Today I took a ride into Sayville to sketch. Here is my last plein air sketch for 2021!
Wishing all of you a healthy, happy, safe 2022!
I love to see the fresh vegetables in the markets. Between Thanksgiving and now some of them offer Brussel sprouts on the stalk. I always find that an interesting thing to sketch...and eat. For some reason these tasted very peppery. FYI I checked with Wikipedia and it says that the Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, from which it gained its name.
For the current Scavenger Hunt on CreativeSpark.art the list to sketch included a figure and multiple figures and well as a vehicle. I sat in a spot at the Sayville Boat Basin and noticed I could get several items all from that spot. I started with the car next to me where a man was sitting...vehicle and figure done!
In the past 10 years or so there has been a strong push to revitalize Patchogue Village. Artists are welcome and promoted at many venues, and when apartments were being built some of them were specifically targeted to artists. MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art) opened a few years ago and the Patchogue Arts Council has sponsored several projects that I've been a part of. The village is packed with restaurants and bars and gets very crowded...and parking is nowhere near what is needed. There are some connected housing units that look very homey with white picket fences. I've never been inside them but they look good from the outside. I found parking in an empty business's parking lot across the street to sketch this.
After painting the dune view that I posted yesterday I crossed back over to the mainland and stopped at Capture State Park. It looks back across the bay to the park I had already painted on Fire Island. For some reason this image shows a bit darker than the actual painting.
I've been too busy to go down to the beach recently, but I took a drive there today. The beach always relaxes me. Although it was probably warm enough to sit outside I opted to sit in my mobile studio to paint. This was done at Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! I hope your day was a good one surrounded by the people you love and filled with the joy of the season.
I hope my painting "Gnomes for the Holidays" brings a smile to your face today. This was my Christmas card image for this year. Enjoy!!
I didn't get a chance to go out and sketch anything today. I did some cleaning and then went to visit a friend and bring some holiday treats. I did do a sketch of one of my ornaments from my travel, this time to Paris.
I've been pretty busy lately getting ready for Christmas and I haven't had much time to sketch. I did sketch a few bottles for the Scavenger Hunts on crebativespark.art. Here are a few of them.
The last of my cookies are in the oven right now. I spent most of today making pierogi for tomorrow night's dinner. Even though it will be just Jerry and me for dinner I like having the traditional food that my family always had on Christmas Eve. I've been following a woman who writes a blog about Polish foods and traditions. Her family does 12 dishes on Christmas Eve. It is fun to read about what she makes and see if I recognize anything. My mother's side came from Poland, but my dad's side was from Hungary and we know very little about that side of the family.
What do you traditionally eat on Christmas Eve?
Last weekend they had a dedication ceremony for the new Bayport-Blue Point Library. I haven't been inside yet but it is a very interesting building from the outside. It was formerly the St. Ursula Center...of course with many new improvements. I sat in my mobile studio to sketch the wreath and this interesting part of the building.
One of the things I bought when I was out the other day was a bag of Lindt chocolates...a mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate. This also fits the latest Scavenger Hunt list that we are doing for crebativespark.art.
Last night the Patchogue Sketch Club had a live costumed model. We are part of the Patchogue Arts Council which covered the model's fee. Joanne was dressed in a flamenco style dress and definitely posed that way in some of the short poses. She did 1, 2, 5, and 20 minute poses. I did one more sketch but didn't quite finish it yet.
In Bellport there is a street, Livingston Street, that is lined with beautiful old sycamore trees. I love seeing the patterns of color on the bark of the tree. It reminds me of camouflage. I've sketched here several times during different seasons.
Last Wednesday the Patchogue Sketch Club met at the library. Our theme for the night was Christmas/Holiday related items. I recently bought three small gnomes after painting larger ones at the Bayport Flower House. The little ones were my models for the night.
I headed out on the North Fork the other day planning to go shopping at an artist's coop. On the way back I passed through Mattituck, a sort of sleepy little town with a few quaint shops. I was planning to sketch one particular building but couldn't find a place to park where I would have a decent view to sketch. Then I noticed The Broken Down Valise which was right across from a few empty spaces in the Mattituck train station....perfect!!
I saw this red truck parked on someone's lawn in Sayville and knew I wanted to sketch it. The problem was that every time I passed by the truck was in shadow and it was impossible to see any of the details of the truck. Afternoons are usually the best time for me to get out and sketch but it wasn't going to work for this truck. So I organized my morning so I was out by 10:30 and the sun was shining on the truck. By noon the shadows were creeping over the truck again, so I was happy I had timed it so well.
This week Lucy from "Let's Art with Lefty Lucy" was dressed in a lovely dress and was wearing a Santa hat and Santa Gloves. At times she was holding herself together because when she went to get dressed she realized that she couldn't zip up her dress without help. It zips under the arm and as she put it, she needed a third arm. I sketched her all put together...artistic license. She treated us to a stage wig that was black with purple highlights.
Last week I took a ride up to Port Jefferson to see what I could find that was sketch worthy. Really it is more like where can I park that has a decent view. I was lucky enough to get a fairly good spot on this curvy street that goes down toward the harbor. Thee were cars parked right in front of me but due to the curve of the street they didn't block much. I liked that the overhead decorations spanned the street.
I have a holiday art show this weekend with my plein air group. I believe we have about 85 paintings this year. We missed doing it last year due to Covid. I've been working hard to select paintings to hang (6 pieces) as well as assorted sized matted pieces and cards that will also be for sale. It is always a fun event and I really enjoy having friends come to the show. Even if they don't buy anything they get to view some of the work that I've done this year. Wish you were all close enough to stop by.
It is that time of year when the Christmas tree lots start appearing. Yay!! I love sketching the trees as they are being tied to the roofs of the cars or carried along by the young workers from the lot. This was a new lot to me in Oakdale.
On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers made a virtual visit to Salzburg, Austria. We were provided with an entire webpage to select our focus for our sketch. I went with a photo of the historic center of Salzburg.
There are two buildings side by side on Main Street in Sayville with similar looking fronts. I like them with the bay front window and the sort of tile roof. This one is an insurance company and the other one is a photography studio. I may have to sketch that one too.
The other day I went down to the Islip marina. I forgot that at this time of year people often come there with cars full of discarded pumpkins and leave them for the wild deer. This area has a lot of deer and they seem to love pumpkins. Near the parking lot there were about 7/8 deer happily chowing down on the feast as well as the grass. I planned on sketching only one deer and moving on but it sort of morphed into a sketch of two deer and the foliage. I left out all the broken pumpkin pieces...artistic license. I don't draw in pencil very often so this was a bit of a challenge. My hand tends to smear the graphite and I lose what I was working on. I went back and redid some parts and it is what it is. I also had a hard time getting the pencil sketch to come out clear and not blurry. There aren't any spots for the camera to really focus on I guess.
I drove around the other day looking for some color and found this spot along Lake Ronkonkoma. I liked that you could see a few houses nestled in the orange trees. Since I painted this the colorful leaves are getting harder to find. The last few days haven't been sunny so there is this dull gray pallor over most of the area. They keep saying a chance of rain but the closest I've seen is a bit of spritzing or a hail shower.
Sometimes I will find places to sketch that don't have a great place to sit with my car. This was part of the service road that connects to a highway in Brookhaven. There happened to be a small turn-around in front of one of the houses. I'm not quite sure if I should have been parking along it but I liked the scene with the colors going away from me. I pulled over as far as I could in the dirt and grass. Since it isn't a really busy spot I didn't think I would be blocking anyone.
On Saturday after we sketched the train station, Suzala and I stopped at another location she had seen while riding around recently. We had stopped to check it out on the way to the station and figured we would have it for a future location, But we had time enough to stop and sketch there too. I think it is part of Seville Cement Company. There was no name anywhere, no workers anywhere, but the gates were wide open, so we just drove in and parked. I googled the area to find out where we were and found a website for the cement company. What makes me think that might be right is that there were Seville trucks parked on the property. This was so much fun to sketch with all the ladders and tanks and whatnot. I used my Lamy pen and permanent ink. To get the shading I touched a wet brush to the point of the pen to pick up a little color.
On Saturday my friend, Suzala asked me if I wanted to join her sketching at the Farmingdale Train Station. She has been painting at the station several times recently. It was cold and blustery so we sat in her "mobile studio" to get this view of the station. It was so comfortable inside the car with the sun streaming in through the windows and the sunroof that we were quite content.
Every time I pass Top Hat Barbers on Main Street in Sayville I check to see if there is a parking spot where I can see inside to the patrons getting haircuts. It happens once in a while and this week I was there at a perfect time. It isn't easy to see the position of the barber's hands while they work...and they change their hand positions and their stance quickly. I gave it a shot.
The autumn colors aren't completely gone yet, but they are harder to find. Here is a street down by the bay in Sayville. With the position of the sun in the sky the shadows are so long and strong at this time of year.
For the first time since "Let's Art With Lefty Lucy" started she did not dress in costume. I liked the casual look but then the pants were just pants. I tended to ignore them. lol Her look was very monochromatic which I liked so I went with it.
I am so thankful for many, many things this year. I hope you are too. One of the things I am very thankful for are my fellow artists who are so supportive and encouraging. Thank you!
Last week when the Patchogue Sketch Club met at the library we each brought things that would fit with a cornucopia. We had a little of everything stretched out across the table.