Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

Wishing you a wonderful, healthy, happy, 2016 
filled with inspiration, joy, and love!

My thanks to all of you who have visited my blog this year and been so supportive of what I do. It means a lot that you stop to look and I especially love reading your comments. I hope to see you here in 2016!

Once again the year flew by, didn't it? I always find it fun to look through the year and see what I sketched or painted and what inspired me. Sometimes inspiration is a place, a photo or a person, sometimes it is a challenge that either I set for myself or someone else creating a challenge for artists to do along with them.

January was a busy month for me. I took part in Leslie Saeta's "30 Paintings in 30 Days." My focus was on interesting skies like in this painting. The photo was taken by my niece as we were crossing the RFK Bridge on the way to Kennedy Airport. She gave me permission to use the photo for the painting. I will be participating in "30 Paintings in 30 Days" for 2016. Come back tomorrow and see what my theme is for 2016.

January also brought us a lot of snow. Here are some people in my development trying to dig their cars out of the snow the blizzard brought us. We had about 2 feet of snow in one shot. Luckily my car was in the garage. I found an indoor spot in the clubhouse doorway to sketch my neighbors.

In February the weather kept me inside a bit, so I decided challenge myself and work indoors on surfaces that don't work too well in plein air. First I used yupo, a synthetic paper which is just like painting on plastic. You have very little control over what happens, but if you don't like it you can always wipe it off. You spend a lot of time waiting for things to dry. This one of the hollyhocks I was very happy with.

The NYC Urban Sketchers went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to sketch. Their armor room is a great place to draw. This challenged me to sketch things out of my comfort zone.

This painting was done on masa paper which gives it a sort of batik effect.

In March my sister and I took a workshop with Judy Morris at the Springmaid Watermedia Workshop in Myrtle Beach. We worked on different ways to add texture to our artwork.

One of my stained paper collages, "Abbey with Lavender" won second place in a show at the Phoenix Gallery in Bellport.

April meant working on my fake journal, "Floral Fantasy" .
Each April Roz Stendahl has us come up with a journal that is fake where we pretend to be someone else or do something we really haven't done. In my journal I helped run a flower shop. I did a post about it for every day of the month. Click on the link if you want to see the rest of that journal.

I also did a sketch of a room decorated by a young designer who was part of an exhibit at Southeby's in NYC. The sketch was purchased on the spot as a gift for the designer by a family member. Now I can claim my artwork sold at Southeby's. LOL

The flowering trees were in full bloom at the end of April so I couldn't resist painting this on location.

In May I participated in the challenge "Every Day in May" which gives you a list of things to sketch, one for each day of the month. It is a fun challenge, and my sketches for this are small.

My sister, Michelle, and I visited the Presby Iris garden in Montclair, NJ. It was so beautiful to see irises everywhere. Michelle really got into painting there.

One of my art groups, Wet Paints, has a show every May and in honor of Memorial Day they asked the artists to exhibit something that remembered or honored the veterans. I borrowed a photo of my father-in-law taken while he served in WWII and some of his medals. I arranged them into a still life and painted it for the show.

In June I took part in the annual art show at the Fire Island Lighthouse. My painting sold during the show.

Also in June a friend of mine asked artists to create painted paper cups for the opening of her Paper Cup Studio in Bellport. I had fun and painted six different cup designs.

In July I traveled to California for the wedding of my nephew, Jeff and his bride, Kelly. Each morning we would go walking along the promenade in Manhattan Beach and at some point during the day I would do a small sketch. This one was of the sloping street where our apartment rental was located.

Jeff and Kelly are a very special couple! I wish them lots of love!!

One day while I was sketching in Bellport, a man came over to watch me. He asked me if I could do a sketch of his dental office around the corner. He was really happy with the way it came too.

August had us traveling to Washington, DC for the wedding of our nephew, Gary and his wife, Julie. Love was definitely in the air!

While in the DC area we went out for the famous Maryland blue crabs which were delicious. Of course I sketched them before I ate them...I'm like that.

We also did a tour of DC and I made sure to sketch at a few of the memorials. Here is my sketch of the Vietnam Memorial.

September always means farmsteads, produce, and outdoors. I sketched this page of little scenes at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale.

With the NYC Urban Sketchers I went to Brooklyn Heights for the first time. In addition to sketching the wonderful brownstone buildings, I sat on the promenade over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to sketch the roadway with all the moving traffic. That was a challenge since the traffic was constantly moving!

My PALS Plein Air group was invited to a wonderful private Japanese garden in Smithtown to paint. The owner, Andrew had built the garden for his Japanese wife. It was a beautiful place to paint and we are hoping to return there in the spring.

In October my husband and I took a trip to Cape Cod for a few days. One of the locations I painted there was the Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham.

Then I visited Damariscotta, Maine just in time for their Pumpkin Festival and Regatta. Can you imagine turning a giant pumpkin into a boat (Yes, they float!) and balancing it while you paddled through a racecourse? It was a lot of fun to watch...even the crowd was fun. Look how these ladies were dressed.

Every year Bellport is decorated for Halloween. On each tree and light post there is a decorated scarecrow hanging and there is a contest to pick the winner. I always have a hard time deciding which scarecrow to sketch. This year I sketched three. Here is one called the "Pizza Man."

November had some wonderful painting and sketching opportunities.
These leaves were calling to me.

Bellport always has something going on. For Small Business Saturday the Bellport Chamber of Commerce had a soup tasting contest...a great sketching opportunity. My sketch ended up on the Bellport Chamber's blog page.

The day before Thanksgiving I went out east to Briermere Farms in Riverbed and sketched the crowd of people waiting to pick up their holiday pies. Some people came out with several bags of pies, and some people came out with cartons filled with them. I'll bet they were yummy!

December brought a new way to create art for me. I started doing digital art on my iPad Mini with a program called Artrage. It will definitely never take the place of sketching on paper, but I have been having fun exploring and seeing what I can sketching this bouquet.

We visited the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. I just had to draw a dinosaur while there. This was a challenge to do this in a very crowded room because when the sketchbook was open it was 24 inches across. I had to balance it on my lap with people walking all around me. This watercolor sketch was done without any pencil lines.

Recently we visited the Union Square Holiday Market to sketch. It was so much fun!

In December our PALS Plein Air group always has our art show and sale. During the show everyone was asked to vote for their favorite painting on the walls. I'm overjoyed to say that my painting, "Lavender Field" (the oblong painting above the medal) won the people's choice award.

In December I searched everywhere for Christmas tree lots and displays of wreaths to sketch.
I love sketching things that represent the holidays.

I hope you enjoyed this trip through my year!
Have a wonderful 2016!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bakery Cafe

On Sunday I was out in Westhampton. The colorful awning and cute statue at the Beach Bakery Grand Cafe caught my attention. I had to sketch it and of course go inside. lol

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I found this quaint shack along the water in Islip. It reminded me of Maine with all the floats hanging from the side of the building.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Holiday Sketches

The sketch below was done on my iPad before Mass on Christmas Eve. Our church gets very crowded and does a Mass upstairs and one downstairs. We went a half hour before the service was scheduled to start and there were very lucky to find seats downstairs in the hall. I brought along my iPad because I knew we would be waiting for a while before even the Christmas carols started.

This was sketched as a gift card for someone in the family. It is one of my many ornaments from my tree.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Union Square Area Sketches

Last Sunday the NYC Urban Sketchers met at the Union Square Holiday Market to sketch. Our area has been having unseasonably warm weather but Sunday was cold! I made sure to dress warmly with several layers under my down jacket. I was quite comfortable when I found this spot to sit and sketch. I liked all the activity going on in front of me and all the colors and patterns of the fabrics. Several of us perched ourselves on a raised platform which was a great way not to be trampled by the crowds of shoppers.

Next I faced into the market at one of the entrances. Right before I was finished the sun had moved and I was sitting in the shadow of the buildings. My fingertips were freezing and I could feel the cold between my shoulders. Luckily lunch indoors came next.

After lunch the plan was to sketch the Strand Bookstore from outside. But when we got to the opposite corner we found there was a Pret a Manger with tables near the window that had nearly the same view. Why sit outside when I could be sketching in comfort with a cappuccino in front of me? From the table that Pat and I picked we had a good view of the street, the bookstore, and Mark sketching as well as another couple by the window. 

Around 3 o'clock we gathered at the Reservoir Bar a few blocks away to share our sketches. The Steelers football game was on full blast and the place was very we all sketched for a while while we had a drink... conversing wasn't easy. Then we shared our work.

I sketched the guy at the next table and then a table of Steeler's fans.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas & 12 Ornaments of Christmas - Ornament #12

Merry Christmas
Wishing you and your family
a Merry Christmas
filled with love, joy and health.

This is my Christmas card for this year.

My 12 Ornaments of Christmas – Ornament #12 – The last ornament I will tell you about is a home-made ornament which is one of my newest. My friend, Marge, gave me two ornaments this week that she embroidered on her sewing machine. This one is this beautiful gold fabric angel that she made. Angels are such an important part of the Christmas story, don't you think? This one will be treasured along with all the other ornaments that are so special to me.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

12 Ornaments of Christmas - Ornament #11

My 12 Ornaments of Christmas – Ornament #11 – I have collected ornaments from many of the trips I have taken. I have an Eifflel Tower, a White House, one from New Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and a pair of ornaments from Hawaii. I took a trip there with my friend, Rosetta and her mom.  These remind me of tropical sunsets, our visit to the Hawaiian Cultural Center as well as Hilo Hatties for all kinds of Hawaiian items.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

12 Ornaments of Christmas - Ornament #10 & Train Sketches

My 12 Ornaments of Christmas – Ornament #10 – I have an assortment of different kinds of snowflakes on my tree. My favorites are the crocheted ones that were made my my sister, Chris. I’m sure many of you also have crocheted ornament of one kind or another. I really like home-made ornaments!
This was done on my iPad with Artrage.

These were also done with my iPad in Artrage. The first sketch was done going into Manhattan on the Long Island Railroad. There were a lot of commuters going to football games or to watch football games.

I met up with a friend in the city (before we went off to sketch). She has been using the same iPad drawing program and gave me some lessons on how to use it, especially the layers. I hope I retain a  little of what she showed me. Thanks Pat!