Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Bit of Where I Grew Up

Over on "Paper, Paint, Pencils, and Pens" (see the side link) our last theme was to do sketches of where we grew up. I decided to do quick mini sketches that are about 2 1/2 x 3 inches.

I attended St. Joseph's Church in Jamaica, Queens which was a Polish parish. We spent a lot of time there for mass, processions, and assorted things. The church was part of the center of our community.

Diagonally across from the school was the local funeral home. My grandmother knew almost everyone in the neighborhood, so if someone from a family she knew had died we would stop and "visit" after church on Sunday after mass. This is what the building looks like today.

Behind the church was a very nondescript building that was the parochial school. It went from grades 1 - 8 and there was usually only one class per grade. My first grade class had 50 students and we had maybe 40 by 8th grade graduation. The nicest part of the school was the huge yard where we played at lunchtime and recess.

Even though I grew up in Jamaica I went to school in Richmond Hill which was also in Queens. I took the "J" train there every day. The J train was an elevated subway line that ran from Queens through Brooklyn and into Manhattan. Even though you could take a bus to Richmond Hill H.S. I always liked the train better. The bus drivers didn't always want to stop and pick up the waiting students...we had no problem on the train.

After most high school dances or basketball games we always went to Jahn's which was a sort of soda/ice cream shop. They had some very different ice cream creations, one of which was called "the kitchen sink" and contained about 14 scoops of ice cream. Of course you had to share it. There is one last remaining branch of Jahn's left in Queens and I believe the kitchen sink is listed for around $47 now. lol My favorite was always the "Joe Sent Me" which was strawberry ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Here is Jahn's from the front. This one is no longer in existence.

I loved it on the inside with the counter with bright red stools and the tables and booths in the back, which was usually where we sat.

When I was 15 the NY World's Fair was held in Flushing, Queens, a quick train ride away from us. We spent a lot of time there with our family and with our friends. It was such a fun place.
This is the Unisphere which is still standing in Flushing Meadow Park.

We had a park nearby called Baisley Pond Park. We would go and run around, fly kites, and sometimes fish. I once caught a small sunfish and we brought it home. My uncle who lived with us had a large fish tank and put him into it but he started eating the other fish. So he got a bowl of his own that we put on the windowsill. I thnk being in the sun led to Flip-Flop's demise and they he ended up buried in the backyard. 

I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into my past.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Maritime Museum Grounds

I am a little late posting today since my sister and I were on the road to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Georgia. We are at the midway point in Roanoke, VA. After the visit with them it will be on to Myrtle Beach for a watercolor workshop. I'll try to keep posting while I'm away.

This was done on the grounds of the Maritime Museum in West Sayville. I'm not really sure if the buildings are part of the museum property or the golf course that the property is attached is sort of in the middle. The building on the left is for woodworking, but I'm not sure what is in the other two buildings. I parked next to this huge pile of snow on the connecting road and was afraid someone was going to come along and make me move. As it was a car did stop and check to see if I needed help, so I thought that was nice. There is also a greenhouse on the property but I haven't sketched that yet.

Monday, March 2, 2015


I did get out to one of the portrait groups last week. Jeannette, who is one of the members of the group, posed for us. She jokingly requested that if we were painting her in color to please include her streaks of turquoise and gold hair. You can see them on the left side near her neck. She was a great model.

Yesterday I went to the Phoenix Gallery in Bellport for the reception of the BAHC show "Destinations and Journeys." My stained paper collage "Abbey With Lavender" won 2nd place.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Down Livingston Road

Last Sunday I had to drop off a painting at the Phoenix Gallery in Bellport and while I was in the town I rode around looking for something to paint. It was warm and the streets were wet and slushy with a bit of the snow finally melting...oh, don't worry...there is plenty left. I rode down by the water but nothing caught my eye but as I was headed out of town the trees going down Livingston Road caught my attention. The trunks on these trees have a really mottled bark that I love with a sort of pattern and different colors of tan, brown, and green. My friend, Laurie, told me later in the week that these are called plane trees and when I googled them I found out that they are among the tallest trees in North America, also called sycamore trees. I like the ones on Livingston Road as they stretch across the street. It the summer it is so shady there.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Iced In

Due to the extreme cold that has lasted so long many of the local marinas are all iced in. Boats like the one at the Land's End Marina in Sayville won't be going anywhere for a while since they are iced in.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Snowy Scenes

I am still trying most days to get out and paint the snow and ice somewhere locally, since it doesn't seem to be leaving us any time soon. Yes, there is a little less of the snow from the warmth of the sun, but then it just refreezes as ice.

This first one was painted down at the West Islip Marina. The day I was there it was so windy that the  snow on the ground was blowing like it was just falling...but sideways. I liked the lonely bench looking out at the mostly frozen Great South Bay.

When I don't want to travel far I just drive about 5 minutes to a park down the street in Sayville and look for a new view from the parking lot. I haven't braved it and ventured out of my car to paint any of these.

If you have had snow where you live I hope you are enjoying it like me.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sketching on Toned Paper II

I'm a bit behind in posting my pieces, but since I showed you one on toned paper yesterday, I figured I should show the one I did yesterday. I've been wanted to sketch the snow from this spot, but for days I kept contemplating the parking lot trying to decide if I could drive in and get back out. lol Yesterday it looked like it was solid enough to not have a problem. This was done from the San Souci parking lot in Sayville.

I used the Strathmore Toned Paper for this one again. I did most of it on site but finished it with the watercolor pencils at home because I ran out of time because I had a hair appointment.

I know many of you across the USA experiences snow and ice yesterday, and for some of you that was rare. I hope everyone is safe and that things are back to normal for you!