Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Can You Keep a Secret?

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, Chicago

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is one of the best-kept secrets in Chicago. Our Monday sketch group makes sure to go there at least once a summer to sketch.  Peaceful, quiet, (well, except for the birds, frogs, and breeze through the trees) and uncrowded, it's definitely the pause that refreshes. I was thinking about that as I was drawing. It seems no matter how tired or crabby I am if I stop to sketch a little my smile comes back!

I couldn't resist a quick sketch of the heron that briefly came into view!

Monday, July 4, 2016

July is #WorldwideWatercolorMonth!




July is #WorldwideWatercolorMonth, as proposed by Doodlewash. In that spirit and in hopes of reenergizing my daily practice, I'm going to try to do one small (4x4 in) watercolor a day. The sources will vary, some from life, some from photos, and some from my imagination. I'm usually not good at following through with this kind of thing. I'm like a magpie, (Ooo good idea, Oh look at that idea, Wow, that's inspiring, etc.)  so wish me luck! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

All in a Day's Work

We just got back from San Francisco. Bob and I spent a week babysitting for our three grandsons, one 7-year-old, and twins, 2½ years old. Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of time to sketch and paint! In between naps (I use the term loosely,) laughter, tears, hugs, kisses, kites, and treats, I did manage a couple.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Different Perspective

A quick sketch from Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The actor, Tim Crouch, was on stage, from the time the house opened to the end of the show so I had a chance to scribble this before the play began. The production "I, Malvolio" tells Shakespeare's story, "Twelfth Night", from the point of view of Malvolio, one of the minor characters, and in one hour! Tim Crouch wrote and starred in the one-man show. Hilarious and brilliant!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Let the Fun Begin!

It's the beginning of Summer Art Workshop season! Yay! Here is a rerun of an article I wrote last year for Urban Sketchers Chicago. I believe they're timeless tips for successful workshop experience. What would advice would you add?

Tuesday Tips and Tricks:

Sketchbook Skool Klass with Jonathan Twingley.
It’s that time of year when art workshops and seminars abound. We’re less than a month away from the USk-Chicago Sketch Seminar 2015! There are some great things planned and we’re putting the finishing touches on the details to help you to get the most out of your workshop experience. 
How about you? Are you getting ready for a workshop? Whether it’s an online class, a local workshop, one that involves travel or even if you’re working you way through a self-study book there are certain things that will help you get the most out the experience. Over the years I’ve given workshops and taken many classes both on-site and online.  I’ve found my mindset is the most important factor in what I take away from the class.
  • SET A GOAL – Why am I taking this class? What do I hope to learn?

    • KEEP AN OPEN MIND – Pay attention and follow directions. It’s easy to fall into the attitudes of “that isn’t the way I do it” or “that isn’t the way so-and-so does it” but leave those notions behind at least for the duration of the workshop.

    • THINK PROCESS NOT PRODUCT  (I know, I say that all the time) –  It takes practice to learn new techniques and methods.

    • ASK QUESTIONS – Your instructor wants you get the most out of your time in the class.
    Last week, Wes gave us excellent advice about what to bring and what to wear. Remember, whether your a novice or a working pro, there is another thing you need for a successful workshop experience, that’s a positive and open workshop-state-of-mind. The opening sketch of this post is an assignment from a Sketchbook Skool Klass with Jonathan Twingley. The goal was to draw not think.  At the end of a week we cut up the sketches made a mixed media collage to surprising results!  What's your "must have" for a successful workshop experience?
    Links Richard E. Scott David Becker  Veronica Lawlor Sketchbook Skool

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016


    Yay, our Monday Sketch Group didn't get frozen or rained out! Yesterday was a glorious day to be out sketching at Navy Pier! At long last, I traded my jacket for a hat and sunglasses! It was a three exclamation point day.

    Friday, May 20, 2016

    Dream or Nightmare?

    Bahá'í House of Worship, Wilmette IL
    Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've posted here! It's been a crazy busy time. There are some good things coming. I'll keep you posted!

    I did manage to catch my breath last Sunday with the Chicago Urban Sketchers, at the Bahá'í Temple. The sun was shining and the hospitality was warm so I hardly noticed how chilly the air was. The building is beautiful, covered in intricate designs that look like stone calligraphy. The details are an exercise in drawing negative space. I kept changing my mind between "This is a dream," and "This is a nightmare." I decided to go for the dream rather than the reality.