Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Do Blue and Yellow Always Equal Green?

This Christmas I received a Pocket Palette. I've finally gotten around to filling it! Though the palette will fit a maximum of fourteen pans, I decided to use only twelve.That leaves room for one square pan that I can use for mixing

There are so many beautiful colors to choose from when designing a new palette it's hard to whittle the choices down to twelve. Hard to choose, but I had fun playing with the paint to see what combinations would give the colors that pleased my eye. 

I fell in love with Daniel Smith's Cobalt Teal but wondered if I could make it work in Chicago's light. Experimenting with it and Ultramarine, Verdifer Blue, and Quin Gold, I discovered, yes it can!  One of the things I love about watercolor is watching the colors run together with a little push from my brush (either end) and the water. This was a fun and surprising exercise. I share my squiggles and splotches experiments here.

This is how I decided to fill the palette:

  • Quin Gold
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Quin Scarlet
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Verdifer Blue
  • Cobalt Teal
  • Sap
  • Olive
  • Mauve
  • Opera 
  • Buff Titanium
  • Ultramarine
                              …at least for now!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Celebrating Everyday Stories

A few days ago I talked about Urban Sketchers celebrating our 10th Anniversary with a worldwide offering of classes based on the theme 
  • 1. Little Stories
  • 2. Medium Stories
  • 2.Great Stories

Here's a little more information on the classes being offered in Chicago starting in April. Much more to come!

Keep up with Urban Sketchers Chicago!
Registration opens March 15!

FaceBook - Urban Sketchers Chicago
Twitter -      @USk_Chicago
Instagram - @USKCHICAGO


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Seven Simple Pleasures

I was tapped to join the FaceBook challenge to post one of my paintings/sketches every day for seven days and post them to my FB page. My challenge is complete. I thought I'd share the posts here, too.

I chose little paintings and sketches that focus on the little things that bring joy to my daily life. #simplegrace.

Day 1

Light and shadow play

Day 2
StreetWise vendor taking pride in his job

Day 3
 Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA), Elephant Automaton Clock in the Baroque gallery.

Day 4

Fish knife, such lovely tiny details

Day 5

A touch of color to brighten a gray day in Chicago

Day 6
Car sketch that brings fall color to another gray-Chicago day

Day 7

Little truffles to spice up another gray day!

I hope they bring a smile to your face and encourage you to see the simple graces and joy in the everyday.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Great Way to Celebrate Urban Sketcher's 10th Anniversary!

Just when we thought it couldn't get any more exciting for Chicago Urban Sketchers, we are commemorating the 10 year anniversary of Urban Sketchers! Urban Sketchers Chicago is happy and proud to participate in the worldwide celebration. Along with dozens of sister chapters and cities around the world, USk Chicago is introducing the first long-term USk course 10 Years -10 Classes

We are inviting our sketchers to attend 10 on location Chicago classes with our wonderful Urban Sketching instructors and sketch our world, one drawing at a time.

Join in the Celebration!

Chicago Classes begin on Saturday, April 15, 2017
Registration will open on March 15, 2017
You may register for all classes or select a favorite one or more.
Register for all 10 and receive a 10% discount!
Classes are limited to a maximum of 15 students.

More details to follow!

FaceBook - Urban Sketchers Chicago
Twitter - @USk_Chicago
Instagram - @USKCHICAGO


Friday, January 6, 2017


Each year I choose a word that sums up an attitude or encourages an action that I'd like to emphasize in my life. I've been doing this since I was in college. Some past words are grace, simplify, joy, draw, do, color, feed, marvel, savor, and intention. Do you notice a theme running through these words? I do. It's basically, a reminder to slow down and appreciate where I am. It's even more important today than those many years ago when I began with this tradition.

In today's multitasking world we seem to always be rushing from one thing to another often missing simple graces and daily little pleasures that are all around for us to see and savor. This year's word is "See."

It reminds me of a quote by one of my favorite poets.
"For how many years did I wander slowly through the forest. What wonder and glory I would have missed had I ever been in a hurry!"
  Mary Oliver (Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way)

Wishing us all a year of appreciating simple graces and ordinary miracles.