August 29, 2015

Singapore Trip: Day 2

Then blam! it all started! It was so great to meet all of the people I had been working with so closely for months and months. I couldn't believe it was finally happening.

Here's the team! Pat, me, Tia, Tony, Jason, Francis, Eve, Orling, and David.

Finally I got to make a few sketches! Breakfast was hot and crowded, but you know I love to sketch coffee cups.

Toby and I went to lunch together and ate a tiny bit of a Ham Cheese Doughnut. It was the best thing ever.

That night we went to dinner with Amber and Daniel from Minneapolis, who we have also had dinner with in Santo Domingo, Barcelona, and Minneapolis. It was great to see them again! And everyone!

August 28, 2015

Singapore Trip: Day "1"

I say day "1" because who knows how long this really was. Twenty hours? Two days? I still really don't know. This sketch was at the very beginning of the trip, and the rest of the trip was too exhausting. But I did read a lot!

This is how you make your passengers happy - serve them ice cream! This is the only time that happened.

We had a layover in Tokyo - this was our first glimpse of Japan.

We got onigiri at the airport, then had a heck of a time getting into it - this series is called "Americans Try to Open Onigiri."

I can't read that?


Maybe that's right?

Why is my rice ball naked?

Is that right?

We arrived in Singapore... at some point, and one of my awesome Symposium team members, Pat, picked us up at midnight! So nice! The next day we slept.

Gray Ink, Doughnuts, and Bookclub

I just got a new fountain pen - a Kaweko Sport - and it's gray and I filled it with gray ink. It's very light - click on the image to see it better.

I also just recently discovered the difference between gray and grey. G-R-A-Y is the more common spelling in America, and I remember that because it has an A for America. I learned mnemonic devices from my Mom.

That night was bookclub! My favorite! We ate at Blue Nile, a new Ethiopian restaurant. It was really good at the restaurant, but I got Toby some takeout and it was a very small amount for the money. Oh well.

We read The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. As you can see, most of us really enjoyed it - a 3 is "would recommend to a friend."

August 27, 2015

Iceland Trip: Day 6 and Packing for Singapore


Our big adventure for the day was the Blue Lagoon! I was so excited to go there. We went in late afternoon - that's Heather's dad driving us.


So much steam!

We did all the stuff you're supposed to do there - showered naked, put mud on our faces, drank skyr smoothies. But as with any pool, I am not long for it, so I got out and made this sketch. That is a big rack full of robes that you can rent, plus lots of shower shoes and water bottles scattered about. Beyond that is the pool, then lava rocks, then mountains.


On the left is the bracelet that they give you when you check in. You use it to do everything - lock and unlock your locker, pay for stuff, and probably something else.

The next day we headed back home. We were barely out of Reykjavik before we missed our traveling companions terribly - they were staying for another week.

Back home in Memphis we unpacked, laundered, repacked, and prepared to go to Singapore!


This was our lovely though temporary home in Reykjavik.

August 26, 2015

Memphis Urban Sketchers August & September

I wasn't back from the Symposium in Singapore for long before I got to meet up with our group here in Memphis. We met in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel, a great spot for indoor sketching.

We met at 10:00 AM, and it wasn't long before the lobby filled up with people waiting to see the Peabody Ducks make their morning march from the elevator into the fountain. On this visit I learned that the ducks stay in the fountain all day, until they march back up to their penthouse apartment at 4:00 PM.

It's a great spot for sketching people!

For our next meeting we are going to the Memphis Farmers Market downtown on September 12th. Meet where the two covered walkways intersect at 10:00 AM.



August 25, 2015

Iceland Trip: Day 5

Are you ready for some waterfalls?! On day five, Heather, Rodney, Toby and I took ourselves on a waterfall tour. Here's the first one, Gljúfrabúi. I sketched it, then we had a picnic nearby.

Then we walked over to the next one, Seljalandsfoss. It took us a while to get over there, because we all had to stop and take lots of pictures.

We walked behind this one - click on this one to see more detail - you can see tiny people behind the waterfall and on the other side, to the left, just to give you an idea of the size.


My awesome friends drove me over to Seljalandsfoss and sat me down on a bench so that I could have some good sketching time.

This is just more amazing stuff we drove past. Click for more detail.

The final waterfall of the day, Skógafoss, which is right next to the volcano that erupted in 2010. You can also see a glacier from the top. Yes we walked to the top - almost 400 steps there to the right.

Up, up, up! You can see where the river leads to the ocean.

At the very top is a platform that is all metal grate like these stairs. I don't care for that - looking so far down! Behind that is a weird ladder to get over the sheep fence, and people waited in line in silence to get over from both directions.

The other side is amazing - rolling hills with other, smaller waterfalls leading to the big falls. Behind and all around you is the sound of the big falls.

I sketched the area looking towards the big falls here on the right, because I knew if I kept walking to see what was over that next hill and the next and the next, and I'd never stop.


Stopped at this crazy rock with structures built into it to take pictures. We called it the Troll House.

When we got back, Heather's mom had made us lamb for dinner. What a great day!

Fast Sketching and Fast Sketching Class

I made a fast sketch the morning of the first Fast Sketching class this month at Flicker Street Studio.

This is something I have made my students do in the past - making a sketch in the time it takes to fill up the gas tank. I was at White Station and Poplar looking northwest.

Then that night in class I did a demonstration about making sketches with watercolor - using it to make lines in addition to washes. I also demonstrated the different in washes using a waterbrush pen and using a real paintbrush.

Tonight is the last class - looking forward to it!

August 24, 2015

Iceland Trip: Day 4

We were pretty exhausted after the previous day's adventure, so we got off to a slow start and went downtown to the National Gallery of Iceland, which had an exhibit of narrative art influenced by the Icelandic sagas. It was great!

Then we had a perfect lunch at Jómfrúin, which serves Danish open-faced sandwiches. It was one of those local places where everyone seemed to know what was happening but us, but we didn't care because the food was so good.














See the building across the pond there? Doesn't it look like a lovely museum? Well, it's not a museum. It's the City Hall. But nice people work there who won't make you feel stupid when you go in asking to buy a ticket, they will just point you in the right direction.

After finding the right museum and having that great lunch, we went back to the City Hall so that I could sketch from the big windows while it was sprinkling outside. This is all watercolor.



The City Hall also had a relief map of Iceland.

Here is more of downtown Reykjavik.



Back at the apartment, I did a sketch of the neighborhood. Earlier I had noticed that because it is often overcast, or because it's night but the sun is out, but it's not shining like it's noon in Memphis, there aren't strong shadows. That made the Pentel ink brush pen perfect for this sketch - everything was the same light tone.


August 23, 2015

Sketching at Memphis Made Last Night

I don't want you to think I only sketch on vacation! These are from last night. Yes, just last night!

We went to Memphis Made, then to Shannon & Brian's where there were a couple of sketch-worthy dogs. (I know. All dogs are sketch-worthy.)



Iceland Trip: Day 3

We were headed out on a tour of Iceland's Golden Circle, so I started the day with a warm-up sketch. The Golden Circle is a route from Reykjavik into central Iceland where you can see landmarks and geographical wonders.

Below the warm-up sketch is a sketch I started on the tour bus waiting for the tour to start. I began drawing another bus, just to guarantee that the tour would start and that I wouldn't get to finish my sketch. It worked.

The first stop was Thingviller National Park (the Th in the name is made with a different character in Icelandic, but I can't seem to copy and paste it in blogger without it messing up my formatting, so I suggest you google it), where the European and North American tectonic plates are both visible! It is also the site of Iceland's viking parliament, and apparently where they've filmed some episodes of Game of Thrones. We weren't there long enough for any sketches more than this one of the visitor center, but there are some pictures below.


Top left is they geyser Strokkur, and it's also the site of Geysir, the original geyser for which all geysers are named. It is currently dormant due to an earthquake.

The sketch on the right is Gullfoss, a waterfall that was Amazing. The wind and spray generated from it were so strong I thought that my sketchbook was going to go flying!

Here's another visitor center! And another little coffee cup back at the apartment.

That night we went to the suburbs of Reykjavik to visit Heather's parents' best friends, who had made us a lovely lobster soup for dinner.

At Thingviller. I have a thing for both rocks and long views.


That's the whole Ashley family down there, exploring Thingveller in the few minutes allowed by our tour.

Gullfoss, on the river Hvítá.