Thursday, May 30, 2013

June Scavenger Hunt is almost here!

...and the theme for this month is churches (or synagogues, or mosques, or temples...)  June weddings are what prompted this suggestion, so feel free to include the bride and groom!

Sketching Kansas City

Our May Sketchcrawl was on the grounds of the historic Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs

The ladies in pink are bridesmaids, wrapped in towels by the pool!

As usual, I spend my time in the parking lot sketching while Joseph shops!

Nice lunch...

I'm not a shopper, so I always enjoy the chance to sketch, especially when I can find a great spot like the one in the Half Price bookstore in Kansas City.  Not only a chair to ssit in, but a table to use...

This was my bent-nib Hero pen, which makes wonderfully varied lines.

Monday, May 27, 2013

In a Chinese Garden, St. Louis

At the center of the Missouri Botanical Garden stands an exquiste Chinese pavilion surrounded by a walled courtyard with a reflecting pool, arched bridges and lush plantings. The built-in benches are an ideal place to sit, contemplate the views and sketch. On Sunday afternoon members of the St. Louis Drawing and Painting Meetup group, now with over 800 members and one of the most active Meetups in the country, convened at the garden for some outdoor sketching.

In a Chinese Garden, 05/26/2013; Michael Anderson, waterbrush, water color on Canson 140lb cold press, 7" x 9".

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Twelfth Night, St. Louis

Free Shakespeare in Forest Park resumed this weekend for its twelfth season with an appropriate comedy, Twelfth Night. Friday's opening night weather was cool but clear. The actors' performances are well crafted and very funny. A musical ensemble plays songs on stage as part of the story, a first for the festival. Also for the first time a special free Groundlings seating area directly in front of the stage is available on a first come first seved basis, a Globe Theatre tradition.  I am always struck by how many familiar phrases in Shakespeare plays remain part of the language. Twelfth Night contains examples such as "If  music be the food of love then play on" and "some have greatness thrust upon them."

This view is from the green seats close to the stage. The set features a tilted building facade and a tree silhouetted against a giant moon. Overhead a real and unusually bright "Super Moon" lit up the sky. I began the sketch prior to the performance and worked it until it was too dark to paint any longer. I heigthened some details with gouache in daylight the next day when I could actually see what I was doing.

Twelfth Night, 05/24/2013. Michael Anderson, Watercolor, goauche, pencil on Canson 140lb cold press, 7" h x 9"w.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Date Night–Dance to the Music!

There are so many fun night spots and music venues in Chicago. Each neighborhood has its own flavor and favorites. This is a sketch done at one of ours, 12 West. The band was Rhythm City. They play mostly Motown and Soul. Great for dancing, great for listening!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Reading Railroad

Having spent the last few weeks unpacking and adjusting to our new condo home in Rockford, Michigan, I finally got out tonight, post dinner, and did this sketch of the Reading Book Store. The store is located in downtown Rockford and is a unique housing of books for sale that occupy the old building, an attached equally old passenger car, and a weathered old caboose. To say the least the store is interesting and adds flavor to the downtown area. So here's the was nice to be out of the house and back working with pen in hand.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Village Barber Shop

While on vacation I stopped in the Village Barber Shop in Estes Park, CO.  The gentleman that cut my hair has owned this shop since 1960.  He told me he started as a barber in 1957 which is the same year I was born.

Another interesting fact is that this barber is the Grandfather of a young man named Collin Klein who was a Heisman Trophy candidate this past football season.  I'm glad I stopped in and had the chance to visit with him.  Very nice man and it was almost a step back in time.  It looked as though not much has changed in the shop since it opened some 53 years ago.

Pen, ink & watercolor in a large watercolor Moleskine.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Goleta, California using fewer colors

While staying for a week in Goleta on the Central Coast of California, I decided to see how I could do just using my smaller watercolor set--12 colors versus my larger 35 color set (which I thought I couldn't do without). Here's three I did there.

Rose Beds
This was done from the 2nd floor balcony where we stayed, looking down on the backyard garden.

Coral Tree
Coral Tree
Also done from the balcony, looking across the neighbor's yard and beyond.

Coral Tree watercolor in process
In process: Zig Kure Taki set I've had for decades.
Color Chart Small Watercolor Box

Snail on Swiss Chard Leaf
Snail on Swiss Chard Leaf

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mountains of Colorado

Last week I had the opportunity to spend some vacation time in Colorado.  It gave me the chance to draw and sketch a bit which was nice and relaxing in the beautiful scenery.  These were done in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.  My sketches don't do justice to the beauty of the place.  It was wonderful to see and experience.  These sketches were done with pen and Noodlers Lexington Gray Ink with watercolor added over the drawings.  Moleskine notebooks (2 sizes).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring? Maybe!

Our Monday sketch group met in Old Town today. It's was pretty chilly but the sun was glorious! I finally exerted some discipline and made myself sketch something a little different for me - buildings (well, building). The name of this florist is Green and its window expresses my delight that spring is finally getting to Chicago. I'm still loving working in my Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

drive through the Flint Hills

drive through the Flint Hills by vickylw
drive through the Flint Hills, a photo by vickylw on Flickr.
Last Sunday, we drove to Matfield Green, where friends are rehabbing an old house. Arriving early, I took time to draw this tiny house that provides their temporary living space. A springtime drive through this western edge of the Kansas Flint Hills is normally beautiful, but this seemingly endless winter has made it less so. None of the trees show any new buds yet, and cattle are out in pastures full of dormant grass. Who knows what they find to eat out there.

This building used to be located at the couple's old house, used as an interior designer workshop by the wife. I once helped her with some sewing here, with it's huge work table, 2 sewing machines, and lots of bolts of fabric stored overhead. Now it has been transformed into a charming little home.

I found the tiny palette for sale on artist Maria Coryell-Martin's web site. For more info, go to my blog.

The Adobe Wall and Beyond

Adobe Wall Tucson Morning

I was last in Tucson sixteen years ago. I've been yearning to return. I was excited to draw saguaro cactuses and to cast my eyes on a landscape so different from the Midwest.

We stayed for a week in an adobe house. An adobe wall encircled the house and its cactus garden. I loved how that wall defined an intimate space within, while framing the vast desert landscape beyond. It became a new twist on my Inside/Outside exploration. I did this watercolor from the bedroom window, looking north across the Tucson Foothills neighborhood.

The adobe wall was interrupted, as it circled the house, by four blue wooden gates. Below, a mixed media, predominately Neocolor II water soluble wax pastel, in my pocket-size Moleskine. From the front screened porch looking to the side yard and the large mesquite tree outside the gate.  It was late afternoon; I loved how the wall and the dirt of the garden "floor" received the sprawling shadows.

Blue Gate to Mesquite

       Blue Gate to Mesquite in process

Looking over the wall on the other side of the house, two totem pole cactuses, within the wall, frame a neighboring house:

Cactuses Inside Adobe Wall, Saguaro Outside

 The same grouping of saguaro cactus pictured in the upper right above is drawn again below, showing its long-dead, nurse tree. To do this one, I sat on my folding stool, outside the wall, my back to the adobe. (I can't keep my hands out of the crayon box.)
Saguaro Family and Nurse Tree
Saguaro Family and Nurse Tree

One last one including the adobe wall: an octopus agave with its towering bloom:

Agave Blooming

To see more of my sketches while in Tucson. Go to my Flickr Photostream Tucson, Arizona set.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...