Our Memphis Urban Sketchers group recently got to go into the old Sears Crosstown building. It was a fabulous peek into a place that has loomed over my neighborhood for well more than my life, and I loved getting to draw inside it.
We weren't allowed to separate by the building's owners, however, so we all had to draw in set time periods as a group, and I felt rushed and not able to do my best work. The one above is my first one, and it's the only one I'm really pleased with.
In this one, I was drawn by the color of the sky through the windows, but it turns out that the space was too shallow to be interesting, and I didn't get enough contrast between light and dark in. If I'd had time to really look around and then paint, I think I could have done better, but it was a treat to be able to be in there at all.
The last two were done in about five minutes each, and they're interesting peeks into the building. The lamps in the cafeteria:
And a corner with a wagon and light falling on the floor (that I didn't get enough of into the frame):
Really the best thing I did, however unwittingly, all day, was model for my friend Matt Matthews' portraits of me painting. He brought his camera along with our group and got some amazing photos. You can see his photo stream of both the building itself and our group at work here.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.