Friday 2/1/19 Urban Sketching: The Blue Star Diner

I met a couple members of the Hampton Roads Urban Sketchers in the parking lot of The Blue Diner, in Newport News, Virginia. The diner’s claim to (historic) fame is that it is one of the last remaining diners built in a factory. (?) Apparently, also, it was moved from Woodstock to Newport News in 1963.


I know my husband’s family has many fond memories of eating there decades ago, with their grandparents. (They lived just behind it, in historic Hilton Village.) In July of 2015, the city decided to demolish the diner, but then plans were brought forward to renovate the kitchen, and that renovation was supposed to take place in 2017. There were lights on inside the building while we were there, but the place definitely feels deserted, and looks run down… the no trespassing and no parking signs completed the feeling. It’s really a piece of Hilton Village, a place I love, and I hope it does get renovated and opened again soon. If it does, you’ll find me there!


I’m the worst at seeing what to leave out, and it shows here.


The sign was incredible and I wanted to include it even if it was in a different place on the page. If they ever do reopen, I hope they fix the sign but don’t change it.




I used EEM paints, for the most part, with one Daniel Smith exception, in my Moleskine watercolor journal. (not my favorite paper, although the book is very well made… don’t get one.) I also had a chance to use my Etchr Slate Mini art travel bag. It works like an easel for field sketching, as well as holding the supplies. If you haven’t taken a look, do check them out! It isn’t a cheap bag, but is a really nice tool.

(We went to Indulge Bakery in Hilton Village for lunch… the cake wasn’t lunch. Exactly. But yummy, after the chicken salad croissant, which was also yummy. I haven’t finished this page, but thought I’d better include it now anyway.)



Urban Sketching in Hampton Roads

I joined the Hampton Roads Urban Sketching Club for a fun morning of… yeah, you guessed… urban sketching. 🙂 We met in the shopping strip of historic Hilton Village… my husband grew up in that neighborhood and I have hoards of fond memories of the place, so it was really nice for me to be there. It was great meeting other people who want to draw bits of their daily lives, and share creative ideas with each other. Our next “meeting” will be the first Saturday in November (if anyone is local and wants to join us?? Painting, and pumpkin bread… what could be nicer than that?)

The neighborhood itself is over a hundred years old, and full of history, and interesting homes. And cats. Lots of cats. We had planned to meet at Indulge, a little bakery and cafe there on Warwick Blvd, but their power was still out … one of Hurricane Michael’s residual effects! The owner (I assume?), however, brought us out huge, moist slices of pumpkin bread and banana bread, which was so thoughtful of her! AND made us loyal fans forever. It was a small kindness that we will all remember!

I hope the other artists aren’t going to mind me sharing some of their work:


I loved being allowed to take a peek at some of their art, and swap A.S.A. (art-supply-addiction) tales, and seeing all of our different techniques! Art is really for the artist. It is nice when others enjoy it, really nice, but the creation of it soothes the artist’s soul. I think that is the purpose of it. Between the perfect weather, the quaint area, and the lovely companions, this outing was a WIN.

I meant to bring some new watercolor boards I had purchased just for this event, but forgot them, so took the opportunity to make today’s entry in my daily journal. I’m glad, now, that I forgot the boards.




I think I have one of the ladies’ names wrong. Consider it a typo! 🙂

To catch you up, here are my other journal entries. I have completed an ink, or ink and watercolor, page each day in October…



This journal is turning out to be so much fun! The size is great, too. I’m looking forward to being able to look back and see a journey of improvement! And also remember a little about each day.

So… what did you do today?

Day 143 (Tues May 23) watercolor house sketch

This one is for Kathy… a rather messy sketch of a Hilton Village house in Newport News, VA, USA. Who could resist loving this adorable little house? You should see the inside. Hilton has got to be one of the sweetest neighborhoods in the world.