Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Brookfield Place - Part 2

 After I finished the double spread that I posted yesterday I went downstairs at Brookfield Place and sat with a number of the sketchers from our group. It was lunch time so we took turns going upstairs and getting something to eat. It is always fun to peek at what others have been sketching and the views that they chose. My friend, Janette came in from outside. I think she may have been one of the few sketchers who sat outside to paint...and she did it both in the morning and the afternoon. It was good to see her. I hadn't seen her since back in the spring because she was taking art classes on the weekend and couldn't make our sketch events. She had bought a painting of mine and I was finally able to bring it to her.

After lunch I face the interior of Brookfield Place. It has wonderful high windows like an atrium and tall palm trees. It is really a great view. This was done in direct watercolor.

I had about 25 minutes before we were doing our show and tell. I turned and faced the outside where there was a skating rink. I was able to complete an ink sketch, but was unable to add the color on location. I'm not sure if it will add color or leave it as it is.

After our show and tell I walked with Janette to the Oculus where I caught the E train up to Penn Station and the Long Island Railroad. I had a short wait and boarded the train which wasn't too crowded. I was able to stretch out comfortably in my triple seat and sketch the couple on the other side of the aisle. This was a continuous line drawing.

It was a really good day spent with like-minded people!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Trip to Brookfield Place - Part 1

On Saturday I headed into the city to meet the NYC Urban Sketchers. I took the Long Island Railroad and then the subway to get there. The ride on the LIRR was quite shaky so I did a continuous line sketch of one of the few passengers in pencil. The train wasn't very crowded and I tried not to be obvious while I sketched. I don't think he noticed, even though he wasn't absorbed in his phone like most people.

Brookfield Place is in downtown Manhattan near the World Trade Center. I had a bit of a walk and snapped this photo of the Oculus, a transportation hub and office towers that serve over a million people every week. The building reminds me of a winged bird.

I found the group inside Brookfield Place. Some members were sitting downstairs sketching, but I headed upstairs by the food area with my friend, Sonia, We got some coffee, sat at a table by the window with a great view, and chatted while we sketched. The view is the buildings on the other side of the Hudson River.

Monday, January 29, 2024

The Loft

Upstairs at the Sachem Library in Holbrook they have an area called "The Loft." It overlooks the downstairs and has cubbies where you can sit and be separated from other people. There are a lot of small tables around too as well as a few comfortable chairs. It was a good place to hang out and sketch on a rainy day.

Sunday, January 28, 2024


 The weather outside has been wet and cold which makes sketching outdoors not very pleasant. The other day Jerry had a doctor's appointment in the morning, so by the time we got home and had lunch I wasn't inspired to go out looking for something to sketch. I like sketches of collections of items so I gathered some condiments together trying to vary the heights and shapes of the bottles as well as trying to keep color harmony. I like the way this came out. It was drawn first directly in ink and then the watercolor was added...often many layers to get the colors dark enough.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Live Models

On Wednesday our art group had a live model. Hector was the original model for the two and five minute poses, but then he left and Mark took over for the longer poses. I wasn't able to stay for all of Mark's poses. I have a cold and was coughing so I left so I didn't contaminate everyone else.

Friday, January 26, 2024


For the scavenger hunt over on this week "animal" was on the list. It was cold and drizzly but I headed to the East Quogue Wildlife Refuge. I know they have a building with a few live creatures and a lot of stuffed creatures. There was a tank with 4 bearded dragons. They have faces that are difficult to draw since they are pretty monochromatic. They didn't stay still. One of them bounced his head up and down like he was dancing.  They were fun to watch and sketch.

I also sketched a stuffed raccoon. He was much easier to sketch. There were a lot of birds, so I'll have to remember to go back again. If it was closer, I would go more often, but it is about a 35 minute drive from me.

There is also a nice pond that was partly frozen over that had a lot of ducks. I didn't have time to sketch that but will keep it in mind when it gets cold enough for it to freeze again. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Amaryllis Progress

The amaryllis I started growing has a stem that is now about 16 inches high. There are two stems and the other is a bit shorter. I sketched the amaryllis on Sunday when it was only 9 inches high. Right now it has grown about 2 inches yesterday and another 2 inches today. I

Here is the completed page in my sketchbook. I am going to have to figure out a way to make the paper taller if I want to show the actual full height of it from now on.

It is fun to watch the progress from day to day.


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Icy Pond at Timber Point

 The pond at Timber Point, a golf course in Great River was partly frozen due to our very low temperatures for the last few days. This was painted in gouache.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Gouache Grasses and Snow

 I did another gouache painting...and lazy me I didn't change the gouache on my pallette. I worked with what I had down by the Bayport Dock. There are remnants of a concrete wall or fence there and I thought there was a nice contrast between the concrete and the soft grasses.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Snow Scene in Gouache

I haven't done a painting in gouache for a long time. When you don't use gouache for a while it dries up and gets really crumbly. I should have just thrown out what I had and started over but I was ready to go out when I decided what I was doing. I sprayed the paints a lot before I left the house so they would soften a bit, but I still had problems with tiny crumbled bits in the paint. Regardless I liked the way this came out. There was a pile of cut tree trunks and the snow on them made a nice design. Painted in Brookhaven. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Snowy Tree Trunks

It has been really cold here and the only good thing about it is that some of the snow from our storm the other day is still around because it has been too cold to melt. It is easiest to find in wooded areas where the tree canopies keep it protected. I like finding the snow on and around some of the fallen trees and branches like these in a wooded area in Sayville. I was able to paint this in gouache from my mobile studio. 

For the last scavenger hunt on one of the items was a ball. I am not athletic or into sports but I have this baseball in my box of "treasures" just in case. It has come in handy on several occasions. This was done in graphite.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Shanghai You Garden

Last Saturday I met my friend, Suzala for a day of art. First we went to the Nassau County of Art for an exhibit on "The Guilded Age." There were paintings, clothing, furniture and assorted artwork from that era. It was a nice exhibit and suprisingly found out that the museum had some paintings by John Singer Sargeant and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Then we had to decide where to sketch on a cold afternoon. It was sunny but much too windy to sit outside. Suzala suggested going to 99 Ranch Market in Westbury, an Asian market I hadn't been to before. They have a food court so we headed there to sketch people, but when I saw all the food stalls I knew I wanted to sketch those instead of people sitting at tables. It was crowded but there was one row of tables that were along a wall and faced the front of the stalls. Suzala stood at one end and I stood at the other and waited until it looked like someone was getting up to leave. We lucked out and got a table right in front of the stall that had the hanging Peking ducks. We placed an order for our food and started sketching immediately. At times the stall had a BIG line that obscured everything, but eventually it got smaller. Each time it got smaller I sketched a little more of the scene. I sketched directly in ink because I knew it would take less time. When our food was ready and I saw the steamer basket I knew I had to sketch our soup dumplings before they disappeared. I did that, then ate and finished the dumpling sketch. Finally I was able to finish the sketch of Shanghai You Garden and add the color. It was a feast for the eyes and the stomach.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Bellport Lane Charm

This house on Bellport Lane is usually obscured by the hedges and the nearby trees. I was happy to be able to see this much of the building.


Wednesday, January 17, 2024


Out in Center Moriches there is a taqueria called Lucharitos. It is in a nice building. I've gone there for lunch and the food is pretty good. I've wanted to sketch it for a while.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Doll Theme

The theme for the Patchogue Sketch Club last week was dolls and action figures. I don't have anything that fits, but friends usually bring along extras to share. 

Mark had stopped at the $ store and picked up a few Barbie Wanna-Be dolls. I used one for my first sketch.

My friend, Rosanne has a large collection of dolls. She brought along a few. One was new and this one was part of what looked like a set of very old dolls. It reminded me of a peasant woman and was made of cloth. I'm glad other members are generous with what they bring.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Flooding After the Storm

The east coast had a lot of flooding from the heavy rain and high tides recently. We had no immediate problems where we are since we are far enough away from the water. I took a ride into Sayville near the West End Dock. Due to the high tide the water from the Great South Bay completely covered the dock area and partway up the street. I parked on the street outside the grounds of the Maritime Museum and sketched the view. People kept driving really close to the water and finally someone from the town came along with a sawhorse to put at the edge of the water to warn people (who should be smart enough to know not to drive into the water). But watching the reports from other areas people did drive into the floods and then got stuck or had serious problems with their cars. 

This is one of my older sketches of pretty much the same area. The corner is where the boat is on the left in the new sketch above. I found out later that the entire grounds of the Maritime Museum were also under water. Some areas they said were the worst they've been since Hurricane Sandy.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Continuous Line Nature Sketch

I've been enjoying doing continuous line sketches. This was done for the scavenger hunt on .  Long, short, large, small, hard, soft, rough and smooth were included.

Then I added a watercolor wash to give it some color.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Behind the Hedges

Houses are so much fun to sketch as long as there aren't too many odd angles. This one cooperated nicely. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

Assorted Sketches Done Recently

I've done a few sketches lately using Procreate for the scavenger hunts on These were for bangs (mine), orange, comfy, and stacked. 

These were also done for the scavenger hunt but with traditional painting/sketching. The items were for orchard, van, and crane.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

In the Pot

 I pretty much planted the amaryllis as soon as the sketch of the kit was done. The green pieces sticking out of the top started out at about 2 1/2 inches long. Right now, 6 days later, they are about 3 inches tall. It is growing slowly but I know soon it will be growing very fast and very tall. I have it sitting by my living room window, surrounded by some Christmas statues.

Here is a photo of it taken today. The small piece on the bottom in the front has about doubled in size.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Amaryllis Bulb Kit

After Christmas ordered an amaryllis bulb kit for myself from Holland Bulbs. I grew one once before and it was a lot of fun to see it grow and then blossom. It is an Apple Blossom Amaryllis which should have white petals brushed with pink and then a lime green throat. I'm looking forward to seeing what develops! 

Monday, January 8, 2024

Film Noir Theme

With the rise in Covid cases and quite a few of our Patchogue Sketch Club members sick it was decided that rather than meet in person last Wednesday we would do a Zoom meeting. Mark found us a few interesting "film noir" photos to sketch. It was fun to work in graphite for a change. 

Sunday, January 7, 2024

First Sketches of 2024

If I am not away for the holidays I like to take a trip to the beach to start off the new year. I headed over to Robert Moses State Park to paint. These are two small (maybe 3 x 5 in) paintings that I did from the parking lot while sitting in my mobile studio. First I painted the Fire Island Lighthouse... 

and then I painted the sky over the dunes.

You can see my New Year's Day beach sketches for 2018 here and for 2019 here.

When I was finished with these I threw my sketchbook in my tote bag, pulled on my hat, gloves, and scarf, zipped up my winter jacket and headed off to walk to the lighthouse. It is about 3/4 of a mile to the lighthouse and then 3/4 of a mile I got in some walking to start the year.
A LOT of people come to Robert Moses Beach and the lighthouse on Jan 1 every year. It is nice to walk along and have people say "Happy New Year" as they pass. They give out free hot chocolate and cookies when you get to the lighthouse.
I went around the back side of the lighthouse down near the bay side and sat down to sketch. I finished the pencil sketch only to find out that I had left my palette on the front seat of the car, so I couldn't complete the painting. I will have to go back another time when it is a nice day and finish it.
How did you start off the new year?

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Final Sketches of 2023

 I've been having fun with the continuous line sketches so I thought I would do one final one for 2023 of my breakfast. I almost always have the same breakfast...a swiss cheese omelette with spinach. My holiday plate makes it a little more festive.

My final plein air sketch for 2023 was done down at Hecksher State Park in East Islip. It is a huge park that is right on the Great South Bay with views across to Fire Island. The parking lot I was in had some huge puddles from recent flooding or high tides. It could be either but this particular parking lot seems to always be partly flooded. The ducks were quite happy, but the human visitors had to drive through some of the water to get out of the lot.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Mastscape Over the Fence

 I like this mastscape over the fence. You can only see a small part of the boats at this marina in Patchogue. It is the masts and rigging that tell the story.