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Drawing as thinking. Monkeys!

Drawing as thinking

A couple weeks ago I started a project where on my lunch break, I go the Art Institute of Chicago, stand in front of an artwork, and sketch it. I set out with this project to help improve my drawing skills, but instead I’m discovering another curious result. Sketching art is making me think. Sketching […]

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Rock pile architecture stands in Chicago at Franklin and Washing

Rock architecture in urban empty lot

Empty lots are fascinating. The natural growth that naturally occurs in the desolate, unattended land. Plants sprouting up, giving life. The fence sign declares no trespassing. Don’t even think about stepping foot onto this land. However, someone ignored this warning, climbed the fence, and stacked a rock pile. A little act of humanity in a […]

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130 North Franklin fenced empty lot at Franklin and Washington,

A little more permanent origami

While walking to the train in the light snow/rain, an empty lot with lots of rocks and plants always grabs my attention. This lot reminds me of the empty lot next to my apartment of 13 years. I have the urge to leave origami flowers in the chain link fence. But in the rain, those […]

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Sketch of van Gogh's "Fishing in Spring, the Pont de Clichy (Asn

My first sketch at an art museum

Sketching artwork in person at a museum is more of an experience than I imagined it to be. The enhanced observation, the nervousness. What to sketch? The decision on what to draw. With 5,267 items on display, what would be the first?! Lately, I’ve had an interest in gallery 241. Home to the van Gogh […]

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Chicago Picasso in the snow

Wipeout on the Picasso

Last year I was able to walk on the base of the Picasso sculpture in the snow. Only at the end did I slip a little. (Blog post, video) This morning a fresh blanket of snow covered Chicago, including the iconic statue by Pablo Picasso. I walked up to the Picasso to admire the beauty […]

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Busy city, quiet planter with finger-drawn snow graffiti

Drawing winterflowers in the snow

The light dusting of snow created wonderful canvases all over the city. One in particular I couldn’t pass up. A planter in the same plaza as the Chicago Picasso sculpture had a beautiful layer of cotton snow. The combination of the round planter with the snow formed a beautiful ringed canvas. No flowers in the […]

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Fun art museum security guards

Fun security guards at art museums

Ever come across a fun or interesting security guard at an art museum? Here’s my encounter with a security guard at the Art Institute of Chicago sharing her love of tiny details of paintings, encouraging visitors to get closer to the artworks. After spending about ten minutes with a post-impressionist painting, over to the right […]

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Armitage stop to explore Lincoln Park; new to the city and first week of school — what better time to explore the stretch of Victorian row homes in Old Town, grab a bite and head to the conservatory.

The shoes of Chicago by Vickey Tesmer

If you had to pick a pair of shoes that personifies you, what shoes would they be? Artist Vicky Tesmer created a series of fine watercolors depicting a variety of Chicagoans wearing their shoes. This exhibit, “Portrait of Chicago” is up in the Chicago Cultural Center until January 10, 2020. Rappers, students, surgeons, nurses, businessmen, […]

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Punching up the clarity, vibrance, and dehaze in Lightroom.

Photographing with a five-year-old iPhone

Most times your five-year-old iPhone works just fine as a camera. Today, I stepped off my train, and I looked up, the sunset nearly knocked me over. Whoa! So intense! I grabbed my iPhone from my pocket and snapped a few pics. Even though my iPhone 5s is well over five years old, it still […]

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