Friday, March 31, 2023

Sketchbook Revival

 I am once again participating in Sketchbook Revival, developed by Karen Abend. It runs from March 20 - April 1, with 2 new sessions released each day. There are 25+ workshop sessions and each is led by a different artist using everything from drawing and painting, to collage and mixed media, to sketching and printing. The lessons help us loosen up, develop our imaginations, practice our observation skills, express our emotions, etc, while also learning about color.

Before the workshops began there was a special lesson about creating our own sketchbooks with removable signatures. I've made a few signatures but I haven't created my cover to bind them. I won't do that until I decide how many of the lessons I actually complete. The sessions are available until April 20. Today is already March 31 and I have barely made a dent in the sessions.

The first session led by Jeanne Oliver is called "Creating in the In-Between." Essentially you are using any spare time in your day to do a gesture sketch quickly in pencil and go back to finish it in color.

Mike Lowry's session was on "Doodle Blobs."

Koosje Koene's session was "From Blob to Colorful Drawing." Color was put down with watercolors and shaded with colored pencil.

Helen Wells had us "Exploring Abstract Shapes and Color."

Julie Fei-Fan Falzer had us use gelli plate prints in tones of one color to make a
"Custom Color Collage Grid."

Like I said, I am quite a bit behind. I've watched a few more sessions but I haven't done my piece for the lesson. It is hard to fit these in with everything else that I'm busy doing. But I will do my best to at least do a few more. I will do another post when I have a few more done.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Art of Making Paint

 Last week at the South Bay Art Association's General Membership Meeting we were treated to a demo by SBAA artist, Christie Jones of Swell Anchor Studio. Christie makes her own paint and sells it. Her handmade paints are created with natural pigments and non-toxic materials. She showed us how she mixes the pigments with a honey-based binder. The entire of blending the mixture takes about an hour, but the binder takes a long time too. It is really labor intensive. Christie makes small batches of paint. To create her sets for sale she uses oyster and clam shells that she collects from local restaurants to hold the paints. For each of her sales she donates oysters to the Long Island waters. This year she donated 2,500 oysters which filter 125,000 gallons of water a day!

After watching her shortened paint making process all the members who were interested had creative time to use the newly made paint that she distributed in small shells as well as a number of other colors that she had in baskets. I'm sure you can guess that my small painting had something to do with the ocean. lol The paint couldn't get any fresher than this! Thank you, Christie!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Smith Point Beach

Spring had already arrived and I hadn't made it down to the beach yet, so I headed over to Smith Point Beach to do a small painting/sketch. The dunes were calling. The new sketchbook for the sketchbook project I'm doing is an Arteza brand. The paper is pretty nice and I like the square format.


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

St. Isidore

 When I was out in Riverhead recently I went into downtown Riverhead to a Polish deli to buy kielbasa. Riverhead has a large Polish population and hosts a Polish Fair every summer. On the way in I passed St. Isidore Catholic Church which I know is a Polish parish. I figured I would stop and sketch it.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Portrait Party 2023

 Even though portraits aren't urban sketching the NYC Urban Sketchers had a Portrait Party on Sunday. There were about 70 people and we broke up into 5 different groups. We formed a circle for each group and took turns posing for everyone in our group. The time allotted for each portrait is 10 minutes so you need to come prepared with a strategy of what you are going to draw with and how you are going to meet the time limit. I've taken part before and it is a lot of fun...but exhausting. Here are the portraits that I did. I worked with a pencil, a Tombow marker (brown), a permanent black ink brush pen, and watercolors.

Here is my group in our circle.
 working. I think we were sketching Leslie, our leader at the time.

At the end of the session each group created a grid of their portraits. Each of us had a number so person #1 lined their sketches in the top row in numerical order. Then the next person does the same. Each row across is one person's work. Each column going down included all the sketches of that person. It always amazes me how many different styles there are when we put them together. The empty spaces are for the person who was posing each time.

We did a group photo at the end.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Looking Out

 I tucked myself in a small town parking down by the water in Sayville to paint this.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Bay Shore Buildings

In Bay Shore the other day I came across a view looking toward the canal. I liked how the buildings were tucked behind each other. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Boat House

Every once in a while I come across a boathouse. I'm not sure if this is an actual private residence in Bayport or not. I know all the other buildings along the water there are actual homes. I think it would be interesting to watch them actually lift the boat out of the water. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Flight School

I've lived out here in Suffolk County for about 16 years. MacArthur Airport is our commercial airport that has daily flights on some of the major airlines. It is about 7 miles away from me. In addition to commercial flights there are many smaller private planes. I was in the area the other day and saw a helicopter and a few planes inside a fenced area. I love to explore and ended up meandering down a street and a few driveways to find Heritage Flight Academy. Flying lessons for planes as well as helicopters are offered. Who knew??? I couldn't get near enough to see the helicopter well, but I was able to see this plane with its covering (that looks like a cap) fairly close to the fence. With the hangar behind it I had a nice background too. I will go back again and so some of the other planes...and maybe a helicopter too.


Wednesday, March 22, 2023


 On Sunday it was pretty cold here. I had wanted to go sketch the St. Patty's Parade in Patchogue but was afraid it would be too cold. So I looked for something indoors. The Bayport-Blue Point Library was having a St. Patty's Day piano and cello concert so I headed over there. The duo, Shiloh was good. They did some traditional Irish songs and some more contemporary songs by Irish composers and groups. I got there a little too late and the closest I could get was a seat in the third row on the end on the right side. I had a limited view between people and didn't want to move around and distract the audience, but I made the best of it. Two people in the front left before they finished so I finally had a bit more of a view and could see the bottom of the cello and the side of the piano. 

When the concert was over I did show them the sketch. They were super excited to see it and both of them (and a few family members) asked for permission to take a photo of it. Barbara Feltkamp(cellist) and Phoebe See (pianist) asked if they could post it on their social media and of course I said yes.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Part 2

 After sketching in the very hot Aquatic Room I needed to cool off. I skipped lunch and just noshed on some almonds. The cafe was too far to bother walking over. I'd rather be sketching. The plan was to go outside to sketch next. While I was waiting for my friend in the center of the lobby area I decided to do a quick sketch of some of the leaves. There are plants from all over and I remembered to take note of what I was sketching. These leaves belong to a ceriman plant. It is sometimes called a Swiss cheese plant because of the holes in the leaves. They grow mostly in Mexico and Guatemala and produce a large fruit. 

When Suzala was ready we bundled up to head outside. It was windy and not too warm, but the sun kept us from being too cold. I did end up wearing my fingerless gloves by the end of the sketch, but my hat and scarf remained in my backpack. I started with the conservatory and those big windows. I was working in a small sketchbook that is about 3 1/2 x 5 1/2. It was a reasonable size just in case I got cold. But I kept sketching and was comfortable enough to expand the sketch onto the other side of the page. This was done directly in watercolor (quicker than sketching it in pen or ink first). I was able to fit in a bit of the buildings surrounding the garden.

We headed back inside for show and tell but had about 10 minutes before that was starting so we headed into the Desert House which had loads of cacti. I tucked myself into a corner and sketched the cactus that was closest to me. 10 minutes was just barely enough time to capture something.

On our way out of the garden we stopped to check out what was in bloom. Brooklyn is a bit warmer than where we live on Long Island. There were lots of daffodils, hellebores, crocus, etc in bloom. Some of the magnolia trees were starting to bloom and there were some cherry trees with tiny blossoms too. 
I guess Spring is here!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Part 1

 The Brooklyn Botanic Garden was our sketching location on Saturday. It was sunny but windy, but we were hoping that by the afternoon we would be able to sit outside to sketch. My friend, Suzala and I started out in the Aquatic House where there is an orchid collection as well and a variety of tropical wet-environment plants from around the world. I remembered from previous visits that several of the rooms inside the conservancy greenhouse are very warm, so I dressed in layers. I ended up sitting there in a tank top and I was still too warm. Between the radiators making the room warm and the sun shining through the windows I was sitting by, I felt like I was definitely in the tropics.

Some of the orchid blooms were nearly up on the ceiling and were attached to grids and then hanging. They looked really pretty displayed like that.

Here is my painting and the actual view.

Suzala was painting water lilies in a large planter.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Bay Shore House

 I love houses with character so when I saw this one in Bay Shore I stopped to sketch it.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

West End Bath House

 One of the largest beaches on Long Island is Jones Beach, the beach my family went to most often when I was a child, and the one I continued to frequent until I moved further east on Long Island. I do return there once in a while and happened to go there last weekend. 

I wanted to sketch the Jones Beach Theatre which has been renamed the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre. Concerts and shows are held there during the summer. Unfortunately because it is off season the parking lot by the theatre was closed. I rode around for a while trying to see if I could see the theatre clearly from anywhere else but had no success. Since the last parking area I tried was next to the West End Bath House, I figured I would sketch that. The building is no longer being used as a bath house but seems to house some offices for the park.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Schneiders Farm

Last week I was in Melville and checked to see if there was anything interesting around to sketch. I found Schneiders Farm which had some interesting buildings and trucks. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

9 Brown's River Road

 I've sketched this house before because the awnings always call out to me. It faces the Great South Bay in Sayville with nothing between it except a parking lot with cars. It looks like such a pleasant place to sit out front. There is a deck on the right and a canopy comes out to cover that part of the deck.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Grand Central

Grand Central was my destination on Saturday. The Long Island Railroad has just started offering train service to Grand Central (at E 42nd St & Park Ave). Previously the LIRR trains all terminated at Penn Station (at 34th St & Seventh Ave). To get from one to the other you needed to take the subway and then a shuttle from the west side to the east side).  The new station for the LIRR is about 15 floors below ground level with an insanely long escalator that made me dizzy. 

I did one sketch on the train going into the city.  I originally planned on sketching part of this woman's friend who was seated opposite her, but I ran out of room and only sketched her one knee. lol

Grand Central was where the NYC Urban Sketchers were meeting. It is a wonderful place for sketching architecture as well as people. I started out on the main concourse where the famous clock where everyone seems to meet is located. The clock is surrounded by a vast and wonderful space. If I had been a little quicker setting up there was a group of 5 dancers performing right in front of me, but I wasn't ready to sketch before they finished. lol

After a break for lunch with the other sketchers, I remained downstairs where the dining hall is located. I sat across from Luke's Lobster to sketch. I had lobster bisque from there for my lunch. The sign says they were voted New York's best lobster roll. I can't say if that is true, but if the lobster bisque was any indication the sign may be right.

At 3 o'clock we gathered for show and tell in an empty area downstairs. Luckily most of our sketchers had their own stools to sit on. 

Pardon my ranting here. My big beef presently is that since they renovated the downstairs food stands ALL the seating has been removed, except for the businesses that have specially roped off areas for their customers. Previously there were many tables and chairs available and long wooden benches in some locations for seating. Those are ALL GONE!!! Commuters who are tired and need a break before their trains, parents with children, seniors who physically may not be able to stand for a long time, and disabled people really have no options for seating. It is disgraceful!!! Tables that you have to stand at are the only options available. Upstairs they constantly make announcements that customers are not allowed to sit on the floor or on the stairs. I guess we are lucky they allowed us to use our chairs/stools. Unfortunately I think this lack of seating is a trend in most large stations.


Monday, March 13, 2023

Fire Rescue Boat


Down along the river in Patchogue I found this brightly colored fire rescue boat. It was parked at the Fire Island National Seashore Headquarters along the inlet there.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Welcoming Chair

 I can just imagine sitting in the chair on this porch in Sayville watching everyone and everything pass by.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Dune Fences

With the 100 people challenge this week I've fallen behind in my regular posting. This was done a while ago at Captree State Park.

Friday, March 10, 2023

One Week 100 People - Day 5

 I kept thinking about where to go to sketch today that would have people, and I decided that it was best to just bite the bullet and go to Starbucks. I don't like their coffee and they have very limited choices of decaf tea, so I'm not usually thrilled to sit there and drink while I sketch. Also several of the Starbucks here are closed for renovations. I think they are making all of them have a drive-thru window. Anyway I went to the nearest open one and it worked out better than I thought. The last time I went to this one it was very dim and not really good to see what I was sketching. It was much brighter today (or maybe there was more sunshine coming thru the windows). So here are my last 10 sketches which include some customers and some employees.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

One Week 100 People - Day 4

 I wanted to sketch some people outdoors today but the pickings were slim. I went to the people. I went to the people. I ended up backing into a parking spot outside my local Stop & Shop. It worked well until a jumbo SUV parked to my left and blocked most of my view.

Then I headed over to Sayville Bean Coffee House to get people in an actual scene. 
The view here was pretty good.
Only 10 more to go!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

One Week 100 People - Day 3

 Today I went to the dining court at the South Shore Mall in Bayshore. I changed tables a few times to get different views. Here are my sketches #53 - 69.

Tonight was my sketch night with the Patchogue Sketch Club. When I finished my sketch for the theme tonight I sketched a few of our members. Here are #70 - 74.