It was really nice over there today, sunny, not too hot with a light breeze. The tide was way out and boats were going out through Lynnhaven Inlet and guys were fishing. I just sat down on the sand and was enjoying the view for a minute and a man with a beagle stopped and asked me if I was ok since I was sitting in the shade with my back next to the dock and he expected to see people catching rays. I said I’m fine that I was planning to sketch but didn’t start yet. Then he talked a little while.
There are two views I’d like to paint from this spot, the sand bar at low tide with boats beached on the sand and people out on the sand bar playing around, and the other view I want to paint is the bridge going over the inlet. There are at least 6 or 7 views that I’ll paint at Pleasure House Point eventually. Today it was just a goldenrod sketch.
They’re calling for rain tomorrow. I might be able to paint this at home from my sketch. The goldenrod looked like straight cadmium yellow and the greens are the same greens I use all the time.
The recent tidal flood left a lot of debris washed up in front of the goldenrod. It’s a messy looking weed but that’s ok. I don’t have to paint all the dirty stuff around it. I’d like to do a fall still life, maybe next year, because I have so many plans in mind for this fall, but I think goldenrod would be good for the still life, so it’s a good thing to get some practice on the subject.
Today I walked all the way through the campground with my sketchbook charcoal and water bottle to see the view from the farthest yurt, #1. I was glad I waited until this afternoon because I think they had some rain over there this morning. There were puddles and the big chairs at the yurt were wet. I mainly wanted to get some exercise because it’s going to rain tomorrow and Sun.
Sketching is progress even if I never use the sketch for a painting. I can’t get too much practice. It would be a long haul to take paint that far from the car even with my beach cart. I’d still like to hang around all the yurts when they’re not occupied and do more sketching this fall. That’s the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on the horizon.
I think I’ll try to paint Lynnhaven Inlet next but I wasn’t ready to start on another big project today. Maybe Mon.
This time I had a larger paper and liked my sketch more than the first try. I might be able to use this one for a painting since my tree feels less squished and more more wind blown.
There was a nice breeze and a few guys kite surfing. They’re just tiny tiny figures out there. I was thinking about putting a kite in the painting. I’ll have to move him in more off the edge of the scene. He’s so small on the paper I’m not sure I could paint him with Inktense pencils or watercolor. I might use oils for this.
There are some buildings in the background on the left. This photo cuts off the buildings a little. It also cuts off some dune foliage that is in the tall grass. I was thinking of leaving the buildings and other foliage out of the picture, move the tree a little to the left so the kite surfer has more room. The dune grass blowing in the wind is shiny and soft looking, so that will make a nice contrast in color and texture to the pine tree. You can see a little of the sandy beach in the background too.
I need to get out there a little earlier if I use oil paints because it could take some time to mix colors. I’ll do an underpainting, maybe start tomorrow.
That’s my plan, all worked out and ready to start on the painting. I had to do the second sketch to make those decisions.
Sketching was good therapy today. I watched a scary series on Netflix, Squid Game. It was made in S. Korea and dubbed in English. Man! Was that weird. Have you seen it? They don’t start killing people right off the bat. First they lure you in with good characters and an interesting story. It has some arty scenes too. One reminded me of an M. C. Escher stair case. So when the murders start you might want to look away but you don’t turn it off because you want to see how they get out of there.
I was feeling the after effects of it this morning. I mean a slight weird mental thing. The story gives you a lot to think about later. They could have extended the series by giving a back story on the bad guys who are dressed in red and wearing black masks with either a red triangle, square or circle on the mask. You get the feeling the bad guys are victims too.
so, I finally hauled myself out to the beach to draw and that helped me feel more sane.
The wind was light from the East, the waves were small. A ship came in. That ship was easy to draw. The beach wasn’t crowded. Some clouds rolled in. I hope the wind picks up tomorrow because I’m waiting for the kite surfers to come back.
It was still too warm, humid and the wind was calm so the bugs were swarming me. I drenched myself in bug spray and they kept coming. I almost decided to give up but then I thought, I got the bug spray on me already I might as well see if it works. So far, I’m not itchy.
This is the second time I sketched this scene. The last time I had my 11 x 14 sketchbook that I can hold in one hand to draw, but that size makes me squish my trees too much to make them fit. This time I took my easel and drawing board with an 18 x 24 piece of charcoal paper. The larger size makes it so much easier. It gives me more sense of freedom to work larger too. I don’t know how the other plein air painters can work on their small canvases because I can’t. Oh yeah, they’re copying the pictures on their phones so the scene is small to start with. hahahah
A photographer asked me if he could take my picture and I said yes. He snapped off a dozen or so and he said he’d send them to me so if he does and if I can use them I’ll post them but I might look bad all sweaty and drenched in bug spray.
This is a better plan for something to paint in Nov. after the bugs are gone and the leaves get some color.
I’ve had my eye on this old tree off and on for a few years. It looks best in the late fall when the trees in the background get some color. It’s all too green right now. I want to paint it large so I don’t crowd the tree as much. The tree is in a good place to paint with a boardwalk through the swamp and a bench and enough space for an easel and people can still walk through. I might paint it in Nov. but I could start sooner. In Nov. the bugs won’t get me. I sprayed a lot of bug spray today and they were still buzzing around my head so I sprayed my HAIR! I hope I didn’t get bit but you don’t always feel it until later.
I have so many plans for paintings and still want to sketch more first. The one I was planning to do with Inktense pencils, at the overlook facing the bay with the dunes and boardwalk, that had wind surfers, I’m waiting for the wind to pick up again so those guys will be there with their brightly colored kites.
There’s another place I might sketch tomorrow if I get up early enough but that spot looks better in the afternoon. I can do my sketch in the morning and save that until it gets colder too. We had more hot and humid weather but tomorrow is going to be cloudy with less heat. Then the chance of rain goes up for a few days, then a little cooler. It’s been a long hot and humid summer. We had some haze from the Western wildfires but it’s so high in the atmosphere it doesn’t change our air quality. It makes pretty red sunsets though.
We have the Neptune festival coming up which I’m looking forward to this month, then the vacationers will thin out until Spring.
The good news is that my granddaughter was born on Sept 4! She has a full head of dark hair. The baby is fine. My daughter is recovering but they’re not getting much sleep. I took a tuna noodle casserole over there and it was a big hit. She wants another tuna noodle casserole. I’m looking forward to baby sitting some time soon and eventually teaching my granddaughter how to sew and do art projects with her, bake cookies, shopping, etc.
The weather is much improved today. It was windy sunny and cool on the beach and some guys were kite surfing. I liked seeing the brightly colored kites on the sky. The end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is on the horizon.
The boardwalk over the dunes has some nice overlooks. I might transfer this sketch to water color paper and use my Inktense pencils to paint it.
This is real neat the way they twisted the crepe myrtles across each other then the branches join together. They fuse together into one solid branch. It’s like drawing a Celtic knot. You can get lost in it. If I had a larger paper I could have got another set in the sketch. They’re blooming now but almost over. A lot of petals are down. I like the view in-between the branches that is like looking through diamond shaped windows. The background is pretty too. I was standing on the shady side of the crepe myrtles but some sun was on the branches and the background was sunlit and also shady.
I didn’t draw leaves or flowers. The tree trunks were enough today in the heat and humidity. I might go back and use a larger paper after the weather breaks. I was standing in the shade but got sweaty anyway.
When I got back to my car I walked over to the lake and looked for a couple minutes to see if I could find a good spot to sketch and instantly around 10 turtles and a couple huge fish, I mean 18″ or so swam right up to me and looked at me like they were expecting to be fed. Just in case of society breakdown, if we have to live like Survivorman, there’s food around easy to catch. You can’t stand there and fish in the garden but people do fish there in canoes on the lake.
A few people talked to me today when I was sketching up on the deck at the Brock Center. First the skipper of the Jenny which is docked there. He told me to draw his boat. I said I might. It’s behind a barge right now. He works there. He said they’re closed because of covid. I think that’s the boat they use to reseed the area with oysters.
Two ladies were sitting on the deck in the big chairs talking and when they moved on they stopped and talked to me. They invited me to go to their church. I don’t know if I will. I gave them my phone number cause they wanted to hang out some time. That would be nice to find friends but I don’t really want to sit through church.
It was nice out again this morning. Tomorrow we have rain coming in again. I have a painting of waves that I started at home when it rained a few days ago. I’ll try to finish it at home and I have another idea for a wave painting that I’ll try to do at home if it gets too hot and humid again, which it will for sure in Aug. I want to paint waves in plein air but I might wait till fall so the bugs don’t get me on the beach at Back Bay. Meanwhile, there’s this nice view and it would be a good spot to use my Inktense pencils up on the deck where I was today. If I took my oil paints the skipper might not allow me to paint up there, but no one would object to the Inktense pencils because they’re dry. And if I use water it won’t do any damage if I drop some on the deck.