Tuesday, August 5, 2014

From Minneapolis to  Excelsior Springs, Mo

On a trip to drop my son off with his grandparents in Arkansas I had a two day trip back to do as I pleased. I had always thought of stopping by Excelsior Springs to visit Cathy Johnson. Cathy is an artist I greatly admire and helped me with advice and encouragement and a great example of living by art.

These are roughly in the order I sketched them. 90% on site work.  The last 10% was line weight ramp up and some color touchup.  It was getting dark, and I will admit a little creepy being the only one walking around downtown once it got dark.

Cathy and her husband Joseph graciously welcomed me in.  I had no idea if they only had time for a quick visit but it turns out we all went to dinner together at a beautiful hotel downtown.  The restaurant at The Elms is quite beautiful and food was great.  As soon as the food was done the sketchbooks came out!

Neat little building corner.  I think it was the Mill Inn. I need to go back and put the lettering in.

It was starting to get dark and the color got away from me. This building isn't really green, but now that I have some distance on my frustration that it turned green I really like it. Always be careful with mixing yellow at night. You really can't see it so use about 1/3 as much yellow as you think. Or just go for it and have bright interesting colors the next day.  Either works!

This was just a neat building corner.

Such a wonderful evening.  After they left I had about 45 minutes to an hour of daylight and made a quick walking tour grabbing what sketches the light allowed.  I think I may have been one of 5 people out and about downtown.

The night before I loaded up two pages with color for some yet unknown project the next day.  Over breakfast I did these two drawings.  The family in front of me turned out to be an art teacher from Omaha that I wound up showing my sketches and paint kits to.  It is always fun to meet people.

Such a nice morning and beautiful patio to have breakfast at. I should have drawn the biscuits and gravy but they somehow went away to quickly!

James Nutt


  1. You got SO many great sketches, James! Thanks for sharing--and yes, it IS the Mill Inn. Next time find Ray's Lunch, too, I can just see it in your style! We had a lovely time, so glad you could stop by.

  2. Thanks for the memories! I've been there many times with Kate --- recognized the Hall of Waters immediately and thought the color was just for "atmosphere". Great sketches!


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