Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hot Sketching In The City: Part II

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!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hot Sketching In The City: Part I

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.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Belmont Harbor

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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lincoln Park/Noteabart Museum

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.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Another Sketch From Graceland

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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


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.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Caldwell Lily Pool

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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

In The Garden

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.

Monday, May 13, 2013


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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

First Flowers of 2013

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!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

X Marks The Spot

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.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Work In Progress

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.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Big Wheel/Small Work

Finally got some consistent time in the studio this past week and worked on a variety of pieces, old and new. This is another in the series of small abstract design based works, I have a bunch of them in various stages so I can always find one to work on for a while. Also started a new larger piece using same processes as the small ones, it is coming along. Close to finished on a mid sized piece in the Ascending/Descending series and I took a large watercolor from a show last year out of its frame as I decided it really was not done yet. More on those later. Hoping for more time to work this week!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Self-Employment in the Arts Conference

Friday was the opening of the 13th SEA Conference out in Lisle, IL. Altho the snow and ice made for some late arrivals and a couple of cancellations, it was another great event. Designed for college students in all the various arts disciplines, it offers something for everyone to think about and implement into making a successful career in their field when they leave the nurturing college world for reality. Thanks to everyone that works so hard to fund and plan this important event!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Union Station Sketching

Last Monday we were at Union Station for our first venture out for 2013. The Great Hall is a huge space and a challenge to draw, most of us choose to focus on the people passing thru or sitting for awhile on the long benches. Those that fell asleep made especially good models! I was across the room from my subjects so decided to keep my sketch on the small scale as detail was difficult to catch. We had a nice turn out with some members of Urban Sketchers Chicago joining us.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Little Projects During A Busy Week

It was a rather busy week for me but I made sure I got some time in the studio everyday, for the first time this year. I have several paintings started but this one is part of a series of small 4x4 paintings continuing to experiment with pouring, painting and printing. I used some gold paint and several different processes in this one.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Atrium-Thompson Center Exhibit

This week I had the honor of showing four of my watercolors on display in the Atrium of Thompson Center. This was a one week show of work by twenty 2D artists sponsored by the Illinois Artisan program. I sat with the show on Wednesday from 9-1 along with the very talented Mark McMahon and we got to talk to some of the interested viewers. This afternoon from 4-6 was a reception but a nasty cold has kept me at home all day. The work is on display thru tomorrow and a selection of my paintings and notecards are always available at the Illinois Artisans Shop on the second floor of Thompson Center.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday Sketch Group-2013

Yesterday we met to kick off a new year of sketching and painting, enjoying a lovely lunch at the condo of one of our members. We then discussed locations we wished to visit this year and scheduled meeting dates. That did not leave much time for work! But we all attempted to do something. I opted for the view out the windows of the lakefront. It is a very quick and loose painting but it was fun start to the new season of work.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ready For Framing

These two paintings, Sunset and Mesas, are matted and ready for framing today. These works along with two larger pieces, will be on display all next week, January 28 thru February 1, in the Atrium of the Thompson Center. This will be an exhibit of 2D works by members of the Illinois Artisan's program and I will be sitting with the exhibit and working on watercolor sketches on Wednesday morning, January 30, from 9-1 am.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Painting With 4 Year Olds!

I had a great time this morning as visiting artist to my grandson's class at daycare. While I have visited his class many times in the past 4 years, I have never been there in this official capacity! First I showed them some of my paintings, all wrapped so they could hold them, and then talked about my tools; paints, brushes, palette and water. Then we did drawings with white crayon on paper and applied paint with brushes and eye droppers. The eye droppers were the big hit and the kids created some beautiful colors. It may take a while for their watery creations to dry, but I truly enjoyed watching them play creatively! The photo shows two of the student works.