Month: May 2018

Vajra Warrior

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On Sunday I had the opportunity to sketch at the Minneapolis Institute of Art with the Urban sketchers. I took only pencil because the museum doesn’t allow any wet mediums indoors. I missed my paints. After spending time outside sketching some hedges, another sketcher, and a metal statue, I went inside to see the Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty exhibit. Wow, stuff is OLD! I saw kimonos, intricate drawings of gardens, rivers, mountains, and people (one scroll was designed by a guy who finger painted with ink and also grew his fingernail long then cut prongs in it like a brush to apply ink). I sketched a replica of a tea house, and wandered around statues, vases, and more! I settled on theĀ  Vajra Warrior statue, from Japan, Muromachi Period. Mid-14th Century CE. The fun thing about statues is that they don’t move (unlike real people). So I studied the contours, values, and folds of fabric, and got to work. These warrior statues were used as guards for Buddhist temples, and they indeed looked quite fierce. I walked around the front of the statue after sketching it and its mouth was open with a snarl and you could imagine a fierce cry coming out of its lungs. That would have scared some people off!

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Meatballs at the ASI

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I am waiting to see if some of my urban sketches got selected for the Foodways exhibit at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I did three sketches in April, focused on food and culture, and decided to share them online this week. One of the sketches is the one above, of the restaurant FIKA. This restaurant is at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, and because I married into a Scandinavian family, I have been inundated over the years with all things Scandinavian. Which means some trips to the ASI (which is a really cool place). I went to the ASI on a cold blustery day with one intent: to SKETCH, then EAT the meatballs. I love looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows of FIKA (which is a word to describe a daily break in Sweden, which usually involves coffee, pastries, and conversation). I can see the Turnblad Mansion and admire its architecture. I had a fabulous cup of chai tea with lots of cardamom and the meatballs were divine, the best I’ve tasted. They were with a potato puree, cucumber sauce, and lingonberries, and the flavors swirled around in my mouth. I love those meatballs and could eat them anytime! Sketching food and culture is so much fun. Stay tuned for more to come!

Sketching at Minnehaha Falls

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Yesterday was a glorious day to be sketching at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. Parking was scarce, it seemed all of the Twin Cities were out at this extensive park biking, running, walking, pedaling trollies, and hanging out. I had a long walk to the falls themselves and enjoyed the budding trees as I sauntered along. I sketched the falls first, from the eyrie at ground level, as the water pounded and thundered in front of me and crashed on the rocks below. It is great to have this waterfall right in urban areas, and it is spectacular! I didn’t venture down the steps to view it from below, but I saw tiny people below in the distance. I found the group of sketchers hanging out in the shade by the Sea Salt restaurant, so I joined them. I sketched the piece above, as I watch bikers and people lined up for the pedal trollies. The place was packed, people were wandering around everywhere. After a bit, the sun was getting to me, so I packed up to walk back to my car. I stopped at the John H. Stevens house, the first settler in Minneapolis. I liked his statue, so decided to sketch it, the house, and the little outhouse in the corner. All in all, it was a relaxing, warm afternoon, and I enjoyed it very much!

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John H. Stevens House

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