Category Archives: Virginia Beach

another pretty scene at Pleasure House Point

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charcoal and chalk

There are so many nice places to get off the main trail and sketch. The fishermen have beaten little paths all around. If you’re concerned about social distancing you can step back easily when a group of people walk past you.

I enjoyed being there so much this morning. It was sunny and windy. I had to take my hat off because I was afraid I’d lose it.

When I left there today I decided to run by Jerry’s Artarama and see if I could buy a piece of watercolor paper. The store is open but you can’t go in. People are calling in their orders or ordering online, then you can pick it up at the door or they will deliver it to you. So, I didn’t have to wait very long and the sales lady brought the paper out to me.

Modern problems require modern solutions, right?

I’d like to try to paint this scene in watercolor as my next project.

charcoal sketch at Pleasure House Point feat fisherman and oysters

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I like this one more than my sketch from yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be nice again then a couple days of rainy weather. I could find another view and do another sketch before I make up my mind which view to paint.

I hope they open VA up real soon because I thought I had a big piece of watercolor paper and all I have is smaller sketchbooks. I guess I could order the paper from somewhere but I’d rather go to the store and buy it.

Meanwhile, I could prime a canvas, maybe do it in oil paint. Which medium to use… often the first decision to make out of hundreds when planning a painting. I really need the watercolor practice.

Today I broke one of my own rules. I stepped into the tall grass to sketch. I didn’t spray with Deet first either.So far I don’t feel bug bit so maybe I got away with it today.

That guy standing out there in the sedge made me think nothing would bite me. He might be wearing waders. I couldn’t tell. I just scribbled him in before he moved.

If I paint this scene I’ll have to look at the tide tables so I can catch it at low tide so the oysters won’t be under water.

sketch at Pleasure House Point / charcoal

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It was nice to get over there today. I smelled honeysuckle, my favorite scent since I was a kid and the honeysuckle bloomed when school let out for the summer.

A lot of people were there but I found a spot off the trail to sketch. I saw a lot of birds, egret, osprey, some kind of small heron type bird, possibly a sand piper.

This was easy to sketch. I’ll stretch a piece of watercolor paper and go back tomorrow. The weather is going to be nice again.

The little black dots in the water are oysters. mmmmm, fried oysters. You can’t take these, they’re protected.

I sewed a lot of masks for the cable guy to distribute. He sent me an email to say thanks. Whatever he does with them, I don’t care. It’s too many for one guy to need, he’ll probably give them away. I didn’t tell him it’s a bad idea to sell them. I hope he doesn’t, but it’s really out of my hands.

A few days at the sewing machine made my back tired. I’m glad I have the opportunity to help the community in the corona crisis. I might sew more, but first I need to get out and try to do an art project.

 

 

50 free masks for nurses

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There they are all lined up on the back of my sofa before going out this afternoon.

It will be great to have the masks on the faces of 50 health care pros tomorrow. I must say, this is a great organization I hooked up with, the Covid19 Sewing Taskforce for Hampton Roads. They have over 1200 volunteers including me and have made 10,975 masks so far for 22 health care institutions. A lot of the fabric is donated but they have people donating money too and are buying fabrics. People that can’t sew help in other ways like cutting the fabrics and making kits for seamstresses.

There must be a wire shortage because one of my kits had pipe cleaners instead of wires. Since they had precut the fabric I could knock out 50 in two days for them. I did around 15 before I hit my stride.

The cable tv guy had to come over today and hook me up because I can’t do it and my son in law was stumped as to why it didn’t get the signal. The cable guy asked me to sell him one of the masks. I told him I can’t sell them, those were for nurses. Those cable guys, they have to go into people’s houses and wear a mask but the company isn’t giving them masks, I guess, because he was wearing a dirty old construction mask. He wants a mask he can wash.

I have a box full of scraps of cotton so tomorrow I’m going to sort through the pieces and cut masks for the cable guys. I got his phone #, told him I’ll call him in a couple days and give him cotton masks for himself and his coworkers.

Then maybe next week I’ll sew more for nurses. People seem to think this crisis will go on for a while but I think it’s almost over. I’ll sew more for a little while then I’ll get back to art projects.

Rudee Inlet at Sundown / pastel

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Long ago, when I was a young chick in art school, they insisted we must learn linear perspective using vanishing points. It was too technical for me. I promptly forgot what I learned. After doing a few vanishing point exercises I decided if I wanted to draw architecture I’d just eyeball it.

It’s not easy to draw architecture. I have to try at least twice and it’s still not exactly right but it’s not annoying my eyes so this will do. My perspective is a little off and my proportions are a little off, I hope it’s not noticeable.

When I can get my lines straight I’m happy. I did this all free hand not using a photo or even a ruler. To check my lines for straightness I look at my drawing on the edge the way you look down the edge of a board to see if it’s warped, tilting the drawing so I’m not looking straight at it but kind of looking sideways. Then I can see where my lines go off straight and it’s easier to make corrections. It might seem like a slow process to draw straight lines this way but  I want to do it freehand and practice will pay off in the long run.

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This is a close up showing two focal points. The light in the foreground is a focal point because it’s contrasting with the bridge support that is partially illuminated by it, that support being the only one with a lot of light on it, and the dark lines going behind it on a slant. The secondary focal point in the background is a streetlight far away. It’s white against black, so if a viewer’s eye is zooming in on details their eye will stop there and look at the background for a second before moving on. You can see some sketchy boats in this photo which aren’t a focal point and aren’t even noticeable from far away.  Yeah, those are boats. I could hardly see them from where I was but I drew them anyway. (artistic license – draw as much or as little as you want to)

The lines look tilted because I wasn’t holding my camera exactly square to the paper.

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This close up shows reflections continuing from above the bridge to below it. I wanted to have some light reflecting under the bridge to tie the top to the lower part with a little light. That’s another secondary focal point on the far right of the drawing because of the white square on the black background and the orange square next to it.

Sundown was my favorite time of day to draw this scene from the balcony of my hotel. A half hour earlier the sun was glaring on the water so bright I couldn’t look in that direction. A half hour later and the buildings in the background blended in with the trees’ darkness.

I started this pastel in Plein air at the inlet on the 6th floor of the hotel. I did my drawing and picked my colors in plein air. Then I got an apartment and moved in. After a couple days I stopped unpacking and organizing the apt. so I could finish this. Now I have to get back to the unpacking job before I start another art project.

I’ve seen a lot of ospreys lately

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I lifted this photo from free stock because I’ll never get a shot this good.

That 10 nights I stayed at the oceanfront when my lease was up at my old apt. and I didn’t know where to go, then that same day they announced VA needs to go on lockdown, so I went to a hotel with a good view, I saw an osprey fly past my balcony 3 different times with a fish in it’s talons. Another time I saw the bird on top of a street light pole eating a catch.

Then I moved into this apt which is quiet and safe and has a real private balcony with 2 big old cedar trees blocking my view of an empty baseball diamond out back, and I saw ospreys flying around.

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Yesterday I saw 3 huge birds on that pile of sticks on top of that light pole on the left, and there’s another smaller pile of sticks on a pole on the right with an osprey hanging around. A bird is on top of the “nest” on the left but it’s not showing up in my photo and you can barely see the bird on the right. That’s as far as my camera can zoom in.

I didn’t even notice the pile of sticks until yesterday when I saw them flapping around it. I thought I saw a little white head popping up a few times. I don’t know for sure that the stick pile was there all along because we had a gale force wind here on Mon. How did that pile not blow down? Or did the 3 birds just make that since the day of the big wind? I didn’t see them on top of the sticks again yesterday but this morning I saw one fly in and the other one leave.

At first I thought it could be that the 3  birds going to the sticks on the left were last years chicks who haven’t paired off yet but want to practice their nest building skills. I don’t know. This morning I saw one fly from the pile on the left over to the smaller pile on the right.

Also, I was sitting on the balcony at the oceanfront hotel and 2 pigeons landed right in front of me on the railing. I looked at them. They looked at me. One flew away then the other flew away but came back again. I think they were searching for me because pigeons like me, but that’s another story. Once I gave a pigeon shelter from a storm and it hung around my house in Richmond for a week or so.

It was a tame banded pigeon hopping around on my porch. When the storm came up I opened the door and the pigeon hopped in onto my foot and I put it on a shelf where it stayed overnight. The next morning it was easy to catch and put back outside. I got the number from the band and looked up the owner. The pigeon escaped from a bird show in Richmond. (one of those trick ” rolling “pigeons)  It was pretty. I fed it for a few days but then it was gone. The guy told me a hawk probably got it.

That’s the wildlife report from VA Beach today, and a brief story about a strange bird encounter.

I’m making good progress on my pastel of Rudee Inlet, but I’m posting this so my blogging friends won’t worry if they don’t hear from me. I’m safe. My stuff is safe.  I’m still healthy. I hope you all are ok too.

Rudee Inlet sketch and photo

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This is a sketch I can use for a pastel on this nice rough sanded paper. I’ll go over it again later and even up my lines. That’s all freehand, no ruler either, so, it’s still a little rough, but an improvement over my first try.

To me architecture is as hard to draw as the figure.

I’m planning a nocturn. Tonight I’ll mark in the lights with chalk and pastel then make my sky dark. There’s too much light from the city to see stars but the moon was big and bright before sun up the past few days. I’m undecided if I should put the moon in the picture or not.

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This is my first rough. I worked on it for a couple hours and stopped. At first I wanted to draw the whole bridge but when I got this far I could see it wasn’t working out. This rough helped me decide to start on the left so I could draw the narrow inlet where boats go through. I had these lines so I transferred this to the bigger better pastel paper and it was easier to draw the second time making corrections as I went.

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This is what it looks like to my camera during the daytime with clouds rolling in.

Tomorrow I can get the keys to my new apartment and put some thing in it. Then Sat some moving guys are coming to unload my mini storage and put my stuff in the new place. I don’t know if I’ll finish this pastel nocturn. I’m tempted to stay at this hotel until I do but on the other hand, I want to sew masks for nurses. As soon as I get my sewing machine plugged in I’m going to get with the mask sewers group and sew for the hospital for free. A lady told me Joanne Fabrics is donating the materials to the group. I think it would do me some good to make myself useful in the emergency.

Also, I bought a nice souvenir of my week at the oceanfront, a mermaid statue, on sale. She can hold a small potted plant. So she’s my model when I move away from the beach inland a few miles if the state park is closed and I have to pay to park at the beach.

I’ll miss walking on the beach. (sigh) I won’t be bored though.

cypress knee sketch w. swamp pix

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You can find all of my cypress knee models in the photos below.

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This is my latest place to hang around sketching. Look how tiny the knees are in this picture. I could never see them well enough to draw them if I had to copy a photo. Maybe if I was a better photographer…

You can see the pollen on the water but it’s not swirling so nicely any more since it rained. A slight breeze is keeping the pollen moving and changing designs all the time.

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. This is the tree I drew last but it was cloudy that day. If you compare this photo to my sketch you’ll see I didn’t draw all of the sticks around the base of the tree.

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I think this tree is pretty because it has Spanish moss in the branches and another kind of moss is going up the trunk.

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This photo shows a knee I didn’t sketch and pollen clumping up at the water’s edge.

Next week I might go back to the botanical garden to draw. I’m missing some spring  flowers. The knees will be the same all year.

This spring I have a new attitude. Every day I feel so lucky. I’m so thankful for my good health and every day I’m glad I ain’t dead yet. I used to take it all for granted. Does that mean I’m getting old or is this the new “normal”?

It seems so ironic to me that I’ve lived like a hermit for years and finally got used to it. Now, I wish I could help the society that rejected me. I can’t hurt it because there’s no one around for me to infect even if I was an unknowing carrier of a deadly virus, but I’m sure I’m not. Society rejected me. We don’t need to go into all that.  That’s why I’m an artist. It’s ironic because once I took a personality test that said I’m an  extrovert and here I am reclusive. I don’t see myself as an introvert or an extrovert but dead center between the two. I like people, I’m just not trying to be with them. That’s working out for me now.

ok.  enough philosophizing, back to the important job of moving.

cypress tree w. pollen swirling on water

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If I hadn’t told you that was pollen you might not guess. I’ll try to remember to take my camera along next time I sketch there. The pollen is making some interesting designs on top of the black water.

I think the swirly shapes on still water with the tree represents uncertain times and something not being affected. (me) And nature isn’t affected either but unlike the tree, I can easily uproot myself and getthehelloutofdodge if a situation becomes intolerable.  Since the crisis started my life hasn’t changed. I’m not joining the mass hysteria.  I’m not afraid to go out and last night on the news they showed some surfers and the anchor talked about how getting out and getting some exercise is a great stress buster. So that was encouraging. The state parks are open and busy. They’re not talking about martial law. It’ll never happen here. And I’m not going to catch corona. Stay tuned, you’ll see.

Cypress knees with fingers / pastel sketches

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They make spooky moody subjects. One of my good blogging friends, Nadine, who writes on Bloomwords. WordPress,  told me they represent the underworld in Greek myth, which does seem appropriate. I can picture them on the river Styx. And now streams of yellow pollen are swirling in the wind on the surface of the water making it look even weirder. It’s a good day for a photographer out there too.

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I imagine if I tried to walk in the swamp the fingers would grab me and might KILL me. hahahah

It was fun to draw them with pastel. I can represent the lichens better with  pastel than I can with charcoal and chalk. They’re tinted light green.

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I’m so thankful they’re keeping the state parks open in spite of the current  Corona apocalypse. It seems like many more people than average are there walking, running and biking. If they couldn’t go there they’d be out on the street, including me. I’m not sick. They’re not sick. Why stay home? I’m  not worried someone I pass on the trail will give me the virus. Sick people are staying home.

I didn’t hoard supplies or toilet paper but as soon as this is over I think I’ll start slowly stocking up for the next apocalypse.