Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Hats

Last Wednesday my sketch group met at the Patchogue-Medford Library. We were meeting to put our sketches into the display case on the first floor...and then sketching. We had a lot of sketchbooks to put in and one member brought some Christmas hats for us to wear.

Here we are in front of the showcase. I am all the way on the right.

After the showcase was done we did a little bit of sketching. I focused on the Christmas hats.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


It has been a long time since I went to a portrait session with any of my art groups, but finally got to the South Bay Art Association's session last Wednesday. Bob was our model.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Rockefeller Center - Part 2

Lunch and the rest room were calling so we left our good spot outside at Rockefeller Center and headed indoors. The NYC Urban Sketchers were meeting for lunch inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza downstairs were there is an area with tables to sit. It did feel good to be inside and warm again.

After a yummy bowl of hot soup I sketched some of the people in the food court area. The baby was being held my her dad, but they got up and moved before I could sketch him. (Some people just don't cooperate. lol)

After lunch Suzala and I planned to go back outside to sketch, but we got sidetracked. We passed an area with tables that was up against glass doors overlooking the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink...and someone was just getting up from their table. We started sketching and the table even closer to the glass doors opened up and we were able to move even closer. It was our lucky day! Of course the skaters did not stay still and the seated people kept moving back onto the ice but I was able to sketch some of the poses. (If you look at this sketch and see the area on the right that is so crowded with people...we were sitting right above that in the morning.) At one point the ice was cleared of all the skaters for the Zamboni machine to clean the ice. That gave me time to add the color to the sketch.

The day ended with a "show and tell" in the same area where we had lunch. There was a couple sitting at a table nearby that enjoyed the show and tell as much as we did. They applauded for all the sketches too.

Of course a trip to the city isn't complete without a sketch of someone on the train.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Rockefeller Center

Last Sunday the NYC Urban Sketchers were meeting at Rockefeller Center to sketch the tree and the assorted decorations and activities there. I thought Mark, our organizer was crazy...Rockefeller Center on a Sunday in December??? I couldn't imagine sketching in the crowd that would be there.  I went in with my friend, Suzala on the Long Island Railroad. She has trouble walking any distance so we took a taxi from Penn Station (34th St) up to Rockefeller Center (50th St). When we got there we found a bench with a so-so view. I left her there and went to walk around the promenade and see if anyone else from the group was there. By the time I got back she had been chatting with the security guards. When they saw that we were sketching they told us that we could move to a special section where there wouldn't be crowds and we would have a pretty unobstructed view of the statue of Promethius and the tree. The area was fenced off from the general public so we wouldn't have to worry about people banging into us. It was perfect!

I had already started my sketch including one of the security guards but moved as soon as the offer was made. They were even nice enough to allow any of the other sketchers who came along to join us there. Here is my first sketch with one of the guards. He stayed nearby so I was able to finish him easily.

For my next sketch I simply turned around and faced the opposite way toward 5th Ave. This view is one of my favorites during the Christmas season. There are angels with lights tucked into all the greenery all the way up the promenade. It is pretty during the day and just wonderful at night!

Doing a white angel wasn't easy. I moved one of the trees so it was behind the angel and did some negative painting in her dress and wings. Then I used a white gel pen to add some texture. I'm really happy with the way it came out. 

Two more quick stories about the morning. Suzala had on a foot brace so she can't wear her regular shoes. She was wearing sandals with heavy socks, but it was a pretty cold day and her feet were cold. There was a security woman there with a bomb sniffing dog named Sammy. Suzala of course made friends with the woman and the dog. The dog came and sat on her feet for a while to keep them warm. Also while we were sitting there a young couple came in to take a photo and the guy got down on one knee and proposed. I wasn't fast enough to sketch them. lol

Thursday, December 7, 2017

People Everywhere

Last Saturday the South Bay Art Association had an Art & Crafts Holiday Market at the South Country Library. Since I am on the Board I had to be there so I figured I might as well take part. We had a good crowd. I sold some of my artwork, cards, and a lot of my alcohol ink ornaments. For some reason I forgot to take photos of those and they are now on display for the next show. You can see some of them in the photo below.

During a slow stretch I sketched the vendor next to me and some of the people who stopped by her table.

Photo by Krystle DiNicola
This was not done at the show, but on the subway when I went into the city for my birthday.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Celebrating in NYC

Last Thursday was my birthday and my husband and I spent it in NYC. We got into the city about noon. He went off to do a few things and I went off to sketch. The plan was to meet for an early dinner at this Italian restaurant, Carmines, that I love, go out for drinks, and then we had tickets to see the Broadway show, "Beautiful."

I have always loved these red ornaments that are on the street diagonally across from Radio City Music Hall. I sat on my stool and by the time I finished I was frozen.

I decided to head to St Patrick's Cathedral on 5th Avenue to warm up. It is a beautiful church and I love to walk around there. On my way to my favorite chapel in the back of the church I passed the Nativity set. All the statues seemed like a bit much so I kept walking but when I got to the side I noticed that the camel could be done on its own. I liked that I could also incorporate some people looking at the Nativity and the lady lighting the candle.

I have to say that I turned out to be a wonderful birthday with many of the things I love, as well as the person I love.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Ornaments

This was sketched last week when my sketch group met on Wednesday night. Everyone brought in ornaments to sketch, and we sketched some of our own and some that other people brought in. I brought the tiny tree and the two ornaments under it, but my friends shared the lights and the Santa ornament.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Shaded House

There is something about this house in Sayville that calls to me. I think it is the beach blue and white of the outside. I've sketched it before and will probably sketch it again. The house faces the water and I can imagine sitting there having a cup of coffee or a glass of while while I watch the sun go down.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

People Sketches

This first group of people was sketched at the DMV while I was waiting for my driver's license renewal.

Sketching people on the train is always a good way to make a trip to the city seem shorter.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

NY Public Library & Bryant Park

Last weekend the NYC Urban Sketchers met at the NY Public Library on 42nd St and Fifth Ave.
This was sketched in the Rose Reading Room on the 3rd floor. I hope I didn't miss any books. lol That's one of our sketchers, Louis at the table.

Next I headed outside, hoping that it was warm enough to sit and sketch by the skating rink.  I used artistic license to eliminate about 200 people from this sketch. 

Bryant Park has a wonderful Holiday Market at this time of year with small booths filled with wonderful vendors. I stood up on an elevated section so I could draw the booth as well as some of the crowd.

Friday, December 1, 2017


When I'm not sure where to go locally to sketch, Weeks Boatyard in Patchogue is one of the good locations until all the boats are shrink wrapped for the winter. Luckily when I went the other day there were still a few being worked on and still uncovered.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Port Jeff View

Last week I took a trip up to Port Jeff. It is a cute town north of me where you can catch the ferry across the Long Island Sound to Bridgeport, Connecticut. I found a spot to sketch a view.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sayville Road

I keep returning to this area of Sayville to sketch but usually do the views looking toward the water. This time I sat with my back to the water and painted the view facing north along Browns River Road.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Orchestra

Recently my friend, Diana, a violinist was performing locally in the Island Symphony Orchestra. Two other friends and I went to the concert in a church nearby. We all brought our sketchbooks. I tried to get a variety of the orchestra members including Diana (2nd violinist from the left). After the concert I showed the sketch to Diana and she showed it to many of the performers. They loved it. It was really funny when some of them recognized themselves in the sketch.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Here is the second part of my day last Saturday.

For the last few years the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan has held a Draw-A-Thon as a fundraiser. They have nude and dressed models that are posing from 9 am to 6 pm. Each room probably had 5 models posing at a time. Students, artists, and people in-between come for the day or part of the day. Students have to have parental permission to sketch the nude models who are in a separate room, but the clothed models are available to everyone. Once you pay your admission you are given a band to wear on your wrist and we were free to move from room to room or leave the building for a while and then return. This isn't an actual "NYC Urban Sketching" kind of outing but many of our members came for part or all of the day. We went after Sotheby's and arrived about 3. Some of our members have gone to this in the past but this was my first time attending.

I went to the room with the nudes first. They posed for assorted times, sometimes 5 minutes and sometimes much longer. Here are the nudes I sketched. Most of these (except for the woman) were done with a water soluble graphite pencil.

These were all quick poses so I did them all on one page.

I sketched a few of the artists between poses.

Then I moved to the other room. This character did long poses and always returned to the same pose for those who were doing complete paintings. He was fun in his very interesting outfit.

Then at 6 pm the sketching stops and they bring in free pizza for everyone...It was quite a day!

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Last week the NYC Urban Sketchers had double activities for us to partake in. The first part was sketching at Sotheby's Auction House in Manhattan. The collections change constantly and it is like visiting a fine museum.

The first piece of art that attracted me was this by Diego Rivera titles "Retrato de un Espanol." What attracted me in addition to the size of the painting and the way the figure stood out was the added detail of the architecture of the window beside it. It was a plus that someone came by and was looking at it so I had a figure for scale.

After lunch I started sketching Fernando Botero's "Modesty" aptly named as she covers herself. The man had turned away to speak to another man who was out of the picture. I would think that if I was sketching artwork I would be pretty safe that the artwork couldn't get up and walk away...but no...two workers came over with another man from Sotheby's who decided the statue needed to be moved away from the wall so people could walk behind the statue and see that view too. So while I was sitting there they actually moved the statue and then climbed up on a ladder to readjust the lighting. I can't win! lol

I will post the 2nd part of the day tomorrow.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

By the Beach

This was done in a moleskin sketchbook and sketched down by the road to the Fire Island Ferries in Sayville.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Minimal Sketch Kit?

My friend, Tina Koyama did a post the other day about what is in her "minimal sketch kit." I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I am definitely not a minimalist kind of girl. Yes, I can go out with just a small sketchpad and a pen or pencil...but I usually don't. Last year I bought myself a pen/pencil case that can hold a variety of sketching materials that I can grab in an instant. Of course, being me, there are duplicates of some of the pens...after all what if one of them runs out? It could happen and has happened in the past. lol 
The problem for me is that I often haven't decided before I leave the house if I am just doing a quick sketch or a painting. So I want to make sure I have what I need...just in case. That means I usually drag along my backpack which has just about everything except the kitchen sink. On occasion I do go out with just the pencil case and one sketchbook.

The Lihit Lab Pen Case I use has several sections. In front there is room for my tiny palette. Then inside I have a variety of pens in the first two sections including a Lamy Safari, 2 Elegant Writer Pens, Uniball gel pens in white and gold, black uniball pens, a Japanese brush pen that I can refill, an Elizabeth & Company travel dagger brush, a sable travel brush, and a fountain pen I bought in this elegant pen store in Venice. Usually I reach for the Lamy Safari before anything else because it is filled with platinum carbon ink which is waterproof (in most situations). The back section has an eraser, pencils, sharpener and a water brush or two. Does it sound like I have enough to do some sketching?

Here is a sketch of the inside of the front section and labels to identify the kind of pen.

Here are a few photos to let you see what it actually looks like without using artistic license. lol
I'm not showing you the back which is just solid orange because it has a blot of ink that is almost half of the back. You can see a bit of the ink on the inside in the second photo down too. One of my pens leaked. Grrr!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Wishing you a wonderful day to enjoy the people and things that you are thankful for. Many thanks to all of you for your support and comments. I appreciate them all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Avalon Preserve

Here is another painting I finally finished from about a month and a half ago. This was done at Avalon Preserve in Stony Brook.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Arboretum Autumn

Here is another painting I just finished up. This was done at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale a few weeks ago.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Andrews Farm Treasures

I've been finishing up and tweaking paintings for my upcoming shows. This was started back in September, but I didn't get around to finishing it until now. It was done at the Andrews Family Farm. The people there are so nice.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Alcohol Inks on Tiles

I have two shows that I will be participating in with my art groups in December. The other day I did a few new alcohol inks on tiles. This time I did florals and used compressed air to blow the paint into abstract petals. I'll be bringing these and some others I've created to sell at the shows.

I don't know if I ever mentioned the results of trying the new protective coating for the tiles. I used a material called Envirotex Lite and although it isn't the easiest material to use it creates a hard, shiny covering for the tiles...much better than the spray on protectant that I had tried previously.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sketches at Nissan

I had some routine maintenance to do on my car so I took it in to Nissan Service. There are always people around to sketch, like the woman on the left who was watching the cars being serviced through the window, or the man napping while waiting.

Of cours there are always the people on their phones or watching videos on their tablets.
Sketching them sure makes the time pass easier.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Autumn Still Life

Our Wed night sketch group met at the Patchogue/Medford Library. We had a mini reception there because we had a collection of our sketchbooks on display this month in their display case. Our theme for the night was gourds and fabric. We had assorted kinds of squash, pumpkins, leaves, and the fabric in my sketch was a napkin with a design from Provence. It was a fun night.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Barnes & Noble's Starbucks

We had a damp, mostly dreary day so I wanted to sketch something indoors. I was rather tired of being in the same places so I went to the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. Right outside is a Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks inside. Most Starbucks look pretty much alike but I like that the showcase was visible here.

The funny thing was that I was using my water brush which was still filled from last Saturday with a mix of water and rubbing alcohol so it wouldn't freeze. I hadn't used the water brush on Saturday...just my jar of water. For this sketch the water/alcohol mix made the watercolor pigments behave a bit strangely... they separated a lot on the palette and the paper. I'll have to remember that in the future and not mix them. My friend put vodka in her water to keep it from freezing. lol

After I finished this I went into the mall and there in the center was Santa all set up already. That was my first Santa sighting of the season, but I didn't sketch him. They use the same setup and outfit each year. I'll have to find a new location to sketch Santa.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Christmas Decorations?

I was riding through Sayville the other day looking for something to sketch when I saw a woman decorating a tree in a garden area of a marina. It seems a little early for Christmas decorating but I thought it might make a good sketch. She had put on ribbon and some star garland. A car pulled up and a man got out and brought her more boxes. I couldn't see what he brought but she put whatever it was in front of the tree. He drove away and came back with a little boy. They took photos of the boy by the tree. I had finished the sketch but stayed where I was reading something I had in the car with me. I wasn't really paying attention, and when I looked up again the man, the woman, the boy, and all the decorations were gone! The only thing I can think of is that they had decorated the tree and posed the boy for their Christmas card photo. The weren't actually decorating the tree for the town...just for the Christmas photo. lol