Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Houston Sketch Outing Sunday, Sept. 18 @ Rice University 1:30 - 3:30. 
Houston area sketchers are meeting Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1:30 p.m.  at the Brochstein Pavilion Cafe at Rice University. We'll meet at 1:30, sketch and then meet up again at 3 to have a sketchbook throwdown and group photo. Stay longer to have refreshments in the cafe and meet fellow sketchers.
Bring your own materials. Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome! A sketch outing isn’t a class, workshop or competition. It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online. You can find parking info on Rice's website.
https://www.google.com/…/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x8640c07b…

What are the rules?
1.  There are no rules.
2.  Anyone can participate, be it to draw for 20 minutes or the full scheduled time.
3.  Any level of ability is welcome, from veteran artists to first time sketchers.
4.  Bring your own sketching gear.  A hat and sunscreen are a good idea.
5.  Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Upcoming Fort Worth/Dallas Sketch Outing Dates

Upcoming DFW sketch outing dates. They are on 3rd Saturday of the month, unless noted.  Locations and other details are announced about 2 weeks before each outing.  If you are not on our email list, send your email to me at jim@townscape.com, and we'll add you.  Hope to see you there:
Aug 20
Sept 17
Oct 15
Nov 19
Dec 17
Jan 21
Feb 18
Mar 18
Apr 22 (4th Sat)
May 20
June 17 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Paddock Viaduct, downtown Fort Worth

This spot on the Trinity River, at the foot of the bluffs where the original Fort Worth was established as a U.S. Army frontier outpost, was a ferry crossing point prior to 1890s, when a narrow suspension bridge was built.  This bridge was built in 1912, and still serves the downtown area admirably.


Friday, May 13, 2016

DFW Sketch Outing May 21


Greetings sketchers!

This month’s Fort Worth/Dallas sketch outing will be Saturday, May 21, 2:30pm on the Trinity River on the north side of downtown Fort Worth.  This area offers myriad sketching possibilities, including the stunning Radio Shack Riverfront Campus (now shared with Tarrant County College), the Trinity Trails, a statue of Fort Worth founder Major Ripley Arnold, the decommissioned Fort Worth Power and Light Company Power Plant (circa 1912), the Paddock Viaduct (also known as Main Street Bridge, listed on National Register of Historic Places), and stunning views of the historic Tarrant County Courthouse and downtown rising above the wooded river banks.

We will meet at 2:30pm at John V. McMillan Plaza, located at the north end of downtown’s Taylor Street, where the street terminates in a cul-de-sac at the river’s edge.  This is also where we’ll meet for the sketchbook throw down and group photo at 4:30.  For those who can stay, we’ll pick a downtown venue for happy hour socializing afterwards.

There is limited on-street parking (free on weekends) in the cul-de-sac and on Taylor Street. There’s additional parking at the Panther Island Parking Lot, 395 West Purcey Street.  This link will take you to a map.   


Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome!  A SketchCrawl isn’t a class, workshop or competition.  It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tiny Houses for Earth Day

The big hit at the Earth Day festivities at Dallas' Fair Park was the "Tiny House" exhibit--tens of thousands waited in 30-minute lines to check these out.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring break in the UK

Train ride to Stirling outside of Edinburgh, to visit Stirling Castle. Spring break coincided with a business trip my husband had to make to Aberdeen. So my son and I went to the UK to visit my Urban Sketcher friend Isabelle, in London and then meet my hubby in Scotland for a little exploring - and of course sketching.

My sketch shows just a part of the gallery at Holyrood House Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

The Great Gallery at the Palace at Holyrood House, the largest room in the palace, links the King's Closet with the former Queen's apartments in the west range. The gallery is decorated with 110 portraits of the Scottish monarchs, beginning with the legendary Fergus I, who supposedly ruled from 330 BC. The portraits were all completed between 1684 and 1686 by Jacob de Wet.  The palace as it stands today was built between 1671-1678 in a quadrangle layout, approximately 230 feet (70 m) from north to south and 230 feet (70 m) from east to west, with the exception of the 16th-century north-west tower built by James VSir William Bruce designed the 3-storey plus attic Baroque palace for Charles II upon the restoration of the monarchy. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Back to the Rodeo

Yesterday was the official sketch out for urban sketchers in Houston. Carolyn and I wandered around the Reliant Hall livestock exhibit first. Then we wandered out into the carnival, which had not only amazing rides, but equally amazing foods. Deep-fried Nutella, anyone?

I have never been over to the Reliant Arena where the horse competitions are held. Carolyn was interested in the llama and alpaca exhibit. The center animal, who looks like a dissipated rock star, is an alpaca. He barely registered my presence. The animal on the lower left is a llama. These animals are very alert, curious and responsive. Most exhibit animals ignore the viewers. This one followed every move I made. Llamas aren't know to be particularly friendly, but they are apparently pretty smart. One of the events is an obstacle course for llamas. Think a combination of the horse jumping and the dog agility trials. The young people showing the animals take this very seriously.

This is the last weekend of the rodeo, so that's it for another year.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

DFW Sketch Outing March 19th!


Our next Fort Worth-Dallas sketch outing will be 2:30 pm Saturday, March 19th at Continental Bridge in Dallas!  Plan to meet at Gateway Plaza West on the west side of the bridge. Parking lot can be accessed just off of Canada Drive. Do not park at Trinity Grove. Continental Bridge has some stunning views of downtown Dallas and the Margaret Hill Hunt bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava.  The weather should be cool enough to enjoy a great afternoon of sketching. 

This month’s outing will be hosted by Lisa Horne, a long-time USk Texas regular who hosted last year’s very successful outing in West Village.  We will meet to the west side of the Continental Bridge for introductions and an overview of the afternoon (15 min), then disperse to sketch singly, in pairs or in groups as you wish.  We’ll reconvene at a couple of hours later to share sketchbooks and for a group photo.  Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome!  A SketchCrawl isn’t a class, workshop or competition.  It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online. 

Questions? Contact Jim Richards at jim@townscape.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Let's Rodeo!


Today was my trip to the livestock show to get in some sketching time. Of course, I had to go over and  watch the very patient ponies hauling little kids round and round.
Some were curious about the very large sleeping pig. Some, not so much.

This Brahmin and his kin were as patient as large dogs waiting for their turn for judging in the show ring. The drawing doesn't begin to convey the size of these beasts up close.

The sheep don't like the noise, the crowds, the kids. They most kept a wary distance at the far side of the pen. This was in the birthing area and there were several wobbly little lambs among them. The large female in the foreground watched me intently as I drew.
The little goat was just sprouting the buds of his adult horns. He slept peacefully and ignored everyone.
All in all it was a very fun day.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

MEET US IN FORT WORTH FEB 20!



The next sketch outing for Fort Worth/Dallas will be Saturday, February 20 in Fort Worth. This month we’ll meet at 2:30pm in front of the Livestock Exchange Building, 131 E. Exchange Avenue in the heart of the Stockyards historic district. We will meet briefly, then draw until 4:30, and then gather to share sketchbooks and a group photo. The Stockyards are a “target-rich environment” with a wealth of interesting subject matter for sketchers—historic buildings, lots of interesting locals and visitors, great signs and details, sculpture, and a longhorn herd walk at 4pm, so it ought to be a grand time. You may want to linger afterwards for happy hour or dinner with old and/or new friends. There’s a large free parking lot at the far east end of Exchange Avenue, and typically lots of on-street parking in the western side of the district (west of N. Main Street). Hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

50th Worldwide Sketchcrawl- Houston

Chris, Mary, Brian, Kim, Judith, Carolyn, Adine, Suzanne and Katerina..not pictured: Ken

For today's sketchcrawl we chose the warmth of the Jesse Jones building at the Houston Public Library. It started out pretty nippy for sketching and the library has large windows with good views of downtown.  10 sketchers showed up, which I think is a new record for the Houston group.

Friday, January 22, 2016

SKETCHCRAWL!

I know that the weather isn't optimal all over Texas for tomorrow's worldwide sketchcrawl, but I'd like to encourage the urban sketchers to go out tomorrow. Even coffee shop sketches would be interesting.
Here are the plans for the Houston group as posted by Judith:
On Saturday, January 23 meet up at the Houston Public Library Central location, (Jesse Jones Building) 500 McKinney. The library opens at 10 am so if the weather is bad indoor sketching is still possible. Library parking is $2.00 an hour. In the area: City Hall park, reflecting pool, Allen Parkway, Sam Houston historic homes, the Ideson building.
We will convene afterwards for pictures and lunch.

Results and pictures to follow in another post. Hope you can make it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

California sketchin'

Just got back from a great 30th anniversary trip with my lovely bride, Missy...I was able to carve out a little time for sketching!




Thursday, September 3, 2015

DALLAS-FORT WORTH OUTING SEPT. 19


Our next Fort Worth-Dallas sketch outing will be 10am Saturday, September 19th.  Gayla and Mike Shannon have arranged a great morning at the historic Oakwood Cemetery, 701 Grand @ Gould on the north side of Fort Worth.  Oakwood dates to 1879, and is the burial site of many cattle barons, oilmen, and other legends in North Texas history.  The cemetery has some impressive monuments among ancient trees to sketch, and has great views across the Trinity to downtown.

We will meet in the Chapel for a brief history of the cemetery (15 min), then disperse to sketch singly, in pairs or in groups as you wish.  We’ll reconvene at 12:30pm to share sketchbooks and for a group photo, then head out for optional lunch/libations on the north side.  Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome!  A SketchCrawl isn’t a class, workshop or competition.  It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online.

Bring your own sketching gear.  A hat and sunscreen are a good idea. Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  If you have questions shoot me an email at jim@townscape.com.  Please join us!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

USK-TX on display at the library

Montogomery County Library-South County location has a display of Urban Sketcher sketchbooks on view until the end of August. I found the local library will permit displays of "educational" items that are of interest to the public. And of course, what could be more interesting than sketchbooks? Right? My friend and fellow artist, Mary Case, helped me install the display last week. I picked up Chris Fitzgerald's sketchbook this weekend to add to the display.
I also included several books from my bookshelf including: The Art of Urban Sketching, by Gabriel CampanarioSketch Your World by James HobbsAn Illustrated Life, by Danny GregorySketchbook Confidential, by Editors of North Light Books. The library has most most of these available to check out from their collection.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fort Worth and Dallas...Come sketch Wings of the City Aug 1!


The next outing for our Dallas-Fort Worth sketch group, in association with Downtown Fort Worth Inc. (DFWI), will be a self-guided “SketchTour” of the Wings of the City sculpture exhibition at several sites in Downtown Fort Worth on Saturday, August 1. You can learn more about the exhibition here: Wings of the City.  To avoid the hottest part of the day, we’ll meet at 10am at the “Active Pool” of the Fort Worth Water Gardens at the south end of downtown.

This outing will be exciting, providing sketching opportunities that mix figure drawing of the sculptures with their urban context.  We’ll walk from one site to the next, sketching at least three sites.  You may want to try something different like combining all your sketches on one larger sheet to tell a story, or adding a freehand map of the route to your work.  We’ll finish at Burnett Park around noon.   With refreshments provided by DFWI, we’ll share sketchbooks and ideas, and take a group photo to post online.

Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome!  The SketchTour isn’t a class, workshop or competition.  It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online.

What are the rules?
1.  There are no rules.
2.  Anyone can participate, be it to draw for 20 minutes or the full scheduled time.
3.  Any level of ability is welcome, from veteran artists to first time sketchers.
4.  Bring your own sketching gear.  A hat, water and sunscreen are a good idea.
5.  Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Downtown parking is free on weekends.  More info at www.fortworthparking.com.  If you have questions shoot me an email at jim@townscape.com.  Please join us!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Road trip to Montgomery, AL

Last week we took a little road trip across the south to Montgomery, Alabama. Sketching in the car gives my line work a certain shakey character that makes me have to forget about details. I can't resist keeping count of the Waffle Houses along the way - 11 counted while i was passenger another 16 not recorded because I was at the wheel. We went to Montgomery to go to Southern Makers, a festival live music, and makers of textiles, food, craft beer, broom maker, boat maker, soap makers & of course moonshine makers. Great fun and real high quality products created by artisans from across the south. The setting was a large train shed along the railroad tracks with trains pulling through every hour or so, perfect addition to the sound track of the day.

Chef Leo and Chef Miguel gave a demonstration of how to prepare lion fish ceviche. The lion fish is an invasive species really reaking havoc on the Gulf habitat. So how better to get rid of them than cooking them. 

At Railhead Brewery Saturday night, I forgot to pick up a Y'ALL tshirt.
Your Alabama Light Lager dratz. After the fish cooking demo of course I had to eat me some fish tacos! Not lion fish though:(

From my seat on a haybale I captured the CedarRock Bluegrass Band. Pickin' and a grinnin'. A couple of folks came by to ask about sketchbooking.
Sketching in a new Monologue sketchbook, the paper is good for mixed media, but you can't work on both sides of the sheet without see-thru, it does not lay very flat at all especially for placing face down on the scanner. Muji jell pen black, Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rockin' and Rollin' Prints 2015

Print Matters is a Houston artists' group that promotes the art of printmaking with events in the late spring and summer months. For the last five years they've held Rockin' and Rollin' prints where large blocks of MDF are carved and printed with a steamroller. I've participated every year. You can see my print from this year and two previous years here.
This is my friend David inking my block.
And this is my sketch of Leamon Green inking blocks.
Usually I'm too keyed up to tap into the zen of sketching, but this year I made myself relax and capture a bit of the action. Several other Houston sketchers made an appearance and did some sketching. It was a beautiful day for it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hey Houston come out and sketch April 18 OR 19

Houston area sketchers - for our April outing we have two opportunities-Sat or Sun.
SO which will you attend? Option 1 requires more coordination so that we can find each other - it covers a very large area. 
SATURDAY Option 1. San Jacinto Day Reenactment Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Jacinto Monument, Free admission. http://www.sanjacinto-museum.org/Th…/Our_Annual_Reenactment/
battle reenactment, army camps, period costumes, food trucks, shuttle from parking is easiest access
SUNDAY Option 2. Rockin' Rollin Prints
April 19 from 10a.m.- 4p.m. Free http://www.printmattershouston.org at St. Arnold Brewery, 2000 Lyons Ave., 77020 - warehouse area, steamroller printing, print artist vendors, food truck & beer
Please RSVP by comment so that we can coordinate which we will attend. OR rsvp via our FB page. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring at the McGovern Centennial Garden and Other Recent Sketch Outings


I have been remiss in posting and remiss in sketching because I have been consumed with my printmaking activities. However, I did make two sketch outings recently. First I went to the Houston Livestock Show and spent a morning sketching animals. I always enjoy the trip. This is "Dude" was a grand prize winning steer. He had a beautiful creamy coat that a mere pencil sketch would never do justice to. It was almost a palomino-type mottled with brown spots. He is, I'm told, most likely destined to be a lawn ornament on someone's ranch. Good. He is a beautiful animal.


Yesterday was a group sketchout to the McGovern Centennial Garden in Hermann Park. This is the pagoda given to the city by Taipei. It is one a few elements of the old garden that remain. It looks much more attractive in the context of the new garden surrounded by shrubs and pine. The weather was glorious and the garden was full of families exploring this very new space.

Of course there's always one person who sits facing a lovely view on a perfect day and instead stares at their phone.