I am sorting thru a stack of small watercolors in preparation for an upcoming show at the Illinois Artisans Gallery in Thompson Center. I just came across this, it was done during a residency at the Fields Project/Ogle Co. It has been a few years ago, but I do remember painting at Barb Samsel's farm, always a favorite location for me, yellow barns, white farmhouse, flowers, animals, laundry or quilts on the line and planted fields all around. Such good memories of friends and beautiful country.
So rain kept the group from today's trip to the lily pond, we will try again in two weeks and hope for better weather! Instead here is a watercolor from the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park. This was from earlier this summer when the tulips were still looking good! I have been thinking about doing some larger floral paintings, it's been many years since I did a floral series.
Fortunately the rain moved off to the east last Monday by the time we were to meet for sketching in the Sculpture Garden on the north side of the Art Institute. Altho skies were gray for most of the afternoon, temperatures were warm and humidity kept the watercolor washes from drying too quickly. My first sketch was of a Calder sculpture in the garden, which needs a few finishing touches. My attention was given to the row of unopened umbrellas over small tables. I love umbrellas altho they are often much harder to draw or paint than I expect. This red one turned out well for a quick study and it joins the ranks of umbrella sketches. Perhaps I should do a few more and have an umbrella exhibit!
Monday was as beautiful a day as you could wish to have for painting outside! We were along the Chicago Riverwalk, just east of Michigan Avenue on the north side of river. This sketch is of a boat that was moored and not in use so it was a good non moving subject! The sun was bright and I tried to keep it simple. This was the second of two sketches I did. The area is rich with subject matter and space to sit and paint so I hope we will return here in the early fall for another session.
It has been a couple of busy weeks since this was painted, but it was one of the nicer days I have spent at the Lurie Garden. Finally, we got there to paint and sketch while the tulips were still lovely and plentiful! This was the second of two small paintings from our visit, I was sitting near the center of the garden and looking north. I will post the other one later.
Here is another detail from a larger work called Twelve Verses. This painting is a part of the more experimental abstract series where I apply color, texture and forms thru a variety of methods including pouring, stamping, transfers, brushwork and lifting. I do enjoy the looseness and flow of ideas that are a part of this approach.
Cold weather has kept me indoors more this year, even had to cancel the April location painting for our group due to wet, chilly day. So yesterday I sat inside my front hallway and painted a few of the tulips in the planter right outside. A little bit of outdoors as seen from the indoors. Today I am in the studio working on a couple of different pieces, sun feels good thru the window but I have been outside and know the chill persists!
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.