Thursday, July 31, 2014

Avalon Preserve

My PALS plein air group met at Avalon Preserve in Stony Brook on Tuesday. The fields are filled with wildflowers that grow up to about 6 feet high. You have to walk to find a spot where you can see over the flowers. Hidden between the flowers you could just see two barns. Summer camp was being held in one of them and the voices of the kids could be heard across the field.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This man was sitting next to me at the beach the other day. I don't think he put the book down except to take a short dip in the water. For sure he never noticed me sketching him. lol

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Edge of the Water

I love the scenes that unfold in front of me at the beach.
Watch out for that wave!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Serenity at the Chinese Scholar's Garden

Yesterday the location for the NYC Urban Sketchers was the Chinese Scholar's Garden at Snug Harbor in Staten Island. Just walking through the doorway into the beautiful garden gave me such a feeling of serenity. What a gorgeous peaceful place! A few minutes after we arrived a gentleman started playing a flute, which just added to the meditative feel of this location. 

Susan and I arrived before any of the other sketchers who were coming by ferry and bus from Manhattan. We drove directly there. So for about an hour we had the garden to ourselves.

I started with a sketch of the front area of the main garden which has a pond, a courtyard, a pavilion, and windows that are open to extended your view to the outside. Apparently all the architectural components including the roof and floor tiles, columns and beams, doors and windows, bridges and paving materials, as well as the rocks were shipped from the Suzhou area of China. This is the only garden like this in the United States! It is definitely a treasure.

There are cutouts and windows in the walls. I loved the hint through the round opening in the wall of the treasures in the next area of the garden.

I continued into the back garden area which had so many views to sketch.
I included Christine (up top) and Shaun (on the right) who were also sketching that area of the garden.

Here are a few photos of some of our sketchers at work as well as the musician.

After a lengthy lunch break some of us returned to continue sketching. Luckily there were many covered areas around the pavilion because we did have some rain for a while.

I just had to do a view with the small stone bridge in the distance.

The garden closed at 5 and we had to be dragged out so they could lock the gate, otherwise we may have spent a few more hours there.  The guard took a group photo of us. By this time we had lost about half of our sketchers who left after lunch.

We did stop to display and share some of our work.

Each of us told a little about what we did today and our process. 

The photo of me sharing is missing since I took all these photos. Maybe Mark will post one later and I can add it to the collection.

Everyone else headed back to the ferry but Susan and I remained to sketch one of the buildings in the park before driving back home. These little buildings had a lot of character.

It was a wonderful day of sketching...even the light rain didn't bother us.
The garden had worked it's magic!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Painting in Riverhead

On Tuesday morning my PALS group headed off to an area along the river in Riverhead. All of that was a bit too green for me, so I focused on this old barn that is part of the East End Arts Council property...besides, I found nice shade there.  This is 5 x 7.

Then I went to see what everyone else was doing.

Chris was painting the same barn I did, but in oils. Yes, we were right by the Aquarium.

Jeanne was also painting the barn but from a different direction and including more of the scene.

Liz was doing a pastel of the riverfront.

We were planning to go to lunch, and since everyone was still working I did a sketch of a fisherman who was in the area.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New London to Orient Point

Once I left Maine on Monday I had about a 3 hr trip to New London. I allowed myself some extra time so I could get down there and find a place for dinner before my 8pm ferry. I wanted someplace rustic with seafood. I checked out places on the internet and found what sounded like a good place....Fred's Shanty. Thank goodness for a GPS because I was taken on quite a few little streets along the water in New London, and around several traffic circles. Then it appeared and just like the description on the internet...and with a lot of people. I placed my order for whole belly fried clams and found an empty picnic table. Not to waste time I started sketching. The pencil sketch was finished before my number was called, and then after dinner I added the ink and watercolors. There were two kids at the next table that were fascinated by what I was doing. This is the result. I did about 1/4 of the number of people that were there.

The GPS got me to the ferry dock with no problem. Because it was the last ferry of the night it was pretty empty. I was hoping for a great sunset, but it was sort of pale. It did look pretty when the ferry was pulling away from the dock and the sun was right over the city.

I did go inside to find someone to pose for me with two poodles. Who could resist?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trip to Maine - Day 5

Monday morning I left my sister's house about 8:30 and drove down to Ogunquit, an artsy town along the water that is about 2 hrs south along the route home. One of my favorite places to sketch there is Marginal Way, a walkway along the cliff, a bit of a hike. There are a lot of benches and shaded spots, but I took along my painting chair because the benches never seem to be where I want to sketch. The number of rocks is overwhelming, but I gave it a shot.

First I painted looking in one direction, back to Perkins Cove where many of the tourist shops are.
It is always nice when a sailboat comes by.

Then sitting in the same location but a bit closer to the rocks I sketched what was straight ahead of me. I liked the space between the rock formations. For this one I used some ink too.

Here is a photo of the area.

And a photo of one of the paintings with a bit of the view behind it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trip to Maine - Day 4

On Sunday Chris and I headed north. The sky looked like we might have showers at some point but we kept our fingers crossed. We headed first to Rockland for lunch...yummy scallop rolls, and then to Camden. There is a hidden park just outside of town that has a view of the harbor and the Curtis Island Lighthouse. That's where we headed...Chris brought along her cane just in case because we couldn't remember if the walkway was flat or sloped. Needless to say she didn't have a problem and we had a gorgeous view to paint.

Here is the actual view with the painting.

We finished the day with a walk around the arts and crafts show going on in Camden (I bought a few ceramic pieces), and a walk through a few of the shops. It was a fun day.

Trip to Maine - Day 3

In Maine on Saturday, the weather was a bit overcast so we didn't head out anywhere in the morning. I decided to take a ride alone in the afternoon. Chris needed a day to relax. I think all our activity was too much for her new hips. She ended up napping and felt great by the time I got back.

I headed down to Port Clyde which is down a peninsula past Thomaston. I also drove through Tenants Harbor which is a great area, but they were having some town function and I couldn't find parking anywhere. Port Clyde had two galleries, a general store with a gas pump, two restaurants, and  a big lobster dock. It also provides ferry service to Monheagan Island (maybe next trip).

I ended up sitting on the lobster dock painting the view.

Here are a few photos.

Then I took a ride over to the Marshall Point Lighthouse featured in the movie with Forest Gump.
I didn't have enough time to paint or sketch there...just photos.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trip to Maine - Day 2

On Friday my sister picks up her farm share veggies in a pretty scenic spot. I went with her in the morning and did a quick painting of the view directly in watercolors. Up here there is usually some river, pond, lake, or ocean in each view.

Our next plan for the day was swimming at the Mills, which I believe is a part of Damariscotta Lake. We went early because parking isn't easy there since it is in the middle of a residential area. The plan was to swim and then sketch/paint, but it was so windy that we were freezing when we finally got out of the water. So we wrapped ourselves in towels and jumped in the car instead to head home.

After lunch we headed to Ocean Point in Boothbay. There is a great road right along the shore and you can park and climb out on the rocks. Chris isn't that mobile yet after having both hips replaced so  she sat along the road and I climbed down and sat in my chair on a flat rock to paint this view.

Here are a few photos of the area.

Then it was off to buy some lobsters! I didn't paint them this time.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Trip to Maine - Day 1

On Wednesday I left home for a visit with my sister and her family in Maine.
In order to cut out time in the car, I took the Cross Sound Ferry from Orient Point, NY to New London, CT. I had a reservation on the 8 am ferry so I was up and out of the house by 6:15 to make sure I had plenty of time. I got there early which gave me a chance to sketch the view in front of me while I waited for them to allow the cars on the ferry.

It was foggy/drizzling out so once on board I found an inside spot with a view of the concession stand. That is usually an endless source of sketching opportunities. I couldn't resist this man.

This man looked very comfy sitting and reading his paper.

The ride up wasn't too bad, but by the time I crossed into Maine it was drizzling again. That didn't stop me from heading to the shore to sketch. The closer I got to the water the foggier it got. I followed the signs one of the parking areas in York. I parked, rolled down the windows a bit, got all settled to sketch the limited view I had and it started to pour. I ended up putting up the windows because the rain was coming in and sketching what I could see. There was a man fishing on the rocks so I did as much of that as I could. As you can see it was a very gray view.