Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections on 2012 and Happy New Year

Reflections on 2012
As 2012 comes to an end I must say it has been an interesting year with some highs and lows for all of us. My thanks to family and friends for your support, love, and encouragement.
On a personal note my family is doing well. We celebrated 3 weddings this year in various places in and out of the country. I was lucky enough to attend all three and I happily welcome Flor, Emily, and Rachel to our family.
Several blogging friends came to the area this year. Ai Nukoolkit visited NYC from Thailand and I got to spend 2 days sketching with her in Manhattan. Lin Frye was here for a workshop, and after several years of being internet friends we got to meet. Hurricane Sandy make it necessary for her to stay on Long Island a bit longer than she wanted, so we were able to spend some extra time together.
I participated in several shows and have my work in the Fiedler Gallery in Greenport. I sold some paintings at shows and as commissions, so I am grateful for that.
The art groups that I belong to met this year on a regular basis. It is always fun to go out and sketch and paint on location with both the PALS Plein Air group and the Patchogue Sketch Club. I also met with the SBAA Portrait Group. My thanks to Jeanne Salucci, Gina Lento, and Don Stonebridge for coordinating things so well for the groups.
My thanks to my partner in crime, Susan Toplitz, who researched so many Long Island locations for us to paint together this year. It is always fun to have company! She and I joined the NYC Urban Sketchers where we met some wonderful artists. I met another blogging friend, Carol King, this year as we met with the NYC Urban Sketchers to do a Worldwide Sketchcrawl in Brooklyn.
Last but definitely not least, my thanks to my husband, Jerry, for his support and understanding of the love of art that I need to express. He has the same love for his music. Jerry puts up with a lot from me and I appreciate it.
There are many friends who are still not fully recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. I thank God that Jerry and I weren't affected, but my thoughts are with those who lost so much and are still struggling to get their lives back to normal.
I have MANY, MANY things to be thankful to God for this year, and if you are reading this you are among the things I am thankful for too. I appreciate your visits, comments, and support this past year. I wish all of you health, happiness, love, and creativity in the coming year.
 Happy New Year!!! Wishing you all the best in 2013!
 This painting was done for the Weekend Drawing Event on WetCanvas from a photo supplied by "pjartwc". My thanks to Jan for the reference.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunset #2

As I was finishing the sunset below I noticed that part of the sky had so much color, so I had to do a second painting. This one I had to do much faster because the color was changing fast and it was starting to get dark. It isn't easy getting the rich colors of the sunset when the sky is already wet, but I persisted. I just couldn't pass this up. This one is about 5 x 5.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Yesterday my schedule was thrown off a bit due to shopping for a new TV and all that entails. It is like a snowball once it starts. lol Anyway I ended up coming to the library later in the day to use the computers. By the time I was leaving it was about 3:45 and the thought entered my head to head to the water and paint the sunset. I drove down near Corey Beach in Bayport and parked on the dock facing west. This is about 4 x 6. I'm glad my schedule was off and I was outside in time for the sunset.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The other day I headed down to the dock in West Sayville to sketch. This was an area that was flooded during Hurricane Sandy and parts of it were ruined. They seem to be working on replacing some of the pilings and boards. This is about 4 x 5.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Before Christmas I made a few individual holiday cards for people but forgot to take photos of most of them. This was done of part of my ornamented tree. I'm hoping to do some small watercolor sketches of the special ornaments on my tree.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

House #4 and Holiday Notes

I hope all of you had a great Christmas!!! I did!

All the house paintings were finished on time to be handed out as gifts yesterday. Everyone loved them and enjoyed my story about trying to paint Barbara's house. Here is the final of the four houses. Again it is 5 x 7.

Christmas Day always seems to pass so quickly. There is so much activity leading up to it and the day itself was so quiet in comparison. We had a lovely time with my husband's family and consumed far too much food. The dessert buffet itself would have been enough. lol

In the hectic bustle before Christmas I was able to find another Santa to paint. This is in a spot I pass every time I go to the mall and each time I pass it I swear I'm going to stop one day to paint it, but usually there is too much traffic to safely pull over. But I passed it the other day and the business there was closed so the traffic wasn't as bad as usual. I don't know what kind of business this sits in front of since it is set back too far off the road to really see it. Seeing the tractor you would think it was farm/plant related, but I have no idea. I just liked Santa sitting there. lol

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

There are a few of you who are on my actual mailing list who received this card, but for all my  blogging friends I wanted to share the card that I sent this year. This is the third Santa I did with my Venice references and I think next year I'll have to come up with a new
This painting is called, "Plein Air Santa."
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
Some of you have had challenges and losses this year,
so I hope that the peace of the season warms your heart,
and the love of family and friends embraces you and strengthens you.
All the best!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Hard At Work

I decided I wanted to paint a mall Santa and I knew I needed to do it before it was too late. So I headed over to the Smith Haven Mall. There was a perfect looking Santa there (really classy) and I carefully scoped out a spot to stand where I wouldn't be in the way of any of the vendors with their carts, or get knocked into by any of the frantic shoppers. I couldn't get a direct view without being really obvious, but I found a pole I could lean against with a fairly good view.
Of course as soon as I started sketching Santa someone came and walked him away for a break. That gave me the opportunity to sketch the Santa setup while he was gone. He finally got back and I worked on him. That was the easy part but getting a child done was hard. Either the parents would be blocking my view, the child was screaming, or they didn't stay long enough. The child I did was mostly from memory because she didn't stay put very long. I think I made her a little too small, but that is one of the perils of plein air. lol
When I was almost finished Santa did come over during one of the lulls in traffic to see what I was doing...that just shows that his mind wasn't completely on the kids if he noticed me. lol
I thought about saving this for next year's Christmas card, but knowing me there will be several more opportunities before then to get something new done.
This is 5 x 7.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Houses 2 & 3

Before I share my latest art story I would like to take a minute to remember the children and teachers who were lost last week in Sandy Hook. My heart breaks every time I see those faces and think of what the families must be going through. This morning there was a moment of silence and the ringing of bells for each of the victims. They are the angels watching over us now. I hope that the families can get some measure of comfort in the days ahead. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

I should explain what started the idea of doing the house portraits. My husband has 4 cousins in one family...all girls. Every time there is a family event or reuinion on Long Island they take turns hosting, and do it so well! The house of thecousin I am going to show next was flooded during Hurricane Sandy...4 feet of water in her house that is only one floor. Almost everything inside was destroyed. Barbara is now living in an apartment while the house is being redone, and I'm not sure if she will move back in or end up selling the house. So I decided it would be a good idea to do a small house portrait for her and her sisters.
My first idea was to find all the houses on googlemaps. Out of the four of them only one showed up. So I drove to each of the other houses to personally take photos. However when I got to Barbara's house in Oakdale, all the outside siding had been removed. There was no indication of the color, or if there were shutters. All you could see was the Tyvek protective wrap all around the house. For the life of me I couldn't remember what color the house was. So I called my sister-in-law who couldn't remember for sure. She suggested I email one of the sisters and ask, not telling her that I was doing a painting for everyone else too. Terry emailed me that the shingles were light grey and the roof was mention of shutters. lol So I checked the address with googleEarth and several other sites. I could get good aerial views on most of them, but they don't let you see it from street level. Finally I found a site that let me turn the photo around and I could get a slight view of the front including the color and the fact that all the windows had white shutters. I did this painting from that information.
The next one, Janet's house, was a bit easier because I was able to take a normal photo.
Three houses done and one more to go!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I am working on the second house painting but it isn't finished yet. Last night the Patchogue Sketch Club met at Quench Wines and Spirits again. This time I focused on some of the interesting gift sets of wine that were on display. I love reading the names on some of the wines...can you see "Bitch Bubbly"? lol We had a bit of a party while we sketched.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

House #1

Yesterday I started working on a few house portraits that I am doing as Christmas gifts.
One down, 3 more to go. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I am hoping it will keep me busy enough that I don't eat all the Christmas cookies that I baked recently. lol

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On Saturday my plan was to put up my Christmas tree and then if I had the energy to go out and paint a nighttime Christmas scene. So I called my friend, Susan, and asked her if she wanted to come out and play. When it was dark we went over to a Christmas tree lot nearby. Imagine our delight when we pulled up to see Santa, 2 big white horses, and a carriage. Santa was giving rides to customers but luckily for us he was not too busy and always returned to the same spot right in front of my parked car. With a bit of light from my car we were able to capture Santa in action. I sketched him while he was feeding the horses. I also did some editing and only put in one horse.

And here is my decorated tree.

Friday, December 14, 2012


The South Bay Art Association's portrait group met yesterday. Usually we have seniors as our models, but yesterday Scott posed for us. It was nice having a somewhat younger face for a change. He was the sweetest guy...the neighbor of the man who organizes the group. He had gone to school with most of the children of the  "senior" artists in our group.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wine Display

The Patchogue Sketch Club was scheduled to meet at at Hoptron Brewtique in Patchogue last night but due to problems with their taps being reset, we had a change of venue. We moved down the street to Quench Wine and Spirits at 90 Main St. in Patchogue to discuss our options. Dan, the owner of Quench graciously told us to make ourselves comfortable and sketch there. Not only did we sketch the wine displays but he let us sample some peach sparkling wine.
He and his wife invited us to return again next week which was originally planned. They will have some gift baskets and other things out for us to sketch....and some wine too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Well the painting from yesterday was loved by Heike and her staff! They were all fighting over where to put it in the salon and who would get to see it all the time in the shop. lol I told Heike about painting in the rain and how I saw her pull up and block my view for a few minutes. She thought that was so funny.
Yesterday I drove into Sayville and saw this guy on a ladder painting Christmas decorations on the outside windows of the Sayville Modern Diner. I wonder what kind of paint they use that stays on the outside windows in all kinds of weather...definitely not watercolors. lol

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This year I decided to do a small painting of the salon where I get my hair cut as a gift to the owner, Heike. I've been going there for close to a year and thought it would be a fun Christmas gift for her. Of course I had this idea the other day and with all the time I spent getting ready for the show this past weekend, so I really only had yesterday or today to paint it. Wouldn't you know it was raining. yesterday. lol So I sat in my car in the parking lot across the street from the shop, using the windshield wipers from time to time. The shop was closed but a car pulled up in front and who got out but Heike. Luckily she didn't see me as she dashed into the shop and out again. I sat there in the rain (and thunder at times) to finish this piece. I changed the scene a bit adding flowers in the pots by the door and some shadows even though it was raining. I thought sunshine would be a little better.
I did this as a 5 x 7 size and I will bring it to her tomorrow when I go to have my hair done.

Monday, December 10, 2012

3rd Annual PALS Plein Air Art Show

This weekend the PALS Plein Air Limner Society held their 3rd annual art show at the BAFFA Gallery in Sayville. It went really well. We had framed pieces, matted pieces, prints, books, cards, etc. ... something for every budget.
The group is organized by Jeanne Salucci who keeps our blog going, emails us of our Tuesday morning destination, and coordinates the show. My thanks to her and the other wonderful artists that I painted with this year.
Here is a photo of a few of the members (sorry about the blurry look but I copied it from the internet) taken by Judy Motti of the Sayville-BluePointPatch. She did an article about the show.
I am in the light-colored sweater.
Here are a few photos of some of the work that was hanging in the show.

It is always fun to watch people react to your work and when they buy a piece it is even more special.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


This week's model at the SBAA portrait group was Barbara.
This is about 5 x 7.
Everyone always looks so serious when they pose. lol

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Decorations

The Patchogue Sketch Club met at Queen City Cupcakes for a sketching session last night. Carol, the owner, not only serves coffee and cupcakes, but she has an assortment of unusual home decor items all over the store. It is always fun to find something there to sketch. This is the top of one of her display shelves. It definitely caught my eye!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Birthday Flowers

I've been busy but I figured I'd better paint my birthday flowers before they were past their peak.
This is small...about 5 x 6.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Trip to Manhattan

Yesterday I was meeting two friends in Manhattan to see the Christmas decorations. I took the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) into the city. The ride takes about 1 hr 15 min so I had a bit of time to sketch one of the commuters.
Once I got into the city I had about an hour before I was meeting my friends so I walked as quickly as I could from Penn Station on 33rd Street up to 48th St and Sixth Ave where these huge red balls caught my eye. So I found a spot and sat and sketched.
By the time I was nearly done my friends had arrived and the rest of the day was spent walking around Manhattan, especially the shops in Bryant Park and the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. Here are a few photos from my day.
The skaters in Bryant Park.
The tree in Bryant Park.
Decorations along Sixth Avenue.
The angels in Rockefeller Center.
And the Rockefeller Center tree.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Fiedler Gallery

As I mentioned recently I was given the opportunity to rent part of a wall upstairs in the Fiedler Gallery, 207 Main Street, Greenport, NY. I am sharing the wall with two talented friends, Jeanne Salucci and Chris Taylor. Yesterday Jeanne and I went out to the gallery to hang work.
Here is a view of the wall we are sharing. Chris has her work on the left and needs to bring out more work, Jeanne is in the center, and my work is on the right.
I have room below my work to display some matted pieces, some notecards, and my book...yes, I did say "my book." I printed a book with some of my paintings of Long Island. More on that at another time.
Here are a few closer views of my section of the wall.
Greenport is a Long Island tourist destination, so hopefully in the warmer weather we will get some shoppers. There is still hope for some Christmas sales too. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The SBAA portrait group took a break for a few weeks but we finally got together yesterday to paint Nina. She was a great model.  This is about 5 x 7.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Slowly I am seeing the Christmas tree displays popping up here and there. It was a definite sign when I saw a big flat-bed truck filled with trees the other day.
Yesterday I sat in the car in the parking lot of a local strip mall with a stand-along flower shop. They were just starting to display some of the wreaths and trees...but I didn't hear any music there yet.
This is about 4 x 6 done at Vinny's Flower Box in Holbrook.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Basket of Flowers

Yesterday was one of those dismal rainy days so sketching and painting outside didn't work. I had a lot to do to get ready for my upcoming shows, but by the evening I had to sit down and create something. This was done from a photo I had taken in the early fall at a farm stand.
This is about 4 x 4.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sayville Christmas

Yesterday I headed into Sayville to sketch. They lit their Christmas tree on Saturday so it looked so festive on the corner. This is the same corner I painted with the Veteran's Day ceremony. Too bad I missed the crowd of people this time. I was lucky to find a parking spot in the lot right across the street so I was able to sit in the car and sketch. It was much too windy and cold out for me.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I have participated in a scavenger hunt on WetCanvas for the last few years. Every 9 days we get a list of items to hunt for and sketch/paint. The current hunt is all animals. Here are a few that I have found either at the Suffolk County Farm or the Holtsville Ecology Center.
These may not be large/small scale paintings but the practice doing the scavenger hunts has really improved my sketching and painting abilities.
This group was done at the Suffolk County Farm in Yahpank.
These were done at the Holtsville Ecology Center.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Smith Point Beach

I finally took a ride down to the beach that I go to most often in the summer to see what it was like after the hurricane. As you can see in my sketch, a great deal of the sand is eroded under the concrete walkways. The previous storms had eroded a lot of sand even up to the wall. But now it is eroded past the wall and around the side, breaking up some of the concret path itself. In front of the food pavillion was a big staircase leading to the beach. Only a few pilings are still standing ...none of the staircases or railings. The beach is much shorter too. To the right of what you see here were dunes that were about 15-20 feet high. They are totally gone. The water had come over the dunes into the bbq area and wiped away everything.
The surfers yesterday were having a great time. I think the floor of the ocean in front of the beach has probably changed and is producing different waves. I don't know if that is good for them or not, but they were out there checking it out yesterday.
On another note I am pleased to announce that my work will be hanging in a few places next month.
First is our annual PALS Plein Air Show on Dec. 8th and 9th.
Here is an invite in case you are in the area.
My work will also be going into the Fiedler Gallery on Main Street in Greenport, NY. Rich Fiedler has his work in the gallery downstairs and rents wall space to artists upstairs in the building. Two friends of mine have been sharing a section of one of the walls with other artists they knew. The other artists are dropping out and I will be sharing the wall with Jeanne Salucci and Chris Taylor starting December 1. I will post some photos once we have the new arrangement hung at the gallery.
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Window Shopping

Well I survived all the Thanksgiving food although the pecan pie nearly did me in. Now I'll have to exercise to wear off some of those calories.
On Tuesday my plein air group (PALS) met in Sayville to paint the town. I focused on the store window at Debra Canavan Classics on Main Street. This is 5 x 7.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!! My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have lost so much from the recent storm. The damage and loss of life and property is only being added to by the frustration they are encountering trying to get their lives back together. I wish all of you the best!
On Sunday when I was at the farmstand below I bought a stalk of Brussel sprouts. I think it was callilng to be painted. This is about 4 x 6.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Curbside Pickup

All along the streets here on Long Island you see piles of tree branches and assorted things that were left behind or damaged by Hurricane this huge tree. I guess they will need some kind of crane to pick up the pieces of this tree. This is about 4 x 6.