Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Who Thinks of Summer in the City as Green?

North Sculpture Garden at the Art Institute of Chicago

It's been along time since I lost a sketchbook but… 

The sketchbook I've been using strictly for urban sketching is gone. I keep hoping I've only misplaced it but I've searched high and low with no success; it's time to move on. For awhile now I've been toying around with the idea of using a square format and working larger when on location. Monday was as good a time as any. 

This is an 8 x 8 Hand•Book I bought the last time I was in San Francisco. It's now been officially designated as my urban sketching book for USk sketch crawls and the Monday Sketch Group. It's a good way to keep a record of our outings. The Monday group met this week at the Art Institute and sketched in the north sculpture garden. We've had a lot of rain lately and also some real summer heat so there were few flowers to be seen but a million lush shades of green. For me the greens even overpowered the sculpture.

Lush greens, loud cicadas, dappled shade and sketching, despite not being thrilled with the sketch, I'll smile when I look back at this page.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Road Trip!

Scenes from the Ohio Turnpike
We took a quick trip east for my greatnephew's baptism and a side trip to Manhattan to the 9/11 Memorial and the Freedom Tower – too short but memorable. There's also something about a family road trip that either brings out the best or worst in people. This one brought out the best. We had a great time. 

The Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes go on F O R E V E R. Good thing I had my Stillman & Birn sketchbook and tiny Velasquez palette with me. I used museum putty to anchor the half pans in a little Altoids tin. I added Hookers Green to his Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre palette.



9/11 Memorial 
The 9/11 Memorial, even when filled with tourists, fills you with the understanding that you're on hallowed ground. These sketches were painted using my larger watercolor travel palette.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Everything Old is New Again!

Sketching Like an Architect with Joel Berman

What an incredible weekend! It was my privilege and pleasure to introduce Urban Sketching to two eager classes at this year's USk-Chicago Sketch Seminar. Many in the classes were not new to sketching but they wanted to hone their skills for sketching quickly on location. Some in the classes were relatively new to both sketching and on location sketching. In either case when my workshops were finished I felt like a mother bird watching her chicks leave the nest and go on to spread their wings in the other workshops.

Filled with their enthusiasm I managed to squeeze in a class myself. On Sunday afternoon I joined Joel Berman's workshop "Sketching Like and Architect." Great class! We started out with thumbnail sketches (a favorite way of mine to start!) and worked up to 6 second sketches! Then we gathered in the courtyard at the Fourth Presbyterian Church for a relaxed sketching denouement.

There is nothing like joining with of other artists to renew and invigorate your own creative juices. Thank you students and instructors alike!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Nessun Dorma #tbt


The Chicago Urban Sketchers' Seminar is this weekend!  I'm looking forward to teaching the Beginning Urban Sketching workshop and meeting more kindred souls. Needless to say I've been a little busy.

There's an unwritten rule in my house, if you fall asleep and I'm around you've given permission to be sketched. This is my son asleep on the couch in 1984. I think after this weekend I may be the subject matter.

I haven't forgotten about you kindred souls who visit me here. I appreciate your stopping by. Are any of you coming to the seminar? Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

One Necessity for a Successful Art Workshop Experience


USk Chicago is getting ready for our 2015 Chicago Sketch Seminar and we want everyone to get the most from the experience. Be sure to read Tuesday Tips and Tricks on the USk Chicago blog for some great hints. Actually, if you're taking an art workshop or class at home, away, online or working your way through a self-study book, this is for you, too. Check it out!



Monday, June 8, 2015

What Happened to May?

Riverwalk, Chicago
I don't know! Maybe I'll catch up in June but not today. Today was a glorious day sketching at the Riverwalk. It's going to be a favorite place this summer for an evening stroll and a glass of wine!