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Monday, May 26, 2014

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre
I had been interested in visiting F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre's resting place for some time, and finally found a good reason to as my sister told me their anniversary as coming up (the couple was married April 3rd 1920).  So the first weekend after we got ingredients together for some Gin Rickeys, drove out to Rockville, MD to a small church surrounded by commercial plazas and paid our respects.
We made a couple drinks for F. Scott and Zelda, but already there was a collection of pens, books, stones, flowers and coins left by other admirers with similar intentions.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cathedral Flower Mart

This weekend was the annual Flower Mart at the Washington National Cathedral.  Many vendors set up stands selling flowers and herbs and crafts (and food) on the Cathedral grounds, as well as activities for children.  I heard bagpipes and banjos while sketching (though thankfully not at the same time).
I felt particularly motivated to sketch the Cathedral again after meeting David Macaulay last week, author/illustrator of Cathedral and The Way Things Work, who was speaking at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.
I have loved his books since I was very small, and it was exciting to get to meet him, so I just had to go out and draw a cathedral today.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Process: Bayou Sketch

In urban sketching, the sketching process can be as unique as the location being sketched. Unlike a landscape painter, whom can set up an easel in the middle of a meadow and paint mountains at a leisurely pace for hours on end, urban sketching can sometimes allow for only minimal sketching timeframes. For my sketches, I carve a little time out of the little time I have for lunch, usually from ten to twenty minutes. To sketch complex buildings, like the Bayou building, located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood here in Washington, DC, I scope out a spot, figure out how much detail I can sketch in a single section, and identify a detail where I can finish up on one day, and then pick up on the next. As for the spot to sketch from, I need to remember the exact spot, which is usually something like "along the fence, third post in, left foot on the sidewalk crack." In this manner, my sketches can take days or weeks to finish, but this is urban sketching, and to take a little time away from spreadsheets, layouts, and intensive digital work in the middle of the day, then I'm quite fine with that!