Saturday, September 30, 2017

Urban Sketching in Spring Green and Wausau, Wi.

This month I went to Spring Green to see a play at American Players Theatre and also to Wausau for the annual Birds in Art exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.  Had a great time at both and thought how lucky we are to have these wonderful things in our state.  Birds in Art was great this year and I also enjoyed seeing many paintings in their permanent collection that I had not seen before.  A new wing was added a few years ago and now they are rotating many of the works collection that they did not have room for in the past.  I highly recommend seeing this show which mostly is paintings but also sculpture and some amazing wood carving.  I love staying at the Stewart Inn which is a great B&B not far from the museum.  The owner said the best rates are to be had on Sunday nights as fewer people stay over on Sundays.  My favorite room there is actually the smallest and least expensive one.  All the rooms have gas fireplaces and that felt good this morning.  I also swam at the Wausau YMCA which has a great lap pool.  I went downtown and had a latte and did the sketch below.  Perfect fall weekend!!
La Prima Coffee Shop, Wausua, Wi

Patio at House on the Rock Resort, Spring Green, Wi

Friday, September 22, 2017

USK - Madison Meeting at MPL - Sunday Sept. 17th

Last Sunday USK Madison had it first informational meeting among it's members but was also open to the public and one or two people stopped by to see what we were up to.  Those of us who went to the annual symposium in Chicago in July discussed our experiences there and some of what we learned at the various excellent workshops we attended.  Elsie said she had been in contact with a board member and they said they will be working to make registration easier next year as well as making an effort to be more mindful of and helpful to sketchers with mobility issues.  The Drink & Draw events in the evenings were a highlight for some of us and I think we might have those on occasional in Madison, too.

We also discussed places we might go sketching in the future and for the November 11th International Sketchcrawl.  I will also be looking into how we post our work on the Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl site and will share that info with everyone next month.  Because there is a home football game with Iowa that day I suggested we go somewhere to the east with our sketchcrawl and because a newer member from earlier in the summer suggested the main street in Sun Prairie might be a good place I will check that out next week.  We could avoid football crowds and traffic there.

Several members discussed the importance of USK in their artistic lives and how they feel they have benefited from participating in group sketching and doing more drawing on their own.  Everyone agreed regular sketching from life makes for a richer life in general.  Some of us brought sketchbooks from our travels this summer which were so much fun to see. Ruth's "maze sketchbook" was really amazing.  She's been making one every summer for a few years and capturing great family moments in them.  She said it was made out of one 22 x 30 sheet of 140 lb cold press watercolor paper folded and torn so that is makes one accordion like sketchbook.  Then she attached it to decorated mat board at the ends for a great looking customized sketchbook.  I can't wait to try one for my travels this fall.

I think we enjoyed having a block of time to talk to each other about many sketching related topics while not simultaneously trying to produce sketches.  I think it is probably a good idea to have a membership meeting at least annually.  So many people had great ideas and great sketches to share and we don't always have time for that when we are working away in our sketchbooks.  Thanks to everyone for coming downtown to the meeting and see you all soon.  Please feel free to add any comments below!!
Elsie demonstrating her new sketchbox from Geurilla Painter

Ruth's "Mazebook" front cover

The Mazebook open - every page filled with great sketches

From left front clockwise: Elsie, Deborah, Tsela, Jan, Cindy, Ruth, Gretchen, Louise and Chris.

Sketch from Deborah's summer travels

Cindy's Amsterdam sketch

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Biergarten at Olbrich Park - Saturday Sept. 9th

Jean, Rebecca and Mike on the shores of Lake Monona

My sketch with Uni Posca paint pens on Stillman & Birn Zeta softcover
It was a beautiful day so the Biergarten was open for business and quite a few people were hanging out in the perfect late summer weather.  It's a great place to sketch on a warm day and we will go back for sure.

Monday, September 11, 2017

USK Madison Share This Weekend

Hey I'm pretty excited, we're headed to the downtown Madison Library for a group share this weekend. Fall completely energizes me (yes I know it's technically summer, but I've moved on.)

I'm hoping those who were able to get to the BIG Chicago International Symposium will be sharing details of workshops, materials, and of course LOOONG walks. The weather was great though.

softcover Stillman and Birns, watercolor

I remember as I was at my own personal "Satellite Symposium" (well, my daughter came along) that same weekend. I'll bring that sketchbook along to share.

6 x 6 inch cover, corrugated cardboard with acrylic paint

Also coming is my annual Summer Sketchbook, one I make, family focused.

Slow summer for sketching? Bring your materials along and let's see what you have in your sketchbag...nothing better than seeing what you might have that I haven't seen yet. And, as always, there will be plenty of time to draw outside or inside at the library.

Sunday Afternoon, Downtown Library, first floor conference room....see you there!