Friday, June 30, 2017

Alcohol Ink Demo

On Wednesday night I did a demo/workshop for one of my art groups on painting tiles with alcohol inks. We have some sort of demo or activity each month. I thought that rather than doing just a demo it would be more fun for people to actually try the activity too. So the association paid for some supplies and the members came for a fun night. I am in the front of the photo with the black shirt and ponytail (so my hair wouldn't end up in the ink). My thanks to the president of the South Bay Art Association, Krystle DiNicola for this photo and the youtube video she created.

Here is a link to the video on youtube.

I took a few photos, but most of the time I was just too busy seeing what everyone was doing and answering questions. From the reaction of everyone there they had a great time.

Tile designed by Christina Wright Hanson.

I wish I had taken more photos of the tiles that were created.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Astoria Park - Part 3

Urban sketching definitely has its challenges. I had seen two NYC fire engines parked along the river while I was doing the previous sketch. I've been wanting to paint a firetruck for a while but they are usually in the firehouse or racing past. These were sitting still and there were firemen hanging out around them. Of course I sketched out the truck in pencil and started to add a little color when I noticed there were no firemen sitting there any longer. Oh, no!!! You guessed it. They were leaving! I didn't have my phone out and by the time I got it ready for a photo reference they were gone. That is one of the things about urban sketching that makes me crazy...along with a big truck coming and parking between me and my subject. I think I got enough to make it look like a realistic firetruck, unless you are an actual fireman. lol

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Astoria Park - Part 2

One of the bridges visible from Astoria Park is Hells Gate Bridge. It is owned by Amtrak and the train tracks go across from Queens to the Bronx. I love the unusual color pink on parts of the bridge.

Here is my painting done in the same location back in 2013.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Astoria Park - Part i

The destination for the NYC Urban Sketchers this past weekend was Astoria Park. We've sketched there a few times before. At this park there are views of two bridges, lots of fun activities, and great water views. On Sunday it was the end of Ramadan and there was some sort of service in the park in the morning, so there were a lot of Muslim families enjoying the day. Rather than sketch the whole RFK Bridge (formerly the Triborough Bridge) I did a small section looking under it with a Muslim woman who was watching her kids playing on the grass nearby.

Just in case you're curious, here is a sketch I did in Oct 2013 almost in the same spot.

And another sketch done of the entire bridge last year.

Monday, June 26, 2017

More Beach Sketches

The beach is such a great place to sketch people. I have to remember to put a watercolor sketchbook in my beach bag. This paper won't take watercolor well.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beach View

I met friends for foot massages and lunch the other day...again back in Nassau County. By the time we finished it was the beginning of rush hour, so rather than sit in traffic I headed over to Ocean Parkway which runs along a barrier island that is connected to the mainland by bridges. It is a beautiful drive with several beaches along the way. I stopped at one to get a sketch done while I was passing through. This was done on a different watercolor paper than I usually use. This was done on Fluid paper which I found to be a little smoother than what I'm used to.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Dead End View & Lady Luck

On Monday I had a doctor's appointment about an hour from me, just routine. Most times when I head west from where I live I stop at an art store since Dick Blick is in that direction. The store I went to was new (at least to me) and sort of out of the way. They had some good art materials and fair prices so I ended up spending money when I really didn't need anything. lol Then I headed to the doctor's office only to find out that they had called and left a message that the doctor wasn't going to be in that day. I didn't see the message until later. So I headed in the direction of home with a little extra time on my hands. I stopped in East Rockaway which is near where I used to live. There are a lot of streets that abut canals there. I found this spot but it was super windy out and I didn't think it was a good idea to sit outside, so I sketched and painted from the car.

I was parked next to a house that was under reconstruction. While I was sitting there something blew off the scaffolding in the strong wind and landed in front of my car. I ignored it and thought for a minute about moving my car away from the construction, but it would have changed my I stayed put. About 20 minutes later a car came down the street from the dead end side. The driver stopped next to me and said, "Don't move your car." He got out and picked up a big piece of lumber with quite a few nails sticking straight up through the board. I probably would have punctured one or more of my tires. Lady Luck was smiling on me!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Train Sketches

When I went into the city to sketch at Grant's Tomb I took the Long Island Railroad. I did get to sketch someone each way.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grant's Tomb - Part II

Once it started raining on Saturday, we weren't going anywhere. Luckily the portico was covering us unless you ventured too close to the edges. Here is a link to what we were facing.

I was looking down the portico toward the other sketchers when I painted this.

And then looking straight ahead for this one.

We usually go to a bar or restaurant to share our sketches around 3:00 pm. Wouldn't you know it...just around quarter to 3 the rain stopped. It was perfect timing for our walk to the restaurant.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grant's Tomb Part I

On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers met at Grant's Tomb in the city. The weather forecast said a chance of showers but from the way the reports have been wrong lately I took my rain jacket just to be safe. I had just finished this piece when it started to spritz. I figured I would pack up my stuff and head for the sheltered portico on the front of the building. I made it just in time. Two of the other sketchers just put up their umbrellas to finish.

My friend, Mark Leibowitz took this photo of me sketching there which he posted on our NYC Urban Sketching Facebook page with these words.

"When we first got to Grant’s Tomb before the rain started I was sitting next to Joan sketching the building from the same view. The building must have had at least two dozen flags hanging from every possible surface. 
I made the decision to paint the building without the flags. I just left them out completely. Joan included every single one of them. As she wrote in her post on the 17th, “I think I did my quota of flags for a while.” 
Later when we scrambled up the stairs to get out of the rain I took this shot to honor Joan, - the sketching queen of American Flags."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Distant Lighthouse

The other day I had to drop paintings off for a show at the Fire Island Lighthouse. Since I was there I figured I'd paint. It was rainy and super windy, so I sat in the car to do this piece.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Patchogue Shores Beach

Last week our sketch group went to a private beach in Patchogue Shores to sketch. You had to be a member with a key to get in the gate. Luckily we had connections.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Beach Sketches

We had a few sunny days before the rain and humidity came, so I went to the beach. There are always models to sketch.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

New York Botanical Gardens - Part III

For my last painting I returned to the area in front of the conservancy. There were a lot of artists painting there at that time because there were quite a few areas of shade. I painted the path in front of me and included two of the "invited" artists...Shari Blaukopf to the right and Elissa Gore to the left.

Here are a few photos of the other artists at work.

Marc Taro Holmes

Shari Blaukopf

The day of painting was followed by a reception for the invited artists. We knew a few of them and were invited in to view their work which was on display.

Friday, June 16, 2017

New York Botanical Gardens Part II

Like I said, it was hot on Sunday at the Botanical Gardens, so most of what I did depended on where the shade was at a given time. After finishing the first painting, I wandered around to see some of the invited painters at work. Of course I appreciate all the artwork, but I gravitate toward the watercolor artists. Marc Taro Holmes was painting in the back of the conservancy near the water lily pond. I went over to see him and introduced myself. I will be taking a workshop with him at the Urban Sketching Symposium in Chicago in July. His work is just amazing. I chatted with him and watched his process for a while until his shade started shrinking. Then I was off to see Shari Blaukopf who was in front of the conservancy. I met her last year when she was in NY. All of the artists were so gracious with their time and didn't seem to mind answering questions and having lots of people stop and watch.

I walked a little bit and found a shady spot not too far away. Thank goodness there are a lot of big trees around. Another of the "uninvited" artists was painting there, and while I was painting another artist sat down to paint in that same area. Here is my second painting of the day.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New York Botanical Gardens Part I

Sunday at the NY Botanical Gardens they were having a Plein Air Invitational Paint-Out. Many well-known plein air artists from the USA and Canada were scheduled to participate. In addition the regular folk were invited to come and watch and sketch on their own. The NYC Urban Sketchers set their location to the gardens for Saturday, but I would have gone regardless. I had gone last year and spent a lot of time watching the other artists who I have followed online.

Sunday the temperatures were in the 90s, so it sort of slowed me down a bit. I tended to stay where there was shade and not walk far. My first painting was done by the gardens in front of the Conservancy. It is a walled garden with lovely flowers...and lots of people. I put in one figure when there should have been about 10 at any given time. Luckily I had a perfectly shady spot to work truth the shade determined the view I would be sketching.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cupsogue Beach

On Sunday I went to Cupsogue Beach at the end of Dune Road in Westhampton. I haven't been there in about a year and it changed quite a bit. The Beach Hut Raw Bar and Grill is now on the level of the parking lot. You still have to walk up the boardwalk to get over the dunes and to the beach. I wonder if the renovations were due to the winter storms. It is a nice, quiet beach. I'll have to make sure to go back again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Yes, I know people paint pictures of what they eat...but usually not while the food is alive. I'm the exception.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Jade Palace

My friend, Suzala and I planned to go out sketching on Friday. We didn't have a lot of time and needed something near her house where parking was easy. She's the friend with the broken foot so she needed to be pretty much just able to get out of the car and sit in her chair. She suggested this throwback to a 50s style Chinese restaurant in Farmingdale. We both loved the roof. Sadly it looks like the place has closed. Another one bites the dust.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mastic Water View

On the way to the beach, I stopped along the water in Mastic Beach to sketch.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Setauket View

I was up along the water in Setauket the other day. I sat in a parking lot by the dock and painted the view back to the street.

Friday, June 9, 2017


My sketch group met at Flo's in Blue Point on Wednesday night. It is a fun place to sketch...very colorful and there are always people around. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Cory Beach

Even though the temperatures haven't been very warm, I took a drive down to Corey Beach in Blue Point the other day. It was too windy to sit outside to sketch so I did this from the car.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Beach Scenes

A friend of mine heads the Tri-Hamlet Sketch Group and on Saturday she scheduled a sketch meeting at Smith Point Beach, the beach I usually go to. Although I am not a member of her group I have joined the group a few times. We met near the rangers station. It was very windy and my water container blew over a few times, but I was able to do one watercolor sketch outside.

Meanwhile, Jen and another woman were sketching the views from inside the rangers station. For this  second sketch I joined them on the second floor of the ranger station. It was nice to have a bird's eye view of the beach.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Beach Iris

You wouldn't often associate a beach with irises, but I do. Smith Point Park, one of the beaches near me, has the TWA Flight 800 Memorial overlooking the water. The memorial and gardens are in memory of the lives lost when Flight 800 exploded off the Long Island coast. It was the area where much of the debris from the plane washed up. The memorial is really lovely and I often get there at the right time to paint the irises. The only ones in bloom the other day were white ones which are so hard to paint. I gave it a try.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Arts on Terry

I'm going to skip over a few sketches (I promise I'll go back to them.) because of what I took part in yesterday. In the town of Patchogue, they held the second annual "Arts on Terry" which this year was part of the "Summer of Love 2017" which will continue with events all summer. OK, I did the summer of love 60s thing back in the day and was very reluctant to go back and do it again, but two of my art groups were I joined in. Luckily the art didn't need to reflect the theme.

Terry Street was closed to traffic and set up with booths and racks to display art. Most of the local art groups signed up and participated. I belong to the South Bay Art Association and we had a booth. Each participating artist for that group was allowed to bring 2 pieces of work to display. I think we had about 46 pieces in total. Here is our booth. In addition to the framed artwork we brought notecards, matted pieces of art, and I brought my alcohol ink tiles and some books of my art too.

We were asked if some of the members would be willing to demonstrate their painting or sketching while the event was going on. A few of our members did. I am at my easel in the photo below on the right sketching the scene along the street. The other two ladies were working on paintings that were being done from photos.

Here is the sketch that I did of the festival.

My other group, the Patchogue Sketch Club, was about two booths away, so I tried to share my time with them too. Here are a couple of photos from that group. We decided to dress in 60s garb if possible. I did paint a t-shirt just for the occasion.

Here are my sketching friends Cindy, LuAnn and Rosanne.

In the spirit of the 60s Christina painted flowers on her face and I had my peace sign t-shirt.

Our group also provided clipboards, paper, pencils and markers to anyone who came along and wanted to sketch. Quite a few of the kids did.

Right near our booth, an artist friend, Amanda Reilly was painting a large canvas. She runs the Sideshow Sketch Night events that I go to every once in a while. Here she is on her ladder painting.


And here she is with her painting nearly completed. The umbrella was to keep her work dry because it started to rain.

I sketched Amanda when she had just started...little did I know that there would be a beast in the painting too...but knowing Amanda that didn't surprise me.

It was such a fun event, with art being created everywhere. There were models posing for sketchers, music, poetry, glass blowing, pottery wheels, etc. The only thing that interfered with the day was the weather. Setup started around 9 for the artists, the event opened at 12, and it started raining around 3. We ignored it for a while and just made sure the artwork was safe in the booths. The rain got heavier around 3:45 and they called it a day. The event should have gone on until 6. 

Here are a few of our merry sketchers who lasted until the end in the rain. It was great that at the end of the day we didn't have to do anything except take our paintings, sketches, and materials. The Patchogue Arts Council took care of the racks and booths.

We were a bit soggy by then, but everyone had a great time and would do it again.