Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Let the heavens be glad and
the earth rejoice
for the Lord comes
to rule the earth.

Psalm 95

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I thank you all for stopping by and for your generous comments. Those of you that have blogs, they are great inspiration to me!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Yesterday our sketch group met at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The holiday display of poinsettia, Chicago landmarks constructed from plant materials and the miniature trains was as enchanting as it was beautiful. When people wandered into the show house and saw the exhibit their faces lit up like lights on the trees!

The range of color from snow white to stripes to brilliant red was an inspiration to all of us in the group. It was pouring out so we really chose the perfect place to meet this month.

Having a cat in the house who has never seen a flower that she didn't think was a salad, I miss having live poinsettia around during the Christmas season.(She's worth it.) I just had to paint them. I'm trying to loosen up my watercolors and was pretty pleased with that part in this one. I wish I had added something to show the scale. This arrangement was huge.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today my granddaughter, Sophie, turns three. We have the pleasure of her company all day today! Happy Birthday, Sophie, may you always be filled with such energy and joy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yikes! It's December!

How'd that happen?
It seems I've been stopping at Starbucks for a moment to sketch as much as for the coffee! This one's on Rush Street. There was some good news in the paper this week. "My" Borders on Michigan Avenue was do to close this month but they've decided to keep it open for another year. I have no clue why. The second floor café has a great view of the shoppers and tourists on Chicago's Magnificent Mile and when you can get a seat the unsuspecting models are endless!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Noting November

It's been a busy November so these sketches are scribbled in various books-what ever was handy when I picked up the pencil. They trace my wanderings from the Chicago History Museum with the Monday sketch group to the Art Institute's Terzo Piano for a delicious brunch to St. Lad's parking lot late in the afternoon to vegetating in front of the T/V. and a lot of Starbucks along the way! They are the "pause that refreshes"! (The sketching -more than the coffee.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Reana has very kindly given me an award! Thank you!

The rules are:
I need to pass this award on to five people, post on their blog to let them know I left this award, and then I need to answer a list of questions in ONE word.

So here we go:

1. Where is your cell phone?…purse
2. Your hair?… chaotic
3. Your mother?… stylish
4. Your father?… sailor
5. Your favorite food?… pizza
6. Your dream last night?… forgotten
7. Your favorite drink?…coffee
8. Your dream/goal?… heaven
9. What room are you in?… studio
10. Your hobby?… sketching
11. Your fear?… unknown
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?…here
13. Where were you last night?… here
14. Something that you aren’t?… singer
15. Muffins?… blueberry
16. Wish list item?… letterpress
17. Where did you grow up?… didn't
18. Last thing you did?… invitations
19. What are you wearing?… turtleneck
20. Your TV?… off
21. Your Pets?… cat
22. Friends?… interesting
23. Your life?… good
24. Your mood?… relaxed
25. Missing Someone?… always
26. Vehicle?… PT Cruiser
27. Something you're not wearing?… shoes
28. Your favorite store?… art
29. Your favorite colour?… red
30. When was the last time you laughed?… lunch
31. Last time you cried?…forget
32. Your best friend?… spouse
33. One place that I go to over and over?… UPS
34. Facebook?… sorta
35. Favorite place to eat?… home

I pass this award to:
1.Margaret-beautiful color and patterns
2.Elaine- sense of adventure
3.Mitzi-lively and fun
4.Meredith-I miss your posts
5.Andrea-incredible-can't wait for your 'zine!

November has been busy. Tomorrow I'll post some of the scribbles I've done in the last two weeks.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes!

I pass this corner behind the Newberry Library almost daily. The colors this last week have been astounding but today it's all brown -sigh.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"They also serve who only stand and wait."

I was putting away my last completed sketchbook and came across these sketches that I didn't post.

In the beginning of October I had jury duty, again. You never get the summons at a convenient time! But, there is something about sitting there waiting to be called that builds a silent comradeship with the others in the room, a sense of pride in doing your civic duty and the inconvenience of it all!

And then there's Starbucks where we wait to be served - though never very long!

(My thanks to John Milton for the title.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

More from the Seashore

These are few more sketches from Longboat Key. The top one was done from Starbucks on St. Armands Circle in the morning. The second one was on the beach in the afternoon and the third was done one morning-that's Sarasota in the distance. They were done in a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. In the bottom two some sand got mixed in with the paint and added really nice texture. I love happy accidents.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Loving Longboat Key

We've been going to Longboat Key almost every October for the past fifteen years. It's a beautiful area. We stay on Longboat Key but take full advantage of the city of Sarasota and its wonderful museums, art galleries, great music, dance and restaurants. Of course it's always fun to eat and shop your way around St. Armands Circle on St. Armands Key.

It really would be paradise if it weren't for the "no-see-'ems", little bugs that make a feast of my legs! They didn't stop me from having a good time and doing quite a few sketches.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Muddled Monday

Our Monday sketch group met at Mariano Park. I arrived late due to a meeting that ran a little long and never quite focused on sketching. We met there last week as well so I'm posting both endeavors.

The triangle park contains a small Prairie-style pavilion designed by Birch Burdette Long in 1900. Today, it houses a Whisper Cafe coffee stand. The glazed tiles along the eaves are beautiful. Long worked for Frank Lloyd Wright before venturing out on his own. One would think I would have attempted the pavilion-I must go back before the weather gets too cold and give it a try!

Alex, from Pencilscribbles, has joined our group. It's great to meet a fellow blogger! Welcome!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Week-New Challenge

I live in Chicago, a city known for its architecture, but drawing architecture is one of my biggest sketching shortcomings. Today I tried out a Lamy Safari pen and sketched the Fourth Presbyterian Church from the courtyard on Michigan Avenue. The pen is great! The sketch -not so great. It has made me determined to improve. Hints and suggestions are welcome!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembered Still

from September 1, 1936 W.H.Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame

Monday, August 31, 2009

Out and About

These are two quick sketches done on site. The first one was done at the Green City Market on Saturday. It was a chef demonstration. The chef was Rick Grish, executive chef of David Burke's Primehouse restaurant in Chicago. I got distracted when they passed out samples of heirloom-tomato bloody Marys! Yum. On Wednesdays, Chef Grish prepares a four course meal at the restaurant with items from the Wednesday Green City Market. If the pasta and heirloom tomatoes that I sampled are any indication of what to expect, it's a winner!

Today our sketch group went to Oliver Park, not far from Navy Pier. It's one of Chicago's best kept secrets, beautiful views of the lake and the city.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Favorite Foodie

To those of you have viewed my food diary sketches I must confess - I am not the cook. Most of those delicious sounding (and tasting) meals were cooked by my husband. Not only does he like to cook, he's great at it! Six or seven years ago he started to experiment in the kitchen. At first he was underfoot. Things changed quickly and soon I was the one in the way! I happily left the kitchen, rarely to return.

On Saturdays in the summer we go to the Green City Market, a fabulous farmers' market here in Chicago. My husband shops and I sketch. A good time is had by all!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Best Laid Plans…

For the past two summers I've belonged to a loose knit group of sketchers. We meet on Monday at lunch time in various places around the city. Sometimes there are ten of us, sometimes only three. Last Monday we met at the Conservatory in Lincoln Park. Chicago weather being what it is, we figured if the weather was nice we could sketch outside in the garden, if it was hot and muggy or raining we could sketch inside. The weather was cooperating so we had our choice. I opted to sketch inside. About a half hour into it the sky darkened. I applauded my excellent decision. I could hear the rain beginning to tap on the glass roof, then the skies opened! Who knew the roof leaked! You can see little splashes on my sketch. We were sent laughing and running to find dry spots to stand until it let up.

However, rain or shine, on most days I think we laugh as much as we sketch.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Flying High

It was a marvelous day at Oak Street Beach Friday, sunny, warm and exciting. We watched the rehearsal for the Chicago Air and Water Show without the tremendous crowds that filled the beach on Saturday and Sunday during the actual show. Some of the jets going by looked like paper airplanes gracefully gliding by-that is until the sound caught up with the view. Awesome!

There was a great fundraising event going on at the beach sponsored by Honor Flight Chicago. Their mission is to honor and thank our WWII veterans by bringing them to Washington DC, at no cost to them, for a day of honor. Heartfelt and heartwarming, I wish them success!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Need a Nap!

My daughter's nanny had a family emergency and since my hours are usually flexible I've been pressed into (joyful) service for a few days. Oh, to have their energy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer in the City

It has been a very cool summer in Chicago up until this last week. We're now experiencing the summer in the city of Chicago that we all love to gripe and/or brag about!

These are quick sketches drawn and painted on site at Millennium Park and Oak Street Beach.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Why is it every time I go away for four days it takes me two weeks to catch up?

It was worth it though. One day playing tourist with family, one day devoted to the celebration of the baptism of our new grandson, two days of travel and poof it was over. After four, way too short days, I'm playing catch up with everything.

I did manage a few sketches. The first two were done in fits and starts calling on my memory. The two on the plane were completed on the plane. The welcome home committee was done just before falling into bed when we got home.

I look at these an can't believe the same person did them! Get a style, Lady!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Reportage-Telling (Drawing) It Like It Is

These are two sketches from Saturday's class. Not great but they're a start. They were done at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. We're using a 14 x 17 sketch pad. This is a very different size for me. I usually work much smaller or much larger. Mark McMahon, our instructor, defines his work as reportage. He is an energetic and excellent teacher.

There is a definition of reportage here http://reportageillustrators.com/about-reportage/.
There are some fabulous examples on this site also. For me there is an energy and an immediacy to reportage that is different than journaling or illustration. It is telling the story of a place or event and the people in a sketch. I still haven't found a definition that explains it clearly. I'm at a point where I don't know what it is but I know it when I see it. I'd love to hear what you understand as reportage!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good News-Bad News.01 and.02

First the good news.01- the reportage class with Mark McMahon is back on and it is fabulous! He's a great teacher. Bad news.01 -the sketch pad doesn't fit my scanner so I'll have to photograph the sketches before I can post them.
Good news.02 - our Monday sketch group met at Water Tower Park on Michigan Ave. Bad news.02- I just couldn't seem to put into practice anything I learned on Saturday in class!

The horse and buggy moved on before I could finish but I do like the rhythm of the lines.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, Monday

Monday's sketch group met at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was a beautiful afternoon and we sketched in the south pocket park. There is a great fountain there and inspired by all of Laurelines' wonderful fountain sketches, I gave it a try!

I'm so disappointed! I've been enthralled with reportage drawing lately and it looks like my reportage sketch class will be cancelled. Not enough people signed up. I was really looking forward to it. Oh bla dee. Anyone out there have any good tips?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Proud as a Peacock

I never realized how much the John Hancock Center dominates our view until the other day. My granddaughter, Morgan, age four, was here and drawing. I asked her to tell me about her drawing. "It's the Hancock building, Nana!" (Duh) I draw it often, too.

Mogan's version

Nana's version