Welcome to Upstate Dispatch 2024! I want to thank you, the reader and subscriber, for waiting. 2023 brought many changes, but the one constant was my attendance at a life drawing group in Andes and Margaretville. Artists gather weekly to sketch a live, nude model and the practice really helps artists hone their craft. The Andes group shut down for the winter, so Gary Mayer is hosting a Margaretville group out of the ArtUp Gallery in Binnekill Square, Margaretville every Wednesday from 4pm – 7pm. When we don’t have a model, we sketch each other, fully clothed. We’re not all throwing off our clothes in there!
In December 2023, Upstate Dispatch moved to a new HQ, an art studio and gallery, upstairs at the Commons Building on 785 Main Street, Margaretville, NY. Most Saturdays, I am there at my desk (above) painting or writing. Visitors are welcome on Saturdays from 1pm – 4pm. (Yes, the floor is slightly sloped in areas, which makes for an unsatisfyingly unsymmetrical picture).
In the studio, I will be hosting a group show of the best sketches of our winter figure drawing group. Participating artists are me (Jenny Neal), Gary Mayer, Steve Burnett, Sophia Teixido, Alex Wilson and more. The reception will take place February 24th, 2024 from 4pm – 6pm. Save the date! The work will be offered for sale at affordable prices. I would like to see more affordable art in the Catskills. I will be selling my 5-minute, 10-minute and 20-minute watercolors for less than $50. You’ll find a sketch wall of pencil and charcoal drawings for $10 and $20 each. Most work will be unframed.
In 2023, I started writing the book, Upstate Dispatch, a memoir of my life and experiences as a writer in the Catskills, which is being serialized on Substack, a medium for writers where they can get paid for their work. This is paid content, $5 per month, with NO advertising. If you’ve been enjoying Upstate Dispatch ad-free for years, please consider supporting me there. I’m about halfway through, depending on how long the book will be. It’s arranged chronologically in chapters with the first chapter being the oldest (first) post. The actual book will be published this year, fingers crossed.
Finally, this year is the tenth anniversary of Upstate Dispatch. I’m celebrating by joining the AMR Open Studios Art Tour this summer, where for one weekend at the end of July, artists in the Catskills open their studios to visitors. Watch this space for more details.
Thanks for sticking around!
Jenny Neal, February 1st, 2024