Catch up

I’m playing catch up today. I had a little flood in my basement office on the weekend. Nothing very serious and no damage, but it scared me because all my paintings and sketches are stored in the basement where I have both my office and my studio. In winter in Montreal, if we have a rainy day when there’s a good layer of frozen snow on the ground, the water has nowhere to go but down the foundation wall of a house and into a basement. And that’s what happened to me. But as I said, no damage — just a big cleanup with lots of towels on the floor.

After that scare, I made a few resolutions. 1. Move my framed paintings off the floor. 2. Scan all the sketches and paintings that are hanging around. So that’s what I have been doing for the past few days. I’d much rather be out painting, but I do feel better knowing that if my sketchbooks ever succumb to water damage, at least I will have the digital images in my archives.

I also did lots of other office stuff that I am always procrastinating about, like backing up my hard drive and trashing old files. It was tedious but I put on some good music to keep me company and did what had to be done.

One of the books I scanned was my recent one from Sanibel. Some of these have been posted before, but the photos were poor and the colours were off, so thought I’d repost with clearer colour. All done in an Etchr sketchbook, A4 size.

48 Comments on “Catch up”

  1. Very scary about the water in the basement. I have problems with mildew in Queensland which keeps me on my toes. Thank you for re-posting your beach sketches. I live near the beach. So much to see in your sketches. I love studying them. I have been wanting to try drawing people with my rigger brush. Something you mentioned in an earlier post.


  2. Judy Sopher says:

    Always enjoy your beach scenes. But I want to tell you what I learned years ago. I lived in ND when the whole city of Grand Forks flooded .When they anticipated this and we were getting ready to evacuate, I got a call from an old art teacher. She advised me to bring all of my art up from the basement. ( We had a finished basement and that was where my studio was) I remember her words about how I could replace many things but not my artwork.

    And I brought up what I could. And was so glad later.BTW, we did not live in a flood area but ended up with 5-6 feet of water in the basement. Putting the work on a table wouldn’t have saved them)

    Just wanted to pass those wise words on to you.


    • Judy, thank you for those wise words. I will keep that in mind when trying to figure out what to do with the paintings. Not sure where they will go but I do know they need to get off the floor and possibly out of the basement too. I don’t live in a flood zone but things happen.


  3. Mona Hammond says:

    I really love your beach scenes.. They are so charming that I want to be there too.


  4. Denise says:

    Your beach people are SOOOOOOOO charming!!!! I love them for their whimsy and diversity of details. And, Whew!! re: no damage from flood… Nothing like that kind of scare to kick some new year’s resolutions into gear/to the top of the list!! 🙂 🙂


  5. Jan says:

    So sorry to hear about your basement flood. Posting beach scenes seems like the perfect antidote to a Montreal winter. I especially love the sleeping dog and sleeping sunbather.


    • Thanks Jan. I’m happy I scanned these today while the snow was falling outside. I couldn’t get out to sketch anyway, so it was a good use of indoor time. I loved drawing that sleeping dog. Old dogs make good models.


  6. Joanne Beaurain says:

    How fun


  7. Lisa says:

    These are such a lovely combination of life drawing and plein air. I love the figures but what kills me are those two perfect parasols!


  8. Jeff says:

    Sorry about your basement. That’s very scary.
    Your beach scenes are really great. I live near the beach and these give me the feel of being out there.
    For those of us (like me) who don’t know the A paper sizes, A4 is basically legal size, 8.3×11.7 inches.


  9. Jean says:

    Vibrant colours! Glorious scenery! Thank you!


  10. Sid Brown says:

    Oh! Just lovely to see all these together! And sorry for the wet scare and glad you are securing your paintings better!


  11. Doug Elliot says:

    Super figures Shari, thanks for posting them.


  12. You were dry busy on the beach. It’s great to see all these asa group.


    • I was very busy on the beach, but the whole family was with me so that was what was great about it. Everyone else was reading or we were just all talking, and I had my sketchbook out. They are kind of used to me drawing all the time, as you know.


  13. Iona says:

    These are super, the people are fabulous. I need to practice that more – another scary thing. And it helps to know the size of the pages you are working on, I can appreciate the size of the details – such as the sunlit edges of the sun bathers. Could you please tell me which surface your Etchr sketchbook is? Hot or cold press? Thanks for this post – it’s great!


    • Thanks so much for writing Iona. I am using the CP surface for the Etchr book. I have some postcards with the Hot Press finish but I haven’t tried them yet. I love the CP surface and the paper never disappoints.


  14. Marvelous. I so enjoy each and every post. I wanted to join you in San Jose but was too late. Filled so fast.

    Thank you for sharing your amazing sketches.

    sally >


  15. Soni says:

    What kind of scanner do you use ?

    Thanks for submitting these again – I study them too & color is different but all great

    A plumbing problem caused a 4 to 6” gusher through the house years ago – doesn’t take long but left me paranoid to this day


    • Soni, I use an Epson Perfection scanner with an 11 x 17 scanning bed. It’s old but it’s a workhorse. I’ve literally scanned thousands of drawings on it, and never had a problem. Epson usually makes excellent scanners but there is surely a never model than what I have. Sorry to hear that you had a flood too. Yes, one never forgets when that happens, although I seem to have forgotten because we had a flood in a previous house. But I need to get my paintings off the floor.


  16. Marion Hodge says:

    Hope your basement dries out soon! We just had a pipe break and flood my husband’s den with boxes and boxes of family archives. What a scramble to get those off the floor!


    • Marion, not you too. How awful. I hope you were able to rescue the archives. I had no damage except some invoices I had in a file folder, but I was able to get to them before they disintegrated.


  17. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Afternoon dear Shari,

    Fortunate you are to have your original works in tact.
    Thank God

    And so the learning point, “Please keep your valuable items at more safe place” 🙂

    from Uma


  18. Sara Grynspan says:

    I love your life drawings. It brings me back to the beach, especially today at -29C with the windchill factor.


    • I just came back from my walk with Alice. Even with her warm coat on, she was shivering. Not a day for painting in my car, that’s for sure. I have to close my eyes and imagine that I am still on the beach in Sanibel.


  19. Stephanie Katchmar says:

    Hi Shari: This is a beautiful collection of sketches. You have captured the scenes so nicely. Thanks again for sharing and allowing followers to study your technique and style. Stephanie


  20. monique says:

    I was a realtor for almost 30 yrs…and I too think you should relocate your precious art Shari..You just never know..even in a home that has never had a flood..things happen.I have seen a lot of treasures ruined in my career.:(I too love your beach scenes so much!
    Is the the V600 Epson you have? I read good reviews about it.


  21. Peri Nilan says:

    H Shari,
    I also have a newly renovated studio in my basement. All my framed watercolours that are not on the wall are stored with cardboard between them in tall rubbermaid bins. We once had a crack in the foundation during heavy rains and water came pouring in all night long and flooded the rooms next to it. I didn’t have any artwork down there at the time, but definitely learned my lesson.
    Thanks for sharing the beach scenes! I also need to practice doing plein air with figures. I loved the bright colours!


  22. joantav says:

    Glad nothing was ruined for you!!! Love the beach scenes. I know I’ve seen some of them before but I always enjoy revisiting your work.


  23. Patsy Goodall says:

    Brilliant Shari, I love all your sketches, so immediate, so full of life. Every one a gem!
    Glad the flood wasn’t too bad. Here, in England, the flooding has been dreadful all through the autumn and winter.


  24. Carolyn Cameron says:

    Terrific! Love the figurative work.


  25. Sorry about your flooding, but happy to see lots of your sketches in 1 place today!


  26. Nice paintings of people. Too bad about the flood. I have a studio in a basement also, and I am very careful where I put stuff if I have to put it on the floor. We never get more than a few small puddles of water, if it happens.


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