Monday, December 24, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
We hardly ever go out to eat. Having food delivered from Great Wall Chinese restaurant is a treat, a welcome break from cooking. I did this watercolor November 2011, on a cold, late afternoon from the car.
So if anyone visits Charleston, this place is awesome if you like soul food ( and I do) let me know if my sketch made the Men's room!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
It was all decked out for Christmas, but then it ALWAYS looks festive.
Anybody interested in a "scavenger hunt" virtual sketchcrawl? We didn't get to meet up this month, so how about sketching your favorite diner/restaurant/cafe and sharing it here??
There's more on our parent blog about the why and how of this sketch, inspired by David Gentleman's new book, London, You're Beautiful!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
The Williamson family gets together each December for a Christmas dinner, normally at a home. This year it was Elaine's turn but her house is in a bit of chaos -- so she hosted all of us at her favorite restaurant.
It was lovely seeing everyone (we had an upstairs room all to ourselves) but Bill and I really don't like their food. The two musicians were good though.
This is nose wheel detail of a Navy T-28 that the museum has in its collection. The T-28 was a trainer for the Navy as well as being used by the other services for similar purposes. The plane is large and though I titled this post "Drawing Exercise" it was fun and challenging to work up this sketch. Lots of details with connectors, bolts, pumps, etc. in the nose wheel. The work also jogged memories of the short period of time after I was commissioned in the Air Force that I served as an aircraft maintenance officer. Good memories!
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
|I was delighted to find "my" railway station had only been moved, not torn down. It's restored as a museum, near the National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence now!|
|This is what it looked like when I was a kid...a bit over a half block from my house...|
|The station agent lived next door to me...he taught me Morse Code when I was just a kid. This is his desk in the station...|
|Yep, we ALL had phones like this once upon a time...|
And for a complete change of pace, we ran by Costco and I sketched in the parking lot with my vintage Sheaffer calligraphy pen. That was fun, too...
Sunday, November 25, 2012
"Urban Landscape, Forest Park, St. Louis, 11/25/2012", Michael Anderson, 4" x 7", watercolor on Canson Montval, 140lb cold press.
Friday, November 23, 2012
|Sometimes I think I live in parking lots!|
|Trying out a new Pilot Penmanship pen from JetPens, in the neighborhood. It came with water-soluble ink cartridges, so I went with that!|
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Air Zoo houses a wide variety of aircraft but I particularly enjoy their WW II aircraft. This piece is of the Zoo's C-47. The aircraft shows the colors and markings that it would have displayed during the June, 1944 D-Day invasion of Europe. At that point in time the aircraft would have been carrying paratroopers headed for various invasion drop zones.
The C-47, the military version of the venerable Douglas DC-3, was flown by the Army Air Corps throughout Europe and the Pacific during the war. The aircraft continued service with the Air Force post the war and was still flying combat missions during the Vietnam conflict. Pretty amazing considering the DC-3 design first took to the air in 1935. The airplane is considered by many to be one of the most reliable ever built.
I have to pass on my thanks to the Air Zoo. They've kindly given me permission to work inside the barriers that surround the aircraft. Being able to get close is a big help with details and it's great to be able to bring along a chair that I can sit in while I'm working!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
While my wife and her sister spent time shopping near DesMoines, I spent last Saturday morning driving down some very dusty Iowa roads finding the various covered bridges of Madison County, Iowa. This one, the Roseman, is located in a hollow about 10 miles west of Winterset, Iowa. Apparently the bridge builders of Madison County all used the same set of bridge plans 'cause each one I found was pretty much like its siblings. In common too with the other bridges I found on my tour, this one, courtesy of a very dry summer, spanned a pretty much dry creek bed. Once I was done with my bridge quest I headed off to my wife's home town of Indianola, Iowa. The sketch from Indianola was posted earlier in the week.
|This is part of last summer's outdoor garden improvements--a lovely place to sit and sketch!|
We visited Van Till Family Farms and Winery again for their lovely ambience as well as that wood-fired pizza and wine! Christiana actually managed to sketch her pizza before eating it...
They have a greenhouse-like enclosure that works summer and winter--and you can watch your pizza being baked, right on the spot.
|John Payne and Wilma look over Christiana's colorful sketchbook.|
|...and Christiana admires John's!|
Friday, November 16, 2012
|Wonder Bread, November 17, 2011|
The inevitable has happened. Hostess Brands, which includes Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies, is bankrupt and are closing all their operations around the US, including Home of Wonder Bread in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. Approximately 80 workers--including bakers and drivers--are losing their jobs here.
Home of Wonder Bread was built by the Continental Baking Company in 1957. This yellow brick with red accent building is a landmark, sandwiched between the Carnegie Waterloo Public Library, the orange-y building to the right, and the Waterloo Art Center (unseen) to the left. The aroma of baking bread has wafted from it for over a half a century.
Almost exactly a year ago, I drew this from my car on a chilly, windy November afternoon. My original flickr post of this drawing is here.
For local news coverage in today's Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier with some photos of Home of Wonder Bread go here.
I associate Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies with guilty pleasures from my childhood. Oh, those pure white, silky, flat pillows of white bread, spread with smooth Skippy peanut butter and Welch's grape jelly that I was served at my best friend's house (never at my own!). And the rituals of eating a Twinkie--the thrill of breaking open the golden spongy loaf, appreciating the inside's perfectly centered, whitest of white cream, which I'd test with the tip of my tongue, before taking a bite. But my most favorite were the Hostess Cupcakes. They were the ultimate of comfort food, with their dark thin frosting crossed by that cheerful and elegant white loopy line. Inside: flawless chocolate cake with a white cream heart. There were two schools of eating a Hostess cupcake: mine was lifting off thin wafers of frosting before taking a bite. Or my friend's: cutting to the quick with a bite to the middle--cake and frosting and cream all in one mouthful. Hostess cupcakes were the standard for chocolaty wonderfulness until, as adults, we were swept into gourmet and the likes of upscale flour-less chocolate cake decadence.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
This is a sketch of a corner of Indianola, Iowa's town square. My wife grew up in Indianola. She lived but a few blocks from the square and my father-in-law fixed cars for years in his garage which was located just off the square. My wife also tells me her teen Friday nights were spent cruising round-and-round the square with her girl friends!
While I was working this sketch I noticed a guy taking pictures of me. Turned out he was from the local paper. I wound up being interviewed and having pictures taken of this sketch and other work in my sketch book. My wife thought the interview was quite cool. I thought...slow news day.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
My last post mentioned Mandy Patinkin. His voice is incredible! That got me to thinking about some of my favorite songs I've heard him sing. That got me to thinking about Coffee in a Cardboard Cup, a song from a musical 70, Girls, 70. That got me to thinking about Starbucks and how much time I spend there catching my breath and sketching while running errands. It's a very different take on coffee in a cardboard cup than the one presented in the song.
That got me to thinking about the song's basic premise and I still think it's a good one.
"The trouble with the world today, it seems to me,
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble with the affluent society
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
No one's ever casual and nonchalant,
No one waits a minute in a restaurant,
No one wants a waitress passing pleasantries
Like "How're you, Miss?"
"How're you, Sir?"
"May I take your order please?"
The trouble with the world today is plain to see,
Is everything is hurry up.
It's rush it through, and don't be slow,
And BLT on rye to go,
With coffee (I think she said)
Coffee (I know she said)
Coffee in a cardboard cup." 70, Girls, 70
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
A long, long, long time ago I saw Sunday in the Park with George in New York, starring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. It was fabulous. When we headed out to Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Halloween night to see CST's latest version of the show I must admit I was afraid. I couldn't imagine how it could live up to a show I loved and that had been further polished by fond memories. SURPRISE! Jason Daneley, as George Seurat, and Carmen Cusack, as Dot, did not disappoint - they were fabulous! The show was great. It was a night for treats.
The scribbled sketches were boxed and colored later at home. The CST logo is from the program.
When you're in Chicago be sure to stop at the Art Institute and see George Seurat's masterpiece, A Sunday on La Grande Jotte. It won't disappoint either.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
|I took ceramics classes here when I was in third grade! LOVED it, too. The building is for sale, and while I sketched a young couple came to look at it. I hope it will be in use again!|
|This is the only thing I have left from those days...I STILL like the interesting clay, with chunks in it...|
Friday, November 2, 2012
The Air Zoo houses an excellent collection of aircraft and aircraft related items. As I'm retired from 20 years in the Air Force I do have a lot of interest in things that fly. So I went to look at the aircraft that are on static display. The birds in this sketch are parked next to the building where Air Zoo staff members work on restoring various aircraft. The planes are long retired...and are showing their age.
First in the row is an F-84, behind it is a Lear Jet, and last is a B-57. I thought the repeating tail pattern was interesting.
After sketching retirees I decided it would be interesting to do a detail sketch of the F-84's nose wheel. Here it is. It was interesting, but have to say my hands got cold drawing...it was only 43 this morning.