Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 in Review

2019 was a busy year with a lot of sketching locally and in various parts of the world. I appreciate all of you who follow this blog and those who leave comments. It is very special to share these sketches and paintings and to hear your thoughts about my work. It was great to meet some of you in person too. That makes our connection so much stronger.

Here are some of the "highlights" for this year for my art. I hope you enjoy revisiting the year with me.

In January the NYC Urban sketchers had our holiday party. We were in the penthouse party room where one of our sketchers lives in Hoboken. There is a gorgeous view across the river. Of course all the sketchers come ready to sketch...and Susan (the wife of one of our members) brought along her knitting since she doesn't sketch. We sketched until it got too dark and then continued to socialize with everyone. It is so much fun to have a community of like-minded people to get together with.

I love that I live on an island surrounded by water and boats. There are always boats available to be sketched like this one.

One of the nice things about going out with the NYC Urban Sketchers is going to places in NYC that I haven't visited before. This was done at the NYC Transit museum. It was a field trip that many classes went to from my school when I was teaching, but for some reason I was never there.

February brought us our Annual Portrait Party with the NYC Usk. I practiced a lot to be ready to do a portrait every 10 min. It was exhausting but fun! Leslie was the willing model for this sketch.

In Patchogue construction was being done at the Sandpit Marina. The pier was being rebuilt and a jetty with a small lighthouse was being added. I went back a few times to sketch there. This was the first sketch I did of the work.

Someone asked me to do a portrait of her dog. I learned that black dogs are sooooo difficult to paint.

We did have a little snow in February which is always fun to paint when you are trapped inside for the day. This one was done on toned paper and I used watercolors and white gouache for the snow. This is the view outside my living room window.


March brought a duo to the Sachem Library for a live performance of mostly Irish music. I enjoyed listening to them and sketching them. They were flattered by my sketch.

Another new sketching location we went to was the Morgan Library. It was beautifully ornate and I was surprised that they were so welcoming to sketchers...even with wet media.

I had been out shopping and found out that at the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead there was an exhibit of costumes from the "golden age of Hollywood." This is a replica of Scarlett O'Hara's dress that was made from the green curtains at Tara.

My husband and I spent the month of April in Venice. To my surprise it was cold and rainy most days. Of course that didn't stop me from sketching. 

I was happy to see that the wisteria was in bloom there.

There was a canal below our apartment building. We could hear the gondolas passing by, especially those that had musicians or singers. This was sketched from the bridge below our window. This painting recently sold at I show that I did.

The buildings and scenes in Venice often call out for sepia ink sketches. I bought a pen and some ink and did a composite of sketches from Campo S. Anzolo by our apartment.

My husband was there to record his music being played by Daniela David and the Orchestra at the Caffe' Lavena in St. Mark's Square. Over several days I sketched all the members of the orchestra and presented a copy of this sketch to each of them before we left.

If you would like to hear a sample of my husband's music, please click HERE. You can also go to YouTube and google Jerry Tavolott.

My friend, Celia who lives in Rome came to visit for the day...too bad it was raining. We had a fun time anyway. I love being able to meet friends when I travel!

In May I was home in time for a sketch day in downtown Manhattan. This was sketched in the cemetery next to Trinity Church.

The NYC Usk also sketched at the Mary A. Whalen. She is a historic oil tanker that is docked in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. She is the home of the non-profit PortSide New York and the group runs programs aboard the tanker.

Ships made an appearance again as we headed to Fleet Week in NYC. Glace Bay was visiting from Canada. The sailors noticed that we were sketching the ship and went back to talk to the captain. He invited us on board to see the ship up closer. Leslie gifted her sketch of the ship to the crew.

In June I took a workshop with Julie Kessler on defining your center of interest. After the class I walked along the river and found this view. What could be a better center of interest than the Statue of Liberty?

For the first time the NYC Usk planned a day of visiting another Urban Sketching group in Philadelphia. We were met by the sketchers there and had a fun day of sketching the sights with them. This is Philadelphia Town Hall.

Arts on Terry also took place in June. The South Bay Art Association had a booth which I was in charge of, but the Patchogue Sketch Club also had a booth and a collaborative mural of Patchogue. This now hangs in Patchogue Town Hall.

Later in June I headed up to Maine to visit family. This painting was done directly in watercolors (a challenge I was doing) and is of a house that is the smallest I've ever been in. There is basically one room on each floor. One of the owners came over when he saw that I was painting and told me all about the house and invited me to see the inside and meet his wife. They now own the painting!

In July we sketched at Gantry Park in Long Island City, home of the iconic Pepsi Cola sign. I had seen the sign from the Manhattan side but this time we were up close right in front of it.

The South Bay Art Association had an interesting show where we painted on vinyl records. I couldn't figure out how to use watercolors without protecting them when I was finished so I used acrylics for this. It was fun to do.

At the end of July I went to the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam. I was there before it started and then stayed for another 6 days after it was over. I took a few workshops and had a lot of fun. I got to reconnect with friends from other countries and parts of the USA, meet new people, and meet friends who I had only known through the internet before.

The buildings in Amsterdam have a very distinctive style and are very narrow.

A friend and I traveled outside Amsterdam and visited Haarlem and Delft. This sketch was done in Haarlem.

This year I got to meet Polly Burchall in person. She is an internet friend from the UK.

I got to meet up with Tina Koyama from Seattle again in Amsterdam. It was fun to see her again.

The NYC sketchers after our workshop with LK Bing.

Sketched along side of the Science Museum.

Old friends and new friends in Amsterdam.

In this crowd are many old friends and new friends from the Amsterdam Symposium. It was awesome!

I started the month of August in Paris. I headed there after Amsterdam for a few days. My hotel in Paris was right near Notre Dame and I passed it frequently. It was good to see that they were hard at work doing repairs. I sketched it from the back.

I did get to visit Monet's Garden again. What a special place!!

I met up with some other NYC Urban Sketchers and the Paris Urban Sketchers too. On my last day in Paris I met Lois Bender an Yuki from Paris to sketch in Montmartre by Sacre Coeur.

I finally headed home to NY and all the other things that were going on in August. My plein air group, PALS, had been meeting on Tuesdays since May. We went to a lot of great locations. As it got warmer we painted twice in the sunflower field in East Moriches.

I also took part in "Paint the Great South Bay" a week-long plein air event here in our local area. I always enjoy doing paintings of Weeks Boat Yard. This sold during the Paint the Great South Bay reception.

In September my friend, Suzala hosted the NYC Urban Sketchers in Oyster Bay. I found this really pretty church to sketch.

As part of the NYC Urban Sketchers workshops I took a class with Katie Woodward on sketching small. Katie does sketches, some of which are as small as a postage stamp. I didn't get that carried away. This one is probably about 1 1/2 x 3 inches. (Don't let it's size on the screen deceive you.)

My friend, Ruth's husband is an oyster farmer. He invited us out to sketch from his oyster dock out in the Great South Bay. There were some really nice views out on the water. Thanks for the invite, Chuck.

It was also fun to sketch the oystermen at work on the dock.

Inktober takes place in October so a lot of my sketches were done in various inks. These were sugar tanks at the Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn...named after Dominio sugar.

My nephew got married down in Elberton, GA and I flew down for the wedding. Although I didn't have much free time I did find the opportunity to go outside the hotel and do a sketch or two. This is the mercantile that was on the square in town.

This was sketched along the Cross Island Parkway in Queens...a fitting subject for ink.

I started a project in an accordion sketchbook of places along the north fork of Long Island. The Cutchogue Diner is one of the sketches.

The High School of Art and Design has their big "Draw A Thon" in November. It is fun to sketch the nude models as well as the costumed models...and the artists too. You can sketch from 9 AM until nearly 6:00 PM.

My accordion sketchbook was used for this view on the north fork.

The NYC Urban Sketchers hit the Metropolitan Museum to see the exhibit "First Knight." Of course that involved a bit of armor.

One of my favorite spots at the Met is the Temple of Dendur. I love the contrast of the old structures and those very modern windows looking out at Fifth Avenue.

We have reached December and here are a few of my recent favorite sketches.

The tree lot at the Patchogue Fire Department.

The Pickle Guys at Essex Market. 

Santa at the South Country Library in Bellport.

And the Harlequin Great Danes at the Museum of the Dog.

I hope you have enjoyed looking back on 2019 with me. 

May 2020 bring us all love, peace, health, understanding, and inspiration!

I wish you all a Happy New Year!