Monday, November 21, 2016

November Sketchcrawl

I missed the sketchcrawl in October but I made this one. Gail passed on the meeting time for the Urban Sketchers Lawrence group. Gail's group (my normal outing) is not officially an Urban Sketchers group. It's just a group of like-minded sketchers that like to get together. This is my first outing with the formal group. I started my sketch time at the south end of downtown Mass Street with a warm cup of coffee (36 degrees on a cold Sunday morning) and work north.

Wilma and Amy really like Papa Keno's, so that's on our short list of restaurants. Had to sketch Toy Store. Two grandkids now so plenty of reasons to stop and shop.  We go to their Topeka store most often since it's closer to home. Then I had to sketch Sunflower Outdoor because of the gear and clothes we buy there. This area has tons of neat stores and I simply ran out of time to even pick all my favorites. 
The plan was to meet up at 11:30 a.m. at Quintons to eat and share. Being my first time I didn't know anyone, but I carried my sketch book and had my shoulder bag of supplies (the definitive urban sketch aesthetic) and quickly found their table. Not many customers at this hour on a Sunday. I quickly found out this must be a closed group because nobody would talk to me or even look at me standing next to them. I took the hint and Wilma and I found another place to sit. Guess I won't be following this group anymore.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September Sketchcrawl

Vacation and other matters conflicted with the last two sketch crawls. This time we went to a farm that has 40 acres of sunflowers. Never been there before. It was quite the community event, with families all over! From their conversations I gather that it's an annual event for many families, and they like to take their pictures in the field. This place was in the news last weekend. Law enforcement had to shut down the highway because of all the traffic. They had vehicle accidents, with one motorcycle accident resulting in an injury. We take our sunflower fields seriously around here! Grinter's Farm also sells at the local farmers market and sells the sunflower seeds as bird feed. They have a retail shop near the field. Even sell T-shirts. I have too many T-shirts now, but I sure don't have one that's agriculture-related. Bought one.

June Sketchcrawl

We spent the morning in South Park in Lawrence. I always liked this park. Grass is always trimmed nice. The gazebo is the centerpoint, and the sidewalks meander through. When I looked closer I found the arched artwork on the northwest corner that I hadn't noticed before. Even the light post is interesting.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May Sketchcrawl

This month we went to the farmstead of a local artist, Maryam. We tried before but it ended up rained out. Today was beautiful! I'm a sucker for old buildings so I was drawn to this little old shed. Maryam told me after I sketched it that it was used in a prior owner's dairy operation there. The main barn was close to it. They'd milk the cows in the barn and then carry the milk canisters to this shed for storage until it could be picked up. She has spruced up this property with plenty of landscaping.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lawrence Sketch Crawl

It's time for our sketch crawl again. This time we met in my back yard: Topeka. Gail asked for a good place to sketch and I thought of our State Capitol building. We had some red tape to go through but everything worked out fine. The whole building just went through a 1/3 billion $ renovation and boy does it look fine! We (4 of us) convened in the Lobby and then went to the fourth floor gallery in the State House of Representatives. This was sensory overload! It's trimmed out to the nth degree. I don't think anything was added, but it was brought back to its old glory. 
Each of us decided to take artistic liberty and simplify some of the view because you can't get it all in at one quick setting. It was a pleasant and quiet time to sit and absorb the craftsmanship.

We went over to the Celtic Fox for lunch. Wilma and I had to leave early so I could get home. I'm taking Roz Stendahl's class Drawing Practice: Drawing Live Subjects in Public. She had a webinar I had to catch. That class is why I haven't posted for a while. It will last the month of February and then I'll resume my leisurely posting routine.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sketch Crawl

This month's Lawrence Sketch Crawl was at the Lawrence Sports Pavilion. It's a new multi-sport facility for Lawrence and sees a lot of activity. When Gail chose it, she said she visited it and it was nice and quiet. We show up today and this weekend they are hosting the Heart of America Volleyball Tournament. Doesn't sound bad until you see it live. Twelve courts going simultaneously for two days. Let's talk noisy! I asked a staffer how many kids they had playing and they estimated 4000! Now you're getting the picture.

In addition to the games is the elevated walk/run track, weight machine room and treadmill-type room with regular citizens. This place was hopping. We stayed for an hour, which is about all sanity would allow. No time for color so I stuck with fountain pen.

I got a kick out of the "No Camping" sign. This was on a railing overseeing the courts. Then I noticed the teams each grabbed a spot of hallway to call home for the tournament and they 'camp' there with blankets and mats. That would have prevented spectators from seeing the action at this spot. Where else would you have a sport that calls for camping in hallways?

I have identified a weakness of mine is life sketching of people (as can be seen here). I signed up for Roz Stendehl's class on life sketching of critters and people. I'll get better.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Back On Task

It's happened more than once in my creative pursuits. First: brainstorm a new big project. Second: plan all the details and get in an excited pitch. Third: get a great start. Then: hit a brick wall and everything stops. Then I set there, like the morning after a night of heavy drinking (so I've been told) and ask myself - what just happened? Why can't I move?

Project: a family memory journal for my mom (dad is deceased). My three siblings will help. I bound the journal from scratch. I made it through about half of the illustrating of our childhood. When I'm done I'll rotate it to my siblings and they can write in details and memories of childhood through our day of marriage. But I came to a stop. Dead in the water! Don't know why. I sabotaged myself. It's been on the "To Do" list for a few months now. BUT I'M BACK ON IT NOW!

What I want to know is how does this happen?! It makes now sense. I love my mom and I WANT my mom to have this. My siblings are all on board and my sister will even help with some illustrations. My mom's not getting younger. I know she'll love it. So how does such a project come to a halt? This is illogical! I've run into this in my other hobbies, too. I've heard woodcarvers complain of it. Wilma's quilting projects can get this way, too. If anyone can explain it please do!