Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spooky Halloween Sketch


This watercolor sketch (Payne’s gray only and black Micron pen), was done with the new MeetUp sketch class last Saturday at Resurrection Cemetery. We met at the main entrance and drove to the old section with beautiful stones and statues. It was really nice to divert from landscapes only and try structures….a nice change of pace.


Here is our group of brave artists. It was very windy and very cold…biting cold…but we kept focus and made wonderful artwork!


Here is the group’s work. Lovely job everyone did! There is something wonderful about everyone’s perspective and personality on paper. And the great part is…you get to bring it home too!


I just love all of the statues at Resurrection Cemetery. They have such character! Someday this too will be a watercolor.

The next MeetUp class is coming soon! This Saturday we will be at Centennial Park in Orland Park, IL. Check it out here…all are welcome…no experience necessary!


Maple Lake Watercolor Sketch


Maple Lake

A blustery day this was as I sat in my car and sketched from the parking area. I was waaaaay under dressed to be sitting outside for an hour painting. It was very windy, so windy that the waters were choppy and there were no reflections on the lake.

Sometimes even a quick get-a-way will just do the trick. I sat alone without the radio and thought about many things. Silence is therapeutic even if it is a little scary sometimes. It forces you to face your reality and actually feel it too. Feeling things sometimes hurts, but the faster I face it the faster I can move on. And I so need to move on.

Things are looking good. Our new sketch group is off to a fantastic start! I’m meeting new friends and enjoying life 😀
I want to send out a big thank you, for all of your well wishes, prayers, and thoughts.

To see the scheduled meetup locations for the new sketch group click here.

Sketch Class Results Lake Katherine


Saturday morning was a bit brisk, but that didn’t stop this nature loving crowd (Alanna, Katie, Tommy),  from hiking on this frosty autumn morning at Lake Katherine! I’m so glad I started this group, it will help bring me back to sketching on a regular base, while gathering with friends.


We took a hike around the lake and visited the waterfall. This particular spot caught our eye. I love the bright white structure against the seasonal colors. We couldn’t pass this up and knew this was our spot.


Not only was this a good spot, but look how convenient a bench to work on!


Here are our sketches, for the members who could stay. Some had to leave and only wanted to stay for the hike…that’s OK whatever works for everyone.


Chris and Alanna pose with our sketches by the lake.


Here is my close up. My goal is to take out the complicated-ness (is that a word?) and make a light, simple watercolor sketch. I would love to show you how on our next meet-up. You don’t have to work with watercolors, I will also be working with graphite pencils. The next meet-up is at Spears Woods on Saturday, October 20th at 10AM.

Chicagoland Sketchbook Hikers

Click here to sign up!

Calling All Chicagoland Sketchbook Hikers

Chicagoland Sketchbook Hikers

Here we go folks!

If you are in the Chicagoland area and want to sketch and hike. This group is for you! Click on the meetup logo to sign up. This group will consist of a bunch of nature loving amateur artists. We will find locations all over the Chicagoland area to explore with our sketchbooks. After we are done, if you bring a sack lunch, we can eat together and share our artwork.

The group can split up or stay with me to participate in a step-by-step demonstration. I usually work with pencil and watercolors, but you can use whatever medium you wish.

Joining is free, but I have to pay an organizer fee. So, I’m asking that if you go to a meet-up location event, you would give $2 to offset the cost of running the group.

I need interested hikers and sketchers to suggest places in the area to go!!!!!! Some suggestions are:
Morton Arboretum
Botanical Gardens
Jackson Park lagoon, etc.
I’m looking for specific forest preserve locations and what the point of interest is there.

The first meet-up location is this Saturday at Lake Katherine.

Don’t forget to click on the meetup logo to sign up!

Let’s get out there AND PAINT NATURE!!!!
Whoooooo Hooooooo!

The Sketch I Had to Make


Horsetail Lake

Well friends, without going through all the details, I have to say I’ve been going through some really tough personal issues. I found myself slipping down a slippery drain of depression and the inability to do the things I love.

Sometimes to break free of this invisible tight hold, you need to just force yourself to do what you know deep down you love. That’s exactly what I did yesterday, stopping by Horsetail Lake in the Palos area for a quick sketch in the car. I couldn’t believe how far we have progressed into autumn (my favorite  season) and I’m missing so much of it already.

I felt so good after the sketch, I decided to take a 5 mile hike and hash it out with God. I pleaded my case, was real honest. I told Him all of my feeling and my unsure future. Near the end of my 5 miles I heard something.

I heard God say, “Do you see where those flowers are growing?”

I stopped and looked around. The sunlight made long diagonal paths in between the trees. In the sunlight only there were a ton of purple asters. In the shadows grew nothing but weeds.

Then He said, “That’s where you need to be, staying in the direction of My light. That’s the only place you are going to bloom.”

Wow! An answer–sort of. I just have to learn what that means.

My problems aren’t gone, but at least God is letting me know I will still be able to bloom in the midst of them, with His help.

Well, I’m back to doing the things I love and I’m not going to stop. I have started a Meet-Up group for people in the Chicago area to hike and sketch. I will post details shortly.

Thank you to everyone out there for you never-ending support!