Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sketch Date - Saturday July 1st - 10am to Noon - Period Garden Park

I scheduled an extra Saturday sketching date for Saturday July 1st for Period Garden Park at 110 E. Gorham St.  There are several nice benches but you may wish to bring your sketching stool for access to a little corner of the garden or some of the great old houses nearby.  If it is raining or seriously threatening to we will cancel and reschedule for a nicer day.  I plan on getting a bite to eat downtown after and if anyone wants to join me that would be great.  

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Memorial Union Terrace June 21st

Mercedes sketch of me with my pastels
It was a beautiful evening for sketching on the Terrace and 2 new sketchers joined Mercedes and I.  Welcome Lindsey and JP!!  It really is one of the best places in  Madison to sketch on a nice summer evening.

Sketches for the evening

Later I went over a bit west of the Union Theatre to paint the sunset over Picnic Point.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Just Added: Extra Sketching Date: Evening Sketching at UW Memorial Union, June 21st, 5 to 8:30pm

Image result for Uw memorial union sunset
Evening on the UW Memorial Union Terrace

So far the forecast for Wednesday evening is great so I decided to add an impromptu sketch date at the Memorial Union Terrace from 5 pm to sunset.  I plan to arrive early and set up my easel for sketching pastels.  If anyone is looking for me I will have my cell phone 920 421-2623.  I am going extend an invitation to the Dane County Plein Air Painters group, too and some of us are members of both groups.

If the forecast should  change drastically and it is raining or likely to I may not go at all as I was really hoping for an opportunity to sketch the there with a nice sunset as the backdrop.  But this is the Midwest so weather is very changeable as we know!

Open Mic starts at 8pm and there are some FREE art events happening also.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Follow up from Urban Sketchers outing to the West Madison Milwaukee Road Depot outing.

It was fascinating to see how everyone found their own subject and viewpoint at the depot.  My eye was drawn to the mechanism of the rail car 'truck' (or bogie) that rail cars ride on, while Epiphany(?) sitting near me sketched a wooden wheeled cart that, sitting closer to me than the bogie, I never even saw until I looked at her finished sketch !  (the tricks of perception!)

I made my sketch in pencil but later wondered what it would look like with a water color wash - essentially silver/gray or B&W image.  So here are both.  The pencil sketch looks more like a technical drawing or blueprint while the 'colored' version is more of a life image illustration.  I still can't decide which I like better ;-)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Memorial Union

 Small sketch I did this morning at the Memorial Union. I painted it at home.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The  plaque on the outside of the Madison Train Depot  reads:
Milwaukee Road Depot    1903
This sketch done Saturday evening - shows one of the high arched doorways of the Neoclassical Revival styled building...

USK Madison Afternoon at the Depot

The old Madison Train Depot Building was the perfect place for our USK sketch group on a warm and breezy Sunday. Shade under the roof, cross breeze, old train cars and Porters Coffee Shop...what more could we ask for?

Chris and Salvor escape the heat, good idea to bring folding chairs too...

James and Epiphany draw the train car...Epiphany enjoys some juice from Porters Cafe

We had a great showing of 14 people, four of them for the first time. Welcome to new friends Lili and her son Sizhe, Epiphany and Liz, we hope you join us again. Returning once again were USK sketchers; Jean, Tsumugi, Michael, Deb, Reba, Chris, James, Salvor, Gretchen, and Ruth.

USK Madison Sunday afternoon in June at the Depot

The depot, located on West Washington in the heart of Madison,  gives you plenty of room to spread out yet still sketch together. Along with the trains there were plenty of bikes to practice drawing as Motorless Motion Bike Shop is located in the same space.

Several of us remarked how we had never been there and we all vowed to go back another time.

Happy summer sketching and stay creative.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sketching Sunday June 11th - Madison Train Depot Building

We will meet for sketching from 1 to 3pm at the old depot at 640 W. Washington Ave.  There is a parking lot off W. Washington right next to the building.  Also an excellent coffee shop, Porter.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cows on the Concourse

Five sketchers (none from Wisconsin) gathered together by the Capitol to see what all the fuss is about Cows on the Concourse. What a great time we had and the grey skies of the morning turned into sun. Plus we learned a lot of good cow facts from the Moo Experts on duty.

Tsumugi, Kenia, and Mercedes staking our claim on the sidewalk.

Tsumugi brought her friend Kenia (we hope you come back again!) and Sorval, Mercedes and Ruth were also in attendance. We certainly caught people's eyes with our setup near the cow tent and even interested the photographer from the WI State Journal (note the big camera to the left of Tsumugi in the photo).

Ruth draws an Ayrshire calf

Tsumugi does a pencil drawing of the calf with two children

I think we all commented how good it felt to forget the obligations and stress from the week and just get together and draw. Look forward to seeing people next Sunday at the train station and stay creative.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I went to Chicago during the weekend. Here are some quick sketches, it was a fun way to rest for a few minutes.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


I was unable to make it to the sketch meet last Sunday.  But I did go to Olbrich yesterday.  Here is a small ink sketch of one of the garden beds.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


I made a trip of 3 days to Sister Bay.  Although it rained 2 of the 3 days, we had a great time.  This is a very quick sketch (5 minutes)
from our deck looking into the bay.  I didn't bring any sketching materials with me, just used the ballpoint pen and the memo pad next to the phone in the room.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Olbrich Gardens May 21st

Tsmugi and Gretchen in the gardens
It was not as warm as we hoped but several sketchers braved the chilly temps and did some outdoor as well as indoor sketching.  The Bonsai show and a poetry reading provided other than the usual subjects at Olbrich.  Everyone is picture below except James so there were 9 of us today.  Afterwards I stopped at the Chocolaterian for coffee and finished my sketch.

Jean, Mercedes, Ruth, Reba & Mike

Tsmugi, Gretchen & Pat

My finished sketch

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sketching in Madison on Saturday

I had fully intended to join others at the Centennial Gardens on Saturday...even  made sure I mowed my grass early. Unfortunately I had the 1-3pm time in my head and of course decided to sketch none the less when I realized I had missed our meetup.
This sketch was done for the SBS class with Lynne Chapman, the idea being to sketch in a panorama style. I stopped adding paint before I thought I would. I rather like the ghost lines and white spaces.
Corner of Allen St and Regent St, piece of white paper I later glued to my Stillman and Birns. Colored pencil first, then some micron pen for the people, watercolor added at home.

Door County Watercolor Collage

Last week I was in Door County enjoying gorgeous blue skies and excellent bird watching.  I am currently doing a Sketchbook Skool class and the assignment that week was to do a sort of collage type sketch of a place you love so the choice was easy as DC is my favorite place.  I started out at Base Camp Coffee Bar in Sister Bay with my latte and scone and the owner and staff were very kind and interested and I explained that I would document my day in the sketchbook.  I told them I would stop by in a day or two so they could see the finished sketch and they took a photo of it and posted it to the coffee bar's Facebook Page.  It gave me an opportunity to tell someone about Urban Sketchers, too.  I thought this was great example of the kind of interesting connection that can happen between strangers when you are sketching something you both have in common.
Michaela (Barista) and Joel (Owner)

Ink & watercolor in Stillman & Birn 8 x 10 Softcover Beta sketchbook

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Allen Centennial May 13th

It was a busy morning in Allen Centennial Park with graduates and
their families celebrating - but three sketchers showed up there as
well, and here are Gretchen and Mercedes capturing the pretty colors
and ambiance of the park (Salvor is behind here phone´s lens).

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

No chess players today - sketching instead !

Normally I play chess with the middle schoolers but they were all "otherwise distracted" today so I sketched and painted the colorful mess of games jumbled on the bottom shelf near where I set up for chess.  Colors are getting under better 'control' so some progress ;-)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Update from Italy

Update from Italy: I had the opportunity to sketch with a group in Florence this Sunday, the Firenze Drawing Club, at the National Archeological Museum. I spent time in one of the Egyptian rooms with several amazingly well preserved sarcophagi. It was fun to connect with a group of sketchers in another part of the world! Wendy

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Volunteering at the McFarland Youth Center I decided to fill my time between chess games with some sketching.  The day was beautiful so the kids were mainly playing outside on Cinco de Mayo (gringo for "lets party").  I found sketching soft things like couches (the playing field for their indoor kickball game GaGa) are a lot more difficult for me than hard edged objects.  Another thing to work on.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Kite Surfing

Kite Surfing
We drove to Burrows Park on the north side of town to see if anyone was kite surfing on Lake Mendota.  We've done this previous years on windy days.
Today was both cold and windy.  We found one surfer trying to keep his kite upright on the grass while he ran to the end of the cords to hook up to.  Every time he left the kite it toppled over with the wind gusts.
Peter walked over and offered to hold the kite  so the wind surfer could clip on. 
This time it worked!  He clipped on.  With the kite upright he ran to the water's edge and took off.  He road the waves  and let the kite lift him into the air 
10-12 ft or more and then back onto the waves again.  We loved it. I did some quick sketching and added watercolor washes.  This was plein air painting at it's finest with our cold Wisconsin weather-wind-water-sky and land  all participating.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Sketching Locations - Spring in Bloom!!

We will be sketching at local gardens this month which should be in full springtime bloom.  On Saturday May 13th we will sketch at Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW Campus from 10am to noon and on Sunday May 21st we will go back to Olbrich Gardens from 1 to 3pm.  Our rain location for May 13th will be the State Historical Society on Library Mall. Image result for allen centennial gardens madison

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sketching in the Rain

Driving home from work I spotted a flower bed that would be nice to sketch, it was conveniently located next to a bus shelter. So I decided it was finally time to head outside to sketch, my first outing with watercolors! The rain had stopped so I thought it would be ok, but once I reached the bus shelter it started to rain again. I could not see the flowers clearly so I decided to sketch a building instead, and not be dissuaded by the rain.

This was certainly a good learning experience, especially trying to use watercolors outside. It was harder than I anticipated but I'm happy I drew something and hopefully I'll do better next time.

Sunday's sketch idea was better, I bought a cupcake and brought it home. I should have sketched it a second time to practice more, but it was time to eat it!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Place You Always Pass

I too am taking the Sketchbook Skool course "Exploring" and Pat's post inspired me to share today's sketching in front of Sequoya Library which I pass most days. It was rainy and cold today so the sketch was done inside the car, but I enjoyed the experience. It's a place I never would have been inspired to draw before.
Stillman and Birn sketchbook, watercolor first, micron pen on top.

Sequoya Library, corner of Tokay & Midvale Blvd

Spring in Bloom in Madison

Redbud trees in UW Arboretum
Crab apple tree next to Gates of Heaven in James Madison Park
 This week I had an urban sketching assignment from the online class I am taking in Sketchbook Skool.  The teacher this week is Nina Johansson from Stockholm who does wonderful ink line drawing and watercolor sketches in her sketchbooks.  She likes to draw the ordinary every day things around her city and that was our assignment.  It was raining Thurs. afternoon so I sketched in my car parked at James Madison park behind Gates of Heaven.  Later I looked up the building in Wikipedia and found out that it is the 8th oldest synagogue building still standing in the US and was originally built in 1863!  Today I painted in the car again at the UW Arboretum where the blooming redbud trees were right in front of the car.  I find rendering blooming trees challenging to say the least.  There really are so many ways to approach them but realism would take years so I go for loose impressions.  Both of these sketches were done in my 8 x 10 softcover Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook which has fairly thick watercolor paper in it.  The paint lifts off that paper easily which is helpful sometimes when I want to change something a bit.  I hope more sketchers will post some blooming tree sketches, too!!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hello everyone.  I just joined Urban Sketchers Madison and want to share a few of my first sketches.  The market across the street:
 I wonder if "Cops at Copps" is related to this news:
"MADISON, Wis. - A baggie of crack cocaine was found near a checkout at a Madison grocery store over the weekend, police said.

An employee at the Copps grocery store at 1312 S. Park St. found the bag Saturday afternoon, according to a release.

Police said the owner was seen coming back several times on Saturday looking around the floor inside the grocery store, but he gave up his search before police arrived."

Sketching got me "out and about" and I appreciated being more a part of Madison 'street life' ;-)

From the news I sketched:
"Super-Mighty Preemptive Strike" (which I hope to never experience).  And the possible respondent, enacting 'road rage' at a trucker rally:
I went to the movies to watch the Dr. Who season 10 premier and then sketched this from the trailer:
And from the Urban Sketchers Madison outing to the Veterans Museum on Earth Day this sketch of Helen Bulovsky,
a WW1 nurse written about in Finding Helen:
As you can tell I'm working on getting faces 'right', and I'm looking forward to meeting more of you in the future - warning: names are harder !  ;-)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 22nd: Wisconsin Veterans Museum & Farmer's Market

Tsela, Gretchen, Reba, Deborah and Chris
Sketches from inside the museum and out
 Seven sketchers came out yesterday to sketch at the museum.  It was a beautiful morning so Tsela and Deborah opted to sketch outdoors and the rest of us had many subjects to choose from inside. Some of us had never been inside the museum before and we were impressed with the quality of the exhibits. Welcome to James who joined us for the first time yesterday!!  We all agreed the museum would be worth another visit next winter.  Next sketch date is May 13th at Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW Campus with a rain location of the State Historical Society.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter Morning in Minnesota

A simple drawing with my brown brush pen on Easter morning. I was visiting my son in MN and walked my dog down to a tiny pond near their house. A quiet place in a busy suburb of St Paul.