Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 in Review

 The last few years I did a review of my art for the year. Between the health crisis with my husband and the Covid 19 crisis, this has been one crazy year.  So this year's review will be a little different too.

Some of my artwork was very therapeutic and done at the hospital. Jerry got sick at the very beginning of January. I did a few sketches of him in the hospital in a variety of media, including ArtRage on my iPad. This was something I could control in a world where things were out of my control.

The hospital itself and the waiting room became subjects too.

I did one sketch on a mask. Who knew that shortly after that we would all be wearing them?

A friend was doing an art postcard project for the troops overseas. I started bringing postcards along with me when I visited Jerry and using photos on my iPad as subjects for the cards.

Finally in February Jerry was sent to a rehabilitation facility. I found a few subjects there like the cafe baker and a family that was there for a visit.

Then Covid 19 hit and in mid-March we weren't allowed to visit Jerry at all. That gave me a little more time to work on art, but more time to worry since I couldn't see him. It was a hard and frustrating time for both of us. I know it was hard on a lot of people who were in the same situation.

Once we were in lockdown, the art groups on the internet set up virtual events and visits to other cities. Since we couldn't travel IRL, we could travel virtually.

A friend recommended "Lefty Lucy Costumed in Quarantine" as a figure drawing experience on Zoom. Lucy has posed on Tuesday nights in a different costume for anyone who wants to sketch. I am still going to her events 10 months later.

A sketchbook group was organized and there were different free video lessons to follow. This one was on creating colorful quirky birds.

Right before the official lockdown I went out to visit my sister, Michelle, in NJ. We went out sketching in her town. That was the last time I saw anyone on my side of the family in person.

The NYC Urban Sketchers started meeting on Zoom too. Mark Liebowitz often hosted the weekend event but may times individual members organized a trip or visit to a special place. It has been a lot of fun and a way to connect with other sketchers, but not as good as meeting in person to sketch. We've sketched Savannah, GA, the mansions of Rhode Island, and zoos of the world... just to name a few places.

Like most groups the Patchogue Sketch Club met outside and practiced social distancing while we could but with the colder weather approaching and the shorter days we were forced to sketch as a group virtually since we sketch in the evening. Our organizer, Mark Propper, has set up a still life for us on Zoom every Wednesday night. Here is one of my favorites.

Recently I have been doing a lot of solo sketching from my "mobile studio" which serves me well. Here are a few views I've sketched from my car. This is a good way to sketch because I can easily practice social distancing since I rarely leave my car.

Of course Inktober took place again this year. It was fun to work with some different inks.

Something new for me this year was the challenge of painting on pieces of shingles for a fundraiser held by the Long Island Maritime Museum. I used acrylics to paint this tiny painting.

Quite a few of my sketches from this year have Covid reminders in them. This one was sketched from across the street from The Shed, a restaurant in West Sayville. Even now they have tables set up outside the restaurant and people have still been sitting with their "pods" in their winter finery having lunch. Many of my sketches also have people wearing masks. I am afraid that could be the trend next year too.

This year (at least recently) I have been trying to use my Strathmore toned sketchbooks a bit more. They work well for certain scenes. I am hoping to do more of them. Two good friends sent me a Stillman & Birn toned sketchbook that has 3 colors...tan, gray, and black. I am hoping to start using that one too.

I have a few regrets this year with my artwork. 
  • Yes, I miss traveling and sketching in new places, but more than that I have been doing a lot of sketching and very little actual painting. 
  • I am also doing a lot of outdoor sketching on my own and only rarely get together with another artist to work. I only joined up with my plein air group once because they go out in the morning and I am busy with Jerry at that time of day. 
  • I don't think I have painted anything larger than 6 x 8. I will have to remedy that in the new year.
  • Also, I really haven't worked on any gouache paintings or alcohol inks all year. Maybe that will have to be my goal for January. It seems that I there is a lot of work I need to get back to.
To all my friends and family, thank you for your support this year. It has meant a lot to me. I can't imagine how I would have handled this year without you.

I miss being able to see all of you and give each of you a big hug!!! Virtual visits can only do so much.

Thank you for looking back on this year with me. 
Wishing you a Happy New Year and a better, safer, healthier 2021!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Glamour Girl

 Last night Lefty Lucy posed again for "Let's Art with Lefty Lucy." She posed as more of a glamour girl in a pretty gown and a wrap.

The top two sketches were 10 minutes each. The bottom right sketch was a 20 minute pose.

This was also a 10 minute pose.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Big Duck

 Out east of me in Flanders is a building in the shape of a duck. It was built in 1931 by a duck farmer and he used it as a shop to sell ducks and duck eggs. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. I love how they decorate it for the holidays! While I sat there in my mobile studio sketching at least 10 carloads of people stopped to take selfies with the big duck. I should have include a person in the sketch so you had some concept of the size of this. You can stand upright easily in the body of the duck.  You can see the other sketch I did of it back in 2011 here.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Trees in the Snow

Our snow from the storm didn't last very long. Although we had an accumulation of about 6-8 inches it started disappearing once it got warmer, and then it rained. I caught one last sketch between the warmer weather and the rain when there were still pocket os snow on the ground. This was done in my beige toned Strathmore sketchbook.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

My Tree and Decorations

 As I said in the last post the theme of the week for the NYC Urban Sketchers is light. What do I think of immediately when I think of light and the holidays? Of Christmas tree. I did this as a direct watercolor which means no pencil lines or guide lines.

In the Wet Canvas Scavenger Hunt that ended on Christmas Day, I drew a few of my Christmas ornaments. Many of the ornaments have special meanings or were gifts (some from a long time ago) like this reindeer ornament which was made by my niece, Karen when she was young. She is now in her early 50s. I hope that you have ornaments that are special to you and enjoy looking at them as much as I do.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Snow Shadows

The NYC Urban Sketchers are not meeting this weekend due to the holiday, but we have a theme of "light" for the holiday weeks. The idea of light is open to interpretation. I thought of the lights and shadows that were falling on the snow we had. Luckily I went out and did a few sketches of it because we had a lot of rain which washed away all except the largest piles. This was a small walkway in Bayport going to a town dock along one of the tiny canals. I focused on the foliage along the path and the shadows against the white of the snow.

Friday, December 25, 2020

East End Barn

The other day I took a ride out to Riverhead to a Polish deli to buy some kielbasa for Christmas Eve dinner. Since I was out there and there was still some snow around, I looked for a scenic spot to sketch. I found this barn next to the Long Ireland Beer Company. I think barns shaped like this were/are used as potato barns, and Long Island was famous for growing potatoes. I'm not sure what it is being used for now but I sketched it anyway. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Decorations

 It is hard to believe that it is already the night before Christmas. This year has seemed both endless and one of the fastest years as the same time. 

The Patchogue Sketch Club met on Zoom last night to sketch a decorative arrangement Mark had put together for us. I didn't have any watercolors that were the color of the green lights in that arrangement. lol It was fun to do, and we are all very thankful for all the work he has done to keep the group going through the pandemic and the social distancing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020


 Last night was "Let's Art! with Lefty Lucy." She was very much dressed for Christmas last night and had Christmas music playing while she posed. She is always such fun.

Here are the longer poses...10 minutes on top and 20 minutes on the bottom sketch.

I don't usually show the quick sketches. The top row are 1 minute poses. I never even got to her legs for those. The middle group are two minute poses and the bottom row is one 5 minute pose and two 10 minute poses.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Trees for Sale

I am always on the lookout for places that have Christmas trees that  are not places I've already sketched. This nursery in East Islip is called Father Nature and I guess I haven't gone there yet because it is along the service road of one of our highways and you have to go past it a ways heading west and then turn around and come back all that distance heading east. I laughed when I got there because it looked like these were the only Christmas trees that were left. They did have wreaths and other seasonal decorations, but their tree selection was small. This lady looked by didn't buy one. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Sayville Snow

 I haven't been posting all my sketches in the order I did them. Sometimes I sneak something else in as soon as it is done. After the snow I've tried doing as many sketches of it as I least before there is nothing left to make a good subject. The snow from this last storm has been very cooperative and has stayed put on a lot of the bushes. I think that was because it froze and that is keeping it from melting. This was sketched in front of one of the houses in Sayville, on Strathmore tan toned paper with watercolors and white gouache.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Villa Gabrisa, Positano

 Yesterday the NYC Urban Sketchers went on a virtual trip to Positano and the towns of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. On our first big trip to Italy after I retired Positano was one of our stops. It was a fun town perched on the side of a cliff. Our hotel, Villa Gabrisa was up near the top of the town. We had a huge room with a big balcony overlooking the water. I found my photos from that trip but the one of the view from the balcony wasn't with them. I checked the hotel website and found a photo that looked almost exactly like the view we had. Since it was a small hotel this was probably taken from the next to ours.

As you can see the entire town is on the hillside, which means a lot of walking up and down streets that are steep and snake back and forth. Luckily I was in much better shape to handle the trips up and down to the water.  This was done with watercolors and white gouache on Strathmore tan toned paper.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Street Cheer

With the piles of snow around it wasn't easy to find a spot to park with a view of something Christmassy. I ended up along Main Street in Patchogue. I like the festive wreaths on the lampposts and this one had some of the lights showing where they were hanging across the alley.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Hand to Hand and More

On Wednesday night the Patchogue Sketch Club met to sketch hands. Mark set up several variations of two mannikin hands. I sketched in graphite.

I only did two setups of the hands. Instead I did sketches of a few of the sketchers while they were working. Here is Linda.

We were on Zoom. Winston's whole head wasn't in the box, but I sketched what I could see.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Fresh Snow

Luckily the snowstorm wasn't as bad as predicted right here. Our temperatures were a little warmer down on the south shore of Long Island, and the snow changed to rain and sleet for a while through the night before changing back to snow. We got a few inches but it was wet and messy. I didn't need to go out at all so I stayed home and sketched the view out the living room window. This was done with watercolors and white gouache in my toned tan Strathmore sketchbook. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Christmasy Lefty Lucy

 Last night Lefty Lucy posed in her holiday outfit. I needed a lot of red. lol

The top sketches were 5 minutes and the bottom sketches were 10 minutes.

The left sketch was 10 minutes and the right one was 20 minutes.

We are under a blizzard watch. It has only been snowing for about 1 1/2 hrs and we already have more than an inch of the white stuff. The forecast is that it will continue until tomorrow so we will see how much we actually get...stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Little Bits

 Sometimes the sketches I do aren't full scenes. Often they are items from the Scavenger Hunts on WetCanvas like these sketches.

I forgot what the item was for this sketch, but it is a decorative bottle that I use for my olive oil.

For the current hunt the item was "left" so this was the view to my left when I was seated in my "mobile studio."

This was "Santa something" for the current hunt. it was done directly in watercolor.