Friday, September 30, 2016


On Tuesday night my art group met to do portraits. This time Christian posed for us.

Inktober begins tomorrow. I'm getting ready.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


The weather was not good on Tuesday morning, so my plein air group cancelled our outing. Instead I joined the SBAA portrait group in Bellport. Marion kindly posed for us this week. I decided to do her full figure instead of just a portrait.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wet Pants Sailing

I was in Sayville for something the other day and decided to head down to the bay to sketch. I liked the lineup of boats outside the Wet Pants Sailing Group building.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Music Festival

On Sunday I went down to Smith Point Beach. They were having a music festival. Two stages were set up and bands alternated playing for about an hour. I heard the first two bands which were both really good. The one I sketched was called Pete Moss and the Fertilizers. lol I used my creative license to remove many of the tables filled with people watching...or I would still be there sketching.

Just a reminder in case you want to take part. It is almost time for Inktober. Here is some information in case you want to take part this time. I will be participating.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hells Gate Bridge

While we were in Astoria Park we had an excellent view of Hells Gate Bridge, which is used mostly for Amtrak train travel car traffic at all. Notice the red sections of the bridge. It had been repainted in the early 1990's for the first time in 80 years. The color selected was known as "Hell Gate Red." Unfortunately before the repainting was completed the paint began to fade an change color. It has been this way ever since.
I did two sketches of this bridge, one while I was in the shade and very cold.

And another with several of the other sketchers while we were sitting on the lawn in the sunshine (much more comfortable and pleasant).

I also did sketches of two of the sketchers at work. They are sisters and were visiting from other countries.

Patricia lives in Malaga, Spain and sketches with the the Malaga Urban Sketchers.

Maria lives in Paris and sketches with the Urban Sketchers there. It is really nice to have visitors from other places. This week we also had someone from Canada and Australia.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Triborough Bridge

Yesterday the NY Urban Sketchers met at Astoria Park in Queens. It is right by the Triborough Bridge (aka the Robert Kennedy Bridge) and it connects Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The views of the bridge from the park are great. Yesterday started off rather chilly, so I was glad I brought along a long-sleeved shirt and my fleece hoodie. I needed them.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Beach Sketches

We were lucky enough to have nice weather for a few days so I was at the beach. These were sketched there.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Back to the Beach

This week we had several beautiful days so I headed over to the beach. This was done at the beach at Captree State Park.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sayville Church

Last night my sketch group met in Sayville. We used some sketch cards created by Marc Taro for his workshop at the Manchester Urban Sketching Symposium this summer. The cards give a variety of assignments for groups that go out sketching together, so everyone doesn't sketch the same thing. It was a fun way to sketch together.

This was the card I selected.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Still Life

One of my art groups set up a still life for sketching last night. Through the summer they alternated portraits and still life painting. I did this with a combination of inktense pencils (water-soluble ink pencils) and watercolors.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hummingbird Sanctuary

Today my plein air group (PALS) went to the Hummingbird Sanctuary in Baiting Hollow. We did see hummingbirds but they are impossible to paint from life because they are so tiny and quick. Instead I focused on some of the flowers that attract the hummingbirds at this peaceful place on a bluff along Long Island Sound.

Monday, September 19, 2016


We have a lot of local farmstands and I like visiting them for produce as well as using them for subjects. Clarks' Farmstead is in Oakdale.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Park Slope - Part 2

There are some wonderful brownstones in Park Slope, and Carrol Street has quite a few. We were very luck because part of the street was closed for a block party. We were able to sit down to sketch at the end of that block right in the middle of the street...and not worry about traffic or parked cars blocking our view. This is 819 Carrol Street.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Park Slope - Part I

Today was my first outing in a long time with the NYC Urban Sketchers. We met in Park Slope, a wonderful part of Brooklyn with lots of brownstone buildings. This was done near Grand Army Plaza and the entrance to Prospect Park looking away from the park. There was a farmer's market going on in front of the park so the area was quite busy.

We sat along Prospect Park West near Carrol Street to sketch the buildings across the street. I have a third sketch to post tomorrow. It needs a little more tweaking.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Leaving Venice

It was finally our day to leave Venice. Our hotel had a great buffet breakfast which offered prosecco if you were so inclined...we were.

A bit of the last of my croissant.

Then we were off to Marco Polo Airport. Aside from one cloudy day with showers, we had great weather in Venice. The rain on Thursday held off until we were at the airport. We went through security and found our gate...and the duty free shop was in my line of sight. I had brought along loose 5 x7 and 8 x 10 watercolor paper for most of my sketches and paintings, but I had also made a sketchbook with signatures just for Venice before I left home using watercolor pages. I started it at Kennedy Airport and saved the last page for a travel sketch returning home. Here is the sketch I did.

Our plane was delayed and we boarded about 30 minutes late, and then we sat on the plane at the gate for a while. I was writing in my journal which was right in front of me so I also used that time for a sketch in that book. I did it in pencil but it didn't show up well so I went over it with ballpoint pen.

I hope you enjoyed viewing my trip to Venice.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Last Day in Venice

Our last day in Venice finally arrived. We had a busy morning because we were checking out of our apartment and back into a hotel for the night. That involved carrying luggage down all those stairs and over two bridges. lol That is one of the disadvantages of Venice.

I did get out once we dropped off our bags at Hotel Ca'Pisani (which was wonderful on both legs of the trip). I found this little, quaint trattoria that needed to be sketched.

Later I found a spot that had lots of gondolas passing by. The only thing that kept me from painting was stopping to take videos of the singers on the gondolas. lol

In case you want the feel of the music here is a video.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Venetian Scenes

I started yesterday with a sketch of a hotel. I couldn't see the name...only the word hotel.

As you get off the vaporetto at the Accademia stop there are usually young, energetic people dressed in costume and handing out brochures for the opera. This sweet young thing was so tickled to be sketches and laughed because she is wearing her Berkenstocks. She asked if she could take a photo of the sketch.

This sign was in a window as I was walking around.

I did one last sketch on the vaporetto directly in ink.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Life in Venice

One of my favorite places here in Venice is the gondola repair shop along the San Trovaso Canal. It is such a throwback to earlier times and it is one of only two places like it in Venice. Have a loose whatchamacallit on your gondola, pull up and it will be taken care of. Dents or scratches...these guys will take loving care of your baby. Another artist cane along and sketched not far from me. He is here with his wife for 6 weeks. In addition to painting they go to several other places using the cheap European airfares. They rent an apartment in Venice as their home base.

I found this spot later in the day. It is fun to capture some of the green spaces here in Venice.

I keep returning to the same bar in the late afternoon when I'm tired and don't want to be indoors yet. (I think our apartment needs a roof patio so I can have cocktails here.)
But this place always has interesting people to sketch.

The only drawback to the day was experiencing an Italian transportation strike. No vaporettos, buses, or trains were running all day, so that meant walking vaporetto shortcuts. Luckily the strikes usually last only 24 hours.

Last night I went to hear the La Fenice Filharminica with one of the musicians Jerry has been working with. Daniela is a violinist so of course the performance had a guest violinist. Jerry didn't go because his ankle us still bothering him. Hopefully he will be able to deal with the trip to the airport.

Here is the Grand Canal without all the normal traffic.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rio de S. Pantaloon

Some days I seem to get more done than other days. Today I have only one painting to share, but it was 8 x 10 and all those windows take a long time.  

This place made me smile...thirsty anyone?

There is a transportation strike in Italy today. I know all the vaporettos and buses are on strike, and I think it affects the trains too. Hopefully it will be a 24 hour strike because we leave on Thursday.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Canal side

For some reason this didn't post yesterday, so I am redoing it.

Sometimes when I am walking around here if I take a few steps in another direction I find a new view.

I was up near the Rialto Mercado and decided to do a quick sketch of the flower vendors that are there on Saturdays. The color was added when I got back. Today I came across other artists who are here with groups painting. It was nice to see other artists capturing this city.

These 1-2 minute sketches were done on the vaporetto platform while I was waiting for the boat to the beach.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Through a Sottoportego

The covered little tunnels that go under buildings here are called sottoportegos. They may connect two calles (streets) or open out to a canal like the one I sketched today.

Here is a photo of a shop that sells big hams and cheeses. Do you see anything you would like?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Across the Canal

There are so many spots I'd like to paint along the canals that just don't have a spot to sit and sketch. Today I sat right by one of the hotel docks.

Then I headed over to the Rialto fish market. I was planning to make gamborini for dinner (shrimp), but I did a few sketches first. Here are some of your choices.

This is one of the fish merchants who has been here for years.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Out And About in Venice

I'm still trying to find new places to sketch, but since I've been here four times it is getting harder. We had cool temps and cloudy skies this morning, so armed with my sweater and umbrella I headed out. I did find this spot. 

I headed back to the apartment for lunch and was surprised to find Jerry there. He had gone to work with the musicians this morning. He turned his ankle yesterday and since it was swollen he wanted to keep off it and came back early. So I had company for lunch.

After lunch it looked nicer so I left the umbrella behind and went wandering. This is the view I found. I had bought some basic gouache paints before I came here and that is what I used for this painting. I'll have to experiment more with the gouache.

By this time I needed a break from all my walking so I stopped at for a drink at a table in San Barbera Square. I sketched some of the people in front of me. We were just opposite the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.

Today was the first day since I've been here that I saw other artists painting. (Except for this obnoxious, egotistical man I ran into at least three times who thinks he us a "master painter" and that he is the best.) Anyway there were four different artist working in sketchbooks. I didn't speak to any of them, but I wonder if they were part of a group.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Venice Assortment

Today started out mostly overcast and went dowm from there. I had started another sketch of the rooftops from our apartment yesterday using the Elegant Writer to get some shading. This morning I added color.

I went exploring beyond Santa Maria Formosa but kept ending up in the same area as I started in. Nothing seemed to be calling to me...maybe because there were no great shadows. I didn't give up. I ended ip sitting on a bridge to do this. I was sort of in the way for people delivering things but I tucked myself into as small a space as possible.

I went back to the apartment for lunch and just around the time I was ready to leave I heard thunder. I grabbed my rain jacket and umbrella just in case. It started raining. I swore on the days that weren't nice I would actually go see one of the sites. I was right near Galleries Dell' Accademia so I went in. First I sat in the lobby and sketched the crowd of people who also came in out of the rain. That was my favorite part of the museum.

Then I headed upstairs. Painting from the 1400s to the 1500s are just not my thing...too religious for the most part. Here's my proof that I was there. Lol

It looked like it was clearing up a bit so I went to one of the squares. There was a woman playing the cello and she was quite good. I had seen her traveling on the vaporetto the other day with all her equipment. She loved that I sketched her. I sat and listened to her for quite a while.

It was a nice day after all.