Friday, December 2, 2011

The Point of Graves

Sometimes when you go out to paint there is so much subject matter to choose from...

....that you can't decide where to start.
2 Boats Sketch 8x12 ink, watercolor

This was one of those days.

My friend Barbara and I met in Portsmouth, NH to paint. After looking around in a couple of different locations ...
2 Sketches, ink, watercolor

 ...we finally decided to stop at the corner of Peirce Island Road and Mechanic Street across from an 1600's burial ground named The Point of Graves.

From this spot we could paint boats, houses, streets, the skyline or the park !  You could just turn your head and the view was completely different. 
Clock Chimneys Sketch, 6x8 ink, watercolor 

Portsmouth has so much to offer... 

 ...a working harbor with large and small boats... 

...great architecture, a variety of old houses, large and small ... 
Old Neighborhood Sketch, 6x8 ink watercolor

...and fine vistas of rooftops in the Strawberry Banke neighborhood. 

It's a busy port with the hustle and bustle of oil tankers coming and going.

While we were painting the largest amount of joggers we'd ever seen in a 3 hour period scampered by. 

Barbara and I sketched a variety of subjects before we set up to paint. 

We were lucky.  It was a warm day with no wind blowing off on the ocean. 

As it is no longer peak tourist season, we could park and paint where ever we wanted. 

Small furry friends watched the activity from above.

 The muted colors on this overcast November day were typical for New England. 

Everything along the water had a silvery blue-violet tint to it.

Every now and then cloud holes would appear out over the ocean and sunshine would break through. 

At high tide the tugs were busy fetching and guiding huge oil tankers into berths up the river. 

I looked toward the river, painting the park and the drawbridge beyond it.  Barbara painted an old interesting house on the other side of the street.

In this neighborhood the streets are small and narrow with uneven brick sidewalks.

One of the docks is slowly disintegrating into the channel. 

 Small lobster boats travel under the Peirce Island bridge to the docks on the Island.

It is almost the winter solstice. The sun sets early, shortly after 4 pm.

The old dock buildings looked mysterious in the soft light.

The moon rose above the roof tops.

Lights started to glow in the windows of houses all over the neighborhood.
There are so many lights in a large town. When they come on at dusk the landscape is all lit up.

The "Puddledock" neighborhood has all kinds of little gleaming lights.  Christmas trees twinkled in some of the house windows. I'm coming back to paint nocturnes in this neighborhood!


  1. Lovely sketches, did you finish your painting? I do hope you'll share it too. What a picture perfect place to paint.

  2. Thank you Capt. Elaine! My 12x12 is not in a finished state , yet. The jury it out. We shall see if it makes it - if it does I'll post it.