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June 1, 2018

Beach Vacation One - 2018

We are at the beach with friends, and loving our early morning walks.  In spite of the thousands of shells I've collected, I still love looking for more.  But on our first 2 mile walk we saw almost none.  I therefore picked up a few items to draw and paint for the day.  I only learned about "wampum" several summers ago on Martha's Vineyard.  It is the purple part of quahog clam shells, and beautiful jewelry is made from this parts.  Wikipedia says it was used by the Northeast Indian tribes as a form of gift exchange, and the colonists adopted it as currency when trading with them.  I found quite a few pieces here, but don't remember noticing these fragments in prior years on these beaches. 

These pages were photographed and not scanned.  I was able to make the backgrounds slightly whiter in Photoshop, but definitely need more help with this. 

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My husband and his friend walking in front of us.

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I love the smooth stones we see on the beach - they are buffeted by the surf and have such beautiful shapes and surfaces.  I spent a considerable amount of time looking for watercolor tutorials about painting them, and finally painted them wet-in-wet.

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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. 

2009

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2011

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2013

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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. 

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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. 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

May 22, 2018

A New Sketchbook for Summer Vacation

For the last 10 years I recycled an old book to use as a summer sketchbook.  They are all different sizes, and have original titles that may or may not suggest a summer theme.  But I like the variety, and they are easier to make because I use the original book cover.    This year it was a strain on my wrist, because I'm still in PT after my fracture, but I DID IT!.  This book was purchased on the $2  carts outside the Strand Bookstore in NYC.  It is 9.5" tall and 7.5" wide, and has 24 pages of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press watercolor paper - enough for daily paintings while we vacation.

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I have a tutorial for "Recycling an old book as a sketchbook" - a 4 part series - at this link.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

I make pen/pencil holders for the front cover of each book making it easier to carry,  draw on location, and paint when I'm back at the house.  Mine are made with Velcro, but a simple one can be made from a tube of fabric and elastic.

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I usually save one or more of the original folios to add to my book, to honor this old book that will be discarded if not purchased from the carts.  This book was called BE, and it has a quote on one side of the cover ("Life is here and it is now"), and one interesting page that I made the title page of my sketchbook.

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May 18, 2018

Drawings From Christies Art on Paper Auction Previews

Christies had their Spring Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary Auction previews in the last 2 weeks, and I love to go to see the art that is usually coming out of one collection and going into another.  There are always wonderful pieces in their Art on Paper Drawing Gallery and I sketched two figures from a Juan Gris painting, and yet another Matisse face line drawing.

 

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Matisse and Picasso sketched so many wonderful faces in the simplest lines.

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