Wednesday, August 31, 2016

In the Sun

I am usually careful to make sure I am in the shade when I find a location to paint. Today however, I sat to paint and slowly the sun crept up on me. First my feet and then my whole body. I got through about 4/5 of the painting and I had to pack up. I finished the rest of it after dinner tonight. I decided to spend the rest of the day at the beach on Lido and keep cool. I hope you had a cool day too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Busy Day

I started out painting on one of the bridges just near our apartment. Here I am doing the pencil sketch.

And here is the painting which took me at least 2 1/2 hrs to complete. Maybe I was chatting too much. I met a group of young backpackers and they reminded me so much of my first two trips backpacking thru Europe...such memories. We talked for a while.

After a lunch break I headed over to a vaporetto stop I hadn't been to yet, although I've walked thru this area before. While I was sketching this the two women from the table on the right came over to see what I was doing and just loved that they were in the sketch. They brought the men over to see it too. Too bad they left before I was done.

Then I went walking. Last night I had emailed two friends of mine and said I needed either a foot rub or a pedicure. For some reason my feet get extremely dry and rough here. (TMI!) I found this instead...a fish pedicure. First you wash your feet and then you put them in this tank with these tiny little fish that eat all the dead skin off your feet or your hands. I watched people doing it for about 15 minutes and figured I had to give it a try. They tickled, especially when they get between your toes,

It was a busy...and different day.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Piazza San Marco

I went early to St Mark's Square today and it was a god thing for two reasons. First, they weren't stopping people from feeding the pigeons yet. It is hysterical when the do because the pigeons climb all over the people who feed them. Second, I was able to sit on the steps to paint. The guard came over while I was doing the ink sketch and made everyone get up. Of course as fast as he told people they couldn't sit on the steps, someone a little bit further down would. It is a loosing battle.

Next I sketched a bit directly on ink. I had to get the lady with herbselfie stick.

Later I wandered to find a new afternoon location.

Ciao for now!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Quiet Courtyard

I looked to meander here in Venice down the narrow streets that most visitors never see, like this one. It does overlook the Grand Cana but finding it was not easy.

Last night my husband and I went out to a bar/restaurant that we remembered from the last time we were in Venice and it has piano music which started around 10 pm ... a little late for us, but fun. An Italian guy sings all kinds of Englis, Italian, and French songs. We enjoyed a typical Venetian drink called a spritz.

Music, cocktails and views like this made the night a success.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Behind the Gate

This was sketched from a ver quiet courtyard just near one of the vaporetto stops. I thighs it might be a hotel, but then I saw a man in the garden with what looked like a falcon on his arm. While I was painting several people came over to ask I know where I'm going. Lol I should bring along my iPad whiny has a good program downloaded to it called "". I downloaded the Venice Mao and now I don't need the Internet to use the map. I can type in a location and it shows on the map. It has come in handy several times.

I spent the afternoon at the beach on Lido. I sketched some of the people. The poor lady on the right is out of proportion to everyone else. That sometimes happens when I work directly in ink.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Convent

I would bet that there is a story for many of the buildings here in Venice. I wandered very close to our apartment this morning and found this lovely courtyard. I sat there to sketch and when I was nearly done this old gentleman came by who lived in one of the apartments. He had his shpopping cart and a cane. He came over and said, "Bella!" Then he started telling me the story of the building in Italian. He asked if I understood and I said no. When he realized I spoke English he spoke a bit in the limited English that he Knew. The water cistern which is now covered with flowers is from the 1300s. The building was a convent for a long time and at night the doors would be locked and only the sisters would be allowed inside. At times like this I wish I could communicate in other languages. It would have been nice to understand the rest of the story.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Textured Walls

I am always amazed by the texture in the buildings here. On many buildings there is something (stucco?) covering the brick but it crumbles and falls off in spots. As you go along the canals there is often scaffolding up while repairs are being done. I wonder if the dampness affects it as well as most of the buildings are sitting in water. Anyway it gives me lots of texture to add to my paintings.

I stopped at the Realto Market this morning fo fish and veggies for dinner. I did a quick ink sketch while I was there. I haven't decided if I'm going to add color.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Prayers in Italy

We woke up to news that a powerful earthquake hit central Italy about 100 miles from Rome. About 125 people were killed in a few small towns that were devastated by the quake. My prayers go out for the victims and their families.

Today I went to La Salute, a beautiful church here in Venice. After saying a few prayers I sat down to sketch a bit of the interior. I bought a Fabriano softcover sketchbook the other day and used it for this sketch.

Then I went outside to sketch the exterior. It is too large for me to do the entire building so I focused on the top of the buildIng.

Later in the day I sketched some people at an outdoor restaurant and people walking be. I think my people directly in ink has gotten a little rusty.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Side Streets

Some of the most interesting looking places here are off the beaten track where most of the tourists never wander. Both of these were do on the same street or Calle, but facing in different directions.

Here is a photo of one of the canals near us after dark. Isn't it pretty?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Three's the Charm

Last night we had a big storm here in Venice. It was lightning and raining hard. The wind was banging the shutters so we has to open all the windows, pull the shutters closed, and latch them so they didn't damage anything. When I opened the kitchen shutters this morning I knew I had to sketch this view from the window.

After breakfast I took the boat to Buran which is famous for their lace (but very little of it is actually made there any more), and their colorful houses. This was once a fishing village and each fisherman's house was a different, distinctive color so the fishermen could identify it as they neared Burano. The colors are still used today. The trip took about an hour each way because I had to take a vaporetto, then walk about 10 minutes, and then take the boat that probably takes about 40 minutes. I spent most of the day there and did two paintings.

Here is a photo of Burano.

No rain was a great night.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Canareggio Canal

There are an incredible number of canals in Venice...and such wonderful buildings and boats. I only did one painting today and spent the afternoon on the beach at Lido which faces the Adriatic Sea.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Canal side

We had a busy morning. We checked out of our hotel, brought our suitcases to our rental apartment, and then went to the bus station to pick up a digital piano for my husband's music recording. Of course that meant taking it on the vaporetto to the apartment. I should have taken a video. It was very funny to be on a fairly crowded waterbuses with a digital piano on a box about 6 feet long. Now it is where it belongs for the next few weeks.

Since it was nearly 2 by this time I decided to stay local to paint and did an 8 x 10 painting. It isn't so easy to balance my larger palette and my paper and water too. Home When I go out I have a stool to rest my materials on. So it is a juggling act here. Lol Here is the painting.

Then I came back to the apartment, climbed the 3 flights of stairs (39 steps) to drop off my things and go shopping for food and staples. I was told there was a market in walking distance but I wasn't impressed, so I walked to a larger one and got lost coming back with 2 full bags. At least I got 8,309 steps so far...but I had to climb back up to the apartment. After unpacking I don't care about dinner any more, I'm having wine. Hope your day was fun too. Buona Sera!

Friday, August 19, 2016

How Do I Pick a Spot?

There are so many good views in Venice that I could probably sit just about anywhere to sketch. This morning after heading out to get a pass for the vaporetto [waterbuses] so I don't have to buy a ticket every time, I went over by the Realto Mercado. There are fresh veggies and fruit in abundance ang a wonderful fish market. I sat so I could sketch a bit of both.

Next I went along the Grand Canal and sketched some tourists with their map and gondolas behind them.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Gate and a Bridge

Traveling is never easy.

We are finally in Venice. I could probably paint every bridge here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting at the Airport

We arrived at Kennedy Airport with lots of time to spare. After security we stopped for a cocktail.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


With the hot weather here in NY I have been spending a lot of time at the pool. This is a typical view there.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beach Digital

Sketching on the iPad at the beach is hard because of the glare. Sitting under an umbrella helps. Done with Art Rage.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sideshow Sketch Night - Part II

If you haven't seen Part I of Sideshow Sketch Night it is in the post below this one. As the night went on the poses got a little longer...and I got a little braver. For some of them I painted directly in watercolor. 

 This was my last sketch of them in their first costumes.

When Satine came out the second time she was wearing this beautiful dark green gown that clung to her curves. It was not a skimpy burlesque outfit by any means.

This is my favorite sketch of the night. It actually looked like her and I think I caught her mood too.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sideshow Sketch Night - Part I

Some things are just so much fun. Last night I went with a group of friends to the Sideshow Sketch Night in Patchogue. We've gone before and it is such a lot of fun and you get to sketch so much. The models are burlesque performers who are in various states of dress/undress. lol Last night we were treated to Satine and Broody Valentino. As always the night begins with quick 5 minute poses and then moves on to longer poses...not more than 25 minutes. Except for the longer poses I find it almost impossible to sketch both of the models in the pose time. Here are a few of the 5 minute poses I sketched.

Satine was dressed in a corset and yes, she had several tattoos.

Broody Valentino came out in a purple robe, a purple g-string, purple pasties, and purple feathers.

This was one of the longer poses...maybe 20 minutes. For most of these I sketched in watercolor pencil and shaded with them too. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Corey Beach

My sketch group met at Corey Beach in Blue Point the other evening. It was a cloudy, sometimes drizzly day so we sat in the gazebo to be protected in case it started to rain. There were still people on the beach, and even in the water when we got there at 6:30...but I liked the empty lifeguard chair,

Thursday, August 11, 2016


This summer we have had some really nice lifeguards at our pool. I did a sketch of Kayla while she was on duty. The day after I sketched this was her last day before going off to college. I emailed her a copy of this sketch.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

East End Winery View

While I was out east I stopped to paint a view of one of the wineries near Bridgehampton. I've wanted to paint this for a while. I had to sit in my car to do this...too much traffic along the road to sit there safely.

I have been playing around trying to work out bugs to use my iPad to update my blog when I'm away in Venice. If you see anything with the word "Test" in the post title, please ignore it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bridgehampton Street View

On Thursday I had to drop off paintings in East Hampton. On the way home I stopped a few times. One of those times I sketched the street view by Pierre's in Bridgehampton.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


Last Tuesday my plein air group, PALS met at Port Jefferson Harbor to paint. I immediately noticed this group of sailboats that were getting ready to go out. I sketched them quickly before they started moving. Once I got the boats in I could concentrate on the other parts of the painting.