Monday, October 26, 2015

Travel and Sketching: Part 2

More from the trip to Ireland, once again, I am behind on posting!

This sketch was done at the Cliffs of Moher, one of the most awesome places I have ever seen. I managed to steal about 20 minutes to sit down at a nice spot and get out the paints and brushes, even the sun came out for me! This view is looking at the cliffs that go off to the left as you approach the trails from the visitors center.

I find painting on location to be a highly enjoyable activity but for some reason, doing these quick pieces in Ireland brought me great joy, more than the usual happy to be painting experience. At these times I felt so completely in the moment and felt a strong connection with place, it all heightened my experience of travel.

The small watercolor is sitting on top of my other travel sketch journal that I used for pencil sketches and notes as we traveled the country. I am so glad I kept good notes, they have proved invaluable now that we are home.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Travel And Sketching

The last two weeks of September was spent traveling around Ireland, our first trip across the pond! It was beautiful and it was a busy two weeks scheduled full of sights and food. I took along both a regular sketchbook and a small travel watercolor set and book. I had hoped to do a painting a day but didn't quite make that goal. I did do more pencil sketching than I expected as I found it important to keep a record of all we saw, a combination of sketches and journaling was the result.

This small watercolor was done at Kylemore Abbey in the Connemara region, it is the view of the lake and mountains as seen from the walkway going up the the main house. A spectacular home and gardens, I could have spent days there and not run out of subject matter. I managed to get two small watercolors done by skipping lunch, thanks to a big breakfast! I really enjoyed the moments spent painting in Ireland and will share a few more from the trip during the next few weeks.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The View From Olive Park

It was a beautiful day on Monday, a bit on the windy side but sun, cool temps and no rain! We visited Olive Park, near Navy Pier, to paint and sketch. This location never disappoints, the lake, the skyline, the trees, the people, it can be tough deciding what to paint. This was my second attempt for the afternoon, a quickly painted view of the Hancock building with a bit of the lake in front. I also did a view of the walkway with the trees arching over it, I posted it earlier this week on FB. Never perfect, I learn a lot from these sketches and enjoy creating them.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lily Pool 2015

Last Monday was the annual trip to sketch at the Caldwell Lily Pool. Sadly, there was but one lonely lily blooming off in the middle of the pool, and lots of pads. Thunder threatened about an hour into our session and rain soon followed. Altho we were partly under cover, my palette and paint box flooded and I had to hold my sketchbook in just the right spot to avoid a complete washout! Thankfully, the rain moved on quickly but by the time I dried everything off, I decided I better head for home as there was more rain headed our way. So I have just finished up this small watercolor sketch of the pool, pads and surrounding flora and hope for more lilies and less rain next time.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Weeks Flew By...

Yesterday I realized I had not yet finished my second sketch from trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo and today is a new session near the Art Institute. So I decided I better finish this up while the colors were still on my palette and not lost in today's mixing. This sketch is of the abundant white hydrangeas that were in full bloom, we had been discussing how to approach painting white flowers so I decided I needed to try it myself. Once I got started it was hard to stop! Now on to today's challenge, whatever it may be!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Two Weeks Ago...

I was unable to join the group to sketch yesterday due to work being done on our home, so I did the next best thing, I finished the sketch from two weeks ago. This was from our visit to the newly opened sections of the Chicago River Walk. It was a lovely day and a busy place but I found an out of the way spot in the shade and got to work. This view is looking east from Dearborn Street end of the River Walk. Many people stopped to watch, ask questions and offer compliments, thanks to all for their interest. Certainly hope to be back with the group for our next location coming up in July.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Some Unfinished Business....

I have several unfinished sketches accumulate in the sketchbook lately so decided yesterday to do some finishing instead of starting. This one goes back to April when we went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It is the second sketch of the day, I forget what these flowers are called but they were blooming profusely along the walkway where I had set up. They are actually small flowers so they are close to actual size in my close-up watercolor world. Coming up next...I need to finish my watercolor from last Monday along the Chicago River Walk.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another Rainy Monday...

It was another rainy and gray Monday but we didn't let it get us down! The original plan had been to paint in the garden area east of the Chicago History Museum but luckily we had a backup plan and regrouped in the cafe at the south end of the Museum. With a few beverages and fruit salads in hand, we settled into a table by the window giving a view of the general area of the intersection of North Avenue and Clark Street. Good conversation and sketching ensued and suddenly it was time to leave. This photo is of my effort for the day. Next sketch trip is in June as we take off Memorial Day.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sketching A Great View

Finally back in action, our little group had the great opportunity to sketch today from the Law Library in Daley Center. Located on the 29th floor, with floor to ceiling windows all around, the views are spectacular!! Our early morning rain cleared and left us with a lovely day. The hardest part was choosing a view and trying not to include too much! I wanted to include the lake so that helped narrow the choice. I could go there everyday for a year and have an entirely different result each time.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Atrium Exhibit and Demo

Yesterday afternoon I was at Thompson Center for the afternoon to demo and talk to those viewing this years Atrium Exhibit of 2D work by members of Illinois Artisans. It was nice to chat with some friends that stopped by and some of the other participating artists. This one week show is always a good way to start off the year and helps to get me back into work mode. This is the fifth year for this exhibit and I am proud to have been a part of all five! The watercolor in the photo is 12x9 and was an exercise in layering washes of color. I consider it one of several studies for some paintings about solar energy and self sufficiency in rural areas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In the Walnut Room...

A few weeks ago our sketch group closed out our 2014 sketchy season with lunch and art in the Walnut Room at Macy's (Field's to all the faithful). Good food, good friends and a festive setting made for a delightful afternoon. This sketch is a detail of some of the decorations that filled the space. It was a good end to our year and I am looking forward to our 2015 schedule!

Monday, November 17, 2014

NWS Opening

Saturday, November 8, was the opening reception for the National Watercolor Society 2014 Annual Exhibit in San Pedro, CA. I was honored to have my painting, Puzzling, chosen as one of the 79 paintings that make up this incredible show! It was a great weekend, I got to meet many of the other artists and had the opportunity to study some impressive work up close. Plus I got to enjoy a weekend of warm, sunny weather. Many thanks to all the people that make this exhibit happen every year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Patterns, Doors and Autumn in Old Town

So our last venture outside with the Sketch Group coincided with a beautiful October Indian Summer day, such luck!

I passed this red door on my walk to our meeting spot and decided to go back and give it a try. I couldn't begin to duplicate the complexity of the door! Also intriguing were the rows of tile patterns laid into the brick wall on either side of the door. And, of course, I had a carpet of fallen leaves at my feet.

And altho we will have one more indoor gathering to close out 2014, we ended our outdoor sessions on a perfect note.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Painting The Gardens in Lincoln Park

Last Monday was a beautiful day to sit in the sun and paint. The gardens at the south end of the Lincoln Park Conservatory were in fine shape and provided the subject matter for the afternoon. All of the rain this summer has provided lush growth that still looks great in September. Now the leaves are starting to turn colors and I hope to get an opportunity to capture some of that transition before the leaves fall.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thunderstorm Moves Us To Navy Pier

Well it has been almost two weeks and another sketch group trip is almost here so I better show this before I forget! A nasty midday storm moved us from Olive Park destination to nearby Navy Pier to paint. We went near the exhibition hall area on the upper level for the view south and were able to watch the storm push thru the city and off to the south, interesting clouds and eventually some peaks of blue sky. It turned out to be a good spot! This is my second effort, the storm clouds against a patch of clearing sky above a bit of south Michigan Ave.