Navy Pier sketches

My husband and I celebrated his birthday last week by visiting Navy Pier. He was kind enough to wait while I did a little sketching. I sketched the prow (I think that is what it is called!) of the ship, “Windy.” The sky grew darker as I was sketching, and the boat was filling up with tourists. As I finished my sketch, the boat sailed away, and a soft rain started to fall.


We went up to the Crystal Garden, where I did the following sketch.  I am still debating if I will add watercolor to it.


EDM – Day 2

Day 2 – “draw a lamp.”  I drew my favorite antique lamp, a gift from a dear friend.  It has a solid base that is brass or brass-colored, but a tall column of white glass, topped by a white glass globe, and a clear glass chimney.  I am always terrified it will shatter into a million pieces.  I love it!

Sketched with 2H and 2B pencils, Conté black pencil, and watercolor.


Everyday Matters – Day 1

I have challenged myself to draw something every day.  Whether or not that happens, remains to be seen.  I will follow the suggestions  on the Facebook page for Everyday Matters.  The first assignment – draw a shoe.  I decided to draw my baby shoe, which I am assuming is the first shoe in which I walked, at the age of 9 months.  In keeping with the fashion of the day (the 1950s), my mother had my shoes bronzed for posterity.  The pair sits on our bookshelves, collecting dust.  But, they make good bookends!


Saturday in the Park

Saturday was our regular Urban Sketchers Chicago monthly meeting day, which coincided with the 43rd Worldwide Sketch Crawl day.  USk Chicago met at the Lincoln Park Conservatory.  It was a gorgeous day, temperature in the 60’s near the lake, and we had a great turnout.  I entered the conservatory with another sketcher, Alex, hoping to find something interesting to sketch.  Less than a minute later, I was heading for the door – I needed air!!  There is a reason those places are called “hothouses.”

Outside, I decided to sketch the little bridge and tunnel located a safe, and much cooler, distance from the entrance to the Conservatory.  I sat on a small rock wall (for nearly two hours!) and sketched away.  Soon, a little girl was playing peek-a-boo with me from behind the nearby water fountain.  I was wishing I could sketch faster, and better, to capture her.  Meanwhile, her parents were having 10,000 fits trying to get her to leave – but she and I were laughing and having too much fun!  One of the most interesting aspects of sketching in public is interacting with a wide variety of people.

Case in point.  A man who was walking by admired my work in progress, and told me that he, too, enjoyed sketching.  I said, “Well, you should join us!  We are on Facebook, and we post our photos…”  Before I could finish, he declared that Facebook was owned by The Government.  As were most of “those social media things.” They are trying to control our lives. He continued to talk, while I smiled and nodded and mentally went somewhere else for a while.  Finally, I noticed that his monologue was winding down.  He ended by saying that Facebook, Twitter, and two other things that he mercifully could not remember, were, in “reality,” the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  He bade me a cheery good-bye, and set himself up near the entrance to the Conservatory, where he played the tin whistle beautifully!

I love hearing the tin whistle, and as I sat on a rock wall, and sketched a rock wall, I could almost imagine that I was in Ireland.  It was magical!



Sketched with pencil, Staedtler pens, watercolor, Conté pencil, in a S&B Zeta sketchbook.

The Diagnosis

This is another two-page spread – pages 7 and 8 – for my contribution to The Sketchbook Project.  In my previous post, “Starting Over,” I briefly explained the project.

I am skipping around, as the mood strikes me – so, I haven’t yet completed pages 5 and 6. In most of my sketches of Michael, he will be smiling!  Out of the hundreds (thousands?) of photographs, there are perhaps three in which he isn’t smiling.  Love that smile!

Starting over

“Starting over” is an apt title for this post, as I haven’t posted anything here since February of 2011!  The year 2012 has been the most difficult year of my life.  I have turned – or returned – to art as my therapy of choice.  I am pretty much starting over with drawing, sketching, watercolor – these seem to be the only things I can concentrate on at the moment, although there are so many other things that I “should” be doing!  (Laundry, making dinner, finding room for all my “stuff” – and the list goes on!)

One project I have become involved in is the Sketchbook Project, through Art House Coop in Brooklyn, New York.  When you sign up to do a sketchbook, they send you a small 5×7″ book.  You pick a theme and then fill the book with whatever you choose to create.  You can also make a book out of your preferred paper, as long as it remains the prescribed size.  I have decided to make my own book out of hot pressed watercolor paper.  I chose this paper because it accepts watercolor well, and is smooth enough to write on.  The theme I chose is “Memoir,” which, of course, will be all about my son, Michael, who passed away in February at the age of 33.

I had dozens of ideas for the book, which was driving me crazy, and finally decided to do watercolor backgrounds on the pages, beginning with a bright, cheerful page and getting slightly darker as I work through them.  I also wanted to include bits of songs, because I love music, and so did Michael – although we had quite different tastes in music!  Here are the first two spreads.