Friday, May 31, 2019

Harbor Crab

My Wednesday night sketch group was scheduled to meet outside a restaurant called Harbor Crab in Patchogue and draw the scene there. By 5:00 they were calling for heavy rain and thunderstorms so we decided to meet inside instead...of course that meant ordering food or drinks or They seated us in an upstairs room that did have a view of some of the boats in the marina. Some of the sketchers concentrated on the decorations in the restaurant because there were all these sea creatures hanging on the walls, but I pretty much sketched what I friend Rosanne to my left and Mark across the table and the view out the window to the marina.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Front Garden

As I was driving through Sayville yesterday this cluster of irises and the birch tree caught my eye. Showers were forecast for the day so I sat in my car to sketch this.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Garden Supplies

My Tuesday evening art group has been having trouble getting models so for the last few meetings they have done still life setups. This week was garden supplies.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


At the back of the parking lot at Sayville Beach is a house that has cascades of wisteria growing tangled in its bushes. I love how it looks but it is difficult to sketch/paint it since the area is so dense with foliage. I gave it a try anyway before I went down by the beach to read.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Irises and Poppy

On Sunday I stopped to visit a friend to see how her addition to her kitchen was coming along. While I was there I did a quick sketch of some of her irises and one of her pretty red appropriate for Memorial Day today. This was done directly in watercolors.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Fleet Week Sketches

On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers met at Pier 84 in Manhattan to take part in Fleet Week. Fleet Week New York is now in its 31st year and is a celebration of the sea services. Visitors in the area get to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. Many of the ship are open for tours. In addition to USA ships there are a few Canadian ships.  #fleetweek2019

A few of us headed over to another pier where there were several ships docked. We went through the security line and settled down to sketch the HMCS Glace Bay from Nova Scotia. It looked so festive with all the different flags decorating it. Here is my sketch of the Glace Bay.

A group of sailors from the ship came over to see what the three of us were doing. One of them asked my friend, Leslie Gordon-Sim if her painting was for sale. He wanted to buy it and hang it inside the ship. He went to check with the captain about how to do it but there was some problem with exchanging money and they couldn't buy it. Leslie generously donated it to them, so the sailor took us all on board the ship to meet the captain. They were really sweet and we took a photo of the captain holding Leslie's painting. They cave us each a patch commemorating Fleet Week.

My next sketch was of a much larger ship. I don't know the name of it but it was at least 3 times larger than the Glace Bay, and was a USA ship. I couldn't fit the whole ship on my page.

At the end of the day all the remaining sketchers got together for our "show and tell." At the end we had someone take a photo of the group with the Intrepid Air and Space Museum and a bit of the NY skyline behind us.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Flower Stand

The other day I went out east where there are lots of plant farms to finally purchase some flowers and herbs for my patio. I got two beautiful hanging baskets of fuchsia, basil, parsley, sage, and oregano. This is Long Season Farms where I bought the fuchsia.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Paint Out at the Lighthouse

For the past few years the Wet Paints Studio Group in Sayville(of which I am a member) has organized a paint out at the Fire Island Lighthouse on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. This morning I headed over to Robert Moses State Park where the lighthouse stands. Although it was beautiful and sunny, it was very windy which made painting outdoors a bit difficult. You need to come prepared to mat, frame, and hang your paintings, so I had lots of materials with me.

I started out in the parking lot near the dunes. I parked so that my car was blocking most of the wind with a view of the dune foliage and the lighthouse. I had a frame that would fit a 5 x 12 inch painting without a mat, so I painted that exact size making sure I painted to the very ends of the paper.

Next I decided to brave the elements and head over near the lighthouse where I was sure some of the other artists would be working. I have a shopping cart and I put all my framing materials in it, my lunch, and hung my chair on the outside. I decided it was too windy to bother dragging my easel. There is a nice boardwalk that leads from the parking lot over to the lighthouse with a walk that is about 0.8 miles one way. There were quite a few other artists painting from the deck by the lens house since the building was blocking some of the wind. I set up looking toward the ocean and painted with the painting board held tightly in my lap. This painting is 5 x 7. 

The paintings are hung in the lens house building next to the lighthouse and will be on display and for sale until June 10th. I took the completed paintings inside to frame them. The panoramic one went well, but I dropped the glass for the second frame. I spent a while picking up all the glass shards...especially the tiny ones since there are so many people who walk around there in flip flops or barefoot. Luckily I had a spare frame that was the correct size. I had hoped to do a third painting but the only other frame was for an 8 x 10 painting and I didn't really have the time to work on a bigger one.

Here is a photo of the paintings that were completed and hung before I left. Mine are the top left and third one down on the left. Tomorrow is supposed to be another nice day so I am sure there will be more artists participating then. I am heading into NYC so I won't be joining them.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Northport Corner

Yesterday I met my friend, Suzala in Northport to paint. It was the perfect day...sunny enough for shadows but not too hot. I've sketched this corner before but focusing on the florist itself. I just noticed that I didn't put in the lettering for the real estate office that is next to the nail salon. The lettering should go on the dark part of the arch.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Yesterday PALS, my plein air group met at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale. The rhodies wee in bloom so that's where we headed. They are such pretty flowers but not easy to paint because there are so many flowers. I started out with an 8 x 10 painting, but it was taking me forever to fill in all the space around the blossoms I was working on. I decided to crop it from the original. Here is the cropped painting which is now 5 x 7.

Here is a photo of my painting as I was working on it against the actual flowers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sitting on the Beach

It was a sunny day yesterday so I headed down near the beach in Sayville. It was pretty windy so I sat in the car to sketch these two people who were sitting on the other side of the beach grasses.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Mary A. Whalen

Down along the docks in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn is a wonderful, historic boat. The Mary A. Whalen is a coastal oil tanker that is the last of her kind. This year she is celebrating her 81st birthday. The NYC Urban Sketchers visited her on Sunday. She has been repurposed for public culture and education and is owned and operated by PortSide New York. For the morning we were given private access to sketch where we wanted inside or out. Later the ship was open to all visitors.

 I started out on the portside deck where our host Caroline, had a table set up for visitors to sketch or paint, complete with clipboards, paper, paints, and colored pencils. I used my own supplies.

Next I went into the galley to sketch. The staff loved that we enjoyed sketching their messy area, but we told them that sketchers love that. I don't think the galley has been modernized much in her 81 years. The stove is amazing and runs on diesel fuel (which does have an odor that I wasn't crazy about) and it has no traditional burners. The staff still uses it and does cook on it and bakes things in the oven. This sketch was done directly in pencil...and then the color was added.

I had lunch with some of the other sketchers on the portside deck and then went looking for a view that showed more of the ship. I went down along the dock and found a front view of the ship.

My view was looking through a fence, but it was a good view.

Around 3:00 we had our "show & tell" back on the deck. By that time they had put up a canopy for shade from the sun. One of our members, Louis, always takes photos of everyone with one of their sketches so here I am.

Because it was Mary Whalen's birthday, our host, Caroline brought out two big cakes to celebrate with us and the other public that was visiting.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Ready to Kayak

Yesterday I was down in Sayville and saw that this car was getting ready to put a kayak on the roof. I turned my car around and parked quickly so I could sketch this while it was happening.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sayville Marina

Yesterday I sat outside the gates of one of the marinas in Sayville. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Smith Point View

Yesterday was a warm, breezy day so I headed over to Smith Point Park. It was too windy to go down on the beach so I sat in the parking lot along the edge of the dunes and sketched the sky and the foliage.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Sepia Sketch

When I was in Venice I did some sketching in sepia ink. I didn't bring home that bottle because I was afraid it would leak in my luggage. So I ordered a bottle when I got home, but when I tried it out the other day I was not happy with the color. It is too golden yellow, not really sepia, especially when water is added to it. I may try mixing it with a brown ink I have. I don't think I would use it like this again. This was sketched along one of the canals in Sayville

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hidden Ridge Plants

Yesterday my plein air group met at our first location for the season. The weather was damp and cold, so we were all bundled up. Our destination was Hidden Ridge Plants, a nursery in Ridge. It was my first time there, but there were a number of possible views I would have liked to paint...if the sun was shining on them. The owner, Bill was very accommodating and made a big pot of coffee and brownies for us that he put out on a table for us. This is what I painted...and it needs a bit more to finish it. I do intend to go back and try another one of the views.. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Federal Hall and the LIRR

Our second location on Saturday was Federal Hall and the Stock Exchange. It was a very crowded area. Luckily I found a spot to tuck myself on the steps of Federal Hall where I was out of the way of the people and could see the statue of George Washington. There were people coming up the stairs all afternoon long, but I ignored all of them except this woman.

I did start another small sketch but I need to finish it before I post it.

This sketch was actually done on the Long Island Railroad in the morning on my way to the city. This group of people was sitting opposite me in seats facing each other. First they all ate breakfast and then the woman with the partly alizarin crimson hair started braiding the hair of one of the other people who I am hoping is just crouching between the seats and not sitting on the floor. lol

Monday, May 13, 2019

Trinity Church

On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers met at Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan. The church has a prominent position in the Wall Street area. Presently parts of it are being renovated but the spire called to me. It was a challenge to sketch...even to just find a spot where you could see it comfortably enough to draw it.

There is a large cemetery in the back with some very old tombstones. The church has been rebuilt on the same spot several times in it's 200 year history.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Arboretum View

We still have some flowering trees around and I captured a few in this sketch done at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Sayville Beach

I was able to sit down by the water at Sayville Beach the other day. It was warm enough to sit there if you found a way to block the wind. I sat so that the town building was on the windy side. I've always found this cluster of trees interesting.

Friday, May 10, 2019


I was able to get to the portrait session held by my art group this week. Kevin was our model.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

At the Farm

I visited the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank the other day and decided to focus on the birds. The turkey was strutting his stuff and didn't stay still for long. I sketched him directly in watercolor.

The chickens are usually always in the same place but they weren't there. I asked one of the workers and she told me they moved them to a different enclosure. There used to be a real scrawny one that looked like he had been in a fight with some animal and lost, but I didn't see him when I was there. I hope something didn't happen to him. I worked on all three of these at the same time...waiting for each of them to come back to the same or similar pose.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Sunday was a mostly wet day but I went out and found this group of tulips near a fence so they were close enough to see from my car. They looked so pretty in a cluster.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

NY Botanical Garden Part 2

I headed up to the lilac garden next. There was so much in bloom and so many different kinds of lilacs. The fragrance was wonderful!!! Lilacs are not easy to sketch because of the tiny little parts of the flowers. I used my watercolor pencils to give them some texture to look like the little flowers.

Adjacent to the lilacs was a peony garden. One of the volunteers told us that the wife of the entertainer, Bob Hope had lived in the Bronx when she was growing up and loved visiting the garden. She donated money to the NY Botanic Garden for them to create a special area. They bought the collection of peony plants so the whole collection came from her donation. I started with a closeup of one of the peonies.

At 3:00 the NYC Urban Sketchers met for our show and tell. It was still early so my friends and I decided to stay and do one more sketch. I did this view of the peony garden and the lady that was busy looking at the flowers.

Monday, May 6, 2019

NY Botanical Garden Part 1

On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers took part in a Lilac Festival at the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Each year they have a paint out and selected artists are invited to take part in the plein air event. We are invited to come and sketch in the garden. Of course we don't get the same royal treatment as the invited artists but it is a very nice event. There are designated areas that the invited plein air painters set up and paint. The sketchers can work in those areas too or basically anywhere in the park. The park is huge and there is a tram that you can take to the different areas, but sometimes it is better to just walk and see what is in bloom. On Saturday pretty much everything was in bloom...the azaleas, the cherry trees, the dogwoods, the crabapples, some daffodils, the lilacs, the peonies, etc. Although showers were forecast in the morning we lucked out and had cloudy weather followed by some sunshine so the weather didn't impede anyone's sketching.

I was walking with another artist and we got sidetracked in the azalea garden which was what we came to first. It is a good spot because in addition to the colorful azaleas and the trees in their spring greenery, there are huge rocks to add to the sketches. This first one was done directly in watercolors and I was able to include several different colors of azaleas that were blooming. I did this on half of the page in a Strathmore sketchbook that is about 8 x 10.

Turning about 35 degrees I sat in the same spot and sketched the path going through the azalea garden. There were some wonderful yellow plants and some trees that were covered in nearly white blossoms. I always find those white blossoms a challenge. This was done below the sketch above and again directly in watercolors.

Tomorrow I will show you what I sketched in the lilac garden.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Pink Trees

One of the things I was afraid I would miss while we were away was all the flowering trees. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many trees still in full bloom when we got home. I seem to have missed the magnolias since any of them that I could find just seem to have a few blossoms left. Here are two trees that were just perfectly pink.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Heading Home

We flew home on Tuesday. Like usual we were at the airport early...just in case. That gave me some time to do a sketch at the airport. This was the counter where we had our last cappuccinos of the trip, and the gentleman who made them. I love how people are always posting sketches of their cups of coffee in these lovely cups...but I always seem to get paper cups. lol

Once we boarded the plane for our Delta flight home, I sketched as people were getting settled and putting their bags in the overhead. Then I put away all my art materials before takeoff.

This is the last bit from my trip to Venice. I hope you enjoyed taking the trip with me.

Friday, May 3, 2019

A Parting Gift

When we met with the orchestra the first day, I sat at the table in the Piazza San Marco and started a sketch of the musicians from the Caffe Lavena who were led by Daniela David, the violinist. I worked on it a bit and then put it aside. Toward the end of the trip I pulled it back out and finished it. Then I took it to a copy place and had 5 copies made of it. I gave it as a gift to each of the members of the orchestra. They were thrilled and had so much fun looking at how each of them looked in the sketch. I was told it was much better than a photo.

My friend, Tina Koyama asked me to post a photo of the pen I used for the sepia ink sketches. This is a "Murano" glass pen. For the price I paid for it I am sure it is not real Murano glass, but some cheap copy...but it served my purpose.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Few More Sketches

These two sketches were done on our last full day in Venice...of course it was raining to start. I found a sheltered spot to do this sketch and not get wet.

By the afternoon the showers had stopped and I was able to do another sketch. I really liked this view with the arches connecting the buildings.