Sunday, March 31, 2019

Old Hollywood Costumes

I came across an exhibition of old Hollywood costumes the other day. I asked permission to do a few sketches, but it wasn’t easy to balance things standing up. The first costumes was worn by Dois Day and the others were all from the movie, “Gone With the Wind.” Do you recognize the green one? It is the "curtain dress."

(Yay! I posted all three of these from the iPad. Venice posting may be possible after all.)

Saturday, March 30, 2019


I painted the crocuses in my friend’s garden recently.

So far, so good with posting from the iPad. The size came out better this time.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Bayport House

I am testing to see if I can post from my iPad. It may work. This house was in Bayport.

It seems to have worked. Now I'll have to figure out how to resize it...or maybe not mess with it. lol
Any suggestions?

Anyway, we are heading to Venice for the month of April. Jerry will be working with musicians and I will be sketching around Venice. Hopefully the weather will be better than the forecast is saying because out of our first 5 days there it is supposed to rain or shower for 4 of them. :(

Thursday, March 28, 2019


Our model at portraits was Sally this week. This was my last portrait session for a while because I will be traveling soon. I still haven't worked out posting to blogspot on my iPad so I don't know if I will be able to keep the blog going while I am gone. I will post to Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

First Robotics

My friend, Suzala and her husband, Rick are big into First Robotics. They even wrangled me to help review the projects of the younger kids a few weeks ago. Yesterday and today is the First Robotics Long Island Competition at Hofstra University. I went yesterday to sketch the competition. There were about 50 teams from all over including Istanbul and Switzerland. Suzala and her husband had started the team in their school district and their daughter is the first student that will have been in the program through her entire elementary and high school career. Yay, Spike!!!

Each team builds a robot for the competition which involves the robot picking up the orange balls and putting them into the holes in the rocket shaped displays or the lower flat display. I didn't sketch the robots yesterday but they look sort of like something built from an erector set and a motor...not the cute little people robots. They also have to avoid the other robots that may be trying to knock their ball out of their "arms." They get points for other things too and form alliances with other teams on the field at the same time. There is a lot of computer data analysis to form helpful alliances with the other teams, and Spike (Suzala's daughter) does a lot of the data collecting and analysis. We were seated up in the stands not ground level and it is hard to see some of the details on the floor equipment. I was happy with my sketch and even got one of the team members with his team "Let's Go Pobots" sign. It was a lot of fun sketching this.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sayville Town Dock

I like going down by the Sayville town dock. There are always boats being worked on, or some kind of boat docked, and often there is some kind of construction too.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Gas Station and People

On Sunday when I was driving around I found this cute old gas station that was somewhere between Hampton Bays and East Quogue. I loved the old pump and the flag on the building.
This was done mostly with watercolors and ink and then a little watercolor pencil on the trees.

These two sketches were from Saturday. I usually do a full sketch when I take the train from all the way out by me, but because I was going to Brooklyn Terminal the connections were better if I left from Hicksville. That means the ride to Jamaica Station was short. I did this directly in ink which I find hard to do on the LIRR. For some reason there is a vibration that I feel and it makes the ink lines very raggedy. This lady was sitting so that one of the seats partially blocked her so the sketch isn't quite complete, but it resembles her a lot.

Coming home I had a short wait in Jamaica where I was switching trains so I sketched one of the commuters that was standing nearby. This was done directly in ink.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Brooklyn Flea Market/Smorgasburg - Part 2

When I arrived at the Brooklyn Flea Market in the morning I took a walk around to scope things out. That was when I saw the food stand for C Bao (Asian Buns) with these Peking ducks hanging. What a view!!! I knew that once people were at this stand I would have to sketch it. By the time I got around to it there were so many people around. I found a spot by the wall and set up my stool. It isn't easy to juggle all your belongings while sketching. I spilled water on myself several times. My friend, Jeff (black coat and hat) was sitting right at the counter sketching the activity so he was included in my sketch. Later in the day when he saw that I had put him into the sketch he took a photo of it and then a photo of me holding the sketch.

Earlier in the day when I was sketching the art corner and the Ding Dong Bar I also sketched the bar that was over in the corner. That was our meeting place later for our "show and tell."

Planning a trip away very soon. I will give you details as the time gets closer. I'm not sure if I will be able to post to my blog. On my last trip I found it impossible to get blogger to work on my iPad. I'll have to do a few test runs and see if I can get it to work.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Brooklyn Flea Market/Smorgasburg - Part 1

The NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Brooklyn Flea Market and Smorgasburg today. It moved to a new location since the last time we sketched there. It was fun with lots of subjects. 

I started with a sketch of the creative area that was set up for the kids to play and create. There was a big roll of paper for the kids and piles of crayons. Some adults were very happy to sit there and color too.

Several of us were sketching from a table. Right nearby were some very tempting delights. I sketched the Ring Ding Bar. It looked so good and there were all kinds of flavors...the nutella was calling me but I resisted. Right next to the Ring Ding Bar was a donut stand with really outrageous items for consumption. I resisted all of them. Yea!

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Bit of Trim

Today I sat and sketched a bit of the decorative trim on this house in Patchogue. I'm never quite sure what the curly, curvy decorations look like exactly but I like the cut-out designs.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Yesterday I didn't have much time to sketch. We had gone to have our taxes done and that killed part of the day. I ended up getting out for a little while and did a small sketch of part of a house in Sayville.

My sketch group meets on Wednesday nights and I had a board meeting that was rescheduled to the same time and at the same place. The board meeting was over early enough that I had time to head upstairs at the library and join the sketch group to do a self-portrait. I didn't expect to sketch and only had a real small sketchbook with me. I only worked on this for about 15 minutes using the iPhone camera to see myself live...where there is a will there is a way. lol

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Still Life with Fruit

Our Tuesday portrait group wasn't able to get a model so we decided to do a still life. A few of us brought in assorted items including fruit.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Field and Trees

We have a lot of fields and trees nearby. This area is part of the Post Morrow Foundation that buys land to preserve and conserve the rural and historical character of areas in Suffolk County. There are several areas in Brookhaven that have been preserved through this organization.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Unsuspecting Subjects

When I was in the city on Saturday the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade was also going on. I didn't see too many people dressed in green on the trip in but there were some on the way home. These ladies were sitting diagonally across from me on the train and I had lots of time to do the sketch. They obviously had gone in for the parade and looked exhausted.

These people were on the train in the morning but I didn't bother using color since they were sketched on flimsy paper, not watercolor paper.

Downstairs in the newer section of the Morgan Library and Museum I sat for a while on the couch. Another sketcher was sketching across from me so I did a quick ink sketch of her before we left to go have a drink and share our sketches.

All of these people sketches are a good warm-up to the "1 Week 100 People" Challenge which I will be participating in again.
Information about the challenge can be found HERE.
Maybe you would like to participate too.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Morgan Library

On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Morgan Library and Museum on Madison Ave and 36th Street. It was founded to house the private library of J. P. Morgan in 1906. It includes manuscripts, books, 3 Gutenberg bibles, prints, drawings, etc. In accordance with his will, J.P. Morgan's son made the library a public institution.

The original library still stands but a more modern part was added to house the museum which has changing exhibits. I wasn't sure there would be much there that was sketchible, but I was suprised. The library itself is overwhelming, basically from the sheer number of books. I did a narrow, vertical sketch so that I could include some of the ornate ceiling, the books and display case, as well as some people. The room is kept rather dim (to protect the books I would assume) so I was never quite sure what colors I was using. Supposedly there are restrictions on what art materials you can use. I worked with watercolor pencils and when I wanted to add water I went out into the lobby to do so. I added the ink there too. 

At lunch other people said they had used wet media and the guards were fine with it. So when I did this second sketch in J.P. Morgan's study I used the watercolor pencils but did add water with my water brush and added ink with my pen. This room was even darker than the library so when I finally went out into the lobby I darkened some of the colors because everything looked too pale.

If I had more time I would have done a sketch in the modern addition to the museum. It had some really interesting views of the different levels and the neighboring buildings.

In the morning before the library itself opened I sketched this panel with two cherubs that was over the door of the Polish General Consulate. It was around the corner from the Morgan Library.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

By the Beautiful Sea

I was down at Smith Point Beach at the end of Fire Island on Friday. It was a beautiful day, although too windy to sketch outside. The dunes and the water attracted me of course.

The gulls were right next to my car, so I sketched them too.

Driving to the beach there were a lot of deer at the entrance to the parking lot. They were pretty tame and were coming right up to the cars. We had a bit of a traffic jam. lol There were about a dozen deer in the area.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Pt Jeff Charm

Along the water on Beach Street in Port Jefferson you can find some large homes and some smaller cottage-like homes like this one. I like the lobster traps that give it that rustic feeling.

Thursday, March 14, 2019


On Tuesday my portrait group met in Bellport. Kevin was our model for the morning and was great. We haven't drawn him before so he was a nice change. He reminded me of Graham Nash, of CSN if you remember them. I had time to do one longer painting of him and then a quick 10 minute ink sketch. The second sketch look more like him.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bayport Beach View

After doing the narrow sketch that I posted yesterday I still had 1/2 of the page left in my sketchbook so I looked for a scene that would fit the size (about 4 x 9). This was done at the town dock next to Bayport Beach.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Beach Sketches

Yesterday I took a ride out to Dune Road in the Hamptons. It is a barrier beach that runs from Westhampton through East Quogue, Quogue, and Hampton Bays. This part of Long Island has been a favorite of mine since I was in my 20s and I always tell Jerry that when I die I want my ashes sprinkled there. Along the road are million dollar mansions, some condos, a few resorts as well as a few small cottages. It is a beautiful area but at high tide it is very often flooded in spots. Beach parking in the summer is expensive unless you are a resident, but at this time of year you can park easily. I planned on parking at Ponquogue Beach because the parking lot has great views across the dunes and bay and a pavilion with tables where you can sometimes be sheltered from the wind. Just my luck...the parking lot was closed because they are rebuilding the beach pavilion. I ended up driving along heading back west and checking out every parking lot along the way. Most spots had no view of the water unless you were out of the car, and it was too windy yesterday to do that. Finally in Quogue I found a small lot that is more of a street.  It went up to Dolphin Beach where there was a small opening in the dunes. I could just see the water from my car...perfect! When I finished my watercolor I turned the car around to leave and noticed that the view looking toward the bay was nice too, so I did that view as well.

Monday, March 11, 2019


Yesterday was a rainy, damp day so I needed an indoor spot for sketching. I checked out all the local library calendars to see if any of them were having a performance in the afternoon. Two of them were, and I settled on the event at the Patchogue-Medford Library. In honor of St. Patrick's Day they had two musicians, Tom Donovan and Paul Henry singing and playing Irish songs, ballads and a few jigs. They were pretty good. It wasn't crowded and I sat myself in the second row on the far right to sketch. They moved a little but it was fairly easy to sketch them both. I did the sketch in pencil, then added watercolors and added the ink last, using Noodler's Battleship Gray Ink which is permanent but not as in your face as black. When the show was over the two ladies sitting behind me told me they noticed I was sketching and wanted to see what I did. Then I went over to the musicians to thank them for the performance and to show them the sketch. They loved it and both took photos of it. It was a good day!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Spring Is In the Air!

Yesterday I met my friend, Suzala in Northport to sketch. On the way I noticed they had quite a bit more snow than we did on the south shore. Sitting in the car with the sun shining made us decide to give plein air sketching a chance. So we parked down by the water where the kayaks are stored and found a patch where the snow had already melted and wasn't muddy. It was warm enough to sit our wearing a coat...and no gloves or hat!!! There were still kayaks out which seemed unusual with the snow still on the ground. This was my first watercolor sketch of the day.

When I finished I turned slightly and did a quick ink sketch of Suzala.

Here is my sketch against my subject and a photo of Suzala at work.

Suzala had about an hour before she had to leave so we headed into the center of town. We sat in the warm sun on the steps of a closed office to sketch the view across the way. I started with the car in the foreground and as soon as my pen reached to sketch the roof the owner got into it and of course left. lol That's one of the hazards of plein air painting. lol I continued with the cars across the street and then the buildings. I didn't have time to add color so I think I'll leave this just as a line sketch.

All in all, our sketching day was a pleasant surprise.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Piling Visitors

Yesterday I was down by the water in West Islip. The seated gulls were very content for a long time until someone on the other side of the canal brought out some bread to feed them. I'm sure you can guess what happened. lol

Friday, March 8, 2019

Fruit Night

My sketch group met on Wednesday and everyone brought along fruit to sketch. I pretty much brought everything I had including a pomegranate which I had cut. I had to be careful with that so that I didn't end up with pom juice all over everything. lol I set up a still life for myself.

Here i s a photo of me holding my sketch taken by my friend, Pat Sweeney.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Woodmere Florist

I had an appointment in the Hewlett/Woodmere area yesterday and on the way there I noticed this florist along the road. I've seen it before and thought it was pretty, but usually when I am passing it is on the way somewhere or on the way back. Yesterday I decided to stop on the way home if I could get a parking space with a good view. I lucked out and was able to park right across the street! The colors on the building remind me of Provence.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


It has been a while since I went to my portrait sketching group. Pam posed for us on Wednesday and I was able to do one regular portrait and then a quick one (on thin sketch paper not watercolor paper).

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Garden Gate

Along the road in Bellport is a farm called "CEED" which stands for the Center for Environmental Education and Discovery. They have a entry gate that is decorated with all kinds of farm tools and implements. I've passed it several times before but this was the first time I have stopped. Nobody was around so I figured it would be safe for me to sit in the driveway in my mobile studio and sketch.