Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bay Area Chorus

Last Sunday my friend and I went to hear the Bay Area Chorus and their "Fall Festival of Song" at the United Methodist Church in Patchogue. The last few times we went we sat up in the balcony to sketch, but this time Susan got there early and sat right in the front row downstairs.

I was able to get a few sketches done. I used a Stillman & Birn Zeta Series sketchbook that was 5 1/2 x 8 1/2. I like the weight of the paper, but the surface is slick and will take some experimenting on my part to figure out how best to use watercolors on it. I began with pencil sketches (You can still see them.) The Zeta did a lovely job of taking ink. I guess it is more like hot pressed paper which I don't regularly use.

I started with a sketch of the director of the chorus, Martha Canpanile.

And then moved on to sketch one of the members of the chorus and a few of the musicians who were sitting right near us.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Happy Thanksgiving again! I hope everyone had a great time 
if you were celebrating here in the USA.

I knew I wouldn't get out to sketch or paint today since we were going to dinner at my sister-in-law's house. Instead, this morning I parked myself on the couch and watched the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my sketch pad in hand. A great deal of the parade moved past just too fast, but I was able to sketch a few things.

I started with a member of one of the marching bands, then a girl in the crowd, Al Roker,
the main entrance of Macy's where all the entertainment performed, a cheerleader...

the Snoopy balloon (due to the windy conditions the huge balloons were only allowed to float about half the usual distance up...

and a dancing gift box.

This just proves that I will sketch anything. lol

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This is a plein air piece I did a few weeks ago when the PALS plain air group got together at a local pumpkin patch. I never posted it and it seems sort of appropriate for the holiday.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I know I have much to be thankful for including some wonderful blog friends like you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Caroline's Flower Shoppe (SOLD)

Today was a cloudy, dismal day but since I didn't get outside to paint yesterday I just had to go out. I took a ride to Islip which has some interesting buildings and houses. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Caroline's Flower Shoppe, located at 341 Main Street. Who could miss those colors! I have passed this spot a number of times and always thought it would be a fun place to sketch. 
Today was the day!

I sat in my car parked in front of the shop. One of the workers came out and asked if I could move my car back a little so there would be room to park in front of problem. I had sketched the view and started painting when someone came over again and asked if it was possible for me to move my car to the other side of the street because their delivery van needed to be close to the building to load up for the day. I said I was doing a painting but had it sketched and could finish painting it from the other side of the street. When I finished the painting I figured I might as well go inside and show it to them. The two ladies working at the counter loved it and took it inside the office to show it to the owner...and she bought it.
 I like days like this!!!
This is 5 x 7.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Porch

As I was driving home from sitting a show in Bellport yesterday, this porch in East Patchogue caught my eye. I have passed this house hundreds of times and never really noticed it. I think the fact that most of the leaves on the trees and shrubs have been blown off in the past few days made more of the house visible from the street. I liked all the firewood stacked on the porch ready for nice warm fires.
This is 5 x 7.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Urban Sketching

Today I went into NYC to meet the NYC Urban Sketchers. I went in on the LIRR and was able to sketch a bit in route. There were a few cooperative victims who were in my range of sight.The ride is
1 1/2 hrs so I was able to do more than one sketch.

I was early so I did one sketch outside Penn Station looking across Seventh Avenue.
Luckily I dressed warmly because it was cold and windy.

The plan was to meet on 44th St near the Shubert Theatre to sketch some of the theaters in the area.
When I arrived Mark, Svetlana, and Pat had already been sketching and were freezing.
Svetlana suggested that instead of sketching the theatres we go to her office building which was in Times Square and sketch the views from the windows. It sounded warm and very comfortable.

Mark had lots of room to spread out and paint.

Svetlana made the most of the view.

Pat worked digitally.

We were on the 25th floor and had nice views of the rooftops and buildings.
I did a few.

After a while we headed down to another office on the 15th floor which had a view of the Times Square area. Marie joined up with us there.

It is always fun to sketch Times Square but difficult because many of the billboard designs
change constantly or are moving. I did my best.

I did another sketch facing a different view.

Svetlana was sketching the view of Times Square.

Around 3 o'clock the group split up and people went off to do other things.
I decided to head back to 44th Street and sketch one of the theaters.
Here is the Shubert Theatre where the musical, Matilda is presently playing.

I headed back to Penn Station for the 5:15 train home.
I did get in one last sketch of a woman who was facing me.

I think I did pretty well, and touched on a variety of subject.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lincoln and Ocean Avenue

 This was done in Islip at the corner of Lincoln and Ocean Avenues.
I love the style of the house with the arched entryway and the arched windows.
There were still a few brightly colored trees around.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Provider II

Over in Sayville there is a town dock and next to it is Shellfish Marine. There is almost always some activity going on there while boats are being repaired or restored. On Saturday I drove by and noticed a boat with all these colorful floats hanging on the side. Who could resist stopping for that…not me! All thoughts of painting trees with autumn leaves went out of my head.
This is 5 x 7.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bayport Flower House

Today the PALS plein air group met at the Bayport Flower House on Montauk Highway in Bayport.
We were lucky to be allowed inside as well as outside to paint, because it was cold and windy outside.
Inside it was downright balmy! I was so glad I hadn't put on my thermal underware because I was too hot. I said to Jeanne that I wanted to go get my bathing suit that was out in the car. Of course some of us were in the greenhouse and the sun was shining which just made it seem hotter.

Regardless, there were tons of poinsettias displayed in all colors. It was a bit overwhelming.
I painted it anyway, complete with this big poinsettia tree. I didn't know they grew into trees.

Here I am tucked down one of the aisles of poinsettias with my easel.

Jeanne was painting in the same greenhouse facing the other way.

Linda was inside the shop.

Mary was inside too. Chris was the only brave one who painted outdoors and I didn't get a photo of her today. Sorry Chris!

My thanks to the owners and staff at the Baypoint Flower House for letting us
set up and take over for a few hours. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Golden Path

I have still been able to find spots where the trees are holding onto their colorful leaves.
This was painted in Sayville and is 5 x 7.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Yaphank Presbyterian Church

A few days ago I was riding around and passed the Yaphank Presbyterian Church. 
Of course I turned the car around, parked on the side of the road, and started painting.

Friday, November 15, 2013


On Tuesday when my plein air group was supposed to meet we had rain and snow showers...not quite what you need to paint outdoors. So I headed over to Bellport and joined the SBAA portrait group.
I hadn't done a real portrait in quite a while (just quick sketches of people) so it took me a while to get into the grove. Claire posed for us in what I guess is sort of a Mexican vest and hat. Doing a black hat against black hair was not easy. This is 5 x 7.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Barns and Tractors

I am still behind in posting. This was also done last week out east where there are barns and tractors tucked in the landscape. This is 5 x 7.

A while back someone had posted a link to Ch'ng Kiah Kiean who does sketching with a dry twig and Chinese ink. His work is amazing! He did one of the workshops at the Urban Sketchers Barcelona Symposium this summer and his father cut and sharpened twigs for all the participants.
His work is definitely worth checking out if you like line sketches.

I went out and collected some twigs and then sharpened them. The ink wouldn't flow for me. Someone suggested that I may need to let the twigs dry out. I did that by putting them in the oven at a very low temperature. This is the result I got when I sketched the vineyard that was way past its peak.
Apparently he has some magic twig that he uses. lol I will try this again at some point.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Farmhouse View

I am a bit behind posting some of my autumn paintings. This was done out east last week.
Right now after the wind we've had lately, most of the trees have lost their leaves and are pretty bare.
I'm glad I did as many autumn paintings when I did.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Honoring the Veterans

Happy Veterans Day!!!
Today in the United States we celebrate Veterans Day and honor all the men and women who have served in our military. My thanks to all of them as well as their families who have given so much to preserve our freedoms and way of life.

This morning I went to Sayville to sketch the ceremony they do there each year to honor the vetereans of our area. There were a few WWII vets who were present, but their numbers are dwindling each year.   
It is a shame that more recognition isn't given to our veterans all the time.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sketching in the West Village

Yesterday I decided to join the NYC Urban Sketchers in the city. The best bet for me was to take the LIRR to get there so I took the 7:40 train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station. It is fun sketching on the train if you can get a good view. At first I only had a view of a woman through the opening between the seats. I used my wc pencils and ink for these sketches.

But then a woman sat across the aisle and one row ahead of me.

Finally someone got on and I got a good view of him...and finished 
just before we pulled into Penn Station.

Mark scheduled us for a walking tour of locations related to writers.

We met at 1 Washington Square North to sketch the former home of Henry James and Edith Wharton.
It is a lovely red brick building.

Here is my sketch of it.

I also did a quick sketch of the view down Washington Square North.
This was done directly in watercolors with no pencil lines.

Next we headed off to 130 Macdougal Street which was the home of Louisa May Alcott.
No luck there. Either the building is gone or it was turned into part of the college.
By this time we were freezing and spied the Tea Spot just across the street at 127 Macdougal Street.
What a find! It was warm and cozy with an interesting interior perfect for sketching.
And the woman behind the counter (and the other customers) couldn't have been nicer.

I did a view of the counter with Angela working behind the counter.

Of course when she brought over our assorted teas and a teapot of extra hot water it made a still life that none of us seemed to be able to ignore.

Part of the fun of sketching with other artists is seeing what they find interesting to sketch, talking about sketching and supplies, and just enjoying the day...and often the food we eat.

Here are Mark and Mia who were sketching across from me.

Suma was sketching to my left.

Marie was trying to help Svetlana with a problem she was having loading ink into her new pen.

We were there for quite a while so I also had time to do some sketches of people...some look a bit like the person I was sketching but some not so much. 

Here is the whole group at the table...from the left are Svetlana, Marie, Me, Suma, Mia and Mark.

We noticed the sun was finally out so after a bit of lunch we bundled up again and headed outside.
There were several places related to writers along Grove Street. We stopped at 10 Grove Street which is where O'Henry lived when he wrote the short story "Last Leaf." It must be a popular spot on tours because big groups of people would stop to see the garden behind the gate.

Here is Mark sketching the building.

And Svetlana sketching.

Here is my sketch from that location.

By this time some of the artists were ready to call it a day. Mark, Mia and I headed off to the White Horse Tavern for something to warm up and have something warm to drink before we headed to our trains/buses. I didn't sketch inside (Mark did. He sketches everything.)

We walked back to the subway while the sun was going down. It was a great day of sketching. My thanks to Mark who did so much research and organizing for our day. I didn't get to sketch on the train going back home because my car was very empty and I didn't have a view of anyone near me.
All in all I think it was a productive day!