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June 20, 2016

My Sea Shell Obsession

We were back at the beach with our family this weekend, and on my early AM walk with my husband I found an Atlantic Deep Sea Scallop Shell, my 4th in 9 years!  And my husband almost stepped on it as we walked.  They are large and beautiful, deep orange red in color and very flat.  This is a happy me!

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I collect shells as we take our 2 mile morning walks - and most are the common midatlantic shell varieties.  My grandchildren  all learned how to identify them, and I stash the really good ones on a shelf in my daughter's garage.  On Friday my grand daughter Sydney and I bought a large jar to save some of these shells and she placed each of them perfectly.

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My newly found scallop shell went on the very top less than 24 hours later!!.  These are my two sketchbook pages for the weekend - the scallop shell and one of the planters around the pool. 

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June 9, 2016

Beach Vacation - Post 3

 

We are almost at the end of our beach vacation with our friends, but will return with our family later this month.  And I continue to collect shells on our beach walks, and also sketched a beach scene and our bedroom for a little variety.

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The item on the bottom right is an operculum, which moon snails use as a latch door over the opening in the shell.  The are almost translucent and have a beautiful structure.

I challenged myself to draw/paint a broken moon snail, but the internal structure is hard to paint to show the depth.

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This was the view from the deck at the Café where we have coffee after our beach walk.

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And after our beach walk, and during the heavy rain and wind, I sketched the bedroom we stay in at the beach.  It is primarily a happy memory page for me and a perspective challenge. 

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June 6, 2016

Beach Vacation - 2nd post

We are at the beach on our 8th annual vacation with dear friends.  I pick up shells on our morning beach walk, but rarely see any that I haven't found and sketched previously over the years.  But that makes these trips more memorable!

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I made a new case for my sunglasses using strip-piecing and old scraps from my fabric stash.  The analogous hot colors make me smile!

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I love watching the seagulls and managed to get a photo of one right as it was beginning to take off in flight. 

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We drove down to the beach on Sunday morning, but it was raining and likely to do so all day.  So we went for coffee at Citarellas and enjoyed the time talking to local residents.

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All of these sketchbook pages were photographed, not scanned, accounting for the pale blue background colors.

 

June 25, 2015

Birds, Birds, and Surf

When our friends are visiting us, and we are taking early morning beach walks, we see and find such interesting things.  We usually see skeletal parts of skates, and various fish skulls.  There are lots of empty helmet crab shells, and skate egg sacs.  This year we even saw one whelk egg case!  But this year we also found a bird skull!  My friend Jeff loves to do the research and using a bird skull identification site, he determined that it was from a "shearwater" bird that lives on the East coast.  I sketched dorsal, ventral, and lateral views, adding it to my painting of a feather that was different than all of the gull feathers lying on the beach.

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At the end of our walk, 8 of us had coffee on the beach and Jeff's wife Sara and I sketched more scenes from the beach.  We had two pairs of birds right above us and next to us, and they definitely did not like the competition and squawked at each other the whole time.  The gulls love sitting there watching everyone eat.  The black birds (crows or grackles?) were newcomers.

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Deliberate Practice:  I take pictures of the surf so I can practice with masking fluid when I'm home. 

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June 23, 2015

Family Weekend at the Beach

We just returned from our Family Weekend at the Beach.  One of our children lives in DC and as a group we have increasing difficulty finding a summer weekend that everyone can be together.  Our oldest grandchildren are leaving for 7 weeks in summer camp this week and just about when they return, our DC grandchildren will be going back to school.

I invited my alien AXEL to join us too. 

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I only did one sketchbook page while we were there.  The activity level was way too high to concentrate, but now that I'm home I'll work from a few photos I took.

On one of our beach walks we saw an area roped off as a tern nesting area.  We are used to seeing this for piping plovers.  I wasn't sure that I could recognize a tern, but it wasn't long before a tern and 3 babies were spotted ahead of us on the sand.

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The hardest part of our summer weekend, and holidays when we are together, is to get a photo of all 8 grandchildren.  It was starting to rain, and I quickly got them lined up and took several photos.  Here they are - ages 2-11!   

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