Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!!!

Every year I do an Easter card that I send out to my family.
This was a first for doing an Easter lily, and I like the way it came out.

Wishing everyone a wonderful, blessed Easter. May your season be filled with the promise of spring, the love of family and friends, 
and the strength of God's love.
Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

At the Marina

I love this marina because it is like a throwback to earlier days. Most marinas are very modern and fancy. This one has the rustic character down it is so colorful.
Luckily they survived the hurricane we had because the building is still standing...however the dock is mostly gone. This is about 4 x 6 in my Stillman & Birn journal.

I did this one of one of the boats which looks like it was slightly damaged by the storm...or else a large shark took a bit out of it.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Japanese Fish Prints

On Wednesday evening the SBAA general meeting was held and there was a demo given by Chris Taylor. Chris gave a demo of gyotaku, which is traditional Japanese fish printing. Here is a link to Chris' website ; After the demo she allowed us to give it a try. Here are my prints.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I did two portrait sessions on Tuesday. First I did Marge (below and now showing) in the morning. I also belong to the Wet Paints Studio Group which meets in Sayville. They do portraits twice a month on Tuesday evenings. I always say I am going, but then I don't get out the door. I promised a friend I would show up this week and I'm glad I did.
I didn't get this lovely model's name, but she sat as still as a statue.
This is 5 x 7.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Yesterday Marge posed for us at the South Bay Portrait Group.
This is 5 x 7.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Lily

I bought an Easter lily plant the other day to use as a reference for a painting for my Easter card this year. Yes, I do send out cards for every occasion and am probably responsible for most of the money the post office takes in. lol That painting will be posted later in the week, after the cards are received, but I did another more sketchy version of the plant last night.
This is tiny....about 3 x 3.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sketching at the Concert

On Sunday I went to the see the Bay Area Chorus perform at the United Methodist Church of Patchogue. The concert was organized through BAFFA of Sayville.
I have heard this chorus perform several times and they are great.
My friend and I sat up in the balcony and I sketched while I listened.

Here are some audience members watching and listening.

And some of the chorus members.

And the accompanist at the piano.

As you can see these are more impressionistic than realistic.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Red Barn

On Saturday I had to drive up to Orange County to pick up paintings, and I love finding barns up there. The scenery is so great, but usually there is no place to park that has a good view. Luckily when we were driving through Chester we saw this barn and there was a spot along the side of the road just big enough to park the car.
This is 5 x 7.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Village Chairs & Wares

Yesterday I rode up to Port Jefferson to find a spot to paint. Luckily it wasn't too crowded and I was able to park on the street and have a view from the car. It is still too cold to sit outside and paint for any length of time. This was a chair/antique shop with interesting displays outside. This was done in my Stillman & Birn Alpha Journal.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I was looking for a place to sketch from the car yesterday seeing how our "spring" isn't warm enough to sit out yet. I drove over to Blue Point right near Flo's Luncheonette. Across Middle Road is a little park near one of the canals. I decided to sketch this looks like it needs a bit of love.
This is about 4 x 6 and was done in my Stillman & Birn Alpha Journal.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Roast Coffee & Tea

The Patchogue Sketch Club met at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company on Main St. in Patchogue last night for a bit of sketching indoors. This was a view of a few of the patrons at one of the nearby tables. Of course they left before I had the entire sketch done, but I had most of it completed and painted the watercolors from memory.
My thanks to Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company for always being so cordial to us when we come in and monopolize a few tables for a while.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Suffolk Theater

Happy Spring!!!
Today was a sunny but cold day here on Long Island. I decided to drive out to Riverhead to shop in the outlets and then sketch. The Suffolk Theater on Main Street in Riverhead recently had it's grand-opening after being renovated. It is a unique Art Deco theater that opened in 1933.
I am so glad that people are willing to preserve places like this. Too many are being lost.
This is about 6 x7 in my Stillman & Birn Alpha Journal.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


The South Bay Art Association's Portrait Group met this morning and Chris was our model.
This came out looking pretty much like her. This is about 5 x 7.

Monday, March 18, 2013

In the Works

Due to my cold I didn't get out to paint today, but did a little work on a painting I started in Myrtle Beach after our Judy Morris workshop was over. I don't want to show the whole thing yet, but you can see a bit of the texturing I'm using. The color chord is cerulean blue, yellow ochre, burnt umber, and sepia.
I've already used salt, words (in French), and a stencil. Maybe I will finish it tomorrow.
I just want to show you that I am working.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Boar Repairs

It is always fun to go down to the West Sayville Boat Dock because there is always something going on. Today there were several people doing repairs/maintenance on big boats.
I picked Captain Al and the worker was busy sanding or drilling something. I could hear the noise but not quite see what was going on.
This was done in my Stillman & Birn Alpha Journal and is about 6 x 6.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Inspired by Maggie Latham

One of the bloggers who I have followed for a long time is Maggie Latham.
In addition to posting her own wonderful work she often teaches on her blog. She is presently doing lessons incorporating permanent ink with other water media. She started the lessons just as I was on the road to my workshop in Myrtle Beach so I am trying to do a few of them and catch up. I don't know if I will get to all the exercises but it is fun to see what she recommends doing.

I went to the Suffolk County Farm and Environmental Center in Yaphank. My favorite all time view there is from the exit ramp on the Long Island Expressway. You can see many of the small barns across the field as well as the silos. I have painted this a few times before. For safety reasons I always do this view from my car (NY drivers are crazy.) and every time I sit there I expect a police trouper's car to come over and see why I am sitting there for so long, but I guess they are too busy chasing down speeding cars. lol
Here are the three quick sketches I did.
I did the top sketch with my dip pen, a small brush, a bottle of India ink, and my water brush. I did have visions of spilling the ink in the car, so I made sure to put a towel on my lap for protection. Then being a colorist I couldn't resist adding some alizarin and yellow ochre tones.
The second sketch was done just with the dip pen and brush and some water from the water brush.
The bottom one was done with my Lamy pen with brown ink that is not very permanent.
Thanks, Maggie for some good ideas. I'll have to try a few more of the ideas you showed. I know my Myrtle Beach sunrises and palm trees are calling out to be combined into something.

Friday, March 15, 2013


On Wednesday the Patchogue Sketch Club met at the Islip Grange in Sayville. I don't know why it is called the Islip Grange if it isn't located in Islip. lol There are some replicas of old buildings there but what caught my eye was the tractor by one of the barns. I sat out to paint (instead of my car) but it was cold and by about 7:15 I had to go. Luckily I paint fairly fast.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


The SBAA portrait group met on Tuesday morning. Jason was our model this week and he came dressed in a Nigerian print party outfit. Doing the darker skin tones is a bit of a challenge.
This came out looking pretty much like him.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The last thing we got to paint in South Carolina were the pelicans at Murrell's Inlet. I think they are such great looking birds.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

South Carolina Paintings

Here is another quick sunrise I did in Myrtle Beach.

Michelle and I spent an extra day after the workshop ended so we could go someplace to sketch. We headed to Georgetown, a historic town about 30 miles south of Myrtle Beach. We were hoping to try our hand at sketching shrimp boats, but with several of them docked in one spot the rigging was too complex to figure out what belonged to which boat. lol

We did go to lunch at a place called "Big Tuna" which had really yummy she-crab soup. I did a few sketches of people waiting at the bar.

Then we sat by the waterfront for a while. This boat seemed a little easier than some of the others.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunrise at Myrtle Beach

While I was in Myrtle Beach I dragged my body out at about 5:30 every morning to take a 2 mile walk and take photos of the sunrise. I even managed a few quick sunrise paintings in my little moleskin notebook. It would have been nicer if the weather wasn't so cold, but I worked it out.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Judy Morris Workshop - Day 5

Friday was our wrap-up day in class. We finished paintings, had a critique, and got our paintings ready for gallery night. Judy also gave us a list of when to stop working on our paintings which included reaching for your smallest brush or when nothing is abrasive.

I finished my Chinese lantern painting. As you can see it is a bit different from the original look it had. I darkened the awning above the lanterns. It was too distracting as a light color. I did some wiping out with a stencil in the window areas of the building and I used transition lines around all the lanterns.
I was really happy with the way this one came out.

In the evening on Friday we had gallery night. All the artwork was hung on the walls on the third floor of the conference center and we had appetizers and cocktails while we walked around looking at all the paintings.
Here are some photos from gallery night.

Me with my Paris painting.

Me with my lanterns.

My sister Michelle, (Mickey) with her painting of the mission church in Texas.

Each person in the class did a beach painting. Here are some photos of the collection which were hung together.

And a few close-ups.

Here is a photo of most of the group that made up our class.

That's Judy Morris in the front middle with the glasses.
It was definitely a great workshop and I would highly recommend taking a class with her.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Judy Morris Workshop - Day 4

Today Judy showed us how she attaches small beads to a painting. What an interesting idea! She used it on one of her paintings with silver foil and it is just gorgeous.

We spent a good deal of the morning doing critiques of the paintings everyone was working on this week. I think we learned a lot from seeing what was needed or corrected in each other's works.
Judy used a watermedia acetate paintable film to show what could be done to some of the paintings. It is a handy device.
She also explained how a "transition line" could be used between light and dark areas to soften the contrast. It really makes a difference. I used it a lot in the oriental lantern painting.
She also uses a magnifying and reducing glass to examine a painting to decide if it is "finished."
Judy also stressed that there is a time when the reference photo is no longer important. Put it away and let the artist take over.

I finished the Paris painting. Here is the finished piece. I used transition line in a soft peach on the diagonal pipe and the thin pieces of the antennas. I used a stencil for the pattern in the windows, and stamped rigged cardboard for the texture on the roof. What do you think? 

Here is my beach painting. It already had the stencil letters on it when I started. I added the saying in gold gesso on the bottom.

Judy Morris Workshop - Day 3

On Day 3 Judy Morris showed us how she makes/uses stencils in her work. A lot of her work has very subtle words and stencil patterns in different areas...and some of the patterns are bold and it works. Of course you can buy stencils off the internet, in AC Moore, Michaels, etc. but sometimes you need or want something different. Judy says she often takes photos of patterns in real life and enlarges/reduces them. She has taken photos of oriental rug patterns, copied leaf shapes on a copy machine, or used patterns that are public domain. She has wonderful handwriting and has taught calligraphy, but you can find a font or lettering on the internet that works with your image and enlarge it on a copy machine to the size you need. That is what I did with the lettering on the Paris painting.

Here is my Paris painting at the next stage. I decided to use cerulean, burnt umber, sepia, and yellow ochre as my color chord. For the sky I turned the paper upside-down and did a wash of cerulean. I already had the script across the sky and I went over the lettering with another layer of cerulean so the difference between the sky color and the words was just slight. I also painted parts of the building with yellow ochre, burnt umber, and cerulean and added kosher salt.

If you are using a pattern in an area it is important to protect the surrounding area with some type of protective masking, either using liquid masking fluid, frisket sheets or clear contact, or clear packing tape. The last two then involve carefully using an x-acto knife to cut away what you don't want without cutting the paper. I must admit I was not good at doing that! I tried the clear contact but was afraid to cut deep enough and ruin the paper. It takes practice to use the correct pressure. I did much better using regular tape torn in small pieces or painting around the area really carefully.

Judy also uses stencils to wipe our patterns. I will show you tomorrow how I sued that on my Chinese lantern painting. That one went through a transformation before it was finished.

For a fun project Judy had stenciled the word beach onto the top of a piece of watercolor paper with gold gesso. (I wish I had taken a photo of the paper for you to see.) Since we were at the beach she wanted us each to do a beach scene (real or imaginary) with the word as part of our work.
She did hers in her sketchbook and planned to show us the next day how she would do a plein air piece when she travels.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Judy Morris Workshop - Day 2

Here is the beginning of the first painting I am working on in class. The reference was a photo I took in Chinatown a few years ago. I did the street sign above the lanterns, but I wanted to add the word "Chinatown" across the bottom. I went on the computer to look at fonts and Chinese words. The problem was that I couldn't enlarge the pattern for the words without a copier that enlarges...which we didn't have in the class. I ended up freehand drawing the words on tissue paper and using a light box to copy it onto my paper. Then I painted it with white latex paint that Judy had which is colored the exact color of Arches paper. When you paint over it some of the color remains on the latex outline and you get a subtle lighter color where the letters are.

Our lesson for the day was on texture and pattern which Judy calls "eye entertainment." The texture and pattern draw you in and make you take a closer look. She uses stencils and patterns to trace and paint through. She brought along several for us to share.

We discussed color chords. Two of the more popular ones are the desert triad which consists of indian red, cerulean, and yellow ochre. The other is the transparent triad which contains quinacridone gold, permanent alizarin, and french ultramarine. Both of these are nice but I wanted something a bit brighter. I used winsor red, permanent alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, and french ultramarine.

I also sketched out a second painting based on a photo I took from the apartment we rented in Paris. I wanted to use words as texture, but I wanted them to have meaning to the painting. So I headed to the computer to print out a few phrases. Here is the sketch of this second painting. I believe it says "a beautiful morning in Paris, hello.

Judy also did a demonstration on applying gold leaf to paintings. This is her latest addition to her watercolors and it has a wonderful effect.

It was a very busy day. Class was from 9 am to 4 pm. Then we went for a swim in the indoor pool, showered, went to dinner, then a presentation, and back to the studio until 10pm.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Judy Morris Workshop - Day 1

I am presently in Myrtle Beach, SC taking a watercolor workshop with Judy Morris. She is a wonderful artist, and so entertaining. The amount of information she has taught us is amazing.
Most of the class is about texture and design in watercolor. We are learning  some ways that you can create texture. A great part of Monday's class was a lecture with demonstrations of the various ways she adds texture and examples of different design plans. Judy is a salting expert...and I do mean it. To watch her paint and add salt is like watching a master chef cook.
Here is a sample of the test swatches with kosher salt that I did on Monday.

Judy started a demo on a full sheet of paper. She is painting a rustic, stone wall with a window. She demonstrated how to add lettering and writing and use salt to create texture.
We went back to our own tables to select a photo reference to use these techniques on.

I decided to use a photo I had taken of Chinese lanterns in Chinatown. I sketched it out and decided I wanted to use the word Chinatown as part of the texture. Judy had showed us how to use latex paint to stamp or paint on our paintings. She brought along a sample of latex paint that she had mixed to be the exact color of Arches watercolor paper. When you paint over the latex paint the letters take on some of the color you are using in the painting, and the letters show up in a very subtle way. She had also used gold gesso to stamp on one of her paintings. So now came decision I use the white latex or the gold gesso? Judy suggested trying a sample of each. And how do I do the lettering without an alpahbet stencil. I will show you tomorrow.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Welcome to Myrtle Beach

I am presently at a workshop at Springmaid Beach with Judy Morris in Myrtle Beach, SC. Today was checkin, meet the instructor, happy hour, and then dinner. We got here early so we had a bit of time to sit out and sketch for a while. The is the view down by the beach. I did a double page in my small moleskin journal.