Saturday, August 21, 2010


All my drawings of models have been moved to a new blog for convenience of viewing. Please go to And thanks for looking.

Monday, August 9, 2010


To be fair, it was a pretty dynamic presentation, all things considered. The speaker was funny... but really, trade show booths are not all that exciting, as you can see here. It was an okay opportunity to sketch. I can listen pretty well while sketching, although I've been told I don't respond very well. Anyway, I enjoyed doing this because I was completely uninterrupted. Sometimes, that's enough for a good time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Swing Bridge, Sunset Beach, NC

I managed to complete one sketch while visiting with most of my family for a few days last week. Sometimes--okay--ALL the time-- you have to choose between drawing and participating.

We stayed at a beach house in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. There's a small, antique swing bridge to take you across the intracoastal. It's wood surfaced and operates like a large gate to let boats through, on the hour, 7 am - 7 pm and until 9 pm weekends and holidays. There was an old man named James on the bank, watching me and another artist work. He said that the bridge was modernized in the 50s when the mules who'd pulled the bridge back were replaced with machinery. What you can't see in this sketch is the huge concrete monstrosity that will shortly replace this little bridge. I've included the photo of the area below, as a contrast. It will make traffic to and from the little island much easier, but what will be lost? Maybe having to wait to get across meant that only people who really wanted to be there had the patience to get there. Not that I am against modernization, but...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For Sale

This great looking old Thunderbird is for sale at my mechanic's shop. I really didn't do it justice here. I usually don't care to draw stuff without people in it, but this little slice of the garage was very interesting. Also, I couldn't leave as my car was getting the oil changed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bar Out Back

I went to a bar on 1792 recommended to me by someone who knows of my fascination with dives. It was a dreary Sunday afternoon, and not many people had decided to come out. The bar sits across the road from Lake Monroe and is large; only one half of it was open. When we arrived, a band was playing loud and hard on an open air stage, but we chose to sit inside where it was air conditioned, if smoky. The beers are bottled and cheap: $1.50. I think the group in the sketch were regulars. They got progressively louder and more lively over the 90 minutes we were there.

This sketch was started before they got to that point; my favorite is the guy with the red bandana and the goggle glasses. His beard was worthy of ZZ Top, but had been trained into two long pieces with what I believe were hairballs at the ends. I didn't get close enough to see for myself, but the woman in the tank top grabbed scissors from behind the bar and threatened to cut the hairballs off since, as she said, he had 'too many balls'. I was wondering how far it would go; she was pretty insistent they be cut off and he was equally set on preventing her self-appointed barbering task. Disappointingly, she eventually put the scissors back when he thrust out both arms full length at her face.

The light coming in from the windows was very difficult to work with- it was bright enough to make it difficult to see details of the people sitting at the bar. I'll choose another time of day the next time we go.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth of July, Part II

After a damp fireworks display in Sanford, we somehow ended up at the Tin Lizzie Saloon on First Street in Sanford. It doesn't serve anything besides beer and those weird hard liquor coolers. Oh, and jello shots, courtesy of the bartender. Mine was melon flavored, I think. The cigarette smoke was thick and a John Wayne movie was on one of the televisions. The jukebox was playing and a woman was dancing, beer bottle tightly clutched in her fist. She alternated the dancing with enthusiastic smooching of the old man on the right at the end of the bar. Not sure if she knew him or not. The whole scene felt like a Heironymus Bosch redux. I was closely observed during my sketch by a very drunk man named Robert on my right, who also insisted I sketch him. His compliments on my work, although hard to make out due to his advanced state of inebriation, were nonetheless appreciated. These kinds of places are fascinating to me, but I don't know why. I think it has something to do with my perception that they are people living on the edge of society and sometimes slipping off the cliff. It's like they've stopped playing by the rules, something I wish I could do sometimes.

Fourth of July

Winter Park put on an Olde-Fashioned Fourth Saturday morning, so we went along in the hopes of hearing some Sousa performed. In between band and clogger performances, we got a very energetic DJ featuring music from the 50s/early 60s. He actually did the Twist a lot better than I am showing it here-I kept sweating on the sketchbook so the whole sketch felt awkward. The park was filled with mostly older people and very young families. The city also provided horse drawn carriage rides and a display of old cars. It was an oddly comforting scene, reminiscent of my childhood spent in rural Vermont, with our Fourth of July parades and town wide barbecues and fireworks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kit reads

All scrunched up on the wicker loveseat on the patio.

College of Medicine photo shoot

Went out to the new College of Medicine to start photography of it for my day job. They set up very quickly, so didn't get a chance to finish the building. I am tickled by the fact that in the early days of photography, the photographer would disappear under a black cloth to take the photo. Now, the photographer disappears under a black cloth in order to see the laptop screen showing the new image which goes directly from the camera to the computer.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bicycle Race

This drawing is unique because it was commissioned. I hadn't thought I was able to simply show up and basically perform my skill on demand. A decent drawing always felt somewhat accidental. I guess practice DOES pay off.

Beach gathering on Sanibel

Friday, April 30, 2010

Prom Night 2010

So, we spent most of Saturday running around getting ready for prom. First stop was a salon in Casselberry. I sat in a chair near my daughter as her hair was being done and did this sketch of a haircut happening near me.

Think Big band at the Bacchus Bash

Think Big is a good-time band-lots of fun to listen to. They were playing at the Bacchus Bash at Orlando Premium Outlets on April 9. a Lots of food, drink and music. And shopping. Took me a little while to settle down and choose a good sketch subject, what with the awesome shopping everywhere.

Some couples danced-long after the little kids started dancing. The music was lively, fun, well-played with a good sense of humor.

Kind of adverse circumstances for me, drawing: crowds moving back and forth, I was standing practically in front of the speakers, and still wearing work clothes (meaning: high heels). Still, I like the way it came out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Changing the oil on the Toyota

Craig owns Priority One in Longwood and has been my mechanic for 5 years now. He does a great job at keeping my aged Toyota running smoothly. I drew this corner of the shop but couldn't really get Craig as he hustled back and forth changing the oil, rotating the tires and checking the brakes. He looks a little stiff in the sketch because I finally had to ask him to stand at the tool chest for a minute so I could put him in the space I'd saved. He's a much better mechanic than he is model.

The pink car in the foreground is much prettier than it looks here: it's a 60s Thunderbird with a lovely pink metallic paint job and rag top. I wish I could take that home instead of my mom-mobile.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reading on Boston Common

This is from an old sketch-last April, when we visited colleges in Boston. Still not sure if he was working at one of the nearby historical attractions, or just in the mood for a little retro reading.

One Man Band

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the 17th at Bay Hill during the Arnold Palmer Invitational

We were very fortunate to be invited to watch the tournament from a hospitality tent on the 17th hole. The view of the green is terrific. You can see one of the sand traps in the foreground, and on the left, one of the workers who hold up their hands to tell all spectators to be silent. I often think that golf could be made more interesting as a spectator sport if the crowds were allowed to heckle the golfers, like they do in basketball. The tournament was delayed because of rain not too long after I finished this sketch.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Always Connected

This woman was on the cell phone almost every minute I spent sketching her and her husband. He actually wasn't asleep--at one point, he disagreed rather loudly with something his wife was saying, but she ignored him. I felt rather like I imagine Jane Goodall felt, observing the social interactions of her subjects.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'll Wait Here for You

Another gorgeous sunlit Sanibel beach day. This beachgoer had a family that scampered off as soon as they had dropped their stuff.... so I didn't include them.

Sanibel construction site

Everyone enjoys the beach in their own way. I am pretty sure I would be the one reading peacfully while my more industrious sisters built a castle below the high tide line.

Cranky Sanibel photographer

This photographer spent a lot of time waiting for his subjects to... well, it was hard to tell what he was waiting for. These shorebirds didn't have any more energy than the rest of us, they just sat there in the sunshine. The photographer got very cranky when a toddler ran through the middle of his shot, joyfully waving her arms and shrieking.

Bill? Bill, are you listening to me?

This was the only moment of peace this old man got all day. He just wanted to sit on this beautiful Sanibel beach and do nothing, not even listen to his wife.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fiddler's Green on Fairbanks in Winter Park was packed this night; we were lucky to find a tiny table that would hold Guinness and Irish coffee. This couple sat directly in front of me. The space is long and narrow and dark. The interaction between them was fascinating; sometimes I feel like Jane Goodall. For some reason, the heads came out much too large for the bodies; maybe this was a reflection of my thoughts as I sketched?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sportstown Billiards Sketch Crawl September 09

Sportstown was a stop on the September sketchcrawl. It was very quiet when we were in there early in the evening; only a few people shooting pool. It's visually very rich. I liked the way the pool tables sort of march away into the distance.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Junior Achievement Bowl a thon

We participated in Junior Achievement's annual Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser. I am a horrible, horrible bowler, so I sketched instead. The guy bowling in this sketch was very good; I was glad because he got so many bonus frames he was up there enough for me to catch the odd gesture of the body just after the ball is rolled. Or bowled, or whatever it's called. I didn't put in all the beer that was there, though.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


A young musician rehearses for her solo competition with her barefooted accompanist. January 2010.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

OBoys Trivia Night hosted by Curtis Earth

In this sketch, I focused just on Curtis Earth, the trivia conteset host. His show is fun and he's good at it. I especially enjoyed the tie-breaking staring contest he decided on for the top two players at the end of the game. As it turned out, they were both REALLY GOOD at staring and he had to ask additional questions in an effort to knock one out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Music & conversation at Spice

We were at Spice on Park Avenue in Winter Park in early November. This is a nice restaurant and bar that opens onto the sidewalk. It's relaxed and has the feel of a neighborhood bar without the grungy aspect. The sketch is of a conversation between two friends at the bar. One of them later wanted to see the sketch; a friend had told him I was sketching them. I felt I wasn't particularly kind in my sketch so I was a bit embarrassed by my characterization of them at first. Later, I realized it's my sketchbook and I like to share but it's personal and just my opinion, after all.

A father/son duo called The Robinsons (Justin & Jeff) were playing energetic, mostly acoustic music. They're both excellent players and singers and really fun, as they interacted with the crowd quite a bit. I struggled with this one; I had lost my first sketchbook about 2 months before. I'd finally given up hope of finding it and bought a smaller one that is more manageable. This is one of the first efforts after an almost 8 week break. I plan to return and try again to capture more of the feeling of the place.

OBoys Trivia Night

OBoys in Winter Park has a trivia night hosted by Curtis Earth every Tuesday, visible at the back on the left here. I never play, but I am pretty sure I would win a lot if I did. Or not. Some people seem very serious about the game and Curtis makes everyone turn off their cell phones before they play. On this night, I was intently watching the young woman and older man play. At one point, I thought maybe he was hitting on her, but after a couple more visits, I think I was wrong about that. Sketching where you are is just another way to people watch.

In this sketch, I really played with the straight edges that are everywhere in OBoys. I enjoyed bending them to facilitate the feel I was going for.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Frame Shop at Sam Flax

My friend Cory works in the frame shop at Sam Flax and was kind enough to let me sit in there one lunchtime and sketch. I also met Jon who works there as well. In my day job, I've had to get a bunch of stuff framed and that's how we became friends. He's great at what he does and takes pride in choosing the right setting for a piece. I know because he framed one of my pieces for Nude Nite and made the choices for it. I break framing glass just about every time I try to frame something so when it counts, I pay for an expert.

The frame shop if very neat looking: stuff everywhere. It looks like possibility, like that special thrill I get when I go to Home Depot and see all those shelves and shelves of possibility.

Bar monkeys - Jax in Lake Mary

I spend more time than is wise at Jax in Lake Mary. I actually really dislike most things about it: the uncomfortable seating, the incessant noise of all those televisions and people shouting to each other to be heard and the service on most nights. I love the hamburgers, the outdoor seating and, most of all, the people watching.

This sketch is rather old: June of last year. I'd just started back sketching and caught this couple at the bar. I was lucky that he was the kind of guy who stands with his back to the bar, leaning on his elbows and holding forth to whoever will listen. She seemed unduly fascinated but there's no accounting for taste, I guess. There is an actual sign on that column that says "Do Not Hump".

Kingfisher Tours reservation hut, Fisherman's Village, Punta Gorda

I did this one between this past Christmas and New Year's. I was in the Punta Gorda area on another errand and stopped at the local tourist trap, Fisherman's Village. It's completely standard-issue Florida fare: t-shirts shops, shell mobiles in crowded gift shops overflowing with touristy junk imported from China, women's clothing decorated with little shell/flamingo/martini motifs and sandals with flowers on them. The whole complex is in a single long open-ended building capped off with a biker bar right on the Charlotte Harbor.

I remember my first trip to Florida in 1992- I was enchanted by this place. Of course, I'd come from dark and dreary Boston, up to the wheel wells on my minivan in snow. I was frantic to escape and all I cared about was that it was warm and bright.

This little hut is where I think you can make reservations on their boat for canal tours and peek in at the lucky souls who live right on the water. It wasn't their business as much as it was the hilariously bad homemade dolphin pulling a sort of john boat carrying a plastic Santa (the kind with a light inside) and wire-framed gift boxes on the roof. I LOVE this stuff about Florida and it appears all over the state.

I did cheat on the color-it's applied in Photoshop and I understand from a friendly observer that is obvious. I was too afraid to actually apply real paint--then. I undoubtedly will go back to the sketch and apply watercolor from memory.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Street Performer in Brattle Square

My daughter left for freshman year of college near Boston in late August; I was happy to get back to
a city I truly love. We went to knock around Harvard Square one day and she met up with a high school friend starting at Harvard. I sat down on a low wall in Brattle Square to sketch this street performer. I love the presence of street performers; they add a vibrancy and festiveness to an ordinary day.
He was much older than you'd think--at least 50-- and gave a very melodramatic rendering of the songs he played and sang. At one point, a very young musician dressed entirely in black came along and watched for a time. He eventually gave up any hope of getting a shot at this prime spot and walked off disconsolately. Maybe he continued to cruise Harvard and Brattle Squares for a spot-I saw 2 other musicians performing in the area.
Despite my reservations about his taste, I enjoyed the fact that street performers are welcomed in Boston and Cambridge. There's something to be said for forming your own opinions about the music you hear and the art you see. Constantly being fed music and art by 'official' outlets, such as radio, tv, galleries and museums doesn't allow you to educate your own taste.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Taberna de Gallo, St. Augustine

We went to St. Augustine for the weekend a couple of weeks ago. The Spanish Colonial Quarter Museum is a small compound which features active workhops: leather, carpenter, blacksmith and our favorite: the tavern. The Taberna de Gallo opens onto St. George Street and is open until 11 pm on the weekends. The specialty of the house is Sangria. They also have a small beer and exotic soda menu.

The weekend we were there, the tavern was staffed by Jeannie and Gili. Jeannie-on the right in the sketch- is an enthusiastic history buff with a gift for passing her interest on. Her husband, Jim, stopped by on Saturday evening in full 'sailor-about-town' regalia: he was wearing a vest with lots of buttons, which was the equivalent of waving a wallet full of cash at the ladies. Gili is a children's writer with an interest in history. This is her in her working costume.

The atmosphere of the tavern is very congenial. With no televisions blaring news or sports and no loud rock music, patrons were able to actually talk to one another and to the staff. We got caught up in playing "Shut-the-Box"-an addictive game of the period involving dice and numbered tiles. The tavern is lit by candle lanterns on the tables and hanging from the beams. It does have an electronic cash register for state-required receipts but that's hidden. People come in, drink beer or sangria and sit for hours. I wish there were more places like this.

Nude Nite

Nude Nite - the once yearly art event featuring art of the nude - starts tomorrow. It's really fun, for lots of reasons, only some of which have to do with the art. The people-watching is really excellent.These are the two pieces I've submitted. The one on the left has been on the shelf over the fireplace for a while. The other one was done especially for Nude Nite.