Monday, December 15, 2014

Call for Submissions for the International Symposium

Hey Memphis Sketchers! Do we have any local people interested in proposing a workshop, lecture, or demonstration for the 6th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore? The dates are July 22-25, 2015, and compensation is offered to those selected. Take a look at the call for programming here - the deadline to submit is December 22!

There's more information about the event here, and you can join the mailing list to receive updated information.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Visit to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens

On Saturday, December 6, we met at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens for a morning of sketching. We love going to the Dixon - they are so friendly, there is plenty to sketch in the galleries, and when the weather is nice the gardens are perfect for sketching. It was chilly and windy on Saturday, so we stayed inside and sketched the Rodin exhibit. I forgot to take pictures when we shared our sketchbooks at the end, so here are my scans.

The lobby, decorated for Christmas with a beautiful Greely Myatt piece hanging above the desk. (Click image for more detail.)

This is Rodin by his student Paul Paulin. I love that we have to use pencil in the galleries - I forget how much I enjoy it.

In which I make Balzac look a bit like a sullen teenager.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Sketch Group at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens

Next sketch group
Saturday, December 6
Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park Avenue 
10:00 AM (Admission to the museum is free until noon.)
Let's meet just inside the gallery entrance. There's a lot going on in the galleries - the Rodin exhibit, Carl Moore's and Joyce Gingold's exhibit, etc. If it's a nice day we can sketch outside in the gardens, too.

Please note: Saturday mornings are very busy! The Dixon's policy for sketching in galleries is pencil only. Let's be good guests!

Also, if you're coming from Midtown or Downtown, think about your route out of there - it's St. Jude Marathon day.

Please comment here or on our Facebook page if you plan to attend. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Some India Fest Sketches

Last Saturday we went to the India Fest at the Agricenter and had a lovely time sketching and eating and meeting people. Here are a few sketches from the day:

My quick sketch of the Germantown Middle School marching band/ drum line.

One of Tom Pellett's many pages of sketches of people.

Nancy Mardis's sketch, pre-color.

Another of my sketches of food and people.

I think this is Carl Fox's sketch of a little bit of everything. I'm usually better at remember who did what sketch, but we had so many people sketching with us that day and coming and going from our group table.

Nancy's sketch, post-color.

The gentleman in Tom's sketch, lower left.

Jenny Miller took this picture of me sketching a little boy. He kept hanging around our table, looking at our sketches, and several of us ended up sketching him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

November Sketch Group at India Fest!

Next sketch group
Saturday, November 1
India Fest 2014
The Agricenter
7777 Walnut Grove Road
10:00 AM

The doors open at 10:00 AM - feel free to get there at that time if you like. We'll claim a table in the large hall where the food is, as a place to touch base, or a place to plant yourself if you aren't ready to get in the mix yet.

Be aware there is an entry fee of $5. Bring cash for food, too - so much good food!!!

Please comment here or on our Facebook page if you plan to attend. 

Hoping to see some new faces there this week! See you Saturday!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sketches from the Stax Museum of American Soul Music

In February the Memphis Urban Sketchers met at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. What an amazing experience! It is a great museum, and I highly recommend a trip through it whether you are sketching or not. (But why not sketch, right?)

The museum has artifacts from every Stax artist, including clothes, accessories and musical instruments.

The recording studio and engineer booth was rebuilt to how it looked in the early days of Stax Records.

Everything belonging to Isaac Hayes was probably the most interesting to sketch!

This was the highlight of the day. We asked if they could stop Isaac Hayes's gold Cadillac from spinning on its turntable long enough for us to sketch it. And they did! What a treat!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Scottish Rites Building

Urban Sketcher Mary K. VanGieson is one of the artists whose work is currently
on display at Scottish Rite Temple, in a great show curated by Jason Miller.  Go to    for details.  Jason  Miller and I will
both be participating in a one night show featuring the work of 50 local artists this
Friday evening (Oct. 24, 2014) from 6 pm to 11 pm:  The Cigar Box Show,curated by
Fletcher Golden.  (GLITCH Gallery, 2180 Cowden Ave., tel 901-734-6136)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sketchbooks from September Sketch Group at Memphis Farmers Market

Here are a few shots of everyone's sketchbooks from the September sketch group at the Memphis Farmers Market. It's such a great place to sketch, with its mix of people, architecture, activity, and colorful fruit and vegetables and flowers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Drawing at the National Gallery in London

While visiting England in May of 2013, I had a chance to visit the National Gallery. I went with a sketchbook and Dewent watersoluble ink pencils. Instead of trying to look at every painting, I spent my time sketching a few and seeing more. I used a water brush occasionally and no one seemed to mind.

Seurat's  "Bathers at Asnieres" is very calm with lots of blue and touches of orange that glow, I located most of the oranges in my sketch.

Degas' "Portrait of Elena Carafa" looks much younger than my sketch, less jowls. 

A fragment of a fragment of Manet's painting inspired by Goya's "The Third of May 1808"

Only when I started drawing did I notice the bridge and small boat in Turner's train painting.  I read later that there's a rabbit in this painting, but I didn't see it.

Uccello's horses look like they could have galloped in from a Disney cartoon.

I stood to the side so I could better see the skull in Holbein's "The Ambassadors."

The right side of Cezanne's bathers attracted my attention, especially the figure on the far right. Why was she so thin?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Memphis Urban Sketchers met downtown at Beale Street Landing last Saturday. It's a new park, overlooking the Mississippi River, with lots of different possibilities for sketching. Here's what we got:

 I scanned mine in when I got home.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Sketch Group at Beale Street Landing

Next sketch group
Saturday, October 4
Beale Street Landing 
10:00 AM
We'll meet at the front entrance of the Beale Street Landing entrance, which faces Riverside Drive. There is parking adjacent to Beale Street Landing, but it is kind of high, so you might want to arrive a bit early and look for parking elsewhere. The weather should be lovely!

Please comment here or in our Facebook group if you plan to attend. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Opera at WKNO

Opera Memphis continues to do opera outside the box under director Ned Canty. I think this is the third year they've done "30 Days of Opera,' popping up and doing free bits of opera at the dog park, along the parkway during rush hour, at an arts fair, really just about anywhere. Today they were out at WKNO, our local public radio station. They did an hour's worth of opera on the patio at lunch hour, broadcast on the radio, of course, and invited folks to show up with their lunches to listen. I love sketching at music events, and I've been working hard to put together my 2015 calendars and prep for fall shows, so I decided I was due just a fun sketching break and went out. Plus I love seeing all the 'KNO folks as well as Ned. I got a ton of hugs, did some fun  sketching, and enjoyed breaking away from my computer for a while. Thanks to both organizations for a neat event!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Montreal Botanic Garden

Lion statue at the entrance to the Chinese Garden
While visiting Montreal last month, I spent four days exploring, sketching and photographing the botanic garden. Four days were not enough time.

Tower of the Gathering Clou

One of the rocks inside the tower
One bonsai in the Chinese garden
The Japanese garden
A garden of stone and sand

Some of the most popular attractions at the Japanese garden

Japanese lantern
Part of the perennial garden
Two of the many gardeners working in the perennial garden
Sculpture overlooking the perennial garden 

Part of the color display in the experimental garden

Inside the greenhouse during a summer shower