Our little group has been fortunate to have an indoor meeting spot for the first three months of this cold and snowy year thanks the Holy Name parish. The first two meetings involved demos of drawing and watercolor techniques and discussions of material, supplies, line, color and composition. Yesterday we all brought objects and put together a still life to work from or you could choose just one object to concentrate on. It was good practice for all. Next month we will return to being out on location around the city, hopefully the weather will cooperate!
So I continue to experiment with pouring, printing and painting abstract watercolors while I do my usual abstracted landscapes. This is a detail from a piece I have titled Twelve Verses and it is in the final stages, just a few details left to finish! I have it hanging in the studio and keep seeing little things to tweak or add. I have five paintings going right now in various stages from just starting to almost done and ranging in sizes as well. Just need more time in the studio.
Well the Holidays and colds always seem to disrupt the work schedule! But I have been back in the studio on a regular basis for the last three weeks and making progress on some new work. This is a small study but it was fun way to get things going. I had the opportunity to exhibit three watercolors in the Atrium of Thompson Center during the third week in January which went well. Two of the three paintings are now on display in the Lt. Governor's office for the rest of her term! I am working on a variety of things now and will continue to try to share regularly.
A nasty virus knocked me out of action for the better part of last week and caused me to miss last Monday's trip to the Zoo. But here is the second half of the work done on the previous group day to Buckingham Fountain. We were fortunate to find some tables and chairs in the shade next to the refreshment stand on the south side on the fountain. So we all had the long distance view, no close ups in that heat! The fountain is always a difficult subject and we had much discussion on how to depict the water in our sketches. Next week we are to meet at Ping Tom Park in Chinatown. Hoping for cooler weather!
Monday was one very warm and muggy day, so why not spend an extra hour outside painting! So that's what I did, arriving at Millennium Park at noon to spend 45 minutes sketching these wonderful monolith sculptures at the park this summer. You can see all or part of 5 of them in my sketch. There are at least a dozen on display at the south end of the walkway above the spouting water fountains. I really enjoyed painting these and would not mind going back to do some others. I had to pack it up and head to Buckingham Fountain to meet the group at 1 so I did finish this up a bit at home.
Monday found us at Belmont Harbor and as the clouds built we tried to get some work done. This is a detail from my sketchbook page, the more successful sailboat of the day. Even the moored boats move constantly! Not a lot of light and shadow to work with but the clouds were interesting. A good trip, not too warm and we managed to get cleaned up and on our way before the rain showers moved in.
The rain moved thru early in the morning and altho it was warm, we were out to sketch and paint in the area around the Peggy Noteabart Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. I found a shady spot and quickly laid in a light sketch as I feared my feathered friend would take flight quickly. But to my surprise, this gull seemed interested in posing and was happy to stay put for nearly ninety minutes, finally taking off as I began to clean up my supplies. One rarely gets such cooperation while on location! I let the branch get too dark and was able to lighten it some but it is still darker than I wanted. There were numerous water birds on the lagoon including some herons, I got some good photos so may try to do something from one of them.
Weather permitting, tomorrow should find me near the Noteabart Nature Center in Lincoln Park for an afternoon of painting. Until then here is the second sketch I did two weeks ago at Graceland Cemetery. Once again, this view is from across the small lake and I don't know whose grave the cross marked. I had little time so I just turned 90 degrees to my left to find my next view. Hopefully the predicted rain for tomorrow will hold off and let us get out again.
On Monday afternoon the plein air gods smiled on us and the sky cleared as we arrived at Graceland Cemetery for a most educational and enjoyable afternoon. This was my first visit to this famous Chicago cemetery, a beautiful spot at Clark and Irving Park, where many famous Chicagoans are resting in style. Statues by Laredo Taft and Chester French join with many impressive memorials. After touring the site, we each found a spot and set to work, I settled along a small lake with a view of the Potter Palmer Memorial. It was a wonderful experience and benefited from seeing and sketching something new.
Last Monday was a foggy afternoon along the Chicago lakefront but we found a safe place to paint away the day at the lily pool north of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Always a favorite spot for sketching, the pool is different with every visit. Not as many lily pads this visit but many promising lilies waiting to bloom. A visit back in a few week might find more flowers. This is the first watercolor sketch I did. A second one needs a bit of finishing so will post later.
Last week I was at The Lurie Garden in Milleninium Park with the Monday Sketch group. Altho a warm and sunny day, I did find a bit of shade and the breeze keep us cooled. This is the second of my sketches from that day, the two workers were not really that close to each other but I wanted to get them both in my sketch so I took a little artistic license! It was a lovely afternoon and I am looking forward to our next location, one of our favorite spots, the lily pond in Lincoln Park.
It has been a few weeks with many small projects to finish. These 3 small A B C pictures are now framed and ready to hang in the nursery of my new grandson! It is nice to be able to contribute something unique for the decor of his room.
Finally, a sunny and warm day that has already been set aside for outdoor sketching, the first of 2013. We met yesterday at the Lincoln Park Conservatory with the thought of having an indoor space if needed. Happily there was no need and I was able to get there a half hour early to make the most of my afternoon out. This large pottery planter of flowers was the second sketch of the day and it was located right outside the entrance. It was a lovely day and hopefully an auspicious start to our season!
Blue sky and sunshine out my window but the Chicago air is still quite chilly, good day to be on the studio! This is another from the Ascending/Descending series, looking for a place to land, caught between where it was and where it will be. Also working on a couple of other new pieces and reworking a large piece from last year that I realized was done really done yet.
Another busy week, working on several paintings. This is a detail from one of them. Monday was our sketch group trip to the Art Institute, no sketching happened! It seemed more important to look and absorb, as always, I was very inspired by the Japanese wood block prints.