Friday, July 29, 2011

Photo for Friday


You just never know what you're going to find out there in the world. Enjoy the weekend all!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hot Day at the Easel

The weather in New York has been really hot. It's not that unusual, in fact if it's going to be hot here it better be hot in July. I don't want to hear anything from the people who like the cold weather. If anyone complains about the heat I remind them that if they wait we will have snow soon enough. And it would be too soon for me. Guaranteed.

With my babysitting over, and the heat outside reaching the real feel temperature of 110F, I planned on staying in with the air conditioning on and painting. Since I've been pushing myself to work from photographs lately, I looked through some of the latest and decided to keep going with the sunflowers.


Twenty minutes at a time was my plan. I thought I would work on this for the allotted time and stop. I sketched in the composition and went in with paint as you can see here.


Another twenty minutes later and I'm at this not quite done stage. I tried to walk away from painting rather than look at it with a critical eye. I see way too much in photos so this is hard work for me.

Sunflowers on the Table (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
12x16 Watercolor on Lanaquarelle paper

This is the finished painting. I have thoughts on this that I will not air out loud. I will leave the critique to you readers. Sometimes I think I should stop painting all together at the first twenty minutes, but that's just my opinion.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kind of Like Where's Waldo













Anyone into a little fun on this still hot Monday? Want to take a guess where I was on Sunday with my family? Go ahead and leave your guesses in the comments. Don't worry, there's no quiz on the answers. 

And, if you're like me, you might be too lazy to leave a comment. I'll understand. Look at the photos anyway, but don't ask any questions about the bagpipe people. I have no idea what that was about.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Photos for Friday-Veggie Haul



A lot of renovations are happening at our service station business as you can see by these photos. Out with the old pumps, tank, etc., and in with the new equipment. Let's see..total time from break down to completion will be 8 weeks. Yes, into September. 

Maybe it's time for a vacation? Can we afford to leave with all this going on? I'll have to think about it. In the mean time, take a look at my latest veggie haul. Isn't it just beautiful? Makes me want to paint, and that's a good thing. Pretty delicious too. Stay cool everybody!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thought for Thursday

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."~E.B.White

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quick Watercolor While Busy

Lone Shell (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x11 Watercolor Canson paper
Busy will be my buzz word for this coming week. I am babysitting my little mushy while Son#1 and Gorgeous are away on vacation. Yay for us, we get to see our grand baby morning, noon and night. I'm not sure if any painting will be happening while we entertain our charge.

I have plenty to do to prepare like fill the refrigerator with food and do laundry. I want to be as free as possible. Somehow in my busy frenzy yesterday afternoon I had the thought to do a quick watercolor painting of a piece of shell I threw in my bag from the beach last weekend. Twenty minutes and done.

You know how it is when you get an itch you just gotta scratch! If my paints were not readily available maybe this would not have worked out, but they were and I did it.  Lucky me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Ocean and the View

What else do you do at the beach besides enjoy the great weather, the salty air and the cool ocean? Well, I'm sorry right up front if I offend anyone, but the beach is great for "people watching." People do all manner of thing while at the beach and have no qualms about any of it.

I don't know for sure, but it seems they think they are at home all alone. Are they oblivious to the fact that hundreds of eyes are looking up from beach chairs, blankets, towels, all in the general direction of the ocean? Yet these people stand up and do their "thing" in that vista. Maybe that's the idea? Go figure.

Leave it to me to whip out my camera. These pics are not the racy part, these people were going at it for longer than necessary. Can't they put on their own sun lotion? I mean, these are adults! Ok, do my back, but leave me to my own pretty private areas, thanks. No. These guys got lotion on parts that bordered on exhibitionism, standing no less. Oy.

Um can you get lotion in that spot under my bottom?

Why don't I stand up so everyone can see my tattoos too.

How many pics could I take? It was getting really hard to look out to the waves with these people here. And the tatoos! And the belly rings! And the piercings! Yes, a lot to see out there on the beach.

After a long hard day of watching all the going's-on we headed back home. But before we did we decided to have dinner at the town of Pt. Lookout Clam Bar. Very casual, order at the window and they call your number for you to pick up. 

Pt. Lookout Clam Bar order window line

The seating area and the beautiful blue sky

The place was busy with beach goers as well as residents. Cars cannot park on the streets near the restaurant areas so there is valet parking which was hopping, but we easily found a nice table and got our dinners quickly. 

Steamers, fish and icy beer

See how casual this place is? Paper plates, plastic forks, you go get your own tartar sauces and such, but every bite was delicious and fresh. I shared the fisherman's platter with my mom, Son#2 had steamers, and The Mr. went for grilled monkfish. And the beers were icy cold. What else can you ask for?

On the way home we hit traffic. What else is new in New York? It was stop and go, creep along traffic. So a guy from the car next to us jumps out of it and runs to the grassy, reed filled shoulder. Everyone in their own car is watching where he is going. He was a passenger, not a driver thank goodness. What does he do? He was using the shoulder as a men's room! In plain sight! He didn't even hide in the reeds! 

He had to be drunk, who does that? Well I leaned over and started beeping the horn, others are throwing their hands up in astonishment, the whole traffic is watching him and looking at the other cars, he's laughing like it's nothing. In all this hoohah I forgot I had a camera. Well, maybe it was better off I didn't take this dopey guy's picture.

The bay view on the road back to Long Island

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Photo for Friday on Saturday, Again

Pt. Lookout Beach, NY
I met a friend at the beach and talked so much I had no time to paint, but it was still nice. So nice that I forgot to take pictures of the actual beach until I returned to my car to go home. Lovely view from the parking lot, right?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Yellow Umbrella at the Beach


Today was an amazing beach day at Pt. Lookout, N.Y. At home it seemed as if the weather would not cooperate, cloudy and overcast with a hint of a sprinkle. There was no way I wasn't going to the beach. No way. I packed myself up and left. Total drive time to the beach was fifteen minutes without traffic. I arrived at just past noon.

Other people must have thought it wouldn't be a good day, but it turned out beautiful. Like I always say: Heaven is an empty beach. After relaxing in my chair for a while and having lunch, I got out my trusty travel watercolor set and pad and set to work painting the big yellow umbrella right in front of me. 

Big Yellow Umbrella (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x11 Watercolor on Canson paper 
Twenty minutes and I was finished with this painting. I don't know if it's the paper that dries so quickly or the beach weather. It was a pleasure to sketch with the paint and forgo the pencil for most of this work. I did draw just a little to get some proportions correct, but overall I just went with paint. And it was good.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Off on Tangents, but Painting Happened Nontheless

My day began with a bang. Not really a bang, but maybe there's another word for it. I was minding my own business pouring my second cup of coffee on a nice, quiet morning. I reached for the half and half, yes I like half and half, and started to squeeze the carton. Let me explain, I get a carton and open the folded and sealed top to form a spout and then I close it up. If I squeeze the carton a nice small stream of milk comes out. Nice and neat.

Well SOMEBODY opened the carton for the spout, and I, unknowingly (not paying attention), pour it out all over my lap, my tablecloth, and my coffee. I started to think to myself that this may not be my day, and it was only 8A.M.

I went along my day. Farmer's market, supermarket, bank, etc. Errands. I thought I might not get to paint, but I knew I had been losing my fight with Mr. Resistance and, bad day or not this was going to be it.
What do you know? I had run out of the large size watercolor paper I had been using.


 Now what? I really didn't want to use the travel pad and my subject was going to be too big for the small Arches block. Great. I opened up the small block and now I see I need a spatula to get the protective paper off. I trudge to my basement studio, where the light still doesn't work, and fetch the tool.

Now what? Phone call from The Mr. about some computer problem. I trudge back to the basement and the computer, flip it on and we discuss. Ok. I passed the kitchen and remembered I wanted to roast some peppers I had. So I go at that, almost forgetting my painting outside.


Then I think I should have painted these peppers, but now they're all cut up. Bright idea: take photos, and add a shiny platter for contrast. That'll show that book deal guy I can paint Greek themed stuff. Right.



I'm all finished with the peppers, put them in the oven after their photo shoot and remember I was supposed to be painting. I go back to the basement to get another watercolor block. While I'm running around my house I am thinking that I must be some crazy kind of idiot, going off on tangents, not getting anything done.

Finally, I get myself to my painting set-up and sketch out my idea. I wanted to paint from the photos of the sunflowers from the farm. I sketched out the subjects and started getting into it when I remember I had peppers roasting in the oven. Shades of my turkey debacle from a couple of weeks ago.

I run to my kitchen, remove the peppers that were not burned and returned to painting. Now can I get down to business? Yes, I did and I am happy to say it felt good.


Sunflowers Outside (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
12x16 Watercolor on Lanaquarelle paper

Monday, July 11, 2011

At Pt. Lookout Beach






I finally made it to the beach this Sunday. Pt. Lookout was beautiful on a warm sunny day. Traffic going there was light, not many people hogging up the sand, the water was warm, as was my company of family. I never got to take a photo of the beach itself because I didn't want to enjoy the whole day through the camera lens. It was a perfect day in every sense.

But I must be really tired because I just posted this to the wrong blog! I thought my banner looked a little different after I pressed the button that says Publish Post! Yikes! My apologies to the 100 Paintings Challenge if anyone was over there and up popped my beach pics! Hahahaha! My bad.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Photos for Friday-Veggie Haul




Take a look at my haul from the farm share this week. Plenty of stuff that I don't know what to do with and that I don't even know what they are. That's going to be fun. Ok, I'm not that dense, some things I know, but I think Google will be busy as I hunt for recipes. What do you do with kohlrabi? Oh, that's the weird alien looking thing with the beautiful sunflowers in this last photo.

Vegetables aside, the inspiration I got from photographing these things was invaluable. I took photo after photo in hopes of future paintings coming out of it. Yes, from photographs. I am in it to win it. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thought for Thursday

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman,American Theologian, 1900-1981

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Challenge of Painting from a Photograph


Summer Harvest (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
12x16 Watercolor on Arches 

I decided that I might need to challenge myself by painting from photographs. Isn't that interesting? I know I said before that I have preferred painting from life lately. But I started to think that maybe the challenge isn't in painting from life, it might be working from photos since I'm not great at it. What a concept!

Why not learn how to do something I seem to not do well.  Last week I took this photo of my vegetable haul and thought it would make an interesting painting. Yes, I sketched it out first. Yes I threw some color to get a general idea of where I wanted to take it. I tried to get the darks dark enough and tried not to work on it too long at each session so I don't screw it up.

It seems that when I take a photo of the painting I can see some areas that could use something, so that's what I did after my short sessions. Keeping it short helped me not trash everything. I am notorious at that. Besides, if I'm somewhat happy while I go along I'm more apt to paint again, anything to ward off Mr. Resistance.

I know, I know, I'm still at the dining room table even now that my babysitting is done for the summer. What can I say? I like the light from that window.