In transit, at Charlotte airport

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the way back from a quick trip to Nashville last week, had a stopover at the Charlotte, N.C., airport. Had dinner at Tequileria there, and just had time and energy for a quick sketch of its bar area.

(Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen, B tip, in black; colored later with same pens of various shades.)

Diners at River Cat Grill, Rowayton

Friday, December 05, 2008

Decided to go to River Cat Grill in Rowayton, CT, for dinner. We usually go there in the summertime, but we were pleasantly surprised to see a roaring fire and lovely holiday decor. Did a quick sketch in between courses, but decided that the Prismacolor Fine Line Marker and the Moleskine sketchbook just don't like each other. The lines were barely visible in the half-light of the restaurant. So I colored the sketch in Photoshop after scanning it in.

(Prismacolor Premier .005 sepia Fine Line Marker in Moleskine sketchbook; color added in Photoshop.)

Another lunchtime sketch

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This time, looking out the window & sipping tea at Grand Sichuan on Lexington Ave. When I added water to dissolve the watercolor pencil, I realized why a lot of people favor the waterproof Noodler's Ink colors. Apparently Beaver isn't one of them!

(Lamy Safari with Noodler's Ink in Beaver in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook; colored with Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolor pencils.)

Lunch crowd at Lemongrass Grill, NYC

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brrrr! It's a chilly week in New York City. Popped into a Thai restaurant near my office for lunch yesterday -- Lemongrass Grill.

(Lamy Safari with Noodler's Ink in Beaver; colored with Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolor pencils.)

Dinner in SoNo

Friday, November 14, 2008

Stopped in at an Obama celebration party at The Loft in South Norwalk and then headed to dinner at Match. The chickpea/garlic soup-and-spanakopita appetizer was delicious. Sketched the bar while waiting for our main course, which was pizza.

(Lamy Safari with Noodler's Ink in Beaver in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook; colored later with Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolor pencils.)

20th Worldwide Sketchcrawl

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Went up to Keene, NH, for the annual Pumpkin Festival and to participate in the 20th Worldwide Sketchcrawl. No one else responded to the post from the area, so I did a solo crawl.

We stopped in Massachusetts to get some gas, so I did a quick sketch of the area:

Then we dropped our bags at a friend's house and walked to the Pumpkin Festival.

There were lots of people bringing their pumpkins in to be registered and added to the total.

According to the Keene Sentinel, the final count was only 22,568, well short of the record. But considering the gray skies and threat of rain, the turnout was pretty good. Here are a few photos I took of the event.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Just got back from a trip to Houston, Texas. We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Zaza and ate at some of the city's best restaurants (thank you to the Chronicle writers and editors for their great recommendations!) Next time, we're definitely going to rent a car, but I think we did a good job seeing much of the city considering we had only our complimentary hotel drivers (available for trips within a 5-mile-radius) plus public buses, Metro rail, and two feet for transport. We shopped at the Galleria, walked from Upper Kirby all the way to Rice Village, looked in at Lot 8, rode the light rail to Reliant Stadium, and sampled some great food at Goode Company. Yesterday, while we waited for Hugo's to open (note: Best. Brunch. Ever.), we had coffee/tea at a cute cafe called Brasil, at Westheimer & Dunlavy, in the Montrose section of the city. They filled the cups so full that much of our beverages spilled onto our saucers, which were lined with napkins. So I used the wet napkins as my waterbrush-cleaners as I was sketching this. Unfortunately I don't think my watercolor picked up the lovely scent of orange spice tea, though! ;-)

Kids, animals, fall weather

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Went to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center yesterday with M's parents & sister's family.

Catch-up post - Mets game

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Went to one of the last Mets games at Shea. They did win that night. Yes, the players look like giants on the field in this sketch -- realized that as I was drawing them, and then, well, kept making them giants anyhow.

Birthday Extravaganza

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Took a half-day on Thursday for my birthday, and went to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Currently there's a Henry Moore exhibit going on, so there were lots of sculptures to see. It got fairly warm, so I sat on a bench and sketched for a bit.

On Saturday, M took me to the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY. We had a picnic lunch before riding the tram around the 500-acre outdoor sculpture museum (and yes, once again saw several Henry Moore works).

Then we headed to another surprise destination: Mohonk Mountain House, in New Paltz, NY.
Sketched this while M rowed us around the lake in an old-school wooden rowboat. Felt very "Brideshead Revisited" indeed (coincidentally we'd gone to see the movie Friday evening). We then hiked up the Sky Top path to the lookout tower.

Island Near Our House

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Went kayaking a few weeks ago and took some pictures of one of the small islands off the coast near our house. Decided to paint this from the photo, to practice coloring the stones. Not sure what these ruins on the island are from, exactly, or how old they are.

Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Took the 2-1/2 hour trip up and back on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway in NH on Saturday. We rode in the train with the biodiesel engine, but we got to see the traditional steam engines puffing away. It was quite a warm day, even in the White Mountains, but it was rather chilly at the summit!

Dining Al Fresco

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A quick sketch done a little over a week ago, while waiting for dessert to arrive at Saltwater Grille.

More Caesar, and Majestic

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Another sketch from the "Julius Caesar" performance:

And a quick sketch of the The Majestic movie theater in Stamford that I did tonight while waiting for M to drive up in the car after dinner at Ferrante:

(Lamy Safari with Noodler's ink in Lexington Grey, in Moleskine sketchbook)

Beware the Ides of March

Friday, June 27, 2008

Went to see this year's Shakespeare on the Sound production of "Julius Caesar" in Rowayton on Wednesday -- the only night forecasted no potential shower activity. The production was lovely as usual, and our green beach chairs were very comfortable. I was glad I had reread most of the play beforehand (squinting at the online full text on my BlackBerry on the train to and from work, but still).

Heat Wave

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The temps soared into the 90s today, so we headed to the beach. M kayaked while I sketched this reader relaxing in his beach chair. I'm still getting used to the intensity of the W&N Artist's watercolors -- they're also harder to regulate with a waterbrush.

(Lamy Safari w/ Noodler's Ink in Lexington Gray, with Winsor & Newton watercolor added with waterbrush.)

South Pasadena - Very Un-L.A.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Flew out to Los Angeles for the weekend -- gorgeous weather, and amazingly functional public transportation in most areas. I can see why people live in SoCal. Really.

Pasadena, where we stayed, and South Pasadena, a few stops down the Gold Line, are nice, walkable areas that don't feel too sprawly unless you're close to the freeways. Here's a sketch I did while waiting for the Gold Line train to Highland Park to visit a childhood friend:

Did a quick one of a few cyclists as they went through the intersection:

We went to brunch at Firefly Bistro on El Centro Street, right near the Mission train station, where there was live music and very yummy food. Did a quick sketch of the guitarist while waiting for our entrees.

(Lamy Safari w/ Noodler's Ink in Lexington Gray, and Winsor & Newton watercolors added afterward.)

Weir Farm - Nice Location, Bad Choice of Paper

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Since it was such a nice day yesterday, we decided to go to Weir Farm in Wilton, CT, after lunch. M would bike and I would sketch. It started off fine -- I decided to try out my brand-new red Lamy Safari extra-fine point fountain pen with Noodler's ink in Lexington Grey (hat tip to Nina Johansson) in a Moleskine sketchbook. But then I decided to try to color it in with my new Winsor & Newton watercolors, freshly bought from Cass on my trip to London. Bad idea. The watercolor beads on the Moleskine sketchbook surface, or worse, becomes gouachey and weird. I knew I shouldn't have done this -- I'd read countless posts on how the sketchbook pages don't really like w/c... but I guess I had to prove it for myself. And I did. If I had just left the line drawing alone, it would have been much better. And then I hated the w/c so much that I scribbled all over it with Pitt Artist pen in black. Ugh.

London and India trip

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just got back from our two-week trip to London, Delhi, Bangalore, Coorg, and Bombay! Lots of fun, wonderful food, totally exhausting! Did more sketching in London as the weather was on the cooler side. India was experiencing a heat wave, so it was more conducive to photography than sketches, unfortunately. Here's what I did on the trip.

First up, a view of the stalls at London Book Fair:

Next, Temple Church near the Inns of Court:

Camden Passage antiques market in Islington:

A slice of Kensington Gardens:

And finally, from India, a view from the coffee plantation estate we stayed at in Polibetta (Coorg):

Sketchcrawl #18

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Had too much stuff to do at home, so decided to do Sketchcrawl here in CT instead of joining the NYC bunch. Started off at the Harry Bennett branch of the Ferguson Library:

Then we went to dinner and a jazz performance at the Silvermine Tavern in Norwalk:

A View of the Red Carpet

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Had dinner at Capriccio Cafe on 2/24, and could see the local officials and well-heeled guests arriving for the Oscar party at the Avon Theatre across the street. Sketched the scene between pasta and dessert; had to split the scene in two because it wouldn't all fit on the page to scale. (The tent was really below/in front of the theatre part.) Lots of lovely gowns and dapper tuxes.

Tapas on the Post Road

Friday, February 08, 2008

Had dinner at Barcelona tonight, in Greenwich, Ct., and took the opportunity to sketch a few of the people in this cozy, convivial space. Even though the Pilot Varsity fountain pen's ink (this time I used the turquoise one) isn't waterproof, it doesn't dissolve completely when hit with watercolor. (The other was done with the Pitt Artist pen in black.)

More on the Palette

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

As promised, here's a picture of the palette box. It uses three rows of plastic Prang kids' watercolor pans, emptied and refilled with tube colors -- some student grade, some artist grade. They just happened to fit perfectly into the aluminum palette box! (Yes, for some reason I didn't have alizarin crimson in a tube, so I inserted a Cotman half-pan in there for that color and the white for the time being.)


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A lot of new stuff to play with! First, after being outbid twice on eBay for a set of 24 Schmincke watercolors, I decided to make my own box of two dozen colors as a temporary solution. Here's the palette -- I'll post a picture of the actual box later, which was made by taking apart three cheap Prang 8-pan kids' sets from Staples and gouging out the colors before refilling them from tubes and snapping them into an alumnium palette box that I happened to have bought last year at a garage sale. No Schmincke, of course, and a lot of them are student grade Cotman and Grumbacher, but at least it expands my range of color options for the moment.

I also bought a couple of Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens. The ink that they come with is not waterproof, which makes for some interesting effects. They're also (unintentionally) refillable, apparently, so I might try replacing the ink later on.

Coffee in the 'Gunks: New Paltz

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Drove to New Paltz, N.Y., this morning to explore the town. After lunch at Village Tea Room, M. biked to Rosendale while I hit the shops. As in Hastings-on-Hudson, it was too cold to wander outdoors for too long so I settled on a faded couch with a pot of tea at Muddy Cup Coffee House and sketched the artsy young types that were there. (Pentel brush pen & watercolor in Hand-Book journal.) After M. was done biking, we drove a little into the Shawangunk Mountains and ogled the gorgeous scenery before heading back home.

Here's a sampling of the lovely scenery in these mountains. We definitely want to go back in the spring or summer, when we can explore the area further and spend more time outdoors. It's only an hour and a half away, after all.