Sketching the River
A couple of Saturdays ago my summer sketchbook and I joined the Memphis Urban Sketchers at Greenbelt Park. I love going to the river and sketching it, even though I don't do that often enough. When I first got there, I sketched a cottonwood to get myself warmed up.
Then I meant to do a thumbnail sketch, but ended up doing a two-page spread light & dark study for a larger sketch. One of the things I look for when I do a big sketch is rhythm, like the dark marks on the left side.
After all of that, I had less time to work on my big sketch, but I still got it done and am happy with it. Painting the river is always a challenge, and I like the way I did it this time - I used a mix of some colors I had already used. This one is in my 8x10 Stillman & Birn alpha that I like to use for painting out in the world.
It was a fun morning! Everyone pretty much sketched this same scene, except for one sketcher who sketched the sketchers!
When I started a new sketchbook on June 1, I decided to make it special by naming it my Summer Sketchbook. As a person who doesn't work in a school or have school-aged children but does live in a place where it is hot from April through October, "summer" doesn't have much of a special meaning unless I make it special for myself. Hence the Summer Sketchbook.
For my first sketch I was looking around thinking, "Okay, what around here is summery." And that's the thing about my summers, they are much like the rest of my year, so I drew fizzy water and desk flowers and coffee cups.
I will probably end up sketching a lot of books, maybe my patio and backyard, and some farmers market veggies. I'll be thinking of summery things to fill this sketchbook with, but also coffee cups and other everyday things.
Materials: Laloran sketchbook, Pigma Graphic 1, Pigma Micron 01, watercolor, sumi ink
More New Orleans Sketches
In my last post, I mentioned going to New Orleans and posted a few sketches. I was able to take some time for myself while we were there and go to a museum and see the city and, of course, sketch so I thought I'd give some of these sketches a post of their own.
These first two sketches are from the New Orleans Museum of Art, which was quite a treat! The museum is huge and full of great installations, including work by local artists. They also have an amazing sculpture garden - the perfect place to sit and sketch.
Can't not do food/drink related sketches in New Orleans! These are from a great restaurant called Seaworthy, where we had delicious oysters and drinks and chatted with the friendly bartenders.
I took the ferry to Algiers, just to see it and sketch it. In Algiers, I only had time for this very quick sketch of some cottonwoods and the Mississippi River industry behind them, because there was zero shade to be had. But this was a fun quick sketch!
The amazing part about taking the ferry is getting to see Jackson Square from the water. I struggle a bit with how to show the Mississippi River - is it a color? a shape? Here I opted for almost a shape, with marks to show the current.
I blinked and it was June 1st! Here are a few things I've been up to since you last heard from me in February.
Actually since January - I went to Maine at the end of January to visit a friend and we took many walks and ate lots of good food. It was weird/fun to be in an airport again, but I certainly stayed masked up.
Like many others in Memphis, in February my power was out for an extended period of time due to an ice storm. I ended up working from my mother-in-law's house for a couple of days.
In the same month that an ice storm knocked power out for half of the city for over a week, we also had some lovely warm-ish days. My friends Martha Kelly and Christina Huntington and I took advantage of one for some sketching and catching-up time at the Dixon Gardens.
March found me traveling again! We took our 14-year-old niece to New York and had the best time. We went to museums, a show, did some shopping, and ate some good food. As we do with every niece and nephew, we took the Staten Island Ferry, as it's their only chance to see the Statue of Liberty (because Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Toby aren't standing in that line.)
Had more quality sketching/catching up time with Christina during the April meeting of Memphis Urban Sketchers at Elmwood Cemetery. This is right outside of Elmwood's gates.
While I am getting out more and even traveling, I'm still working from home and sketching my surroundings here, mostly at my desk and in my studio. When I started a new sketchbook in April, I decided to start counting coffee cup sketches again, sort of to trick myself into sketching more. I ended up with 23 sketches of coffee cups!
Here are some more sketches of everyday things, including desk flowers. I started buying myself flowers to keep on my desk to cheer the place up a bit. And maybe to have something else to draw.
More travel?! That's right - went to New Orleans for a week.
While in New Orleans, the news hit that the Supreme Court is probably overturning Roe v Wade this summer, so I went to a rally and sketched all of the people and signs, and yelled and chanted with everyone gathered there.
And I went to another rally/march in Memphis when I got home and again sketched, and yelled and chanted and marched and donated to Planned Parenthood.
You're not going to believe this, but then I went out of town again! This time to Chicago for work. But I also got to go to the Art Institute and see the Cezanne show, and took an architectural boat tour.
During the conference, I sketched many many pages like this. Much coffee and fizzy water was consumed.
Then I went out of town again! This time I drove to Florida with my big brother to see my sister and my Mom. I sketched my sister's very Florida yard.
Thank you for sticking around this long! I am promising you, reader who made it to the end, to post more regularly!
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