Friday, September 9, 2016

Not Quite Buckingham Fountain....

Our last sketch group meeting was almost two weeks ago, time gets away from me. We met at Buckingham Fountain on a beautiful, sunny but not too hot day but for some reason I had no interest in painting the fountain that day. So I moved my sights slightly to my left and concentrated on the view of the plaza and the skyline to the north. I also made an effort to keep loose and stay away from too many details. This is a detail (about one half) of the sketch from that day. It was a relaxing afternoon and I enjoyed the process very much.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

On Caldwell Pond...

Last Monday,8-8-16, was the annual visit to the Caldwell Lily Pond. Again this year we arrived too late for the bulk of the lilies in bloom, but it was a beautiful day and a few other visitors made the day special.

I had settled on the view and had stated on my sketch when we were joined by a Great Blue Heron that had arrived to do some hunting off to my left. I guess because we were quiet and still, he stayed for close to a half hour. Suddenly another heron swooped in across the pond from behind me, there was a brief encounter between the birds and then the newcomer chased off the first towards the north. One of them returned in a few minutes and disappeared into the flowers and bushes on the east side of the pond, not to be seen again. I was awestruck by the herons, truly one of those spiritual moments out in nature that happen for me from time to time. He was beautiful and I added a quick sketch of this creature on the left side if my sketch. We also had several colorful ducks that had migrated to the pond from the zoo that were quite interested in what we were doing. I didn't get them in this sketch but got some nice photos as one showed off for me. I also got some decent photos of the heron.

All in all, it made for an special day, the Caldwell Lilly Pond has become my Walden Pond!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Watercolor USA Exhibition 2016

June 3 was the opening reception for this year's Watercolor USA Exhibition at the Springfield At Museum in Springfield, MO. I was honored to have my painting "Searching For X" chosen for inclusion in the show. This is the fourth time I have had a painting juried into this competitive showcase for American contemporary watercolor. In this photo of my painting you can also see my reflection as I was taking the picture. I wanted to express that my work is an expression of myself by including myself with my work as well as the fact that I am a part of the search for meaning thru my painting.

I was very happy to be able to attend the opening this year. I was also attending the annual board meeting on June 4 of the Watercolor Honor Society, I am a member and the Membership Secretary for the WHS. It was a pleasure to see the exhibit and visit with the talented artists that were in the show and those that serve on the WHS board.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Warm Day In April

Last Monday was sunny and warm, predicted rain held off until evening, so we were able to paint and sketch outdoors. We were in the garden to the south side of the entrance to the Art Institute on Michigan Avenue. The trees had not fully leafed out yet but ground cover and Spring flowers were plentiful. This view is looking out towards the avenue across one of the planted areas. Between the warmth and breezes, paint was drying quickly. I am looking forward to another summer of outdoor painting opportunities.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

At the Consevatory

Last Monday I was at the Lincoln Park Conservatory to sketch with the group. The Spring Flower show is still on display and I spent my time in that room. The sun was out, I had a bench to sit on , and music played, it was a comfortable setting in which to work. There was color everywhere and it was hard to choose what to paint. I did two sketches while there, the one shown here and another of blue and purple hydrangeas. I could go there everyday for a month and easily find a different subject each time! It was a most enjoyable afternoon and good to get back on location to work. I am looking forward to our upcoming locations!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Still Life Exercise

About ten days ago out little group gathered at an indoor location to avoid the cold and do a bit of sketching. Everyone brought items for a still life and we were able to put together a nice arrangement to draw and paint. I hadn't worked on a still life for quite some time, probably should try to do it more often! I am looking forward to being outside again soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A View To Start 2016

The fourth Monday of January began the 2016 season for our sketch group and we began in style, hosted by one of our members in her condo overlooking the beautiful parks of our lakefront. It was a treat to have such great views and all the comforts of home. I tried to do a loose watercolor of the panorama before me and not get caught up in the details. The cloudy skies helped keep the glare out of our eyes and due to the mild weather we have had, there was still a lot of green in the park. It was a great start to what I hope will be a productive year.

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.