Monday, April 30, 2012
We just got back from a quick trip to San Francisco where we celebrated my grandson's and son's birthdays with robots and lighthouses – different days, same month. It was a great time but all too short. Not a lot of time for sketching but I did manage a few.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
|I've had my eye on one similar to this...all those pockets would be almost like a traveling studio!|
I've added some things to our new supply catalog page...art bags, brush holders, plein air French-style easels, pens, and even some folding stools for those of us who need to be a bit more comfortable when working on the spot and more.
As I have time, I'm adding notes about various tools...if you've got input, please let me know!
Have fun poking around! It's at the top of our page, or right here: http://urbansketchers-midwest.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
see 2/17/2012; this time on a larger format page. I blocked in the sky piece with a wash brush but finished with waterbrushes which are so handy for sketching with watercolor. The challange though on this day was the relentless wind which kept blowing over my backpack and other supplies. After awhile I had to retreat to my car to complete the piece.
Cavalia Big Top, 04/15/2012; Michael Anderson, watercolor on Arches 140lb cold press, 12″ x 16″.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
|I sat at the bottom of the steps out in back of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and sketched the west end of the facade...|
|I took this photo after I finished...you can see I just did that far end!|
Actually, I was pretty frustrated with my pen...several people had stopped by to watch me work, and I mentioned that to one young couple. The girl insisted I take her pen, so I finished with my NEW art supply! Bless her!
|This was the first sketch of the day--I kind of posted these backwards! It's right at the entrance from the parking garage...light and surfaces and sculpture and visitors all at once!|
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
This bouquet was picked from my Cedar Falls, Iowa neighborhood and garden. It was drawn on April 15, 2012. I had painted another version of the bouquet a few days before in watercolor, that included a tall red tulip as the center of attention. I had envisioned this second drawing, done in Neocolor II wax pastels, to also include the tulip, but alas, it dropped its petals before I could execute it.
Two days later, I received an email from a dear childhood friend telling me of her father's death on April 15, 2012. For me, this drawing then became a memorial for Mr. Glass. For me, this drawing represents the melancholic side of Spring: its breathtaking, all too fleeting beauty. Such is life.
As a teenager, I knew Mr. Glass as a kind man with a gentle smile, the father of one of my best friends. I was always welcome in their rambling house in Scarsdale, New York, which was filled with many books, creative projects laid out in process, and sleeping cats occupying the kitchen chairs . The garden that he and his wife tended introduced me to a variety of perennial flower gardening that I would try to emulate in my adult life. I hadn't seen Mr. Glass in decades. Only with his passing did I learn through the New York Times obituary of his illustrious career and his painfully difficult youth. This one is for you, Mr. Glass, in honor of your long life, well lived.
Gazebo, Lemp Mansion, 04/01/2012, Michael Anderson, watercolor, Canson 140 lb cold press, 7″ x 9″.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Arriving too early for last week's watercolor class (which meets in a church nearby), I parked on a side street and did a quick sketch of the tower and part of the building -- now hidden by maturing trees. I added color later at home.
Before leaving for class, I also did a quick sketch of Jack's Hamburgers shown on the left page, a walk-up eatery across the street from the high school which has been there continually since my parents' school days. I remember Mom taking me here as a child -- the first place I had sprinkles on my ice cream cone!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Between Chicago's fascinating characters and glorious architecture sometimes it's hard for me to focus on what to sketch.
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of my favorite places in the city. There's something for everyone! This week I was there several times for a variety of reasons. Each time I had the pleasure of crossing the street with the Streetwise vendor. I don't know his name. I should ask him the next time I'm there. This has been his regular corner for years so I'm familiar with his friendly banter, his tall tales of Chicago and his corner of the city. Each time I'm impressed by the pride and effort he puts into his job. Most of the time I end up crossing the street with a Streetwise under my arm but always with a smile on my face. When he's not on duty I miss him.
If you're in Chicago and at the Art Institute be sure to meet this other lion at Michigan Avenue and Adams! Oh, and buy a Streetwise!
Alley, DeMenil Place, 04/11/2012; Michael Anderson, water brush, water color, Canson 140lb cold press, 7″ x 9″.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Paint Louis blog links to a Google Street View which shows a portion of the length of the grafitti wall.
Grafitti Wall, 04/15/2012, Michael Anderson, watercolor heightened with gouache, Arches 140lb cold pressed, 10″ x 14″.
Grafitti Wall, 04/15/2012, Michael Anderson, watercolor heightened with gouache, Arches 140lb cold pressed, 10″ x 14″.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Our Chicago Monday sketch group met on Wednesday this month due to the Easter holiday. We call ourselves a sketching group but I think we're a chatting group that sketches -even in the the Newberry Library where we met. Either way we have a good time.
Right now the Newberry is hosting the Chicago Calligraphy Collectives annual exhibit, a remarkably beautiful show. I'm amazed at the creativity and skill of these artists. I'm envious!
These pages, done in my 8 x11.5 Moleskine watercolor book, are just some fast visual notes from the library lobby. Nothing much or great going on but it is what it is and I enjoyed doing it.
I'll be glad when the weather warms up so we can move outside!
|Crabapple Winter Shadows|
|White Crabapple 11th & Clay|
A tree, drawn two months apart, is a way for me to chronicle the seasons. This crabapple is across the street from my house. I drew it from my second floor bedroom window in February at midday, compelled to record its blue shadows on the white snow. This week, in mid-April, it came into glorious bloom--a veritable cloud, a perfumed canopy, that spans overhead across the sidewalk. I set up my portable easel on the sidewalk across the street and drew, my back to the west. The late afternoon sun warmed my shoulders and cast dappled shade. Cedar Falls, Iowa, my home for 25 years, is a very treed city. This individual is one of my favorite.
Both are done with Neocolor II soluble wax pastels in Canson archival photo albums. Winter was done on black paper, spring on "wicker". 13.5 " X 11"
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Satellite Dishes, Keiner Plaza East Parking Garage, 03.30.2012, Michael Anderson, waterbrush, water color, Canson 140lb cold press, 7″ x 9″.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Portico, Missouri Botanical Garden, 02/28/2012, Michael Anderson, waterbrush, watercolor, 7″ x 9″, Canson 140lb cold press.
|This was a quick one, done right before we went off to the beachside restaurant...it's the lifeguard shack we mentioned before...|
|You can see the spares, waiting in the wings at Zuma Lagoon...|
|My painting setup, on a nice big flat rock...|
|I love these little shacks all up and down the coast...|
|Here's last year's drawing, as promised! Marcia Milner-Brage sketched them in 2011 as well, as you saw in this post. They're irresistable!|
|I seem to have edited out the highway and all the buildings...|
|Zuma Lagoon, lifeguard shacks, and Highway 101 in the background...|
And a few more travel sketches on our parent blog, Urban Sketchers, here.
Structures on the property at Powell Gardens. These are part of the newer Harvest Garden section of the site. Beautiful to be outside drawing on a warm spring afternoon. It was fun to take the steps to the top of the silo and be able to look out across the gardens (my legs felt it the next day though).
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Louis Sullivan designed one of the most sublime architectural creations anywhere for Ellis Wainwright in 1891. The arrangement of simple forms and the restrained use surface embellishments must have seemed way ahead of it’s time. The millionaire brewer had commissioned Sullivan to design an office tower downtown still referred to as the Wainwright Building and generally considered to be the world’s first skyscraper. The tomb was commissioned upon the death of Wainwright’s young wife and has been nicknamed the Taj Mahal of St. Louis.
Wainwright Tomb, Bellefontaine Cemetery, 03/01/2012, Michael Anderson, watercolor, waterbrush, Canson 140lb cold pressed, 7″ x 9″.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
There are several similar buildings in this town, built in 1920 when housing was at a premium due to a huge oil field being found here in 1915.
This was sketched yesterday, a very overcast day with rain coming soon. I didn't think ahead -- I just grabbed my sketchbook the moment I saw her sitting so still. Our neighborhood seemed to be in silent expectation as well.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Today I took my easel to Black Hawk Park, a few minutes by car from my house. I walk there regularly. When I saw this yesterday, I knew I had to come back before the color faded or the mowers were dispatched. I spend too much time sitting (looking at all the wonderful artwork on flickr or sketching from my folding stool), so I decided to stand next to my portable easel, set in the tabletop position. This was my first plein-air drawing of the season here in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
I'm on my bike doing training rides for a biking event on Memorial Day, and one of my rides is to a small town 13 miles south of me. The ride takes me through little-traveled farmland to the quiet town of Overbrook. They did have Shirley's, a locally owned/operated cafe, run by Shirley herself. I'd always order a cup of coffee and a danish. Unfortunately for her customers, she retired. So now I buy a coffee or milk at Casey's gas stop. I like to then go downtown and sit on a bench and watch things. Last Sunday I packed my sketch gear and across the street was their library. That was my sketchable moment. I think the locals figured out I was not from around here, in my biking tights on a bench using art supplies in broad daylight while they drove through town in their farm-muddy pickup truck with cattle trailer. Oh well.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
LUMA (Loyola University Museum of Art) and the Center for Intuitive and Outside Art are co-hosting and exhibit of outsider art with the theme of Heaven + Hell – LUMA hosting the Heaven side and Intuit, the Hell. On Monday the docents from LUMA toured the Intuit presentation with Jan Petry, one of the curators. Familiar now with both installations I am astounded by the creativity and vision of mankind when we just let go and let the artist out.
There wasn't a lot of time to sketch but I managed some quick scribbles and added color later.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Bates City BBQ is just across the railroad tracks from the Bates City Antique Mall. While my wife was in the Antique Mall I sat outside and did a quick sketch of the restaurant. The sketch is in a watercolor moleskine and I did add the watercolor after I got home. The weather has been absolutely beautiful this Spring and I'm glad I had the chance to get this sketch in while enjoying the nice day.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
We Midwesterners seem to be on a traveling kick! I just got home from California with 19 pages of sketches in days...
|I always like to do one composite page in the airport...|
|I've yet to EAT here, but it's really cute...|
|California backyard...with my Noodler's flex pen...|
|A Hotel composite...several days worth on one page...|
|Across from the Sunset Restaurant in Malibu...|
|And my father-in-law's poor, sweet rescue beagle...I think I ended up with 15 sketches of her. (I was raised by beagles...)|