On Sunday I was in Bellport and drove down by the dock. I had passed this lady further back in town a while before. I just loved the red coat on the dog. You notice this woman is bundled up in a winter jacket and hat...yes, spring temps seem to have disappeared again! I was back in Bellport today and passed the same woman and dog...the dog was easy to recognize. LOL I used a fairly new pen today called "Le Pen" which bleeds a little when you wet it. I like the effect.
When I was at the Peconic River Herb Farm on Friday I did a second piece in my Stillman & Birn journal this time. I painted directly in watercolor for this...no sketching with my pencil. I am really happy with the way this came out.
This was sketched and painted at the Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton. It is a garden center, but it has all these lovely nooks and crannies where flowers and plants are blooming. There are several greenhouses...some filled with plants and some with bric-a-brac, and a main building filled with pots, bottles, antiques, seeds, and just a fun assortment of things. They even have picnic benches and chairs set up inviting people to linger. My thanks to the staff of the Peconic River Herb Farm for always being so welcoming when I stop by to paint. Never once have they told me I am in the way or that I can't paint there. They are really so nice!
On Friday I joined two friends at Blydenburg County Park in Smithtown to paint. I had never been to the park before. They have an area with historical houses and have people dressed in period costumes that do programs for kids and groups. There were too many school kids around to paint up by most of the buildings so we headed down by the lake to sketch. This pink building and a mill were down near the water. It was an interesting spot to sketch and I will probably return there to sketch or paint the other buildings and people.
This week's sketch model at the SBAA Portrait Group was Mary.
She was a great model!
When I was out the other day painting the forsythia (the day I met the photographer) I also did an ink was of a massive tree. I forgot to post it then. This is across a double page spread in my Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook.
Last Wednesday my sister, Mickey and I planned a trip to see the American Watercolor Society Show in Manhattan. We decided to combine it with a bit of sketching. Like everything this year it was an adventure because of the "spring" conditions of cold, snow and ice, and wind. We have not been lucky weather wise. Since it was really cold when we got into the city we decided to sketch from indoors looking out. We went upstairs in the Whole Foods on 14th Street overlooking Union Square Park. They have a cafe area that has huge windows and we found a table right up front in a great spot.
First I sketched Union Square Park which had some trees and shrubs in bloom...and as always people.
Next I focused on one of the street lamps and signs.
The taxis on the corner caught my eye. I need to practice car shapes, but they are much harder to do from up above. There were a few food carts on the corner too.
Then we went off to have lunch and see the show (which was fabulous).
When we got out of the show we headed back to the park to do one more sketch. It had warmed up a bit so we were able to sit in the sun and sketch comfortably. I liked the combination of the flowering trees, the closed umbrellas, and the lady in her coat with the hood up.
Yesterday I was out plein air painting in Setauket. I was sitting by the water painting the pond, the bridge and the forsythia bush. A man came over and asked if he could take my photo and I said yes. People have asked to take photos of me painting before. Anyway, he goes to his car and comes back with this big camera with a huge lens and starts snapping away. Finally I asked him if he was a professional photographer and he said he works for Newsday which is one of the big Long Island & NY newspapers. He took my name and told me that my photo might be in the paper today.
I tried to find a way of linking the photo, but it doesn't give everyone access, so I took a photo of the photo on the computer. LOL It came out OK.
Here is the painting I was working on when he came over.
The NYC Urban Sketchers picked the Gowanus Canal area in Brooklyn for our sketch crawl on Saturday. For those of you outside of NYC, the Gowanus Canal for a long time has been known as one of the most polluted waterways in the country. Recently environmental projects have been done to try and improve the conditions. It is making a slow comeback, and they are trying to get it declared a national historic area. Most of you know that I tend to paint attractive landscapes that are "pretty." Well, this was gritty and dirty and just so much fun to sketch. I was really pleasantly surprised. Just to give you an idea of the area here is a photo of the Union Street Bridge. This was one of the prettier spots.
Anyway plans were made for the group to meet in Manhattan and take the ferry across to Brooklyn and do a walk with some participants that are actually working on improving the canal. My friend, Susan and I were already on the Brooklyn side so the plan was to meet along one of the bridges. One other sketcher did meet up with us, but we didn't ever link up with the rest of the group.
Susan and I started at the Union Street Bridge (pictured above). While we were sketching an instructor came along with two kids and their parents. He was giving them a perspective lesson and it was great to see what they had sketched. I did one of most of the bridge and then one of the bridge house.
Next we drove over to the Ninth Street Bridge. Sunil found us sketching there. He is one of those people who has an easy time sketching standing up...not me. LOL
I sketched the Ninth Street Bridge with the oil tanks and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway with the traffic on it. Then I sketched an interesting jumble of "stuff" alongside the canal.
At this point we heard voices calling to us. The other sketchers that we were supposed to meet were up on the elevated subway platform to take the train to the next location they planned to sketch. We decided we would rather stay where we were. There was a small fleet of cement mixers with colorful polka dots that I just had to sketch. LOL
Susan and I headed over to the Whole Foods Market by the 3rd Street Bridge. They had a wonderful park-like path around the parking lot that had views of the canal. I did one final (double page) sketch of the 3rd Street Bridge. I sketched it on location and started painting it, but it was getting late so I decided to finish it at home. It was really fun to sketch things so different from what I normally do.
Last Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers visited Bronx Community College. I wasn't sure I would find it an interesting location to sketch but was pleasantly surprised. We lucked out and had sunny, mild weather (which we haven't had on a sketching day in a while here in NY). I sat facing Gould Memorial Library and sketched the view straight ahead.
Next to where I was sitting there was a magnolia tree just starting to bloom. I sketched it with the tight buds on it in the morning, and by the time we came back to that spot in the afternoon it was in full bloom. LOL
A little warm weather was all it needed.
I headed for the Hall of Fame, which has busts of famous Americans in assorted fields.
We were up on a high hill and you could see the tops of the trees in the background.
I did a bust of Edwin Booth, who was a Shakespearean actor.
At lunch we shared our work and talked a bit before heading out for more sketching.
I did get a few photos of our members sketching.
I did a sketch of the top of Butler Hall.
Here is the bust of Abraham Lincoln and a view of part of the Hall of Fame. You can see that portions of it curved around. It was a really pretty walkway with information about each of the people depicted.
At the end of the day we sat and shared our sketches. It is always so great to see the work everyone produced during the day. Here are a few photos.
Svetlana showing her work.
Hugh showing his sketches.
Then it was Swami's turn to share.
Mark had some great sketches.
Susan had some great sketches to show too.
And finally we posed for a group photo.
Mike, Joan (me), Hugh, Susan, Mark, Svetlana, Jim, and Swami
Last Tuesday I was able to do two portrait sessions again. First I painted in the morning with the SBAA Portrait Group. We almost always have "mature" ladies or gents pose for us. They are the only ones who seem to be free in the morning unless college students are home for breaks. LOL
Eileen graciously posed for us.
In the evening the WetPaints Sketch Group met. One of the women brought her 2 nieces along and the older one posed for us. She was a teenager and had never posed before but she was fantastic.