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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. 


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.

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.


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

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.



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.



June 30, 2017

Sydney and the Swan Float

We spent 5 days at the beach with our family, and even though we took our usual early morning beach walks, the rest of the days were busy with the family - and especially with the 8 children in the pool.  I still wanted at least one drawing in my summer sketchbook from this important weekend, and decided to commemorate the favorite pool activity - riding the swan. There was always one or two children climbing on or off. This is our grand daughter Sydney - drawn and painted from a photo I took.


June 20, 2017

Annual Family Beach Weekend

We just returned from our Family Weekend at the Beach.  We had a wonderful time with our 3 children, their spouses, and all 8 grandchildren.  Although my husband and I took our regular beach walks, one morning with our oldest grandson Henry, I never seemed to get around to sketching.  But we did get photos - one of the most difficult things with our big group.

Our 3 children - Jason, Rachel, and Noah - parents of all 8 grandchildren.  


Barry and I (celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary) and all 8 grandchildren - ages 4-14: 


Left to Right: Robbie, Callum, William on my lap, Annabelle, Barry, Zachary, Henry, and Charlie on Sydney's lap. 


June 9, 2017

More Beach Sketchbook Pages

This was our 9th annual beach vacation with two couples that we've known FOREVER.  We go for early morning 2 mile beach walks, stop for coffee and breakfast on the ride back to the house, and then just relax and cook during most of the days.  We read LOTS!  And discuss children, grandchildren, politics, and memories as we struggle to recall events in the past, which then means someone googles the information. 

We ate another dinner at a local Sports Bar/Restaurant and I mixed together things I could see from my seat for this drawing.



There are many deer seen in the area, and even deer jumping on the dunes at the beach.  Two mornings, around 6-7AM, I saw a reasonable size doe eating her way across my daughter's row of bushes.  She reached as high as should could, so there are many low branches that have no leaves and still green tops. 


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