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Saturday, January 24, 2015

SketchCrawl @ Franciscan Monastery on 11.8.14

Here's a sketch of one of the recreated grottos at the Franciscan Monastery near the campus of the Catholic University of America.
 FranciscanMonastery 

and a visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden 
Orchids

SketchCrawl @ SAAM / NPG on 1.4.14

I joined up with a dozen or so local sketchers for a SketchCrawl at my favorite museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. We met up in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard and began sketching there. SAAMcourtyard
We visited the contemporary art galleries, I had fun working with scale - framing the sketchers and art with other art. SAAMcontGALLERY2 SAAMcontGALLERY

Monday, January 19, 2015

6 Year Old Children's Chapel Washington National Cathedral


This altar is located in the 6 Year Old Children's Chapel at the Washington National Cathedral which is a very spiritual as well as historical place here in Washington DC. The scale of this chapel is very friendly and designed for children of that age as well as full of Gothic architectural/sculptural details. This is the most peaceful and ornamented small chapel I had ever visited. In the altar we can find very ornamented bible story telling sculptures from angels, saints, Virgin Mary to Jesus. I must say during that day the quire was singing very angelical melodies that for a moment music, architecture, spirituality and sketching were all in harmony. 2.5 hrs Black Ink on White Paper.
#washingtonnationalcathedral  #childrenschapel  #washingtondc  #usk  #usa

Monday, January 12, 2015

Eastern Market Washington DC


During the 45th World Wide SketchCrawl we visited the Eastern Market in Washington DC which is located east of Capitol Hill in the historic neighborhood with the same name. This is a beautiful public market in operation since 1873 and is a place for food products commerce as well as art. This 19th century brick building is full of wonderful details and is one of the few landmarks in the city in which the main entrance has the name of the architect that designed this magnificent place- Adolf Cluss. It was a very warm fall sunny day and there were so many great aromas of fresh food as well as colorful beautiful works of art. It took me 2.5 hrs and I used black ink on white paper. #Easternmarketwashingtondc #EasternMarket #washingtondc #usa

Monday, December 15, 2014

The General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial



The General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial is located in front of the U.S. Capitol facing the Lincoln Memorial at the opposite site of the Washington DC National Memorial Mall Parks.  Grant during the U.S. civil war (1861 to 1865) was a 4 stars General  that served under the commands of President Abraham Lincoln in order to preserve the Union.  With his armies Grant helped to defeat the traitors slaving forces of the confederacy.  Later on Grant became President of the U.S.   This collage sketch took several hours during several days in different locations.  I did the equestrian statue during a warm sunny late November afternoon which is very unusual and there were diverse groups of people enjoying the memorial.  During the following week after work I sketched a map of the Mall near the Smithsonian "Castle".  Few days later I was working out in the Join Army & Marines base Fort Myers in Arlington, VA and there were few soldiers practicing a civil war demonstration.  I had the opportunity to sketch the style of flag that the Union Soldiers  carried to battle as well as the symbols for a 4 stars General.  The purpose of this sketch is to learn from the past as well as to investigate the history of great individuals that sacrificed for the U.S.  Equestrian Statue 2.0 hrs, Smithsonian Map 1.5 hrs, and Union Soldiers Practice Demonstration 1hr.  Total 4.5hrs Black Ink on White Paper.          

Sunday, December 14, 2014

NIH Community Orchestra

The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD sponsors a Community Orchestra that performs in the D.C. area. Many of the musicians are employees at the NIH, or their friends and relations. For this year's winter concert, they performed selections from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite, Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave, Kalinnikov's Symphony No. 1, and selections from Handel's Messiah (including the Hallelujah Chorus). I got there a little early and got to sketch them while they practiced - then finished the sketch during the actual performance.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bruton Parish

Bruton Parish Church

Bruton Parish Church, in Colonial Williamsburg (about 3 hours from D.C.) has been in continuous use as a church since 1715. Many of the Founding Fathers, including Jefferson, Washington, Mason, and Henry once worshiped here, and it is still an active Episcopal congregation today.

This month, the church is hosting a different choir every night for a candlelight concert series. On Friday night, my dad's church choir from Winchester, Virginia sang Christmas songs to start off the season. The whole family came down to support him and enjoy the music in this space. My sister and I are both William and Mary graduates, so we all used to spend a lot of time together in Williamsburg, and it was fun to do that again - and show off Colonial Williamsburg and the College to my nephews.
Candlelight Concert
Bruton Parish from a visit in 2009

Monday, November 3, 2014

Capitol Hill Neighborhood

I am now working as a graphic designer for Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Here is a promotional map I created using sketches from the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Autumn in Reston

The community I live in, Reston, is planned around a group of man-made lakes, in the suburbs of D.C.  Fall is one of my favorite times of year here - I enjoy going on walks in the afternoon, with the wind in the leaves, the smell of wood fires, and (usually) a stop at Starbucks, conveniently located about 3/4 of the way around the lake. This afternoon was no exception.

I've been trying lately to focus more on color than just line, working primarily with the brush, and pulling out the pen only at the end to put in shadows and details.  I'm not terribly comfortable with the brush-first approach yet, but I've been trying to learn from other sketchers like Kumi and João and Behzad, and it's been a fun experiment - though I still have a lot to learn.

Friday, October 24, 2014

a walk down 2nd St SE in Canal Park

I've been enjoying the good weather on weekends in October and have completed a set of 5 panoramic drawings that describe a walk down 2nd St, along the west side of Canal Park, from its intersection at K St, walking north to Bridge Spot, the skate-park under 695 near Garfield Park.

cropped-9.22.banner.jpg 10.5.14pan4blog 10.12.14pan4blog 10.17.14pan4blog 10.18.14pan4blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eastern Market

For the 45th World Wide Sketchcrawl the D.C. Sketchers met at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. The market is housed in a 19th century brick building, and on weekends you can find food, art, crafts, and all sorts of things at the nearby flea market. The building was gutted by fire in 2007, but was rebuilt in 2009 and is now a bustling place.

While I was sketching, I met Alvin, a photographer working on a project called People in This City. He takes portraits of people he finds and asks them a few questions - and shares the conversations online. The result is an interesting cross-section of the life of the city.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Great Falls National Park


At the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Paraty, Kiah Kiean did a wonderful demo showing how he sketches using a dry twig and Chinese ink - after which, he gave each of us a sharpened twig from his front yard, and a little ink to try it on our own. Since coming home, I've been wanting to go out and try this in my neighborhood.

I went hiking in Great Falls National Park today with a few friends, and they humored me while I stopped to sketch. I thought the rocks and the falls might make a good subject to try out the dry twig technique on. I decided to add watercolor when I got home - while Kiah's sketches stand alone in black and white, I haven't quite mastered value the way he has, and I thought I needed some color for contrast.

The visitors' centers in the National Parks sell these little 'passport' booklets that you can use to keep track of what parks you've visited, and each park has its own stamp you can use in the passport. I don't have one of the booklets, but I sometimes stamp my sketchbook (if I remember, and can find the stamp). After stamping my Mather Gorge sketch, though, I noticed that someone had dialed the date on the stamp to "Oct 44 2014". Thanks for that.