I sketched the Hanrahan bridge from the Arkansas side for the Memphis Daily News this week. The new pedestrian crossing is a great addition to Memphis (though the trains come by so close to you that I don't think I can take my usual four-legged walking buddy, since he's still nervous around even skateboards). They're working on trails on the Arkansas side so people can extend their walks and bike rides a bit as well.
Above is the watercolor I did for the paper. I took a photo of it halfway through, with just the fountain pen line work and sky. If I'd been doing it for myself, I think I would have stopped there. I tried again, quickly, in my journal once I was done, but I think I got the sky too dark for it to balance well. I've been enjoying drawing with a fountain pen again, though. I'd kind of forgotten to for a while and have fallen in love with it again this fall.
I just hung Celestial Paris, my show at Playhouse on the Square through the end of the year. It's a whole passel of my on site watercolors I did in Paris, plus oils on paper and a handful of carved prints based on them. Whitney Jo always gives me the huge wall because she knows I'll get obsessive and fill it up. Six weeks' worth of beautiful weather in Paris certainly helped that. I hung in groupings of different areas around the city, and sky studies were an ongoing theme of the summer.
Here are the block prints I did. I meant to do more but got distracted by the oils instead, for the first time in a long time. Skies are just fun in oil, though.
And here is my set of sky studies with Montparnasse. I was playing with the idea of 25 Views of Montparnasse, loosely following Hokusai's Mt. Fiji project, showing the tower from different angles and distances. There are also plenty from my apartment window with the solid form acting as a nice foil for all the different stunning skies I saw.
There is a small set of Amsterdam watercolors I haven't gotten on the wall yet (with the reception still a couple of weeks away and no play going on at the moment, I've allowed myself a "soft opening" at the end of a very busy month), but those will also be up in the next few days. The reception will be Friday, November 18, 5-6:30 pm.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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