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August 8, 2009

Beach Visit With Annabelle

We just spent several days in Southampton with our youngest grandchild, Annabelle.  Our other 4 grandchildren live in Manhattan and spend lots of time with us.  Annabelle needs to figure out who we are and reestablish trust with each visit.  These are the first 3 journal pages from our visit.

When we arrived the pink hydrangeas at the house were finally in bloom and we brought one flower in to brighten an otherwise rainy Sunday.


This is Annabelle, on arrival in Southampton, sitting so nicely next to the pink hydrangea.  The circle to the left of the picture is one of the bubbles being blown as she plays with her cousins.


The following day Annabelle played with her cousin Sydney's flip-flops and I decided that these may be the only butterflies that I would see all week.  So this is my entry for EDM Challenge #235 - Draw a butterfly.


We had beautiful sunny days and after a morning walk on the neach with Annabelle, we took her to the village park and children's playground.  Wen we arrived these 4 "friends" were clustered together on the dock and I was able to rapidly sketch them before they swam off.



July 25, 2009

Back at the Beach

We're back at the beach for the weekend - enjoying our grandchildren.  I love the sea gulls and keep finding new ways to sketch them.  These were sketched with the Pilot Varsity Pen and then "painted" to get the ink to run.


I took this photo during our last visit, as we walked past a group of young children in wet suits who were waiting for their class to begin.  I thought they were so cute standing there watching the waves roll in. 


These sketchbook pages were photographed and not scanned and I can't seem to adjust the background color with Photoshop Elements.  Oh well!

July 18, 2009

Beach Visit

We spent last week in Southampton with friends that we have known for many years.  Each morning our group of 6 went for a two mile walk along the beach, enjoying the beautiful weather, watching the activity of the gulls, and collecting "treasures" to be sketched.  There were very few shells, in contrast to the same week last year.  After our walk, we sat at the Snack Shack, had breakfast, and sketched our Still life of treasures.



Clockwise:  Gull feather, skate egg sack, moon snail, crab claw, and small crab shell.






June 4, 2009


We spent 5 days in Southampton on a mini-vacation beginning last weekend.   In anticipation of summer travel, I recycled a 6" by 9" $1.00 children's book with 140 lb watercolor paper for my sketches.  I loved the cover:


And the wonderful imprint on the cover:


Here is the original title page.  I saved the book pages to read to my graandchildren.


We love walking several miles on the beach in the early morning, then relaxing in the afternoon, and wandering around late afternoon and early evening - usually for a casual dinner.

I loved Martha's Trip Calendars and made one for our days in Southampton for the second year.  We originally planned to stay through Thursday, but the reasonable, although very cool, weather was ending and rain was predicted until the weekend.


The azaleas and rhododendron were blooming in the yard, I couldn't resist painting a few blooms.  I added watercolor pencil for a few details.


We took our first beach walk in the afternoon of the first day - and searched for interesting shells and skeletons.  Last year my grandchildren threw away all of the shells we collected over several trips during the summer, but brought the 3 sleletons back to New York City for their permanent collection.  We were shocked to find 2 skeletons on our walk, but had no idea what type of fish they came from - although they were cartilaginous - meaning skate, ray, or shark.


The following morning we found more treasures on our beach walk:  a mermaid's purse (egg sac) which was intact, a big natural sponge, and a fish head skeleton.  I knew that the black, interesting leather-like structure was a skate or ray egg sac from my web browsing the evening before as we tried to identify the skeleton.


After our morning walks, we love to stop at the Snack Shack on Cooper's Beach for coffee.  Most mornings the temperature was between 50 and 60 degrees at 8AM and not much warmer when we finished our walk so the hot coffee was therapeutic.  This was my view East from the patio as I drank coffee and sketched some more.


We walked into the Village for an early and casual supper and I sketched my husband.  Surprise - you can tell it's him by the clothes and facial hair - not much else.


The above journal pages completed my daily blogging for the Every Day in May challenge.  This is my 3rd year during which I uploaded my daily journal pages to my blog - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  They certainly are a mixture of things:  both daily life and drawing practice.  I think that my internal critic gets a little more suppressed each year.  During the rest of the year, I'm more selective about my usual twice weekly blog posts.

Here is another drawing of my husband as he drinks his coffee and reads the New Yorker at the Snack Shack after our AM walk.  This really does capture him, but mostly because there are no facial features....


We drove East through the Hamptons to Town Line BBQ for dinner - and I tried to capture the event in spite of greasy fingers.  Yummmm!



After a heavy rainstorm, I spent some time in the yard in the sun and sketched a rhododenron bud with one flower open.  I remembered the bud from the Virtual Sketch Date several months ago and now could watch the entire bush bloom a little more each day.  I only realized that the flowers on the azalea and rhododendron were identical as I was sketching  - you can tell I'm not a knowledgeable gardener, can't you?


We were very lucky to have sunny mornings for walking on the beach, but we probably had the only interlude between rain and more rain on Wednesday, with more rain forecast until the weekend.  We continued to find lots of fish skeleton parts each morning including a total of 7 of those unidentifed large pieces.  We both surfed the web looking for some idea of what fish they were and what part of the fish they were from.  My husband finally found a suitable anatomical diagram of a skate and we learned that the point is the the most cephalad part (head)of a skate skeleton and my original drawing was of the dorsal side (i.e. back).  Unbelievable, but on our final walk we found two dead skates that had just washed up on the beach - one large intact one and one with the belly flesh gone so we could see exactly where the skeleton pieces we found were placed.  Our grandchildren asked us to bring all 40+ pieces back with us to the city - and between the bones, the egg sac, and the photos we took of the skates - we have a full biology lesson for them.

Last evening, after unpacking and soaking all of the skeleton pieces in bleach, I finished our mini-vacation pages with drawings of the sea gulls that I photographed as they took flight to avoid us as we walked through their sections of the beach.


Since I have recently told EDM members that it is so nice to see an occasional picture of them,  I decided to end this really long blog post with photos of us from yesterday on the beach.




August 24, 2008

More Beach Vacation Sketches

I loved searching for shells on the empty beach on our morning walk.  We usually arrived about one hour after high tide and on our walk one morning we found 3 very clean parts of a fish skeleton at the water line - a head, one large vertebra, and one small vertebra.  My daughter and grandchildren were equally interested in examining the backbone and asked us to look for more for a collection.  But none were found.


Another morning a Monarch butterfly accompanied us on our entire walk.  Just before we left, I was able to take a photo while the butterfly landed briefly on the sand.




We loved having morning coffee after our beach walk on the back deck under the umbrella.  My sketch is missing the bottoms of the 3 chairs across the table - it just got too complicated for me spatially.


Our final day - my masking fluid and tool for putting the mask on the paper, a beach rose, one of the seagulls immediately before flight, and my youngest grandson's sippy cup which was sitting in front of me while I was sketching.


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