Thursday, November 30, 2017

Port Jeff View

Last week I took a trip up to Port Jeff. It is a cute town north of me where you can catch the ferry across the Long Island Sound to Bridgeport, Connecticut. I found a spot to sketch a view.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sayville Road

I keep returning to this area of Sayville to sketch but usually do the views looking toward the water. This time I sat with my back to the water and painted the view facing north along Browns River Road.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Orchestra

Recently my friend, Diana, a violinist was performing locally in the Island Symphony Orchestra. Two other friends and I went to the concert in a church nearby. We all brought our sketchbooks. I tried to get a variety of the orchestra members including Diana (2nd violinist from the left). After the concert I showed the sketch to Diana and she showed it to many of the performers. They loved it. It was really funny when some of them recognized themselves in the sketch.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Here is the second part of my day last Saturday.

For the last few years the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan has held a Draw-A-Thon as a fundraiser. They have nude and dressed models that are posing from 9 am to 6 pm. Each room probably had 5 models posing at a time. Students, artists, and people in-between come for the day or part of the day. Students have to have parental permission to sketch the nude models who are in a separate room, but the clothed models are available to everyone. Once you pay your admission you are given a band to wear on your wrist and we were free to move from room to room or leave the building for a while and then return. This isn't an actual "NYC Urban Sketching" kind of outing but many of our members came for part or all of the day. We went after Sotheby's and arrived about 3. Some of our members have gone to this in the past but this was my first time attending.

I went to the room with the nudes first. They posed for assorted times, sometimes 5 minutes and sometimes much longer. Here are the nudes I sketched. Most of these (except for the woman) were done with a water soluble graphite pencil.

These were all quick poses so I did them all on one page.

I sketched a few of the artists between poses.

Then I moved to the other room. This character did long poses and always returned to the same pose for those who were doing complete paintings. He was fun in his very interesting outfit.

Then at 6 pm the sketching stops and they bring in free pizza for everyone...It was quite a day!

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Last week the NYC Urban Sketchers had double activities for us to partake in. The first part was sketching at Sotheby's Auction House in Manhattan. The collections change constantly and it is like visiting a fine museum.

The first piece of art that attracted me was this by Diego Rivera titles "Retrato de un Espanol." What attracted me in addition to the size of the painting and the way the figure stood out was the added detail of the architecture of the window beside it. It was a plus that someone came by and was looking at it so I had a figure for scale.

After lunch I started sketching Fernando Botero's "Modesty" aptly named as she covers herself. The man had turned away to speak to another man who was out of the picture. I would think that if I was sketching artwork I would be pretty safe that the artwork couldn't get up and walk away...but no...two workers came over with another man from Sotheby's who decided the statue needed to be moved away from the wall so people could walk behind the statue and see that view too. So while I was sitting there they actually moved the statue and then climbed up on a ladder to readjust the lighting. I can't win! lol

I will post the 2nd part of the day tomorrow.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

By the Beach

This was done in a moleskin sketchbook and sketched down by the road to the Fire Island Ferries in Sayville.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Minimal Sketch Kit?

My friend, Tina Koyama did a post the other day about what is in her "minimal sketch kit." I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I am definitely not a minimalist kind of girl. Yes, I can go out with just a small sketchpad and a pen or pencil...but I usually don't. Last year I bought myself a pen/pencil case that can hold a variety of sketching materials that I can grab in an instant. Of course, being me, there are duplicates of some of the pens...after all what if one of them runs out? It could happen and has happened in the past. lol 
The problem for me is that I often haven't decided before I leave the house if I am just doing a quick sketch or a painting. So I want to make sure I have what I need...just in case. That means I usually drag along my backpack which has just about everything except the kitchen sink. On occasion I do go out with just the pencil case and one sketchbook.

The Lihit Lab Pen Case I use has several sections. In front there is room for my tiny palette. Then inside I have a variety of pens in the first two sections including a Lamy Safari, 2 Elegant Writer Pens, Uniball gel pens in white and gold, black uniball pens, a Japanese brush pen that I can refill, an Elizabeth & Company travel dagger brush, a sable travel brush, and a fountain pen I bought in this elegant pen store in Venice. Usually I reach for the Lamy Safari before anything else because it is filled with platinum carbon ink which is waterproof (in most situations). The back section has an eraser, pencils, sharpener and a water brush or two. Does it sound like I have enough to do some sketching?

Here is a sketch of the inside of the front section and labels to identify the kind of pen.

Here are a few photos to let you see what it actually looks like without using artistic license. lol
I'm not showing you the back which is just solid orange because it has a blot of ink that is almost half of the back. You can see a bit of the ink on the inside in the second photo down too. One of my pens leaked. Grrr!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Wishing you a wonderful day to enjoy the people and things that you are thankful for. Many thanks to all of you for your support and comments. I appreciate them all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Avalon Preserve

Here is another painting I finally finished from about a month and a half ago. This was done at Avalon Preserve in Stony Brook.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Arboretum Autumn

Here is another painting I just finished up. This was done at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale a few weeks ago.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Andrews Farm Treasures

I've been finishing up and tweaking paintings for my upcoming shows. This was started back in September, but I didn't get around to finishing it until now. It was done at the Andrews Family Farm. The people there are so nice.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Alcohol Inks on Tiles

I have two shows that I will be participating in with my art groups in December. The other day I did a few new alcohol inks on tiles. This time I did florals and used compressed air to blow the paint into abstract petals. I'll be bringing these and some others I've created to sell at the shows.

I don't know if I ever mentioned the results of trying the new protective coating for the tiles. I used a material called Envirotex Lite and although it isn't the easiest material to use it creates a hard, shiny covering for the tiles...much better than the spray on protectant that I had tried previously.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sketches at Nissan

I had some routine maintenance to do on my car so I took it in to Nissan Service. There are always people around to sketch, like the woman on the left who was watching the cars being serviced through the window, or the man napping while waiting.

Of cours there are always the people on their phones or watching videos on their tablets.
Sketching them sure makes the time pass easier.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Autumn Still Life

Our Wed night sketch group met at the Patchogue/Medford Library. We had a mini reception there because we had a collection of our sketchbooks on display this month in their display case. Our theme for the night was gourds and fabric. We had assorted kinds of squash, pumpkins, leaves, and the fabric in my sketch was a napkin with a design from Provence. It was a fun night.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Barnes & Noble's Starbucks

We had a damp, mostly dreary day so I wanted to sketch something indoors. I was rather tired of being in the same places so I went to the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. Right outside is a Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks inside. Most Starbucks look pretty much alike but I like that the showcase was visible here.

The funny thing was that I was using my water brush which was still filled from last Saturday with a mix of water and rubbing alcohol so it wouldn't freeze. I hadn't used the water brush on Saturday...just my jar of water. For this sketch the water/alcohol mix made the watercolor pigments behave a bit strangely... they separated a lot on the palette and the paper. I'll have to remember that in the future and not mix them. My friend put vodka in her water to keep it from freezing. lol

After I finished this I went into the mall and there in the center was Santa all set up already. That was my first Santa sighting of the season, but I didn't sketch him. They use the same setup and outfit each year. I'll have to find a new location to sketch Santa.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Christmas Decorations?

I was riding through Sayville the other day looking for something to sketch when I saw a woman decorating a tree in a garden area of a marina. It seems a little early for Christmas decorating but I thought it might make a good sketch. She had put on ribbon and some star garland. A car pulled up and a man got out and brought her more boxes. I couldn't see what he brought but she put whatever it was in front of the tree. He drove away and came back with a little boy. They took photos of the boy by the tree. I had finished the sketch but stayed where I was reading something I had in the car with me. I wasn't really paying attention, and when I looked up again the man, the woman, the boy, and all the decorations were gone! The only thing I can think of is that they had decorated the tree and posed the boy for their Christmas card photo. The weren't actually decorating the tree for the town...just for the Christmas photo. lol

Monday, November 13, 2017

Saturday - Part III

I decided to move off the risers and continue sketching from a point below. I had the option of sitting on my chair or a bench. I chose my chair thinking it would be warmer than a cold, metal bench. This time I faced the risers. Here is my sketch from there. I did eliminate about 3/4 of the people that were there, trying to find some good poses. You do see just about everything there.

One of the other sketchers took a photo of me and my friend, Pat while we were sketching. She was sketching on her iPad.

By this time, even with two pairs of fingerless gloves on, my fingers were getting too cold. I did have hand warmers with me, but was too lazy to pull them out. Then the cold started moving to the core of my body, so when the sketch was done Pat and I headed indoors. The plan was to meet inside the Marriott Marquis for drinks and a "show and tell." I had a few minutes to warm up before someone came along and said we were doing a group photo outside, so I headed out again. Here is the group...or what remained of the group and was willing to still be outside by about 4 pm.

Of course when we get together for our "show and tell" we have some time to talk and sketch each other before any sharing gets done. I sketched my friends across the table from me.

We were sitting at tables with a view of Times Square outside the floor to ceiling windows. I think in total we had about 35 people participate at some time during the day, although some didn't stay the entire time. For a freezing cold day I think that was a great turnout. I think 26 of us made it back to the Marriott Marquis for the "show and tell."

I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of my Saturday!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Saturday - Part II

Saturday was a special day for the Urban Sketchers...their 10th anniversary. To celebrate in style they scheduled a USk WorldWide Sketchcrawl. At least 110 Urban Sketcher Regional Chapters from all over the world participated and the work was live streamed on Instagram from different select cities starting in Australia and moving across the world. NYC was participating and we met in Times Square to sketch. Unfortunately for us Saturday was the coldest day we've had since the winter. It was below freezing in the morning and the temperature rose to a balmy high of about 43 degrees.

I did go prepared. When I came home at the end of the day I felt like one of those Russian dolls with one layer under another get the point. I had 2 thermal layers under my jeans, special heavy "heat holder" socks, 2 thermal tops, a turtleneck and a heavy sweater under my winter coat. Add a scarf, hat, and 2 pairs of fingerless gloves. For the most part I was warm for the first few hours, but when the sunlight went behind the skyscrapers I started to get cold.

Times Square has these risers that people usually stand or sit on. I was sitting on my folding chair so my rear end wouldn't be on the cold risers, but I had a lot of trouble balancing everything in my lap with my bulky coat, so I ended up sitting on the riser for a while. Here are a few short videos and you can see me sketching in the first one. lol

Here are Katie and Leslie sketching.

(Right to left) Sonia, Paula, Suzala and Leslie.

Here is the sketch I was doing of the view ahead of me.

I also did a sketch of some of the people sitting on the risers, including Leslie who was in the video above.

When I moved down from the risers I was sidetracked by the sailors celebrating Veteran's Day in Times Square. I did a quick sketch of one of them.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday - Part I

I sketched this on the Long Island Railroad going into Manhattan this morning from Ronkonkoma. The models are usually there for the entire trip of over an hour.

Today was a big urban sketching day...more to come tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2017


I missed the meeting of my sketch group on Wed night because I was staying over at my sister's house in NJ. The group had done "stuffies" for their theme and everyone brought in stuffed animals to share. When I woke up Thurs morning I saw their sketches on Facebook and was jealous that I missed it. I was up early and my sister was still asleep so I went downstairs and hunted for her basket of stuffed animals and Beanie-babies that I know she has. I snatched Kiss-Kiss, Zero, and Chocolate to sketch. I guess you can guess who is who. lol

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Blazing Trees

With the lack of color in most of our trees this autumn, I get very excited when I see a pop of color. I was heading home the other day when it was overcast and damp. I was passing through Patchogue when I noticed these colorful trees in a line by the Patchogue Train Station. In order to get a good view I parked at an angle across a few parking spaces so I was facing in the correct direction. People who park in the lot had already parked and headed off hours ago, so I knew there wouldn't be anyone who would come to park in those spaces. I was happy with the results.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

People Sketches

On Saturday after we sketched on Bond Street the NYC Urban Sketchers went to a restaurant for our usual "show and tell." Once we are seated the sketchbooks immediately come out and we sketch until it is time to share. It is easiest to sketch the people sitting on the opposite side of the table.

Here are Denise and Julie.

And here are Tim and Meredith.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


I like riding out east on Long Island and coming across farms. So many of them have been sold and turned into housing developments, so I am happy to see the ones that are still producing, like this one.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Brookhaven Field

I was searching for autumn colors but didn't have much success the other day. Instead I found a field near the marina in Brookhaven. I was there for over an hour sitting and working from my car. Finally a woman came over and asked it there was a reason I was sitting there for so long, so I showed her the small painting. She smiled and said to stay as long as I needed.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


I'm not quite sure what these National Grid workers were up to. They were digging right outside my development. I only sketched the ones that were working...not the ones that were supervising. lol The next day I came out and there were 9 workers in another spot. Two were digging and the other 7 were just standing and watching. Who knows how many I will find tomorrow. lol

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Bond Street Views

Today the NYC Urban Sketchers met at Bond Street in Manhattan. This cobblestone street is only a few blocks long but is filled with interesting views of the buildings, both old and new, restaurants, water towers, skyscrapers...and a branch of the Dick Blick art store. It was our first cold outing in a very long time, so I'm glad I was prepared with layers of clothing, fingerless gloves, and a hat just in case. I didn't wear the gloves or the hat, but when I got cold it was nice to take a break and shop in the cosy warmth of Dick Blick.

For those of you who haven't heard of Moment Sketchers, the group was started by Candace Rose Rardon, who has organized an opportunity for artists to share sketches of moments that show what we have seen or done on the first weekend of each month. She collects all the posts that have the #momentsketchers and posts them together on her blog when the weekend is over. People from all over the world take part.

There is really a contrast of old and new on Bond Street. There are some businesses that look closed alongside new shops and restaurants in the old buildings.

This little spot was a below-ground cafe.

Water towers on the tops of buildings in NYC are great contrasted against some of the new construction that has gone up recently.

Bond Street had a lot of treasures to sketch today.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Bit of Color

My plein air group went to a private residence in Brookhaven the other day to paint. I did an Inktober sketch there first so I didn't have a lot of time left to paint, so I did a 5 x 7 small painting. Finally, a little color.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Saturday - Part II - Hastings-on-Hudson

After lunch in Dobbs Ferry on Saturday we decided to drive over to Hastings-on-Hudson. We went down by the water to paint the view across the Hudson River, but it was too windy to sit there. We had stopped at a really cute coffee shop in the morning that was actually in the Hastings-on-Hudson train station. Susan and I sat there to paint and JoAnn went to do the water view from the railroad platform. I liked the look of this with the tile roof and potted plants.

Slightly up the hill (everything was either up the hill or down the hill) was Maude's Pub. There was a group of people eating at the tables outside and I could hear them laughing from where I was sitting across the street. I found a view on the sidewalk between two parked cars. JoAnn finished her painting and told us she was going to sit at Maude's and have a drink while she sketched, and we should meet her there. So when I finished that's what Susan and I did.

It was a nice change of pace to go to two new places.