Friday, July 31, 2020

Back to Latvia

Two years ago at this time I was in Riga, Latvia for my nephew and his wife's wedding that took place after I attended the Porto Symposium. Thinking about that time I looked through my photos from Riga to find something to sketch tonight. Doesn't this restaurant look fun with the cows on the building and the floral decorations?

And here is the happy couple, Joe and Angela who got married then. Their wedding ceremony and reception was on the beach.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Red's Eats

For anyone who has driven through the town of Wiscasett, Maine along Route 1, Red's Eats is definitely a familiar sight. It is on the corner just before you cross the bridge over the river. In season there is always a long line in front, and Jerry and I always make a guess as to how many people will be on line when we pass. The place has been there for ages and the original "Red" passed away sometime in the last ten years but the family keeps it going. Inside the shack there is barely room for two or three people to work.  I think they have the best lobster roll in the area...and maybe one of the most expensive. lol They do serve the meat from an entire lobster on the toasted top cut hotdog roll which can be served with the traditional mayonnaise, or with butter if you prefer. I am a traditionalist and like mine with mayo. Of course they do serve other food besides lobster rolls and even have a few tables around the back. For years I've been saying I have to sketch Red's Eats, but the location is right on Route 1 and not in a good spot to be sketched easily or safely. So the other day while I was looking through my photos for inspiration I happened to come across one of my photos of Red's and sketched away. I would happily order a lobster roll right now!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Lefty Lucy Costumed Again

Last night was Tuesday and the evening that Lefty Lucy models on Zoom and is "Costumed in Quarantine." I missed the first few minutes where she usually talks about what she is wearing and I was at a loss of what the costume was, so in the chat I asked her. She had dressed in a costume related to the circus each week this month. Last night she was dressed for the sideshow at Coney Island and was wearing her "Miss Coney Island" sash from a few years ago when she won it. I'm not quite sure what the structure was that she was wearing which looked sort of like a cage, maybe with seaweed hanging from it. She said her idea was Poseidon meets Marie Antoinette. lol

This was a 5 minute pose.

This was a 10 minute pose.

Another 10 minute pose.

Here  is the final pose of the night...20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sunflowers 3

This is the last of the sunflower paintings I did from the batch I bought the other day. I put them in a different pitcher that I thought might support the heads of the flowers better, but it seems to be a hopeless case. They weren't bad for this painting, but right now they look like all the petals will fall off if I even breathe near them. lol This was done with a media that I am not familiar with using. Although I've had this box of oil pastels for quite a long time, I really don't know how to use them. Mostly I use them as a kind of resist in a watercolor painting. But this is just oil pastels...
different for me.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Sunflowers 2

I didn't want the sunflowers from the other day to feel neglected so I am doing a series of sketches of them in various media. This version was done with assorted ink pens, including an Elegant Writer as well as watercolors. I kept them in the same glass pitcher which sort of got lost in the flowers.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Gardens 2 & 3

My favorite garden of all is Monet's Garden and luckily it was on Lois's I had to do it. Although I visited Monet's Garden on two of my trips, the wisteria over the Japanese bridge wasn't in bloom either time. This was done in direct watercolor.

In the afternoon I only had time to sketch one garden and I picked the Majorelle Garden. This garden is located in Marrakech, Morocco. It took French painter Jacques Majorelle 40 years to create this garden. It has shady lanes, streams and pools filled with water lilies and lotus flowers, wonderful cacti, and a blue building with Moorish charm. Just the little bit of what I saw makes me wish I could visit it in person right now. This sketch was too complex to do as a direct watercolor but I sketched it directly in ink before adding watercolors.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Garden #1 - Hidcote Manor Garden

The NYC Urban Sketchers event today involved gardens all over the world. My friend, Lois Bender, led the group, suggested a few gardens to visit, and provided links. Lois and I sketched together last year several times in Paris, including at the Luxembourg Gardens. Of course you could select a garden that you wanted to sketch, but I was pretty happy with her choices.

One of her suggestions was Hidcote Manor Garden in the Cotswalds area of England. This garden is one of the best known examples of a British "Arts and Crafts" garden, featuring outdoor "rooms" that follow various themes and moods. I did a view of the manor house from below. This is a direct watercolor.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Sunflowers 1

I bought a small bunch of sunflowers the other day. I figured it would give me something different to sketch. Because it is a small bunch I had to find a small vase or container to put them in. What I ended up using was a glass pitcher that I've used for milk. They seemed lost in anything else. This was done directly in watercolor.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Beach

The theme for the NYC Urban Sketchers this week is the beach. Since I can't get down there at this point in time I relied on a photo I took at Robert Moses State Park last summer. The waves always fascinate me. This was done on a Hahnemuhle Watercolor Postcard that I was sent to try. Carol Boss who is the Marketing Service Manager for their USA branch sent a batch of them to the NYC Urban Sketchers to try. Interested members each got a few to work on. I like the panoramic size and the paper handles the watercolor nicely and the paint lifts easily. I give it a thumbs up!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Zoom Sketches

The South Bay Art Association had a Zoom meeting tonight for members to get together and talk and share what they have been up to. I am on the Board and we hope it will be a way for everyone to feel connected since it has been so long since we've been able to have any real kind of meeting. While people were talking I tried to sketch some of the members. I got a few likenesses, but not many. For some strange reason I thought I was using one pen and it turned out to be a ballpoint pen instead. Then I used a Sketch and Wash pencil over it for shading...without the wash. They are small but it was fun to do. I probably sketched for about an hour and a half. Some people I couldn't do because of the way they had their computer or tablet or phone situated...and I couldn't get a full view of them. Of course they didn't sit still either which wasn't helpful. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Circus Girl

Tonight Lefty Lucy posed for Costumed in Quarantine. It is a fun sketch time so I try really hard to organize my evening so I am finished with what I have to do for Jerry by 7 when it starts. Tonight she dressed in a circus costume with a feathered headpiece. The hoops were the hardest things to sketch. lol

These are the two 10 minute poses.

This was the 20 minute pose.

Monday, July 20, 2020


We are having really hot weather so the last few days when I have some free time I've been spending it at the pool. Usually Jerry does his exercising and walking in the early part of the day when he has energy. Then he relaxes in the afternoon. That's when I scoot out for a while if I can. I leave him everything he needs including a cell phone in case he needs me. The pool is 2 minutes away. My sketching time is pretty much done in the evening so I either use photos or something I can use or a still life. Today it is garlic. Not very exciting especially since this one didn't have much color to the skins. This is small and blowing it up shows where the watercolor didn't really cover the background well. But I post perfect and imperfect here.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Blueberries and Jam

I didn't get to paint anything outside today and didn't feel like hunting for inspiration. I am doing the Wet Canvas Scavenger Hunt (#641...Yes, it has been going on for that long although I didn't participate at the very beginning.) So I looked at the list and found "favorite flavor" and saw my jar of jam sitting on the counter. To spice it up a bit I added a handful of fresh blueberries too. This was done in my Strathmore Toned Tan Sketchbook.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Skyline Blues

Today's event for the NYC Urban Sketchers was to "Paint the Color Blue." I used a combination of a city skyline photo which I played with a bit and a lot of imagination.

Friday, July 17, 2020


I was looking thru some of my photos and came across one of rooftops in Italy. I love all those tiles that give the rooftops such color. This was done with black ink, sanguine ink, and watercolors.

Thursday, July 16, 2020


I bought a watermelon last week and it sat on my counter. I knew I wanted to paint it, but the thought of cutting it up held me back. Finally I grabbed the knife and it was worth doing. Look at that rich, colorful inside! It was a perfect subject. This is a direct watercolor.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Today was the last destination for #VirtualSketch. The plan was to give artists a way to create during the pandemic, but now in many areas artists are able to go out sketching in their areas. I know I could do that here, but with taking care of Jerry it is easier to sketch from home. The final destination was Bangkok, Thailand. I found a view of the floating markets. My friend, Ai lives in Bangkok and has sketched these markets many times, so it was fun to think of her while I was sketching this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Rio de Janeiro

#VirtualSketch has taken me to so many great places that I know I would have never sketched on my own. This was sketched from Google Street View in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of my favorite things to do when I am in a new location is to go to a local market. Feira Livre da Gloria had all kinds of foods and merchandise, but I couldn't resist the colorful flower stall of Elite Flores.

Monday, July 13, 2020

La Paz, Bolivia

I still have a few references to do for #VirtualSketch. This one is a music shop I found in La Paz, Bolivia. I was wandering along the street using Google Street Maps and saw this llama poking his body out of the shop and knew I had to stop...wouldn't you. I hope my friend, Jo Castillo visits the blog and sees this. She lived in Bolivia for a while and had all kinds of treasures from there, many of which were lost in the wildfires that spread through Texas a number of years back. I was wishing I could buy something Bolivian for her.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Grand Central Part II

The NYC Urban Sketchers had an afternoon session virtually sketching Grand Central Terminal. This time I used one of the links that Judy provided. I have tried sketching the trains as they sit at the tracks before but they usually pull out mid-sketch. This worked out well because nothing moved. lol

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Grand Central Part I

Today the NYC Urban Sketchers sketched Grand Central Terminal. The goal was to sketch some of the architecture in the morning. Sketchers used a variety of online references for images. I used a photo I had from when my friend Ai Nukoolkit visited from Thailand in 2012. She was in Connecticut visiting people and came down to meet me to sketch for the day. Of course we met at the famous clock by the information booth in the great hall. We had an interesting morning today with the sketchers because the woman who organized the day is a docent and gives tours of Grand Central. She knew a lot about it.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Bridge of Sighs

I've been to England but only to London. Thee are so may other places there to explore and #VirtualSketch has given me the chance. Who knew that Oxford, England had a Bridge of Sighs. I am only familiar with the one in Venice. This one is a covered walkway that connects two parts of the Oxford campus. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Eternal City

Ah...Rome...the Eternal City. #VirtualSketch was wandering the city sketching yesterday.
I was in Rome a few years ago and this scene looked so familiar I knew I had to do it. This is the view from Via di San Pietro.
#VirtualSketch will be stopping in less than a week. It is assumed that most people are able to get out IRL to do some sort of urban sketching. This has made it easy for me to get some sketches done in the evening when things are usually quiet here. I will miss that, so I guess I'll have to find new locations on my own. lol Or maybe I'll go back and do some of the ones I missed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020


I wasn't sure I was going to be able to attend Lefty Lucy's Costumed in Quarantine last night, but found the time...I just left the dinner dishes until later. lol This week Lucy was dressed like a Harlequin Clown. She posed with and without juggling pins...and yes, she could do a bit of juggling.

Here are the longer 10 and 20 minute sketches.

Here are my 5 minute sketches.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Carousel in Lucca

The destination for #VirtualSketch yesterday was Lucca, Italy. We did visit Lucca for the day on one of our trips to Italy. I promised Jerry we could go to Puccini's house and museum so he was willing to make the drive from where we were in Tuscany. Unfortunately when we got there we found a big sign on the door saying, "Closed for renovations!" We were really disappointed! I do remember the carousel so when I saw it last night I knew that was my sketch. I did this in a Strathmore toned tan sketchbook and the white is a white colored pencil.

Monday, July 6, 2020


I must say that Mongolia was never on my bucket list to visit, but #VirtualSketch was doing a sketch walk there yesterday, so I joined in. There were some really colorful monasteries there like this one which is the Dashchoilin Monastery.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Cathedral de Sevilla

The NYC Urban Sketchers event on Saturday was a visit to Spain. In the morning we focused on the different types of architecture in Spain. I did this of the Cathedral de Sevilla.

Saturday, July 4, 2020


I had a little time to myself the other day so I headed to Bayport and found myself down by the water. I love streets there with dead-end views. This was done directly in watercolor.

Friday, July 3, 2020


I finally found a little time to get back to #VirtualSketch. In my absence they went to a lot of interesting locations including Berlin, Germany. I saved this reference photo from Google Street Maps just in case I had time to participate. Anyone interested in joining me for a beer? I tried to find out what the sign meant but had no success.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Cafe Americano

This is my finale for #30x30DirectWatercolor. It was done from a photo I took in Venice last year in one of those "Italian" coffee shops where there is a display of loads of yummy pastries and cookies but then no place to sit. Italians usually have their expresso standing up at a very narrow counter. That does not make for comfortable sketching in my opinion. I loved the colorful cup and saucer...almost as much as I loved my Cafe Americano and the pastry.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


A lot of the paintings that I did for the 30x30DirectWatercolor Challenge this year ended up being done from photos. I don't usually paint that way but between the pandemic and Jerry's health I just couldn't get out much to work on the paintings. I did this one from a photo I took and can't even remember for sure where the photo was taken. I think it was taken in a garden in Bridgehampton.