Friday, July 29, 2016

Hindsight is so very 20-20!
Our little sketch group met at Oak Park Mall to sketch and I've always wanted to draw the carousel.  Never mind that it's so often in motion and never stops in the same place.  The perspective was totally sadistic!  I gamely painted away, then searched for other things to fill the page.  Keeping to the pink and yellow carousel, I found the perfect shoe, the kind I can't walk in but love to see.

That's when hindsight kicked in:  I went up to the floor above to find a perfume bottle and realized that the perfect painting view of the carousel occurs from above - simplified perspective!  And I suddenly realized that the best way to paint the moving object is from the carousel itself!  Seated on a bench or horse! So I need to make another trip, and this time I'm going to ride! Don't say you can't teach an old dog new just takes a little longer.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fish Town - Leland, Michigan

While we sat in Leland, Michigan waiting for the wind and Lake Michigan to calm down (I've become a fair weather traveler with the boat), I got out the sketchbook and spent the morning in Fishtown making this sketch. Fishtown is located right next to the marina where our boat was parked and is what used to be a fishing village along the river that runs into Lake Michigan. Today Fishtown, which is about a block long, is inhabited by old buildings and lots of tourists. The buildings host t-shirts shops and the usual collection of tourist trinkets. Fishtown also has a commercial fishing operation and several charter boats that take anglers out to try their luck on Lake Michigan.

Free Boat Wash

My wife and I are out on our boat for a month plus. This sketch was done this past Sunday morning while I was sitting in the cockpit of our boat. It's a look south out of the mouth of the Leland, Michigan harbor as thunderstorm worked its way in from Lake Michigan. If you look between the pier heads you'll see a fishing boat that came roaring in off the lake to out run the storm. Once the rain started it lasted several hours and did a great job of washing off the boat. We stayed in Leland for a couple of days until the wind and Lake Michigan calmed down.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Had the opportunity to attend Urban Sketchers Chicago sketch workshops this past weekend.  Had an amazing time.  Met quite a few fellow Urban Sketchers which was terrific.  Very talented and dedicated folks.  Learned a lot and tried several new techniques and materials that pushed my comfort zone.  Refreshing, energizing and eye-opening all at the same time.  Stopped in Springfield, IL on the way home to see some of the Lincoln sites.  Got in a bit of sketching there too.  All of these sketches are in a Stillman and Birn beta series book. My sketch materials range from pitt pens to pitt big brush markers to a pentel brush pen and koi watercolors.  Quite a variety for me.

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