Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Sketch of the Year

New Years Eve at Fox Point - Click image for larger view
I finally got out this morning for a while and did some sketching. It has been a bit of a dry spell since we got back from the West coast. Life has just gotten in the way along with a very late rising sun. I loved this small collection of houses with their asymmetrical windows. I put in some wash to add depth but am still undecided if it was a wise move. . .

Parking lot sketches - Click image for larger view
A page from the book with some random sketches from early morning minutes before work..the sun is rising so late now that I have little time, but it is getting better each day. I been finding 'inspiration' in the parking lots of Wyoming.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pazi's Place once again

Pazi's Place - Diner in East Providence - Click image for larger view
I met Kathy again this morning at a local diner, Pazi's Place, on Taunton Ave East Providence. This is a very comfortable diner filled with nostalgia and good cheer. The owner (I think) is a really nice guy who likes to chat and keeps the coffee cups filled.  Today is a day of a big storm which is changing a lot of Thanksgiving plans around the country. It arrived here in the middle of the night. Kathy and I made it to the diner in the midst of wind and a torrent of rain. There were not a lot of people out and about at 6 am this morning, but the coffee war good and the bagel toasted nice and dark just how I like it. We sketched for about anjous I drew things and Kathy drew people…she is so good with that and I most definitely need to work on drawing people more.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hope Valley Fire Department

Hope Valley Fire Department - Click image for larger view
I sat across the street from the fire department in Hope Valley this morning. I should have done a double spread to get all of the building in the frame. I have a special affinity for fire fighters, especially those who volunteer. My folks had a fire many years ago and the volunteer fire department of Kenney, Illinois saved my Moms life. She was burned over 70 per cent of her body.  It took a very long time for her to recover, but thanks to those volunteers we all had an extra 20 years with Mom. Special thanks to all you fire fighters out there.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Early Morning Color

Sunrise, Hope Valley - Click image for larger view
The morning was so colorful today that I needed to do a color sketch. I found  a good place to park at the Post Office parking lot in Hope Valley with a great view of this house. Looks like a fine example of a Federal Period home to me. I love this style of architecture. The light in the sky this morning was changing so rapidly that I didn't know just how to address it. Early on there were fantastic clouds with reds and purples but by the time I had the basics sketched in it was just a clear golden morning.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The General Store

The Hack & Livery General Store - Click image for larger view
It is starting to be cold in the morning, so my sketching is now being done from the inside of my car. I was comfy this morning with my coffee, and the heater running while sketching and listening to a book playing through my iPhone. I think our civilization is getting spoiled… at least this sketcher is. This is a great country store and has the best selection of penny candy just about anywhere, but they are not open at 6:00 am. As i sketched, the sun came up and back lit this scene. I was looking almost exactly due East. The trees that still had their leaves were a beautiful golden color and the tall pines almost black against the bright sky. I am going to have to start adding color to these sketches.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Morning Sketches

I have created a small collection of my ink sketches that I do each morning before work and am offering them up for sale. This is a 50 page paperback book with sketches of Rhode Island, most of which I have done on my way to work. This is a printed version of many of the images you have seen here on the blog and likely some new ones too. There are sketches of Providence, East Providence, Cranston and Wyoming and Hope Valley - with a few other places thrown in too.

You can find it for sale here.

Ordinary places

The Post Office and Subway in Wyoming RI - Click image for larger view
It was a rainy and just plain dreary morning today - I parked in the lot of the Post Office and did a sketch of a rather mundane scene. I am thinking that most of what I sketch is just ordinary scenes, so I want to take it a step further and do even more ordinary locations, the things nobody thinks to record until they are  gone. This is a strip mall, most of the businesses have left, and I thought it might be a good thing to sketch.. while I was sketching a man from the Subway came out to my car, in the rain, to see if I had broken down and if I needed any help. It is reassuring that some people have such a good nature, even in the most ordinary of places. The other day I sketched the gas station that is next door to this Post Office. Ordinary places. . .
The Hess Station in Wyoming, RI - Click image for larger view

Saturday, October 19, 2013

1930 Ford

1930 Ford - Click Image for larger view
Carol and I spent the day today going from place to place. We started off in an Asian grocery store and then to Watchemoket Square Days in East Providence where I found this old truck and a comfy place to sit. I didn't get it too centered on the page -- the perils of working in ink. I could have spent more time there but there were places to go and things to see. We made it down to a place called Festival Farm in Hope Valley and stopped in several shops there as well. We met a potter and a wood turner and did some more shopping. . .we came home and did even more shopping... ending up the day at 7:00 -- and a good supper. In all I did three sketches today, and this is the one worth sharing.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pazi's Place and other things. . .

East Providence Diner - Pazi's Place - Click image for larger view
Kathy and I got out early again this morning and found another diner. This one is close to home and was a very comfortable diner filled with nostalgia..highly recommended.  I am guessing that the diner trend will continue into the winter as now it is dark until almost 7 and chilly too.
The Chapel at Wood River - Click image for larger view
Yesterday I sketched this chapel down near where I work. Not the best composition but a it is a charming little building. I have been told that there was one door for men and one door for women, as the women typically left the service early to cook Sunday dinner and it was less disruptive this way.

The Old Stone DamClick image for larger view
Another sketch from Hope Valley - this really is a pretty little village and a great area to sketch in. I have been having a good time sketching in the morning and the light is so good these days as the sun rises...
Warren Avenue Liquor Store - Click image for larger view
And a sketch from earlier this week of the Liquor store about a mile from the house. The had a fire in an apartment upstairs recently.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

West Side Diner

West Side Diner - Click image for larger view
For the past several weeks my friend Kathy and I have been getting together to sketch in the early morning hour before I have to go off to work. As winter approaches it is getting lighter much later in the morning and I have to be at the other end of the state by 7:30ish so I must leave the Providence area by 7:00. The sun now rises at 6:53 am...so we are starting a diner and cafe tour..and I am really crap at drawing people and interiors. Last weekI did a sketch in the Seaplane Diner that was so bad it is not posted anywhere. Today in the West Side Diner I took a different route by doing a bit more of a 'journal page' in the sketchbook, filling it with little bits of information rather than a single sketch on a more grand scale. So I will post this one today and see what you all think. It's gonna be a loooooong winter

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hillside houses in Hope Valley

Hillside Houses - Click Image for Larger View
This morning I went down to the Old Stone Dam to sketch and these houses were just popping out of the hillside across the street, so they got my attention. This was interesting to sketch as the houses were sitting against a hillside that was heavily forested with tall pines and the the street in front of them wandered up the hill and disappeared into the woods. I initially though I would do a color sketch but as I progressed I liked the tonal qualities of the ink drawing. It was a great morning to sketch with good sunlight and the sound of the waterfall behind me. . .

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recent sketches

Cable Car Cinema & Cafe - Click image for larger view
I am trying to get back in the routine of getting out and sketching every day but as it is getting light so much later it makes it difficult. This morning I drove into Providence and sat across the street from the Cable Car and splashed some ink and color onto the paper. Not my best work, more of an experiment and I started it in the dark. . . I need to start to limit my palette as I think the range of color is too great here. Below is a sketch I did this past weekend out on Cape Cod...
Grays Beach - Click image for larger view
The tide was running out very fast and as I was drawing this I was watching the landscape change. Looks like a great place to bring the kayaks.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Old Stone Dam gets a new wall

The Old Stone Dam - Click Image to View Panorama
The Old Stone Dam in Hope Valley Rhode Isalnd ha had a new wall built on the of the side of the rive as you can see in this panorama. Click on the image to view the 360º panorama.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

NYC 56th & Park

30 stories up - Click image for 360º Panorama
The other day I got the opportunity to go to a new building under construction in NYC to do some photography. I did not have my panoramic rig with me but shot this one handheld with all the wrong technology. I think it still may give you some idea where we were. When finished this building will be 90 stories tall (If I remember correctly) and will be the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. Click on the image above to view a full 360º panorama of the city.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Old Crane on Barge

Crane on Seekonk River - Click Image for larger view
I had sketched this once before and will likely visit it again. There is just so much here to put down on paper. My time ran out this morning as I was sketching so not background on this one, but I am glad to be adding color once again. The Washington Bridge was behind this barge with the early morning sun giving it golden highlights.. . didn't get it at all. Maybe next time. but overall happy with this one, using a very limited palette - basically ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Old Willys Truck

1954 Willys Truck - Click image for larger view
I found this old truck the other day as I was scouting places to sketch and immediately fell in love with it. I am sure that I will return here time and time again. There are a couple of other old vehicles here too but this one just has stolen center stage with personality. I'll keep sketching this one until I get it right.
Sacred Heart School - Click image for larger view -
As you can see by the number on this drawing of Ben's school I have one more to do before the 75 Day Sketch Challenge is over. . . it has been a long black and white road but well worth it as I have made friends online and pushed myself to try to get some discipline in these old bones. Thanks Brenda Swenson for the great challenge.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Paw Sox and other things

McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket - Click image for larger view
Last night we went to the Paw Sox game at McCoy Stadium. Thanks Benny, who got the tickets from Mr. D, his music teacher. It was Gracies' birthday and the whole family went, what a treat. We had great seats and the light and the colors were just fantastic, I love night games. And the Paw Sox won 5 to 1 beating the Redwings once again. We had french fries and orange soda, mmmmmmmm. Although this drawing is NOT one of my best it was fun to sketch and watch the game.
Haven Methodist Church -Click image for larger view
On Thursday morning Kathy and I got out sketching again and found this church on Taunton Avenue in East Providence. It is always fun to have company while sketching and some idle chatter. I have now completed 69 of the 75 drawings for the 75 Day Sketch Challenge...back to color soon.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Yellow House

The Yellow House - Click image for larger view
This morning I found this house sitting in the sunshine, and welcome sunshine after days of rain. I was struck by the contrast of the house, which is a pale yellow, against the dark background of green, a late summer rich, dark green full of morning shadows. Since I am dealing with black and white for a few more days I tried to capture that feeling. You will decide if I was successful or not, but I did have a good time trying. This house is on Main Street (RT 138) in Hope Valley. 8 X 5 inches, Faber-Castel Pitt XS pen

Friday, August 30, 2013

Some recent things

Mill in Pawtucket -- Click image for larger view
I realized I havent posted in a few days so here are a few just to catch up. I think my perspective ran away with me a bit with the mill sketch above but an interesting place none the less - thanks Kathy for the location and inspiration.
Utrecht - we all need art supplies -- Click image for larger view
Another sketch before work of the Utrecht store on Wickenden street in Providence. A pretty good place to shop, the generally have most everything I need but the last time I went there they let me down with no Moleskin watercolor pad. . .
The USCG Station, Cuttyhunk - Click image for larger view
The sketch above is from our cruising last week. Cuttyhunk is a small island off the coast of Massachusetts with a year round population of 15 and I would guess several hundred during the summer.
Another view of Cuttyhunk -Click image for larger view

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Some shots from the deck of Tapestry

It has been a while since I posted any photos - I got these this morning from Tapestry while we were riding at anchor.
Before sunrise, Mt. Hope Bridge - Click image for larger view
We anchored Tapestry for the night just off the shore of our friend Van and Andi's house on Prudence and spent the weekend enjoying the company of friends. This is the view of the sunrise this morning.
The color just kept coming - Click image for larger view
The color changes this morning were remarkable and the bay was like glass. I think the only rocking we did all night was when a tug passed early this morning.
The sun finally broke the horizon -Click image for larger view
Valvamous - Click image for larger view
Our friends Mark and Shirley arrived by Valvamous, a Valiant 50 that Mark has restored, what a beautiful boat. However, they forgot to provision any coffee, so I swam over and gave them their first cup of the day.
Iona McAlistar pre dawn -Click image for larger view
This is the tug that rocked the boat early this morning. She was quite a site in the predawn light.
The 'launch service' -Click image for larger view
Van provided launch service from shore to the boats

Monday, August 12, 2013

Football Practice

At football practice - Click image for larger view
Obviously you have figured out by now that in the evenings we go watch Ben practice football with the East Providence Junior Townies -- Go Townies!!!  This evening found this ice cream truck to sketch and the people sketching is pretty good too.
Spectators -Click image for larger view
These are some folks that sat in front of us the other day. Last Saturday Ben had a scrimmage down in Fall River, MA - some photos I shot here

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ma & Pa's Country Store

Country Store in Hope Valley - Click image for larger view
I didn't get as early a start this morning as I would have liked so this one was a bit rushed. I have driven past this country store many times and have always wanted to sketch it. Today was the day and I am not all that happy with the result. I should have set my stool up across the street - but I will save that for another day. I really like the jumble of crates and boxes that seem to accumulate around places like this, and that Ice locker is a classic, at least here in New England. Some day I may even come here when it is open. . . maybe I'll make it a point to come get a sandwich here for lunch one day soon.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sketching with Kathy

The Remnant Shop - Click image for larger view
This morning my good friend Kathy Weber and I met early to go sketching down in Hope Valley. She (she is the real artist, not a hack like me) has been following my doodling and wanted to go sketch there and today we finally made the time. This was my first sketch - an old mill converted to a retail outlet for fabrics. What a spectacular building and I REALLY wanted to add some color to this one. the front of this building was in shadow and I didn't know how to handle that in ink and maintain the detail. (and I may have gone a bit extreme with the perspective)

While Kathy continued to sketch some of the wonderful Victorian houses in the area I walked dow about a quarter of a mile and got his vies of a barn which is set back off the road.
Barn, Hope Valley - Click image for larger view
I am not all that happy with this one - I didn't spend much time laying it out and there seems to be a lot wrong with it. We headed back to Providence looking for something a bit more industrial and less bucolic and found this. . .
Along Allens Avenue - Click image for larger view
This was certainly an ambitious undertaking. I had skipped a page in my sketchbook so I could do a full two page spread. The plant goes on more, off to the right with all sorts of interesting things, but I just ran out of energy. . . and this ink only nonsense really makes my brain hurt. Kathy did several great sketches in pencil with wonder shades of gray. . . . oh but I long for a pencil or pigment! So this makes sketch number 39 out of the 75. I am now over half was there.

OOOPS! I checked my numbers and left out number 37! So I had to drive into Providence and sketch this. . .
Ladd Observatory - Click image for larger view
This is likely one of Providences best kept secrets. It is open to the public, on Wednesday nights (I think) and free. If the skies are clear you get to view the heavens through their giant telescope. It's like being in a Jules Verne novel.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

St Francis Xavier Church

St Francis Xavier Church - Click image for larger view
I got out sketching a couple of time today and this one is worth sharing. I spent quite a while working out the perspective and the relationship of things before I jumped into this one. I think I should have gone for a more extreme perspective , gotten closer and looked up more at the bell tower - maybe next time. I was also experimenting with some new pens made by Faber-Castell - Pitt artist pens... nice dense black. I'll try them for a while

Friday, August 2, 2013

Cool house in Richmond, RI

House in Richmond - Click image for larger view
Sat in the car in the rain this morning, drinking coffee and doodling this house which was all snuggled in the woods across from Richmond Town Hall. I parked in the town hall parking lot for about a half an hour - most of my time was spent scribbling in the trees in the back. . .

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Providence Skyline revisited

Providence Skyline from East Providence - Click image for larger view
A one hour sketch - sitting on the wall at the scenic overlook on the Parkway, six in the morning, sipping my coffee. I got some things right, some things wrong, and made up some. . . .

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sparky's & Football

Sparky's - Click image for larger view
Not much going on at Sparky's at 6:00 a.m. - but come Saturday noon. . ., they got best dogs around. Get 'em with 'the works'. 8 X 5 inches on Moleskin watercolor sketchbook, Sharpie fine line pen. Day 29 and 30 of the challenge. . . I am a few of days behind in my work, gotta catch up! The picture below is of Ben and his team-mates practicing football in Riverside at the Frank Della Famine Field. Trying to get as many done as I can. It was a perfect evening to sit and watch and sketch.

Go Townies! - Click Image for larger view
There were a LOT more kids on the field than this!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Freddie Bing's Hot Dog Thing

Freddie Bing's Hot Dog Thing - Click image for larger view
A 30 minute sketch that was finished up without the hot dog stand as the owner came whit his truck and drove away with it... so the final detailing was done without my subject and I didn't get the chance to include the young lady that was tending to the stand.

Friday, July 26, 2013

East Providence Yacht Club, revisited

East Providence Yacht Club - Click image for larger view
Sat in the car again this morning, still raining. I got this spread done in about an hour and 5 minutes, then had to rush off to work. There is so much going on in this area I could spend a few days here and wear out a few pens and brushes. I love the old rusty bridge remains. This bridge once was a rail bridge connecting East Providence with Providence. There is a wonderful painting of this bridge and trains and industry on the walls of the East Providence Post Office on Grove Street.