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The Wentworth Hotel in Newcastle, New Hampshire is a beautiful old-world 1870s hotel that was restored by Marriott in 2000 after being closed and abandoned for 20 years. The mosaic below contains 2 renditions each from the Wentworth of yester-year, the Wentworth in disrepair, and the Wentworth now.

Sonia and I spent a couple nights there to celebrate her birthday. It was a cool summer in New England, so we were pleased to see that the forecast predicted a short warm streak that coincided with our stay.

I love poolside vacations when the only choices are:

  1. Read
  2. Nap
  3. Eat
  4. Swim
  5. Paint
  6. Just Be

I cycled through all of these, and especially enjoyed the poolside menu…

2017-08-21 15.20.14

(If you’ve never tried mayo with your fries, you should). Looking out from our perch in the adults-only section of the pool, I saw an intriguing view:

2017-08-22 15.41.44

It’s not a particularly stunning view. What interested me was the the roof line right beyond and to the right of the open umbrella. I liked the shape, the shadows, the color, the perspective. I was also intrigued by the pine trees in the background. When I started sketching, the umbrellas in front of me were down, and I thought it would be a fun challenge to try to capture the folds of the fabric.

Here’s what emerged:

Of course, my eye immediately goes to all of the things that are “wrong” with it. But as a practice in celebrating what pleases me, I’ll list what I like. 🙂

  • I love the color of the umbrella, and I think I captured the folds and shadows of the fabric.
  • I like the foliage in the foreground. It’s complex without being too heavy or detailed.
  • I really like the pine trees. I used a technique from a workshop several years ago to draw the trees. I love pine trees in general, and seeing and painting them brings me back to the mountains.
  • I like the colors in the roof, including the shadows on the beams.
  • I like the clouds. I don’t usually sketch in cloud lines, but I kind of like how it turned out.
  • I added splatters, and I really like how they increase the texture and give the illusion of detail.

When I was done, I made a small little sketch in my sketchbook of what was happening to the left of the scene above: Pool Chaos. Flocks of kids were enjoying themselves just a little too much for my taste. 🙂

I loved our Wentworth vacation. What one thing are your eyes most drawn to in this painting? What pleases you?