Friday, November 30, 2018

Arthur Avenue Retail Market

After my time at the NY Botanical Garden I drove over to Arthur Avenue which was about a 15 minute drive, however finding parking took almost that long. The "Little Italy" section of Arthur Avenue is in the middle of a not so safe area so it was important to find a good spot for parking. I lucked out and was right in the middle of the best area with restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops, cheese stores, etc. There is a Arthur Avenue Retail Market which is indoors and has a bit of everything, even a cigar maker at one end. There are cheeses, meats, salamis, sausages and parma hams hanging...a bit of sensory overload. There is a produce section, a section with all kinds of Italian specialties, a butcher, etc. There were tables in the center where you could sit and eat, or in my case have a cappuccino and sketch. I had a good view of the deli as well as barrels of who knows what and most of the time a variety of people ordering at the counters. Nobody bothered me and I was able to sit and sketch for about an hour and a half while I waited for my friends to arrive. Then we were off to shop at a few shops and finally we ventured into a wonderful Italian restaurant, Emilia's. I felt like I was back in Tuscany. We had lots of time to catch up and talk and were never rushed.

Here is my sketch done inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New York Botanical Garden

I was meeting friends in the Bronx for dinner today so I decided that since I was going all the way there I might as well make a day of it. I have a membership to the New York Botanical Gardens which has a special Holiday Train Show which I've never seen. Although it is considered a "train show" I think the trains take a back stage to the artistic mini versions of all the NY landmarks and and tourist attractions. The show is designed by Paul Busse and his team who constructed the 175 replicas out of bark, leaves, and other natural materials. The buildings are amazing! I believe they are created in Tennessee and then put together amid all the botanical plants at the gardens in two weeks. Of course I sketched one of the buildings in its setting. This is St Patrick's Cathedral.

Here are some photos of the displays. I still can't believe they are created from all natural materials.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

High Tide in Brookhaven

We've had a lot of rain lately so that combined with the tides has caused flooding down by the water. This was in Brookhaven. I don't think this was rain. The Great South Bay had probably flooded over at high tide.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Trees for Sale

As soon as Thanksgiving was over the Christmas trees seemed to roll into town. These were at a farmstand in Eastport. Olish's Farm is always fun to sketch but I always forget what exit it is off the highway and end up roaming around looking for it. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Bulldozer at the Beach

After a rainy night on Saturday yesterday turned out to be a nice day. It was partly sunny with temperatures in the high 50s. I told a ride down to Robert Moses State Park. Usually when I go there I do a sketch of the Fire Island Lighthouse. It was a bit windy so I ended up sitting in my car facing a dune by the boardwalk with this cute yellow bulldozer sitting there...a perfect model.

When I finished I took a walk along the boardwalk to the lighthouse and back. As I was heading for the parking lot I heard this noise that sounded like a truck backing up. It was the bulldozer which was digging a trench right along the edge of the boardwalk. It was already sort of deep and not too wide but the driver kept scooping out sand and piling it up off to the side. The only problem was that the bulldozer was parallel to the side of the boardwalk and also parallel to the narrow trench. Everyone was watching because now the bulldozer was tilted about 45 degrees toward the boardwalk and it looked like it was going to tip over into the trench and onto the railing of the boardwalk. The driver kept trying to back up and get out of the trench but his back wheels were stuck. Another guy came over to see if he could help but all he had was a shovel. I watched for a while but finally went back to my car and ate my lunch. I couldn't see what was happening but about 10 minutes later the bulldozer drove into view so I guess he was able to extract it.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Miracle on Main Street

Last night Sayville was supposed to have "Miracle on Main Street" which was scheduled to follow their morning holiday events, but due to the forecast of heavy rain they postponed it to tonight. I was planning to go to see what was happening there and stay for the Christmas tree lighting. Of course I took my sketchbook along. Santa and his entourage was set up along Main Street and had a big line waiting to visit with him. I stood and sketched some of them (I left out about 6 more elves). By the time I was finished I was too tired of standing and didn't stay for the tree lighting. Instead I headed over to The Catbird Seat, the store that is carrying some of my artwork and tiles, and visited with Debi the owner. She had some hot mulled wine that she was passing out to customers so that was a relaxing way to end my stop in Sayville.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Small Business Saturday

Today I participated in an arts & crafts show in Patchogue for Small Business Saturday. It was held in the lobby of the Patchogue Theatre. Santa was there taking photos with the kids. Between customers I worked on this sketch of a bit of what was going on at the other end of the lobby.

Here is a photo of my setup at the show. I had my alcohol ink tiles and ornaments, my books, and matted paintings of various sizes as well as greeting cards. I sold some of everything and still have a lot of stock for the two day show next weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Bare Bones

Yesterday and today we had a lot of wind. At one point there were so many leaves blowing off the trees that it looked like it was snowing. We are also having a cold spell here in NY. It was 18 degrees this morning and barely reached 30 degrees. That meant my mobile studio was called into play for this sketch up in Yaphank. There is a road that leads to a fishing access to a lake where I pulled over to the side and sketched this bare ridge of trees with a carpet of color.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I hope that your day has been full of those things you are thankful for, especially family and friends. My thanks to all of you following my art journey and for letting me into your lives.

As you can see I am still chasing the last of the autumn colors.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


There is a store in Patchogue that has been a staple for 90 years now, Blum's Swimwear and Intimate Apparel. I have never been in the store but apparently it was a rite of passage for any young teen who needed her first bra or needed to be fitted for a bra. lol I didn't grow up out here so I missed that honor. I sat across the street from Blum's in my car the other day sketching the light post with the Christmas wreath. It was only when I was ready to do the building in the background that I noticed I couldn't see any Blum's sign...only the sign for their celebration. lol I think the actual sign is on the window under the canopy. I will have to go back at some point and document the store with a sign and then venture inside to see what the fuss is all about.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Main Street

We have a lot of interesting towns here on Long Island. I like views where I am looking down the main street toward something in the distance like this domed building in Islip. I sat in my "mobile studio" to capture this scene.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Draw-A-Thon Part 2

The Draw-A-Thon at the High School of Art and Design has a room of costumed models in addition to the room full of nude models. These are appropriate for any age sketchers. A few of the models were doing short poses, but there were some that were doing the same pose for the day. I would think that as a model that must get boring but these models happily went back to the same pose after a short break and did that all day. 

The models for this sketch really attracted me. They worked so well together and I felt like I was capturing their story. She was so cute and had her headphones tucked under her hair and inside her kimono. Their costumes were really colorful and coordinated well. The only thing that was strange was that they were sitting on a chartreuse green inflatable sofa. lol I probably worked on this for about an hour and a half and was really happy with it. It is about 5 x 7.

There was still time before the event was over so I moved down by another model also in a kimono. The kimono was hard to sketch because it had such a detailed Japanese design on it. I liked the way this one came out too. Again it is about 5 x 7.

The poses ended at 6 pm when pizza was delivered...boxes and boxes of pizza. That is part of your get pizza for dinner. I think a lot of the people who are there sketching never seem to take a break and have been there since the morning. By 6 pm everyone is starving. Sketching makes you hungry. While everyone eats they do a big raffle for products that they sold tickets for. There were a lot of art materials that were part of the raffle, dinners to restaurants in the city, and this year's grand prize was an iPad. I think this fundraiser made the most money ever for them. It was a lot of fun to do!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Swag Bags and On to the Draw-A-Thon Part 1

I know some of you were wondering what we got in our swag bags from Blick. Let me just say that they were prepared with about 100 bags in case we had a big turnout. Some of the merchandise was from the store itself but Caran d'Ache had their own little bags for us filled with art treasures. I arranged everything we received on my kitchen table this morning. My hubby was impressed with what I came home with. This includes the extras that Caran d'Ache gave us too.

In addition all customers coming into the store had the chance to spin a prize wheel and get a gift ranging from gift cards, paints, sketchbooks, aprons, etc. I got a small set of some kind of acrylic paints that I will gift to some artist that will use them.

After lunch I won a watercolor pad and a set of koi watercolor paints. We shopped at the store for a while and I'm sure they made money off of us since everyone I know that was there bought several things. lol (We never do seem to have enough supplies.) All I know was that my backpack weighed a ton and I had to carry it into the city.

From Brooklyn many of us headed into Manhattan to the Draw-A-Thon at the High School of Art and Design on 56th St. This is one of their big fundraisers. You pay a fee to enter and there are two big rooms with models posing from around 9am until 6pm. One room is strictly nudes and there are 4 areas set up. Two are for long poses and the same pose is held all day long. In the third area the model does mostly quick gesture poses that last from 2 - 10 minutes. The last area the model poses for about 10 minutes each time. I went to that area and sketched for about an hour and a half.

During a short break I started sketching the woman to the left of me who was sketching with her legs resting on a chair. I sketched the model when she posed again but at one point she was down on the platform and I couldn't see her from where I was sitting, so I went back to sketching some of the other people sketching in the room.

When I got tired of the nude models I went to the other room which was much more fun...but that's for tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sketching Brooklyn

Today the NYC Urban Sketchers were invited to help celebrate the opening weekend of the new Blick store on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. They were celebrating with special classes and giveaways. When we got there they supplied coffee and muffins to anyone coming to the store. It looked like it was a small store, but it was deceptively large and well-stocked and the staff was so great. Mark had arranged to lead a sketch walk in the neighborhood. But before we went out we were each given a big, red swag bag from Blick with all sorts of great materials, plus a bag from Caran d'Ache, and small sketchbooks from Strathmore. They told us to go out and sketch for a while and that lunch would be waiting for us when we got back.They were really so nice to us! 

We did head out to sketch in the neighborhood. We were all bundled up but only lasted about an hour and a half before we were so cold that we had to go inside. Here is my sketch and a few photos of some of the other sketchers.

After lunch they raffled off gifts for us including sketchbooks, Koi watercolor sets, and gift cards.
It was quite a welcome!

Friday, November 16, 2018

After the Snow

Yesterday we had a very early snowstorm that made a mess of roads and commutes for many people in the tri-state area. Nobody expected it to hit as hard as it did. It took some people 6 hrs to do a ride home that usually takes less than one. Luckily I was home and didn't have to go anywhere. It was pretty when it was coming down if you were inside...or peeking outside like me.

I guess I was a little too late when I went out this morning because there was barely any snow anywhere. It had fallen off all the trees and the only place there was snow was in small piles on the ground. I looked for a spot to sit and paint and surprisingly enough there was still some autumn color that wasn't killed by the snowstorm. This was done by the Islip Grange in Sayville.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


The autumn colors are pretty much gone...and after the bit of snow we got today I think that will be it for the season. I headed into Patchogue for some errands and found a good parking spot facing Catch Oyster Bar. It is a cute place but very small. There are cushions on the window seat where there are usually people sitting. The restaurant hadn't opened yet when I was there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Holiday Time

It is a little early for Christmas sketches but in December the Patchogue Sketch Club will be putting sketches into the display case at the Pat/Med Library where we meet every week. To make sure we have holiday related sketches to show we sketched holiday items this week, and will sketch more the week after Thanksgiving. Everyone came in with such fun objects to sketch. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Bellport Yellows

Aside from a few select areas the color  has faded here. Most of the trees that still have leaves have turned brown. Then the few that have yellows like these in Bellport seem to pop more.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Arboretum Autumn

Yesterday I took a ride to the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River to look for colorful trees. It was cold and I wasn't planning to sketch outside, so I needed to be able to park somewhere with a view. This spot attracted me.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sketching the Egyptian Collection

Due to the cold weather forecast the NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Brooklyn Museum to sketch the Egyptian Collection. The museum doesn't open until 11 so my plan was to go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden greenhouse for an hour first. But when I checked to make sure it opened at 10:00 I also found out they discontinued their policy of free admission before noon. It didn't pay (pardon the pun) to pay full admission for less than an hour of sketching. I decided to head to Brooklyn at the same time figuring I could find something to sketch when I got there. The problem is there isn't a lot of street parking but I took my chance. I lucked out and found a spot right near the paid parking lot that is for both the museum and gardens...and I was parked right near this entry gate for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden so I was able to sit in my car and sketch.

I headed off to the museum next and met the other sketchers. We've sketched the Egyptian collection before so I was looking for something unusual. I wanted to sketch one of the mummy cases. As I walked around this one I found that if I sat on a certain side of the glass case I could see the work area behind it with a hoist. They were working on a few of the installations in the area but not the piece I selected. I think adding the work area background added a bit more interest to this composition.

After a lunch break I headed back upstairs and sketched a few of the statues. The one of the couple was interesting but her arm was missing. A lot of the statues of gods had broken noses. Apparently  they believed that if the nose was broken the god would have no power.

Here I am at our "show and tell" later in the day. My thanks to Louis Gutterman for the photo.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Touch of Autumn

Yesterday we had some rain but I was out and wanted to get a sketch done. I sat in my car down near the bay in Sayville to paint some of the color that was left. Tina Koyama, the tree on the right reminded me of the many, many cropped trees you've sketched.

Friday, November 9, 2018

New Alcohol Ink Tiles

I've been working on alcohol ink tiles and ornaments for the upcoming shows I am taking part in. I have one that I am doing with a group of artists on Small Business Saturday, another the following weekend at the South Country Library, and then my PALS Plein Air annual show. I've been trying to make some new designs, but even when I redo a subject they are never the same as the original because the alcohol inks are so unpredictable. Take a look and let me know your favorites. There are some winter scenes included.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Camera Night

The Patchogue Sketch Club had cameras as our subject for sketching last night. Several of the members had old camera and equipment that were fun to sketch. We had lots of different kinds to choose from. First I did this one which was a Kodak box type camera.

When I finished with the one above there was an old camera with its back facing me. I'm not sure what camera the leather cover belonged to. I brought along the canister of film. It was something that was in with some old cameras and equipment that belonged to my father-in-law.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Heading East

It was a mild day today and I decided to go capture some color before it is gone. I headed down to South Country Road in East Patchogue again, this time heading east. A lot of the trees that I painted the other day have lost the bulk of their leaves but this spot looked pretty good. Since it is a narrow road with not much leeway on the sides I opted to do this from my "mobile studio."