Santa Barbara

With the Santa Ynez Mountains as a dramatic backdrop on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other Santa Barbara is a sketchers paradise. Everywhere you look there’s a sketching opportunity.

Even on a short short trip I got a lot of sketch time in. As always I’ll start with the views from my window. A few cloudscapes to start with.

And I simply love the perspective of mountainscapes from 35,000ft. It’s totally mesmerizing. I see fractals everywhere!

I’ll follow up with more sketches of the Santa Ynez Mountains, sunset on the beach and downtown Santa Barbara in a later post.

Chagall – a small panel of America Windows 

Day 6/31 #WorldWatercolorMonth 

Paying homage to Marc Chagall – who was born on this day (well yesterday actually, but my site was acting up and it didn’t get posted on time for some reason!!!) 

The brilliant stained glass windows – America Windows or the Chagall Windows, as they are popularly know are a signature feature of The Art Institute of Chicago. They were forever made famous by their appearance in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

For me the blue of these windows is just off the charts! 

I used one panel for this sketch and used YInMnBlue as well as other pigments made at Oregon State at Mad Subramanian labs. 

Fireworks on the National Mall 

Day 5/31 – #WorldWatecolorMonth

DC put on a spectacular show at the National Mall last night. Fear of thunderstorms had the fate of the fireworks in doubt, but we lucked out and the storm and rain held out long enough for the eager crowds to get what they came for and then some! I managed to capture a few splashes of watercolor in my sketchbook in semi darkness. I did several of these and then I just had to put down my brush and simply watch, and oooh and aaah with the rest of the crowd! This one came out better than the rest so I refined it a bit. 

I might just post the other splashes, if I feel bold enough…

Circus Tent – Red,White and #YInMnBlue !

Day4/31 – #WorldWstercolorMonth

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the theme is Circus Arts. The Festival brings the rich history, mystique and diversity of American circus arts to life on the National Mall. There were circus performances, behind the scenes, emerging artists and contemporary visionaries, and coaches, costume designers, makeup artists, musicians, prop and tent designers, riggers, poster artists, wagon builders, and many others whose collective creative work brings the circus to life. 

While the crowds lined up all the way around the tent I sat outside the big tent and sketched the Red, White and Blue under a somewhat ominous sky! They were calling for thunderstorms tonight. 

Happy 4th!

Utamaro’s Okubi-e

Day2/31 #WorldWatercolorMonth 

Sackler gallery’s has a new exhibit ‘Inventing Utamaro’ displaying the famous triptych depicting the theme of “snow, moon and Flowers” of Kitagawa Utamaro. Along side this are also some fabulous woodblock prints of this legendary Japanese artist. I was really drawn to his woodblock prints. I managed to do a quick pen and ink sketch inside of a few and then used the sketches as reference to do this watercolor sitting just outside looking in. These prints now called okubi-e or large head pictures became part of his signature style. This one was titled ‘Wakana and Wakanoura of the Wakanaya’. 

I’ll be back again tomorrow for the second half of the painting. 

From my sketchbook

A short trip to LA in October gave me the chance to visit Long Beach and the Los Angels County Museum of Art. The visit to LACMA was too short and I have to go back again, bit I did manage to do some sketches both outdoors and in. My favorite by far of the outdoor sculptures was Chris Burden’s Urban Light comprising 220 vintage lampposts. I managed a quick pen and ink sketch while I waited for the museum to open.

 

Indoors, the highlight for me was the Lazarof collection of Piccaso, Degas, Pissarro, Kandinsky, and a whole room filled with sculptures by Alberto Giacometti. Here’s a quick sketch of Giacometti’s Monumental Head.