Monday, April 25, 2016

The Great Outdoors…At Last!

At long last, a gorgeous spring day in Chicago! And what a great way to spend it, sketching outdoors at the Art Institute of Chicago! What first caught my attention when I walked into the park was how the trees were bare but the grass and ivy were green.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

- e.e. cummings

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pick Your Battles

One would think that after all these years I would pay attention to the paper! I took this sketchbook on a recent sketch outing and fought the paper with watercolors the entire time! The Lincoln Park Conservatory stick-on covers a spot where the paper won.

Actually, the paper (Hahnemüehle) has a beautiful hand and I look forward to working on it with pencil and markers. 

Friday, April 15, 2016


Pods like these fall all around our neighborhood. The other day I picked up these two. My intention was to practice painting subtle dark values. I accidently step on one. Whoa! What a surprise! It's incredible how something can appear so plain on the outside and, on the inside, be so colorful and bright. I think people are often the same way.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Little Things Do Brighten My Day

I was in Home Depot the yesterday and this tiny cyclamen made me smile. It brightened a very gray Chicago day. Obviously, I had to bring it home! I thought I'd share it with you.

This is a quick watercolor done in a Stillman & Birn Beta Series book. Usually, I do a preliminary sketch in pencil or marker, but, on a whim, I painted directly, without a preliminary sketch. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Occupational Hazard or Happy Accident?

This is a sketch I did last month while I was listening to a think tank panel discussion. I used my usual mini-travel kit. Lately, I’ve been using a larger sketchbook on my treks about town.  Surprise! Yesterday, when I went to use this little orange-covered Hahnemüehle sketchbook (nice swag from last year’s Chicago Sketch Seminar) again, this is what I found. The package of Wet Ones at the bottom of my bag leaked all over the book! More than fifty percent of the pages are covered with varying shades of bleed-through orange. At first, I just chalked it up to an occupational hazard, but when I looked at this sketch I decided it was a happy accident. I think the splash of orange adds some life to a rather mundane drawing.