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June 29, 2018

Urban Sketchers 30 X 30 Challenge: June 20-25

It is hard keeping up with my art goals while being on vacation with my husband at the home of very good friends.  I find that I am only able to do it by taking photos and painting during quiet times in the house.  Only the bird feeder and the squirrel were painted "in the moment."  I am also trying to paint in my summer vacation sketchbook each day.  It takes me much longer to do direct painting because I need to carefully plan the layers.   

The stuffed bunny was sitting among rocks at the Acquinnah Wampanoag cemetery on Martha's Vineyard.  The Beach roses were photographed on the path we walked to the beach for our morning beach walks.


The wampum flower was painted from shell pieces I brought home from the beach.  The yacht was photographed in the harbor in Vineyard Haven on a day we saw two movies and attended a Town Hall meeting by Senator Ed Markey.  The bird feeder needs an air traffic control system - for constant bird visitors, and this squirrel who jumped from the tree to the top of the feeder, and then snuck down the pole to the yellow feeder to eat. 



June 26, 2018

More Sketchbook Pages from the Beach Vacation

We are enjoying our visit to Martha's Vineyard with some of our oldest friends.  I have to fit in sketchbook pages whenever I can, and I'm now taking photos and painting from them later in the day.  This is a beautiful stained glass window hanging that I look at each time I sit down in their home.  Painted from observation as I sat and  talked.


We are staying "up island," near the Wampanoag Indian Reservation.  I saw this image on a tribe seal on the reservation truck, and learned the legend of the giant Moshup who caught whales in the ocean with his bare hands.  He swung the whale into the cliffs to kill it to eat, which made the Gayhead Cliffs red.



Boats waiting on the shore at Red Beach, Menemsha Pond.



Two children in the surf, from an illustration.  The waters are still cold, and we never see anyone in the ocean on our morning walks.  This was done as a direct painting, but in my summer vacation sketchbook.  It gets confusing!


I am doing "direct paintings" for the 30 X 30 challenge in a different sketchbook, and will post them when we return home. 

June 21, 2018

From Beach to Beach

After our beach vacation on Long Island, we are returning to Martha's Vineyard to vacation on another beach. Retirement is wonderful and the settings couldn't be more different.  To record the move from the Hamptons to the Vineyard, two of my 30 X 30 paintings (direct painting/no lines) done while in NYC from my photos were of the lighthouses in both places.  The Montauk lighthouse was painted, after I painted the sky as a negative space. Fun, and the type of challenge I needed. 



The house we will be in for a week, a direct painting from one of my photographs. Blog image  photographed, not scanned.


The beach at Acquinnah in Martha's Vineyard is rocky, with big rocks in the surf, and smaller ones on the beach.  Near the cliffs at Gayhead there are several huge rocks in the ocean that are always covered with cormorants.  This is a sketchbook page of mine from a previous visit, but many were on the rock again yesterday on our beach walk.


May 29, 2018

SeaGulls 2009-2015

I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't understand the flight of sea gulls until I started watching them take off and land on the beach.  I love watching them run down the sand as if it were a runway, then unfold their two part wings, and lift off - finally tucking up their legs like jet landing gear.  I try to take a few pictures, and draw the sea gulls from photos taken during our morning walks.  Here are some from years past. 









We watched this gull fighting with a fish on Martha's Vineyard, and my friend was able to capture several terrific photos with her telephoto lens.  I painted it several summers ago from the photo. 


May 25, 2018

Beach Shells: Summers 2010-2017

We began going to the beach in Southampton each summer in 2008.  Although I no longer enjoy sitting on the beach or swimming in the ocean, I discovered that I love long early morning beach walks, and careful observation of the life on the beach.  And I can't control my love of finding shells.  Our annual visits have resulted in two BIG containers of my favorite shells - and I will undoubtedly collect more this year.  Collecting them also means drawing and painting them and these are a few of my summer sketchbook drawings. 

Common and Rare Shells:  Scallop shells, which come in so many colors, and moon snails are very common and among my favorites.  The deep sea scallop is gorgeous, and I have only found 5 in 10 years. 


Mussel Shells - I'm attracted to the pearlescent blue interior of these mussel shells.



We also visit Martha's Vineyard, and this sketchbook page includes a Razor clam shell, "wampum" (which is a white and purple clam shell),  and a knobbed whelk shell.



Whelk shells are rare on both beaches.  This is one other type I've found - a channel whelk, and I wanted to see if I could accurately represent the holes in the shell.


In addition to shells, I've seen and drawn so many other things on the beach, including a Portugues Man of War, skates or rays, and many varieties of crabs.  If you "search" on my blog for "sand collars" you'll see one of the mysteries I loved solving.

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