I've been working hard to get all the different categories illustrated for the Memphis Magazine City Guide. Above is an overall view of the skyline (maybe for the table of contents). Bonnie Hopkins, a Loyola art student and assistant at MCA this summer, went downtown with me Saturday afternoon to draw from Mud Island. We found a picnic table to work from (great comfort compared to my normal urban sketching on the sidewalk) and had a great visit while we worked. It was a very social and creative day for me, with the Memphis Urban Sketchers that morning and Bonnie's company all afternoon.
I also got permission to paint inside Brooks with my watercolors. I'd been wanting to paint the rotunda, and working for the City Guide issue seemed like a great opportunity. There's an arts section, and music is already pretty well represented in my illustrations, so I thought I'd plug my own area of visual arts instead.
Brooks allows sketching with pencils only during their regular hours, but they kindly invited me to come paint on an off day for this project. Since they regularly serve drinks at special events in this space, I didn't feel too bad asking for special treatment for my small palette cups. (It's a marble floor as well -- very little possibility for serious damage.)
It was a challenging subject, but also a lot of fun. And I liked that I could get in different forms of art -- the main sculpture, a framed painting and photograph on the left, and a peek at the ancient art collection on the mezzanine floor. It seemed like a good scene for "The Arts" section.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
Get occasional studio email updates.