Saturday, April 23, 2016

Spring Break Sketches

After a winter of traveling to teach workshops, I finally had a chance to go on a trip just for fun. I traveled to Florida a few weeks ago with a friend to visit my friend Judy, who lives near Bradenton. All of us are sketchers, so we enjoyed having a chance to paint a little while we were there (when we weren't lounging in the pool or strolling on the beach!)

The first morning we were there, I did this sketch, after a certain someone advised me that I needed to learn to "cultivate idleness". It's true; I have a problem sitting and doing nothing.

10" x 7", watercolor, Handbook Paper Co. Field Watercolor Journal

I thought it was great advice, but it's ironic that, instead of taking her advice and just chilling out by the pool, I felt compelled to grab my sketchbook and start drawing. The thing is, painting relaxes me like nothing else can. Does that mean it counts as practicing idleness? Probably not, but I think it's the best I can do.

I started this next sketch while I was "ridin' in the back seat" in Judy's van, stuck in the Sarasota traffic. The scenes of Sarasota Bay and a cute little beach shop were added later in the week during a drive to Anna Maria Island.

10" x 7", ink & watercolor, Handbook Paper Co. Field Watercolor Journal

I love Anna Maria Island! It reminds me of the Carribean, with its white sugar sand and aquamarine water. The beaches are pristine and the island is filled with cute little cottages and shops painted the prettiest beachy colors. There are endless things to sketch, but I couldn't pass up a day at the beach, so we settled into our beach chairs, and I did this sketch of some nearby sun worshippers...

10" x 7", ink & watercolor, Handbook Paper Co. Field Watercolor Journal

The wind and sun can make beach sketching challenging, but I managed to finish most of this page onsite before our tummies started rumbling and we headed off to find some lunch.

10" x 7", ink & watercolor, Handbook Paper Co. Field Watercolor Journal

After our lunch at a cute, funky little place on the island, we found a shady spot near the water to do one final sketch before heading home.  I thought I'd try something a little different with the page layout, combining an arched frame with overlapping color boxes behind it. The page seems to convey the way I was feeling when I did it, happy, relaxed, and content. Spending time with good friends in a beautiful place, talking, laughing, painting - it's good for the soul.


  1. Lovely trip and great sketches! I also can't sit and do nothing)

  2. Your Cultivating Idleness page is so relaxing to look at, and I love your "something a little different" page layout. You are so imaginative!


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