Yesterday I spent a delightful afternoon soaking up sun with Metrosketchers at the Upper Landing Park in St. Paul. Located on Shepard Road/Eagle Parkway along the river, I have driven past it many times and didn’t know the treasures it held. I walked down the cement steps so I was on the walkway along the river and looked west. I was impressed by the barge elevator’s height, the brick building, and the parked barges. I’ve always wanted to sketch a barge, something about its shape, I think. So I settled down, facing into the sun and started my sketch. Here is the sketch with pen and I added watercolor to the sky and the gray building only.
A week ago we dug ourselves out of a blizzard. Sitting on that sidewalk in the baking sun, I was roasting after awhile. But it felt so good! I enjoyed listening to the boats, people walking by, and the lapping sounds of the water. I got off my stool and sat on the film of dry mud on the sidewalk so I could spread out my watercolors. I began adding color layer by layer, until I was pleased with the results. In the background is the High Bridge, which is currently under construction.
I had some time left, so I decided to look a different direction. My attention had been grabbed by the large brick house that sits at the railroad crossing at Eagle Parkway and further in the background, the St. Paul Cathedral. I liked the colorful signs, the railroad crossing, and all the action going on. While I sketched, a train pulled through the crossing and sat there several minutes. With loud thuds and clanks, it eventually got going again, and I could see what I was sketching again. I did the house first and then focused on the cathedral. I love its architecture, and many trees and buildings were in front of it, so I kept a large amount of white space in this sketch, to emphasize each building a bit. I was quite happy with this sketch too, and had a wonderful afternoon, complete with sun-burned wrists!