Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Forum @ Colunbia University - Part 2

 Sunday's location at "The Forum" at Columbia University provided a lot of great views to sketch and paint. After tackling the view from under the #1 elevated train I decided to do something that wasn't so complex. One of the iconic things you see in the NY City skyline are water towers atop many of the buildings. Not all of the buildings have them, and I definitely don't understand how they work, but they are fun to see. From the same spot where I was sitting for the first sketch, I turned my chair less than 90 degrees to face some buildings and a water tower happened to be on top of one of them. Of course a city scene often has a bit of graffiiti too. This was my view directly across 125 Street in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan where Columbia University is located.

"Show and Tell" for the NYC Urban Sketchers usually takes place at 3:00pm. The Forum personnel told us we could relocate to another room so that we could gather and share our work without having to worry about disturbing other people that were there. I had about 40 minutes to sketch something else and headed over to the other side of the room where I had been figuring I would sketch some people inside with the outside view behind them. I saw my friend Laura had a table and sat down to sketch there. Of course we did a lot of talking instead of a lot of sketching because we hadn't seen each other in a while. I did manage to do a very quick (maybe 10-15 minute) sketch that included two of our sketchers as well as someone working on their computer. I liked the big plant, so that went in as well as a bit of the structure under the elevated train and the deli across the street. I used a brush pen to sketch directly in ink which helped it go faster and then I added some color quickly with my waterbrush. Laura couldn't believe I finished it as quickly as I did.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Forum @ Columbia University - Part 1

 On Sunday, the NYC Urban Sketchers met at a new venue for us. "The Forum" at Columbia University is located at 125 St and Broadway. It is a public space with lots of tables and chairs that is used by the Columbia students as well as people in the neighborhood. With floor to ceiling windows looking out on the city views, it was a perfect place to be out of the cold and still feel like you were sitting outdoors. Some of the windows overlooked the corner where the #1 train was elevated above our heads. The structure of it was very complex, but fun to try to draw. I did the basic structure that I could see clearly and sort of winged the rest to make it look believable. I hope I succeeded.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Yacht Club

 Every once in a while I take a trip down to the area by the Mastic Beach Yacht Club. There are a few good views including their club house.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Railroad Crossing

This started as a simple sketch for the scavenger hunt for "something for safety," but I ended up adding the background too. 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Islip Charm

Sometimes I just drive around in areas that have older houses like this one in Islip. I find that they have a lot of character. 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Assorted Sketches

All of these sketches were done for a scavenger hunt over on Creative Spark.

This covered two items...a fence and something from nature.

 Last week I ended up going to one of those walk-in medical offices. My cough was really bad, I was wheezing, and I wasn't sleeping well. It turned out I had bronchitis. I was put on an antibiotic, something for the cough and an inhailer. I'm finally feeling much better. While in the medical office I only had a short time to sketch people.

Vehicles are a popular item on the scavenger hunt list. The VW called to me since that was my first car...but mine was bright red.


Friday, February 23, 2024

Snow Along the Canal

There are a few canals in Blue Point. This one runs through a small park near Flo's. I was able to park right along the side of it. There was a woman sitting next to her car and feeding the gulls so I quickly sketched a few of them into the scene while they were swooping down to grab what she was tossing.

Over on CreativeSpark there was an interesting item for the scavenger hunt. We had to find a playing card and sketch the numbered side as well as the back of the card. I dug out a very old deck of cards. From what I remember I got these the first time I flew anywhere. It was maybe 1968/1969 when I was all of 20 years old. A friend and I flew out to CA, stayed with her cousin and his family for a few days, and then drove up the CA coast. Neither of us could legally rent a car on our own and her dad rented one for us, but Suzanne had to do all the driving. The trip was a lot of fun and we met two sailors on a cable car in San Francisco. We hung out together all day and then the next day they took us on a tour of their aircraft carrier. We also went horseback riding and I was thrown off my horse. (And I have never climbed back on another one to this day.) At the time the airlines gave you all kinds of things when you were on board if you asked. I got the deck of cards. The box is really worn and I'm not sure if all the playing cards are still inside, but it was fun to sketch one of the cards.


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Snow by the Fence

 I had mail to take to the post office the other day, so after I dropped it off I sat in the post office parking lot in Holbrook to paint this snowy view. The snow has lasted longer than I expected. This was done in my Strathmore Toned Beige Sketchbook. White gouache was added for the snow.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Meadow Croft Snow

I headed to Meadow Croft, a historic estate in Sayville to see if there were any snow views. I tucked my car between a few trees and painted a bit of the property.


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Snow at The Grange

 We had a second snowfall recently. Depending on where you are on the south shore towns got somewhere between 2-5 inches of snow. I headed out in my mobile studio and ended up down by The Grange in Sayville. There were a lot of people sledding but I couldn't get close enough to sketch there from my car. I did park near the historic buildings and got a bit of a view.

The snow was still coming down lightly and melting on my windshield.

Monday, February 19, 2024

At the Car Wash

 On the weekend the car wash is a busy place, and following a snowstorm it is even busier as so many people come out to get the grit and salt off their cars. Washville in Bayport was quite busy. I used artistic license to leave out the line of cars entering the premises on the right. I found a parking space in a lot across the street which had a fairly good view of the place. I just had my view blocked a bit every time the light down the street turned red. lol

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Snow on Fallen Tree

We had a bit of snow recently and I went out to sketch it before it melted and disappeared. This was done in my Strathmore Beige Toned Sketchbook with watercolors and white gouache. 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Greenhouse

On the same property as the Maritime Museum in West Sayville is  Meadowedge Cooperative Greenhouse. It is maintained by people with developmental disabilities. It provided a nice view for a sketch recently.


Friday, February 16, 2024

Valentine Flowers

 I haven't worked with Procreate for quite a while and I wanted to capture my Valentine flowers while they were still looking fresh.

Thursday, February 15, 2024


 We had a semi-mild day last week and I took a ride to Seatuck Nationlal Wildlife Refuge in Islip. I was able to sit outside for a while to sketch which has been a rare thing lately. The breeze picked up and I got cold, so I completed the rest of this from the car.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy Valentine's Day

 Happy Valentine's Day!

Last Wednesday the theme for the Patchogue Sketch Club was Valentine's Day. I hit the Dollar Store (big spender that I am) to see if I could find something interesting to use in a sketch. I found this sort of unicorn/bear and a few things with hearts. Everyone did something interesting and fun.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024


Car washes are always interesting because they are so busy...especially on the weekend. It was hard to catch a vehicle exiting the car wash. They move off so fast. This was done at Washville in Blue Point. Luckily there was an empty parking lot across the street because I needed a bit of distance to get everything in. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

Brown's Lane Closed

At the end of Brown's Lane in Bellport they have the street closed at the very end where it goes down along the water. They are doing some sort of construction between Brown's Lane and Bellport Lane along the closest street by the bay in Bellport Village. They've been working on it for about a year and I never see any real changes except that you can't go thru the street there.  There had been a backhoe parked behind the barricade but someone came and drove it away before I could put it in the sketch.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Sunken Meadow View

 I hadn't been to Sunken Meadow State Park in a while, but it was a sunny, warmer day and I headed over there the other day. It was too windy to sketch outside the car, but I enjoyed my time in my mobile studio with the sun shining on me.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Port Jeff House

This house overlooks the Port Jeff marina. I'm sure there is a great view from every window. 

Friday, February 9, 2024

Smith Point Beach

 Now that it isn't freezing cold or raining I've been down by a few of the beaches. This is Smith Point Park. A lot of the dunes were destroyed by the recent wild storms and flooding that we had. Hopefully they will do some work to add some sand for protection of the beach.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Hampton Bays Sketches

 I have a fondness for several towns in the Hamptons since I spent many summers renting summer houses there with friends. Hampton Bays is probably the least ritzy of the Hamptons and most affordable.

This is the Ponquogue Bridge which connects Hampton Bays with the barrier island that runs along part of the coast. When I first started going out there the bridge was a much smaller version and a bit rickety. I remember when they built this bridge and have good memories of walking to the center of it with my niece and nephew to watch the sunset. They were maybe 7 and 8 and told me they had never watched the sunset. So every day for the time they stayed with me we went somewhere to watch the sunset.

If you cross the bridge Ponquogue Beach is straight ahead. If you make a left you can ride about a mile along Dune Road and you come to the Shinnecock Canal. Nearby are the commercial fishing docks. I did a continuous line sketch of this fishing boat docked there.

Along the Shinnecock Canal is a rocky jetty where fishermen come and fish and people come to watch the boats travel through the canal.

In case you are wondering about the unusual names, many of the towns and locations have American Indian names. The Shinnecock Indians are still in the area and have a reservation nearby.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Queens Museum

On Saturday the NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Queens Museum in Corona. The museum and some of the buildings in the park are part of what had been the 1964 NY World's Fair. At the time it was held my family and I visited the World's Fair quite a few times because it wasn't far from where we lived as kids. When the fair was over they kept a few of the structures and they remained in Flushing Meadows Park. 

The Queens Museum building had been part of the New York World's Fair. It was the New York City Building which was the City's official pavilion during both the 1939-40 and the 1964-65 World's Fairs. It was also used from 1946 until 1950 as the headquarters of the United Nations General Assembly. It is a vast space with some interesting and unique exhibits. What attracted me first was an exhibit by Emilie L. Gossiaux called "White Cane Maypole Dance."

One of my favorite parts of the park is the Unisphere which features representations of the continents and major mountain ranges in relief and is encircled by three giant orbital rings that represent the tracks of early satelites. It was designed by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke. It was sunny but cold on Saturday so I didn't want to sketch outside, but luckily the Queens Museum has some floor to ceiling windows with excellent views of the Unisphere. There was a group of boys outside playing soccer which added to the charm of the scene.

This is the view that I had.

Upstairs there was a room with quite a lot of memorabilia from the New York World's Fairs. I remember these characters were mascots of the fair. These are bobble-head dolls.

After our show and tell I stayed a little longer to sketch in the room that held the Tiffany lamps. The Queens Museum has a permanent Tiffany gallery and educational program. Tiffany's glass furnaces, metal foundry and workshops were located in Corona, Queens, less than two miles from the Museum. I was happy with the way the shade came out on this dragonfly lamp, but the base of the lamp is incorrect and should be over to the left. I didn't realize it soon enough.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

One of the items for the Creative Spark scavenger hunt recently was a landscape. I headed over to the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley and sketched some of the woods there.


Monday, February 5, 2024

Amaryllis in Bloom

Watching the amaryllis is fascinating. One morning I came into the living room and the buds had started to open. I figured I needed to sketch it before I went out for the day since it was changing so fast. This was my view at about 10 in the morning.


By the time I returned home in the afternoon two of the flowers were wide open. That called for another sketch in the evening.

Here is the page with the two sketches side by side.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Yaphank House

 This was actually painted for the Scavenger Hunt at Creative Spark. The item was stairs/steps. When I passed this house in Yaphank and saw there was a perfect parking spot in the lot for the church next store I went for it.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Bellport Snow & Still Life

While there was still snow on the ground recently I sat along Bell Street in Bellport to sketch some houses and snow right near the Bellport Historical Museum. I'm glad that I did because the snow was soon gone.


This still life was done for the Creative Spark scavenger hunt....something flexible, something inflexible, something round and something triangular.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Amaryllis In Bloom

On Tuesday morning my Apple Blossom Amaryllis started to open. In the morning it looked like this, so I decided I'd better sketch it before I went out for the day because I knew it would change.

By the time I came home in the afternoon there were two flowers open and a third that looked almost ready. I lot happened in just a few hours.

This is how the full page spread looks.