Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sketchcrawl at Belvoir Winery in Liberty, Missouri

This is at the entrance to the former Odd Fellows Home, now the prizewinning Belvoir Winery...
I knocked over my paint water, then the rains I added spatter!  LOTS of spatter...

Here's Don, sketching across the courtyard...right before the skies opened!

The girls found a nice covered pergola to relax and sketch out of the wet...
We often like to sign a page when we're together...everyone signed mine of the pergola with a view of what must be the old chapel beyond it...

Malinda joined me on the porch...
Meanwhile Joseph found a dry, comfy place...

And then he got me a glass of wine...I sketched looking out the window at the back of the building...
Brown ink and wet watercolor for my view out the window...

We ALL sketched inside for a while!  Rianna's adding color...

After, we all went to Los Compas to eat and share our sketches...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bring on the Heat!

Clothesline & Garage

Yesterday was a great day for drying clothes outside. It was also an excellent opportunity for testing the  limits of working with my Neocolor II wax pastels. Temperatures were in the upper 90s and high humidity made it feel over 100. I was comfortable sitting on my stool on the grass between the sidewalk and street, one block up from my house, drawing this backyard clothesline. My crayons didn't fare as well; they got pretty soft and messy, but, at this point, I'm undeterred from bringing them with me to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2 weeks for the Urban Sketcher Symposium.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

day trip with Mikala by vickylw
day trip with Mikala, a photo by vickylw on Flickr.
Bill took Monday off and we headed out of town with Mikala, looking for adventure. The Eisenhower Museum in Abilene had a Girl Scout exhibit -- Mikala is a Scout -- so we thought she might enjoy that.

The exhibit was not much to see, though Bill always enjoys the World War II exhibits. I love this old  house that Eisenhower grew up in, still at it's original location. (Instead of moving the house, they moved the rest of the neighborhood to build the Presidential Library here.) Later, leaving the museum, we planned on eating lunch somewhere . . . and couldn't find any restaurants. We drove a different way on the way home, through country roads, and nearly got lost. Still couldn't find a restaurant. Who knew there were actual towns in Kansas with no eating establishments?!? We had a fun day anyway . . . . lots of giggles.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This was actually my very last sketch at Colonial Williamsburg on this trip.  It also happens to be my personal favorite.  This garden is a wonderful  and peaceful spot.  It just happened to be a beautiful morning as well which made it even more special while sitting and drawing.
Another of the Williamsburg sketches.  I actually did this sketch just prior to the one above.  The Palmer House was built in 1755 and sits just across the street from the Capitol building.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to lose a bulldozer

Apparently it is not difficult! It seems that Chicago loses one or two every year. After spring cleaning of Lake Michigan beaches there is a bulldozer like this, boarded up and left behind, practically on every beach. They sit around looking sad for a week or several, and then mysteriously disappear. Perhaps - off to another project, or according to city rumors - get stolen for parts...

I live in one of these tall buildings in the background, this beach - the Hollywood Beach - is my backyard. The bulldozer in this sketch is now gone. I can't tell you what happened to it. A mystery of a big city...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Little Saint Simons Island, Georgia

Continuing on the trend of Midwesterners going South, (Don Gore, another of our Urban Sketcher Midwest Correspondents, was in Virginia in June, about the same time), I went to Georgia, staying 5 days at  Little Saint Simons Island. It's a private barrier island, undeveloped except for a small lodge for 35 guests. It's like a nature preserve; great pains are taken to keep it a pristine,  natural habitat. Here are a few of the drawings I did while there:

Dock on Mosquito Creek
One arrives on the island by boat from the neighboring Saint Simons Island, traveling the Hampton River then onto the serpentine Mosquito Creek. Both waterways fluctuate with the tides and are surrounded by salt marsh. Above is the boat that brought us and the dock at the lodge. It's high tide and the dark clouds erupted into a pelting rain just as I was finishing.

Live Oak along Marsh
Live oak draped with Spanish moss grow along the marsh. This one was on the deck outside our room.

Main Beach, early morning

It rained a lot while we were there. But on the morning of our last full day, it was relatively clear and, auspiciously, the tide was low just after dawn. I biked the 2 miles from the lodge to the 7-mile-long Main Beach, road my bike on the hard packed sand near the water's edge, and found just the right spot to set my stool and draw. 

To see more drawings from this trip to Little Saint Simons Island and a previous trip last October go here.
I had a little time to myself this past Saturday evening so I decided to sketch this scene just outside of our back porch.  My wife has planted a multitude of flowers in various sizes and types of pots and the variety of colors caught my eye and it was something a bit different from what I normally might sketch.  I also had a brand new pen that I wanted to try so the end result is what you see here.  I also wanted to get something a bit different in-between posts from my trip to Virginia. More of those will be following in the coming days probably.  Hope you enjoy . . . Don

Hearing the Music

Meanwhile back at the Green City Market – if only for a few minutes–and this weekend what a few minutes it was! A musician was playing a drum and encouraging (it didn't take much) the children to join him with tambourines, bongos and all sorts of percussion instruments that he brought with him. I loved that he sang "everybody's got a beat" rather than "everybody's got the beat". It reminded me of 
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau
 I managed one quick sketch (and maybe a little dance) while Bob shopped.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another of the multiple sketches I did while in Colonial Williamsburg.  I hope it doesn't become too repetitive seeing some of these images but my wife and I really enjoy the opportunities to visit this special place and it was true joy for me on this trip being able to get as many sketches as I did.

Pen, ink and watercolor from my small Koi travel watercolor set.    Don

Metro 5th & Missouri station, East St. Louis, IL

Metro Link light-rail trains connect the Illinois and the Missouri sides of the St. Louis metropolitan area with many stops along its two lines including Lambert International Airport, University of Missouri, Washington University School of Medicine, Busch Stadium and downtown. It is a popular form of transportation for daily commuters and students, travelers and sports fans.The down time between trains which run every 10-15 minutes makes for great sketch time. Although I completed most of this sketch while waiting on the platform I painted the train later from memory.

Painted with Brushes for iPhone.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer in the CIty

Two familiar Chicago summer sights are what I call city roses and farmers markets. These roses are seen all over the city in backyards on the allies. The Green City Market in Lincoln Park is one of the best farmers markets in Chicago. My husband shops while I people watch and sketch. The amount of sketching I get done is often dependent on the length of his shopping list.  I love the chef demonstrations and the music is always fun!

A few scenes within the historic area at Colonial Williamsburg, VA.  I had the good fortune to spend five days here and got in quite a bit of drawing & painting.  The place is amazing to me and there are so many things to see and absorb.  Hopefully these provide some sense of what this place is like and I hope to share more soon.  I'm also hoping the inspiration and relaxation of this trip jump starts me into doing more here at home.  Hope you enjoy . . .  Don

Sting in concert, St. Louis

Sting performed his classic songs one after another during his performance at the Fabulous Fox Theater last week. The interior design of the Fox is sort of Byzantine and reminiscent of 1001 Arabian Nights. It is incredibly ornate with elaborate surface enrichment and fantastical creatures everywhere. To try to capture its scale and detail in a sketch is hopeless but I started this sketch when the house lights were up and added more layers of shadow and theatrical light effects later. I turned the device off during the performance so as not to distract anyone but it didn't matter there were hundreds of smart phones in use in the audience throughout the concert taking pictures, videos, tweeting, etc. I finished up as much as I could standing at the back of the house on the orchestra level during the extended encore and added final touches later. Painted with Brushes for iPhone.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back Alleys

My sketch, done with a Hero pen on S & B Beta paper...FUN line variation
And this is where I've stopped...
I really enjoy the almost universal feel of back alleys.  This is the back of an apartment building in my town.  I've sketched the front before, but I really love that back view, with balconies, staircases, potted plants, could almost be anywhere!

I wanted to keep it simple, so stopped before I killed the sparkle or got it all muddy...

You can see more step-by-step stuff on that sketch on our Artist's Journal Workshop blog!

More images from my recent trip to Virginia.  Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson and is an absolutely phenomenal place.  Mt. Vernon was the home of George Washington and is equally as impressive in not only what it is but in where it is.  The views of the Potomac River from the back side of this house are breathtaking.  I was down to the very back page of my watercolor moleskine so I did the sketch of the cupola on Mt. Vernon that you see here.  I tried to have fun with the sketches and the color that I added.  I painted from a small Koi watercolor set that provides a different color palette than what I normally paint with.  I hope you enjoy!    Don

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bases Loaded! St. Louis

What a way to watch a ball game! I sketched this view from the suite level at Busch Stadium at the Sunday game between the Cardinals & Cleveland Indians. Painted with Brushes for iPad this sketch took about 6 innings or approximately an hour and half. The hitting machine known as Carlos Beltran got his 18th home run of the season in the early innings. With scored tied at 2 each the Cards loaded the bases in the bottom of the 8th but failed to get a run home. Although Cleveland drove in two in the top of the ninth to win the game it was still a great afternoon of sketching and baseball.
Just returned home from an almost two week trip to Virginia.  This sketch is of Col Alto which was built in Lexington, VA in 1827.  Stayed here in a room called the "Washington & Lee".  Beautiful place and I was glad to be able to get this sketch in a small watercolor moleskine.  I had the chance to draw and paint quite a bit on this trip and hope to post more soon.  Don . . .

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Scholarship to Santo Domingo

Hi all!  This just in from the Symposium committee--if you thought you might like to go, PLEASE, send me an application--the information is all in the document link below.

All USk correspondents are invited to apply for a scholarship to the Santo Domingo Symposium, and the deadline is 11th June.  A commitment to the USk movement and storytelling skills will be high our top criteria in selecting a winner.

And of course this is for correspondents only...

I hope the above link works!

Monday, June 4, 2012

International Sketchbook Day

The Art House Co-op, the home of the Sketchbook Project, declared an International Sketchbook day. That was yesterday, June 3rd. One of our Chicago sketchers decided to get us organized for a sketching outing. It seems that organizing Chicago sketchers is akin to herding cats! In the end it was only Mary and I in attendance at the Water Tower downtown Chicago.

I decided to sketch some people sitting around. In about an hour aphids chased us out, there were too many of them and they were big. We left, found a Starbucks, and fortified by iced coffee beverages sketched some more. I assert that if sketching locations were put on a Bell curve, Starbucks would come at the top.

This is Edgewater, the neighborhood where Mary and I live. I was surprised by the beauty of this old building: I walked by it many times, but didn't really see it in detail until I drew it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hoping for the Future

This beautiful pair of buildings is really all one...and for sale.  It's been several different things, including a funeral home, and I hope it gets re-purposed into something wonderful!  A friend and her husband owned it and had hoped to make it a restaurant and event center, but life intervened...

So this is one of the sketches I did for the Art of Urban Sketchers show at the Ackland Museum in North Carolina, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The show benefits both Urban Sketchers and the museum, with donated works by USk correspondents.  I hope you can get there!  (There will be more on this soon...)

Friday, June 1, 2012

From 2 Sides of the Cedar River

Today, I biked, with my sketching stuff in my panniers, to Gateway Park to look across the Cedar River to downtown Cedar Falls. I used some new pencil/crayons (Stabilo Woodys) that were recommended by Donna, an Urban Sketcher from Arizona, who I had met at the 1st USK Symposium in Portland.

When home, I remembered a watercolor/ink sketch from July, 2 years ago, that I had done from one of  the park benches against the white concrete wall, looking across the Cedar River to Gateway Park. And today, I was drawing very close to this tree.
Mullen & Cottonwood
Mullein and Cottonwood
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