CA Sketchcation, Big Sur: "Fire to the Left, Hundred Foot Drop to the Right. What could go wron

Some of you might be aware that Big Sur is on fire right now, and has been for weeks. Luckily, Route 1 was only briefly closed and that didn't overlap with my trip. However, it means that the hills were a little smokier than usual (though with the clouds and fog that was also in the region while I was driving, it was a little tough to differentiate what was weather and what was smoke), and also that the national parks in that area are all closed. The only real bummer for me was that Hearst Castle was also shut down, and that was one of the few non-landscape attractions I was interested in seeing. Ah well though, I guess I'll have to go back! My drive started in Aptos. It was to be my biggest

CA Sketchcation, San Francisco: "The Beach Boys Songs are All Lies"

I should have listened to Mark Twain. "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." But when I looked at the weather forecast and it told me it would be in the early 60's, that didn't sound so bad! But then it was in the 50's, and what with the clouds, wind, and fog it definitely felt colder. Next time, I would bring a scarf. Because even though I visited in August, it was definitely October in California! (I even missed the sweltering New York summer. Perhaps I should have my head examined.) Other than the chill, I enjoyed San Francisco immensely! First stop? Ghirardelli Square. Why? Because I consider chocolate a top priority. First "real" sketch of the trip, done from

CA Sketchcation: A Tale of Four Airports

I just returned yesterday from a ten day trip through California! A childhood friend was getting married in Santa Monica, and as I had never been to the west coast before it seemed like a good time to take myself on a tour. I flew into San Francisco, visited the city for a couple days, rented a car, drove down route 1 (AKA the Pacific Coast Highway), stayed in Santa Monica and LA for a couple days, and drove back up to San Fran inland so I could drop the car and fly out through SFO. It was amazing, and exhausting. I went alone (though with Mindy Kahling and Maggie Smith audiobooks in tow!) and a big part of the motivation for the trip was the opportunity to have a whole vacation I could spen

Art as Gifts - Part 1

A perk of being an artist is being able to blatantly ignore my friends' wedding registries. Because really, who wants me to buy them another plate or some flatware when instead I can give them a framed watercolor that means something to them? Past endeavors have included a watercolor of Wildwood, NJ from a vintage photo for a friend who grew up going to the shore (and had at the time was living in Ohio, though now he and his wife are moving back to Jersey!) and a view from a popular lookout in Sewanee, TN for two friends who met and were married there. For my friend who just got married in California, conveniently she and her husband first lived in NYC together, so I thought it appropriate t

A New Favorite Subject

I spent a couple of weeks working in Long Island City, basically in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge. As a one-time resident of Long Island City, I have a special place in my heart for the Bridge and was happy to finally get around to painting it! Here's two sketches I did on lunch breaks! I also went with some coworkers on a walk over to Roosevelt Island after work one day, and we took the tram back to Manhattan. The light was fantastic and I snapped some great photos, so I'm looking forward to digging in and painting some at a later time!


No trip to Pittsfield would be complete without a breakfast biscuit sandwich at Dottie's. I did this on lunch one day.

Another "Mystery" Photo

This one was a photo I had saved to my computer, and I loved the lighting and the colors and wanted to give it a shot. When I instagrammed it a friend told me it was a restaurant in Sewanee, Tennessee, and I realized I had found it while researching the area before going to her wedding.

Pittsfield at Sunset

I did this one in fifteen minutes while waiting for a friend to go to dinner. It was a little chilly as the sun was setting so I was working wet into wet, but I think it works!

Working from Photos Stolen on the Internet

I think most of these were "borrowed" from friends' facebooks, saved on my computer for practice. While I was awayin MA I worked from photos a lot since I didn't have much time to go out and sketch plein air.

Stony Creek

I escaped Pittsfield one weekend to visit friends in Connecticut's picturesque Thimble Islands. I went a couple weekends last summer, and it's such a great place to sketch! Here are my two from this year, followed by a couple of last year's. These two houses are owned by my friend's family...I was staying in the one on the left. This is the view they have: I chose similar views last year too!

Cranes in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Last week I went for an interview at a shop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A perk was that the weather (and light and shadows!) were beautiful. I didn't have time to sketch on my way to or from, but I took some photos to work from later. Here's a sketch I did the following day, from one of those photos.


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