Here in Bryan, thunderstorms rumbled through at night, keeping pets and their owners awake. But after a night of little sleep on Friday, we got up early Saturday morning and drove to downtown Bryan. Fog and cool temperatures, made the landscape hazy and added a little feeling of mystery.
My sister, my grandson, and I loaded up the station wagon with our supplies for the day, and found The Frame Gallery downtown. We met Greta Watkins. and her beautiful dog, in the Gallery, and signed in there.
I suggested several interesting spots for sketching and we settled in front of the old Queen Theatre. Historic buildings, a barber shop in an old Lodge building, the Carnegie Library with a garden area and railroad tracks behind it, the LaSalle Hotel with a coffee shop that we thought might come in handy, and people on the streets were just some of the things that I had considered in thinking of where we might work. The old ice house at the end of the street was tempting, too. But our time was limited as my sister was planning to leave about noon.
My sister pulled out her plein aire painting equipment and set up in the landscaped median to work on a street scene.
My grandson and I set up a camping chair beside a bench at the old Palace Theatre (now an outdoor theatre, for those of you who are not local). We each had our sketchbooks, drawing pencils, pens, and I took along a pad of watercolor paper and my travel Winsor Newton watercolor set.
Several people stopped to see what my sister was painting. And we had quite a few people passing by on the sidewalk in front of us, including a young man who was enjoying his skate board and cell phone on a Saturday morning.
We drew to the cooing of Mourning Doves and watched the antics of tiny Sparrows on the sidewalk, and the fluttering of Pigeons among the buildings. Traffic noises were minimal on the wide streets. Chimes from the churches downtown added to the peaceful mood.
My grandson was interested in eating ham and cheese kolaches and in his latest toy of choice-light sabres from "Star Wars". So, with all that was around us, he drew a light sabre. He was also up late the night before, which usually makes him a bit on the negative side the next day. And I was so sleepy, I felt like it was all a dream and just couldn't wait until I could close my eyes. Still, it was very pleasant to be downtown Bryan, as always.
Some years ago, I was fortunate in being able to share studio space with several other artists near the Old Post Office and the Episcopal Church. It was such a peaceful place to work, especially early in the morning, I thought.
I sketched a building that was once a bank and now has a sandwich shop downstairs. A large clock in the median was also interesting as were the street lights. On top of the building, was a large American flag.
I also did getsture drawings of the boy and his skateboard, as well as a bit of the barber shop and the crown on the Queen sign.
I planned to do a sketch of the wide street, with the ice house at the end, but I couldn't see the building from our location. Instead, I sketched part of the LaSalle Hotel and the Howell building.
I did the buildings on watercolor paper, in pencil, but didn't have time to use any color. Those are ready to paint, now. I did the people in my sketchbook with a #314 Draughting pencil.
By then, it was time to leave. We checked in at the Frame Gallery, and showed what we did.
We learned that there was a mother and daughter team from Robertson County out sketching, also.
My grandson sat down on a couch and fell in love with the dog. It seemed to be mutual. Now that was a picture, with the dog's head in his lap. Of course, he now wants a sweet dog like that. Unfortunately, we forgot to get the camera out, so we just had our sketches to record the day.
As we left downtown, we saw the ladies from Robertson county sketching, and passed another who seemed to be standing up while drawing.
My sister left, and I came in and took a short nap. (My eyes were just closing!) My intention was to go out sketching again in the afternoon to the lake at the Municipal Golf Course, to the County Fair in its new home at the new Expo Center, to the Vet School Open House, or just along my street where the Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets are blooming. But, "the Sandman" just wouldn't let me keep my eyes open any longer.
Later, I decided to darken up some of my sketches before I scanned them.
I noticed on the Sketch Crawl forum where people are posting their work, that there are some maps that show where people were from, and also some groups showed where they were sketching. Some had really great photos! (What hardy souls they are in places like Sweden, where they were outside sketching while there was still snow! )
From the map, it looked like there were people working in over 50 different locations around the world.
I decided that I needed to add a bit more to my sketches, so I did a little cartoon map of where we went, finished a sketch of my sister working, and the women who we saw sketching, and thought about doing a sketch of my grandson with his blue hooded sweater, sitting in a blue chair. (So many pictures, so little time!)
My sister's oil painting was wet, but she is going to send me a photo of what she did to add online.
The other local people could add their work to mine, but, unfortunately, I don't know who they are, or how to contact them. So, if you know them, you might let them know that I will post their pictures for them, or they can do it themselves, if they want to. It isn't required, but it would be nice to know who participated and see what they worked on.
Now that we know more about the Sketch Crawl , and have tried one, maybe we can get something going to involve more people in this area. The next one, the 19th Sketch Crawl, should be in another 2 or 3 months. I'll let you know. And you can be sure to check their website, register, and do the crawl where you are. I'll have a link in my sidebar , you can do a search for Sketch Crawl, or click on http://www.sketchcrawl.com/ .
After I get my pictures posted on this blog, I will work on posting them on the Sketch Crawl site. I still have to figure that out.
Anyway, the Sketch Crawl is really a fun idea and I hope that you will join in the next one. (Plan now!)
I used to enjoy taking my students out to sketch. In one elementary school, we would load up several buses and take the kids down to the harbor where several boats had washed up during a hurricane. I never had time to draw myself, but was busy with the students. I think they enjoyed it, too, and many of them had some excellent art work as a result of those trips.