Summer Sketch Book
Sorry I've been gone from here for a few days. It was crazy busy in Cape May, and the internet access was less than stellar. I'm now home and trying to catch up on everything.
I know a number of artists, many in the Memphis Urban Sketchers group, who are great about keeping personal sketch books. I've mostly painted on watercolor blocks instead, so I can exhibit the work I'm pleased with. However, I'm starting a new chapter in my life this year, and I decided to keep a sketch book of my summer to mark that transition. It's been fun to have it with me on my travels.
I started it in St. Louis a few weeks ago, when I went to the Twelfth Night production in Forest Park (above) and Circus Flora (below).
I also took it to Cape May. I was crazy busy doing watercolors for them most of the week, but the last couple of nights, I took a little time to paint for myself. Below is the view from the porch of my hotel, where I sat out for a bit most evenings to play banjo, relax, and watch the moon rise.
The great thing about a sketch book is that it is NOT intended for exhibition, so an artist is freer to play with materials and styles. I do think I get too tight when almost all of my work is possible show material. I really enjoyed playing with the idea of of doing part of a sketch in color but leaving parts of the drawing in just pencil as well. This isn't a style I'd worked in much in the past, and I had a lot of fun. I hope to keep playing with it.
My last night was up there quite near the full moon, and the moonrise over Victorian homes and power lines caught my eye as I was out for a walk. I put my butt cushion down on the sidewalk, up against a store front, and painted with the light shining out of the shop window to work by.
I'm noticing how much of the sketch book is about the moon. I seem more and more drawn to it each year. Below is a very quick sketch of the moon as I glimpsed it out the window before dawn the night of the super moon. I did the sketch from memory the next morning after I woke up for good and found the image was still dancing in my brain.
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Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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