Pressure wash

My sketching outing at the boat club was ruined by drizzle so I wandered around to take a few photos of the boats that had recently been put in dry dock. Between two hulls, I spotted the bottom of a yellow slicker and some rain boots. I approached from another direction, hoping to get a better photo of the man in the striking yellow poncho who was pressure-washing his blue boat. In these situations, I try to be discreet, but I’m always a bit self-conscious in case my subject sees me. There was nowhere to hide from that vantage point, though, so I took the photo anyway. As soon I did, the man in the slicker started walking towards me, and I was ready with my usual speech, “I hope you don’t mind, I am just taking some reference images for painting…” But as he got closer he waved and I realized he was approaching because we knew each other. We both used to work at the same college where he was the technician for our computer labs. We often talked about how much he was looking forward to retirement so he could spend more time sailing. Now he spends his summers on the water, part of autumn trying to get the zebra mussels off the boats, and the rest of the time growing a bushy beard which is the reason I didn’t recognize him in the first place.

34 Comments on “Pressure wash”

  1. Bernadette says:

    What a wonderful complex painting and story. Glad you were able to catch up with a friend and share retirement stories.
    I’m amazed at how you can take an action packed image and simplify it so beautifully. Thanks for the story and sharing your art with us.


  2. Bernadette says:

    Love the wet washes on the boats and ground!


  3. Becky Smith says:

    I love boats although I know almost nothing about them other than I love drawing them! I find them hard. I took one of your courses that was of boats and have improved a bit but oh how I long to paint them like you do. Look at all that rigging and masts (my only boat vocabulary). So so beautiful!!! Wow what a surprise that must have been to see your old friend.


    • Becky, it’s the same for me. I love them but couldn’t name anything if my life depended on it. But the shapes are so great, and challenging too. As for seeing my friend, that was just too funny. I’ve heard of zebra mussels but never seen them, so he showed me how they attach themselves to the underside of the boat. They are so stuck to the hull that the pressure wash couldn’t get rid of them. He was trying to scrape them off.


  4. sandidureice says:

    What a gorgeous story, and gorgeous painting.


  5. Anne Klaus says:

    What a wonderful story Shari !! Cheers to you both!


  6. Soni says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this & great backstory !

    What paper did you use here ? and did you paint it on site or from a sketch ?

    Thanks as always


  7. jeanne1937 says:

    That’s a great painting and great story.


  8. Paul Andrews says:


    Liked by 1 person

  9. lois says:

    And you knew each other–that’s the best! I know I get a little queasy when someone catches me taking their photograph. And I never know them! Wonderful sketch, Shari.


  10. Nancy Dwight says:

    Love this post and image, Shari and hope you’re well as winter approaches. We’re here and the welcome mat is always out.
    Nancy (and Don)


    • HI Nancy, It’s so great to hear from you! And hope you are both well. I am still hoping to paint that tree. I come across the photo of the two of us in front of it every so often in my photo archives! Well, good news, we can now drive across the border, so who knows, maybe one day I will get there to paint it.


  11. Great story. Terrific painting. I love the sky colour, you really captured the atmosphere of the day. The pops of colour really dance across the page.


  12. Denise says:

    How exciting to have run into an old acquaintance, and then he gets to “star” in a great painting. Wonderful story and picture.


  13. Judy Sopher says:

    Beautiful painting, Shari. And the story is so interesting. Running into old friends is a thrill. Love boats and love the way you paint them.


  14. Donna says:

    What a great story……and a great painting!!


  15. Iona says:

    Just great! Love the play of warm and cool colours, it gives it such energy. You can feel the excitement and emotion of the story in the painting! And your boats…. Wow. Again, I’m inspired to go try boats – again. Thank you for this post.


  16. Francine LaRocque says:

    Beautiful! Thank you! Francine

    Le sam. 16 oct. 2021 à 17:48, Shari Blaukopf’s Sketchbook a écrit :

    > Shari Blaukopf posted: ” My sketching outing at the boat club was ruined > by drizzle so I wandered around to take a few photos of the boats that had > recently been put in dry dock. Between two hulls, I spotted the bottom of a > yellow slicker and some rain boots. I approached from a” >


  17. edaggarart says:

    What a fantastic painting. You’ve captured details in subtle and stunning ways in this!


  18. Marilyn Hansen says:

    This is beautiful Shari! I love your combination of detail and free washes. Great story too!


  19. Northern Traveller says:

    Shari – this is a gorgeous painting. I love that you ran into your former colleague, and I love that he was conveniently wearing that fantastic yellow rain slicker. Thanks for the story. M


  20. Janet M Catmull says:

    Beautiful colors and texture!


  21. Jim says:

    Thanks for sharing! You made a very busy scene ‘understandable’. I’m guessing the hull on the left was white(?)and you dropped the value down to keep focus on the subject. I lie the sketch. Thanks


    • Thanks for having a look, Jim. Yes, you’re right about the hull on the left. The boat was light and I didn’t want it to be distracting so I darkened the value. A little bit of artistic license.


  22. Great story to go with a great painting!


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