor Bloomberg closed several sections to traffic, allowing the area to become more pedestrian friendly. I remember it was a very peaceful day, the people seemed to enjoy the space more than they had in the past and I believe I noticed more native New Yorkers hanging around that day too :)


Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly. Enjoy Cuba…by Veronica Lawlor.

Cuba is one of the most alive places I’ve ever been to in my life. When I say alive, I mean that for the brief time I spent there in the summer of 2015, I was surrounded at all times by nothing but people. Look up: people. Look down: people. Check your side: people. People, everywhere. The island of Cuba is bursting to the seams with them. And the people are vibrant!

I was visiting Cuba with a group on a cultural visa, so grabbed time for reportage in between events. These drawings were made during a day spent with my good friends Margaret and Julia in the Old City of Havana, a colorful explosion of street life. Vendors, musicians, kids, stray dogs, artists, old ladies, taxi drivers – you name it, they are out in force. People are popping out of every balcony, in groups of twos and threes, laughing, singing, and smoking the ubiquitous cigars that the island is famous for. Unlike Manhattan, where I almost never see anyone out on their terraces, the people of Havana use theirs quite a lot. It’s almost theatrical the way they call out to each other from the balconies to the street. And of course, you hear music all day long.

This dude was hanging out on a side street smoking a cigar when his friend strolled up; pretty soon, they were playing together busking for coins. There is music everywhere in Havana, no joke. But lest this sound like a Disney movie, there were also beggars all over the streets – people asking you for basic items of life such as soap and toothpaste. I’ve never experienced that kind of panhandling in my life. It made me so sad to think about someone begging for a bar of soap. Still does.

I sat across from this corner to draw, and one of the boys selling fruit came over to me with a pear as a gift. He refused to take any money for it, so I gave him the portrait I drew of him in exchange. You’ll have to imagine what he looked like: Almond shaped dark eyes, jet black short hair, wiry body, expressive hands. As he was refusing to accept any money for the fruit, his friends were calling out to him (in Spanish): “Ask for her American passport!”

It seemed to be a theme. In 2015, the US had been softening its hard stance against Cuba, and there was a lot of hope that American dollars would soon be flooding into the economy. Communist Cuba, long supported by the USSR, fell on hard, hard times during the 1990s with the fall of the Soviet Union. While things have become better since then, the country is still struggling, and many saw the promise of American tourism just over the horizon. Who knows what is happening now, since the current US administration has tightened its stance again.

This scarcity can really be felt in the small government stores along the streets of Havana. It is illegal to photograph these basic grocery stores, but I was able to make a few drawings before the police began to arrive on the scene, curious about my intent.

The first thing you’ll notice in the stores, besides the ever-present poster of Castro, is the lack of merchandise. The shelves are sparsely populated with a few cans of something here, a couple of tubes of toothpaste there, a few bananas; a few bags of rice. People make do in Cuba, and it seems, sadly, that they have become used to the lack. The store proprietors liked that I was documenting the situation, and when the police started to show up, they pulled down the front gates so I could quickly catch one more drawing of the interior, below.

“Post this illustration,” they said, “to show everyone what is happening here.”

I was starting to feel a little heat from the local authorities (walkie talkies were out) – “What is she doing? Why is she drawing?” – so I finished and exited quickly

It began to drizzle, and people were walking in every direction to find cover. Margaret and Julia and I stood in a doorway hoping the rain would subside, but when we saw that even the pedicab drivers were packing it in, we decided to seek shelter. Good thing, because soon after the sprinkles of rain turned into a torrential downpour.

Best to get back to our rooms anyway, because the next day were were leaving our spot at the Hotel Nacional to travel with the group to Viñales, to visit a tobacco farm.

Ahhh, the mountains and tobacco fields of Cuba! The countryside in the Pinar del Rio Province is truly glorious, and the soil is a rich, rich red. No wonder the tobacco makes such fine cigars. (Which yes, by the way, of course I smoked while there.) It was really something to eat breakfast and look out over this view one morning.

The town of Viñales was just as lively and bustling as Havana, but without the Spanish colonial architecture and classic 1950s cars. The primary modes of transportation here seem to be bicycles and ox-drawn carts. Occasional donkeys too. Yes, this place is rural.

Our stop in this town was brief, but the impression has been long-lasting. The people are like family with each other in this place, everyone talking and calling out to each other in the streets, smiling and laughing. The hang-out vibe is real, and you can feel the affection. You can also feel the struggle of life underneath it all. Recently I saw a film about the Cuban countryside, and the farmers were locking up their oxen well at night, so bandits could not steal them to eat. That’s some serious survival mode.

I loved these dudes hanging out together, watching the parade of donkeys, oxen, carts, and people carrying goods go by them on the dirt road. As I was working, one of them, a man in his 60s, came over to watch me draw. I’m going to generalize here, but one thing I noticed in Cuba was that the younger generation was fairly pro-American; the older folks were most decidedly not. This man was kind of quiet as he stood and watched what I was doing. Then he asked me in Spanish, speaking slowly for my benefit, where I was from. “Nueva York,” I answered. Then he asked, was I from the Bronx? That stopped me – how the heck did this guy in Viñales know about the Bronx, and how did he know that’s where I’m originally from? So I told him yes, and in response, received a lecture about the time Hugo Chavez paid the heating bills for Bronx residents. (This is true.) The great Americans needed Chavez to pay!

The guy really loved Chavez, and continued to sing his praises to me as I drew. Chavez was a great leader, and so politically savvy. Saving Venezuela! Saving the Bronx! And then he told me what a fabulous ladies man Chavez was. The women just love him! Then the guy went even further, and told me that he, too, was a fabulous ladies man….hmm. I looked up and said, “Sorry Papi, tengo que dibujar.” (I have to draw.) That got a big laugh out of him, and he went back to the porch. ha ha. Love that guy – I would have drawn his portrait, but didn’t want him to think his charms had won me over. What a character.

After our brief stopover in the town, we continued on to the tobacco farm. Sigh. So beautiful.

The tobacco is hung and dried in these barns, where people work hard to hang the leaves from wooden rafters, amidst the sounds of clucking chickens.

The richness of the soil in tobacco country is a good metaphor for the richness of life that I witnessed during my brief time in Cuba. I hope to return there one day.

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


In 2015 I had the most amazing opportunity to spend time in Bali, one of the Indonesian islands.

One way in which Bali is set apart from the rest of Indonesia, which is composed of mostly Muslim countries, is that the dominant religion of Bali is Hinduism.

Balinese Hinduism is unique, and includes the influence of Buddhism, Shivaism, animism and ancestor worship. Families usually live in compounds with a central family shrine, and offerings to the gods are made several times daily.

A family compound in Ubud.

Everywhere in Bali are reminders of the spiritual realm, from the statues of deities nestled in the forest to the offerings of rice on hand-crafted palm or bamboo plates set out on every crosswalk. Even the taxi drivers put rice offerings on their dashboards – it is a constant reminder that there is a force greater than us in the universe, there to be accessed if we can only listen. Bali is the only country in the world that I know of that observes a national day of silence, called Nyepi, for the New Year. What a beautiful thought.

Offerings to the gods are everywhere in Bali.

We spent our first week up in the mountains near Ubud, the area of Bali made famous in the USA by the book Eat, Pray, Love. Miles and miles of rice paddies surround this ancient city of stone and wood. Carved deities peek out at you from every corner, and even the local Starbucks (yes, they have it there too) has that pervasive feeling of being lost in history. Every morning as we sipped our coffee on the little patio behind our hotel bungalow we saw people working in the rice fields, just as they must have done for hundreds of years. And in the evenings we would watch the sun set slowly over this same field. It was serene, to say the least, and I don’t think that this New Yorker has ever experienced such a sense of calm as I did while there.

We were fortunate to be in Ubud during the Purmnama Sasih Karo, or the Full Moon Ceremony. Full moon ceremonies in Bali are celebrated in temples where Balinese Hindus come together to pray, be blessed, and offer fruits, flowers, and food to the gods.

Musgi, the young English-speaking rock-and-roll loving man who worked at our hotel, kindly invited my husband Neil and I to join him at his family temple outside of Ubud, so that we could witness the ceremony, and I could draw it.

That evening, we put on the sarongs we had purchased earlier in the day, and joined Musgi in following the procession to his temple. (You are not permitted to wear anything but a sarong in the temple for the festival, fyi.)

The temple is mostly open air, with pagoda like structures to give shelter in the rain. Lined up along the entrance to the temple are these kinds of tall curved bamboo poles with coconut leaves, flowers, coins and fruits hanging down from them, called penjor. They are all over the streets of Ubud during the religious holiday, and make the place feel very festive.

It was late evening as we approached, and the sun was setting. Bats were beginning to circle in the air above us. As we entered the temple, Neil felt something wet hit the back of his neck – as a native New Yorker, his first thought was how the pigeons in NYC will often ‘bless’ us as they fly over head and he yelled out, “I just got peed on by a bat!” We both had to laugh at ourselves once we realized that it was only a Hindu priest, kindly sprinkling us with holy water as we entered the sacred grounds.

Inside the temple area it was a bustle of activity. People from the villages all around had been assembling – usually, men arriving on mopeds with women on the back (and sometimes children pile on too.) Everyone is wearing beautifully decorated sarongs, and the women have these stacks of goodies to offer to the gods piled high in a golden tower on their heads: fruits, cakes, rice, incense, flowers – so beautiful!

The families stack up their offerings on different covered platforms of the temple, around a large open common area. Then everyone gets on their knees to pray. There are a lot of rituals involving holding flowers up in between folded hands, interspersed with blessings from the priests, with incense and holy water. During new moon festivals, the essence of the sweet stacked golden offerings is to be enjoyed by the gods, while the people purify themselves in preparation for the new cycle that is beginning. Neil participated in the prayers while I drew from the sidelines.

And of course there was chanting by the temple patriarchs, who all sat together on a dais, and music. It was quite a celebration of the ever-changing cycles of life, represented by the miracle of the new moon.

Musgi told us that over the next few days, the families enjoyed eating all of the cakes and fruits that had been blessed, continuing the celebration. We felt so welcomed, and honored to have been a part of it.

After a week in Ubud, we ventured down from the mountains to spend time on the coast of Bali, in the beach village of Sanur. Although the Fairmont hotel we stayed in had more of a western luxury vibe to it, there was still plenty of traditional Balinese culture surrounding us, from the musicians playing in the hotel lobby to the small shrines and offerings of gratitude scattered around the hotel grounds.

As a westerner, I’m not used to seeing shrines and places to leave offerings to the gods in the gardens around a hotel pool, but the suite we stayed in and the pool at the Fairmont were so nice that I definitely felt the gratitude!

The boardwalk along the beach in Sanur was full of bustling activity and plenty of thick vegetation to find shade under. People were sweeping the sand from the boardwalk continuously, and in the drawing above, you can also see them up in the trees doing some pruning. A lot of the activity, though, was spurred by the upkeep of the traditionally colorful boats called jukung. They looked so pretty, lined up along the shore. The jukung are essentially fishing boats, and the men who steer them wait along the shoreline for tourists who want to hire them for a day out on the ocean. They must require a lot of maintenance; as it seemed like the boats were constantly being worked on between trips.

As well as taking the jukung out, many men fish close to the shoreline, in special gear. The large hats they wear not only protect them from the sun, but they also have little bait boxes on them for quick access. Although this may be a traditional way of fishing, I learned that most of the men we saw out every morning were tourists from the city, finding ways to decompress. Just as we were; although traveling there from New York City took quite a bit longer.

I loved drawing the fishermen, and did many studies of them during our stay in Sanur. I wondered if women fish this way too, but I didn’t see any during our time there.

The culture and history of Bali is so rich, I could have stayed there for another year and still discovered something new every day. I haven’t even discussed the richness of the Balinese visual arts, dense and packed with narrative – an illustrator’s dream. While we were visiting Ubud I took the opportunity to have a lesson in the traditional art of Batik. It’s a way of decorating fabric by drawing a line of resist with hot wax, and filling the spaces in between with different colored dyes. I’ll end this post with my batik efforts, and the hope that I will be able to some day return to


To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482.We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Honfleur, France…by Greg Betza

Port d’Honfleur

Five years ago, thanks to a very good friend, I had the opportunity to visit northern France. We stayed in a small port town called Honfleur. I had not heard of it, but once seen, I understood why many artists including Courbet and Monet had traveled there to paint it.

Saint Etienne Church

No matter where you turn there are picturesque buildings, boats, and so much beauty in the details. We only spent 2 nights there so I “braved” a chilly rainy morning to make this series of black and white drawings. I had to. I remember sharing the early morning with only a cat. There was quite a bit of action at the local bars and restaurants the night before so I guess everyone had slept in.

View of Sainte-Catherine church, the largest church made out of wood in France

Port d’Honfleur

Leaving Honfluer was only tolerable as we were on our way to Mont Saint-Michel. This place is a fairy tale. I can’t imagine there is another place on earth like it. Its abbey appears to be literally reaching for God.

Make a plan to visit northern France, it is magical.

Mont Saint-Michel


Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482.We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Greece…by Greg Betza

In August of 2009 I traveled to the Greece, visiting the islands of Crete and Santorini, as well as spending a few days in Athens. My wife is Greek-American and much of her family lives in Crete. Through our years together I’d heard countless stories about everything from the smell of bread baking in the early morning to the blue sea just steps from her Yiayia’s home.

Town square, Kalyves, Crete

The village was a new experience for me. Visually it was both everything I imagined and things I had not considered. The streets and buildings felt like they grew there and had always been, but the modern world and the demands of tourism in the 21st century had definitely begun to impose themselves on even this smallest of communities. Turn your head one way and see the most beautiful flora and deep blue sea and turn back around for a small internet café and car rental parking lot.

A main village road. Cafés, bakeries, etc.

Bouzouki player at summer festival

Boats sit in the small River Xydas, Kalyves, Crete

Olive grove Kalyves, Crete

From there it was on to the magical island of Santorini. An island, more specifically a caldera, or volcanic crater! Aside from the cliffs dotted with white washed homes that look like candy, I remember so clearly the sound…or lack of it. At the top of the caldera where most of the dwellings are, you are basically up in the sky. A vast, silent sky.

Drawing of Oia, Santorini

One of the many blue domed Orthodox churches famous on the island

We did make it down to sea level to visit the Bay of Amoudi. A small bay below Oia full of restaurants, fishermen, and a few windmills too.

Bay of Amoudi, Santorini

Returning to Crete before departing out of Athens we spent a long day in the capital city of Chania. Throughout its history the city has been occupied by the Venetians, Ottomans and Greeks. The architecture reflects this in the most beautiful way. You can just draw buildings all day! Again, the balance of old and new exists here as well. There are many beautiful restaurants and bars lining the waterfront.

Streets of Chania

Streets of Chania

On our way home we stopped to see the many sites in Athens. Among them, of course, the Acropolis and Parthenon. I’ll leave you with this last drawing made before my trek to the top.

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


I’m excited to introduce Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482. We have gathered art from our travels to share with you, in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Joshua Tree National Park…by Margaret Hurst

My trip to Joshua Tree National Park in southern California is an experience and an adventure that has made a lasting impression on me, both visually and emotionally. Although my visit to the park was only for one day I have frequent memories of the unique landscape of Joshua Tree National Park.

The Joshua Trees are extraordinary and different from any tree that I have seen. They wildly spread out in every direction with unlimited energy. The colors of the trees are bright and exciting and varying in so many ways.

They flare out and exude energy and vibrate against the sky.

Other than the Joshua Trees there are rock formations that are also intriguing with various patterns and colors.

The park landscape is a beautiful mixture of the trees and the rock formations and is also a combination of the two deserts, The Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert.

Originally declared a National Monument in 1936, Joshua Tree was redesignated as a National Park on October 31, 1994, by the Desert Protection Act. The park is named for the Joshua Trees native to the Mojave Desert. Native Americans knew the Joshua tree as a source of food and fiber.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Joshua Tree National Park please do not hesitate to go. You will love it and cherish your memories of it always. I am thrilled that I could make a few watercolors to add to my memories of my day in the Joshua Tree National Park. Right now the park is under quarantine, but hopefully it will open a little later this summer.

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482 please click HERE.


I’m excited to introduce Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482. We have gathered art from our travels to share with you, in the hopes that while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Bethlehem, PA…by Dominick Santise

I have had the fortune to walk the grounds of the Colosseum in Rome, where emperors watched alongside the general public as gladiators fought and the floor of the great amphitheater was flooded for naval battles. Just outside a train station a few hundred miles away, in an alcove under an awning across the street from what would pass for a tiny traveling carnival in the US, I waited without an umbrella for a storm to pass so I could fulfill a 15 year fantasy of wandering the streets of Pompeii, nearly two millennia after it was buried by volcanic ash. Six years of Latin rushing back as I remembered the lessons of ancient engineering and I hopped across the stepping stones in the middle of the street.

This is a story of a great American ruin.

The first time I drove into Bethlehem, Pennsylvania I was looking for a ghost—some still living remnant of a time past. I got off the highway outside the city and made my way along what looked like any other American strip. Diners, gas stations, mini malls and McDonalds—standard American culture where dreams have faded and time has moved on. The further off the highway I ventured, the more I came to terms with the idea that I wouldn’t find what I was after. A spur of the moment trip in a time before smart phones, I had no guide for what I was searching for. As I rounded a bend and came over the last hill my eyes fell upon the valley before me.

If the ruins in Italy were symbols of the long ago fallen Roman Empire, the ruins along the Lehigh River were a marker of the more recent fall of what may be the first period of the Industrial Empire. We are living through its evolution as we speak. Year by year, decade by decade, we become further removed from the machine that built the modern world we live in today, forged not by solitary hands of blacksmiths of a bygone era but by giant titans and blast furnaces that are already a thing of the past. In just a century those blast furnaces have been replaced by sub-atomic collisions and molecular engineering. A few now produce what took the strength of an army.

It was a chance occurrence that I was within an hours drive of Bethlehem Steel that day. I would return twice over the years following to draw and shoot the relics—the source of iron for much of the mighty skyline in Manhattan and so much of the country. Those visits stay with me to this day. Our culture and history became clearer each time I went out. From folk songs and pop anthems to labor movements and the blue collar working class, there is so much to discover when we have the chance to travel across this great landscape.

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


I’m excited to introduce Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482. We have gathered art from our travels to share with you, in the hopes that while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Vatican City…by Veronica Lawlor

Here I post some memories from an afternoon in Vatican City and an audience with Pope John Paul II…

Looking at the current images of Rome under lockdown: empty streets, deserted piazzas; I can’t help but contrast them to the Rome I found back in 1998, when I spent a week drawing the scene in Vatican City. PEOPLE make the heart of any city, and in a place that is sacred to so many of the Catholic faith, that rule applies even more, despite the gorgeous architecture. The crowds were immense, almost as immense as the heat that August.

While I definitely felt it was important to capture the majesty and the sheer crowd size of the square, what intrigued me the most about Vatican City was how everyday it was for the people who lived there – not only the priests and nuns, but also, the vendors who made a living from the hordes of tourists coming to visit the shrine and perhaps catch a glimpse of the Pope. To help me feel immersed in this world, I decided to stay at a convent while visiting. When the nuns found out that I was busily drawing their city, they arranged for me to have an audience with the Pope to complete my story. And so, one morning after our communal breakfast, I headed into town for my day’s work.

Vatican City is a bustling little metropolis in it’s own right, and actually, it’s an official country within Rome. There is no difference between commuting here and in any other urban center, except in Vatican City, many of your fellow commuters are wearing the garb of the clergy, and saying the rosary is a common commuting past time. Above, a group of nuns wait for the bus to take them down the mountain to St. Peter’s Square.

Vatican City is also a place where many secular Romans make their living. Here, two vendors argue on the outskirts of the Piazza, exhibiting the famous Italian body language and hand gestures as they emphasize their points.

Not far from them, a group of nuns and priests take their lunch break. Different suits, but in many ways, the same activity as the folks on Wall Street.

I soon arrived at St. Peter’s for my audience with the Pope. That sounds so intimate, but actually, you need a ticket to get in, and when I arrived to the entrance of the smallish theater where the audience is held, there was a line complete with vendors hawking umbrellas and water to protect us from the August heat while we waited to get in. Most of the people on line were from the clergy, taking their vacation to visit the holy site. There were nuns and priests visiting from all over the world, and as Pope John Paul II walked on to the stage, there were nationalistic cheers from the various factions of religious folks. It was quite a rally! He waved to the crowd as he slowly made his way to the chair set up at the center of the small stage.


Pope John Paul II was very old and frail by 1998, but his aura was still quite strong. He was multi-lingual, and people were in tears when he spoke to them in their own language. Everyone lined up and walked across the stage for a personal blessing. It was kind of like a graduation of sorts. The Pope was surrounded by many bishops and the Swiss Guards at all times. It was quite regal.

It was also quite moving to see how the people responded to him. After the audience ended, we all went through St. Peter’s Basilica, where the tradition is to kiss the feet of the statue of St. Peter, which at this point are nothing more than thin worn down slabs at the end of his marble legs.

On my way out, I stopped to make some drawings of the Swiss Guards.

I was quite enamored of the Swiss Guards – after all, when you are a young Italian man wearing a uniform designed by Michelangelo, it’s hard to go wrong. I can’t say that my motivation was entirely religious here, but I think they were good with it. Even in Vatican City, that holiest of places in Rome, bella figura rules the day!

To see more Armchair Travels from the reportage artists of Studio 1482, please click HERE.


I’m excited to introduce Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482. We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.

Enjoy Maui…by Greg Betza

2016 marked my 10 year wedding anniversary so my wife and I decided to take our family of 3 to the islands we’ve heard so much about. For a number of reasons we settled on Maui for the majority of our stay.

To say we were happy with our choice would be terribly understated. This vacation was perfect, just as perfect as the Hawaiian weather. In fact, that is the first memory that comes to mind. I remember making the paintings below from our balcony and thinking, with disbelief, “this is perfect weather…it never changes…it’s just perfect all of the time.” And to me that was a great place from which to start this adventure.

Of course there was more than just the weather. A few days into the trip we braved the legendarily beautiful and dangerous Road to Hana. Of the many stops along the way, and there were many, I particularly enjoyed the Maui Garden of Eden. With a name like that, what more is there really to say. We spent a few hours there among the rare flowers, plants, vistas and peacocks! Here are a few watercolors from the stop.

The natural beauty of the island seems never ending. We took a day trip to Lahaina, Hawaii’s former capital, to see their famous banyan tree. Lahaina Banyan Court Park is rich with history and the islands oldest and largest banyan tree. This tree has 16 trunks and is nearly a quarter mile in circumference! The trunks create a sort of maze where people find spots to rest, pose for pictures, find relief from the sun, or as I did, paint.

From the weather to the natural beauty to the people, Maui is a magical place.

Corpse Flower NYC 2016


The other day my son and I went to see, draw and SMELL the famous and rare Corpse Flower at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It was a great adventure waiting on long lines in the 90 degree weather, and squirming through crowds in the humid tropics of the conservatory. I kept calling it an adventure to keep my son from running for the hills. Haha. But once he started reading about it and after finally seeing it, he was impressed.

We hung around the perimeter of the room drawing for about two hours and made a few friends from various media outlets. Click the photo of us below for a link to the BuzzFeed article we were featured in! We got a kick out of that. The NY Post interviewed us extensively but I don’t think we were used for their piece about the exotic flower.

P-U! Striking a pose for BuzzFeed

It was hard to settle down and concentrate with an energetic boy in the middle of huge crowds but I’m glad I got to get in some quick drawings of the crowds and the tallest flower I’ve ever seen.

Just standing around gawking at a huge stinking flower!
Constant crowds with smartphone cameras snapping away

So, the flower is beautiful. But it smells ugly. And it’s scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum, means large misshapen phallus. I kept thinking they should’ve surrounded it with some orchids (meaning:testicles). So, on the lower left, I drew some little balls to go with the large penis. Hey, everyone there was cracking jokes, too! Anyway, besides being X-rated, the drawing is loaded with marks and dirty, “ugly” colors to illustrate it’s most famous feature. Because, in the end, it’s not the size or the rareness or the phallic shape or the 10-80 year bloom cycle that draws the crowds. It’s the stench. All those droves of people basically felt compelled to act when somebody said “Oh God this smells awful! Smell it.”


Here’s another