Monday, December 26, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
This pretty building, on the southeast corner of Georgetown's square, owes its charm, at least in part, to the Main Street Project. In 1982, Georgetown, Texas, was chosen to be an official Main Street City and took part in the Texas Main Street Program (which is ongoing). This program focuses on "downtown revitalization, within the context of historical preservation." One of the four points of Main Street's approach is design, including storefronts, signage, landscaping and public spaces. Any changes made to downtown buildings must obtain the approval of the Main Street board. I love that Georgetown's citizens can exercise their minds and bodies in these quaint surroundings!!!
Platinum sepia ink and watercolor in my handmade sketchbook.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Hello all, I'm Jim Richards. I'm based in Fort Worth and the co-founder of an urban design consultancy called Townscape, where my partner and I creates plans for old town centers, new town centers, urban villages and transit-oriented developements. As a landscape architect, my focus is on the connective tissue between buildings, where the life of great cities takes place. Freehand sketching is at the heart of my creative process and a signature element of our firm's work.
My first on-location sketching was done as a landscape architecture student at LSU back in the 1970s. My early career involved design drawing on an almost daily basis, but I didn't return to location sketching with gusto until I began traveling around the world to study cities and projects in 1999. I now travel quite frequently for work and pleasure (visiting and sketching 32 countries so far), and sketching has become an integral part of the travel experience for me as well as my primary creative tool at work. I enthusiastically promote freehand sketching through magazine articles, lectures and hands-on workshops at universities across the country and abroad, and I'm currently working on my first book, Freehand Drawing Renaissance, due from Wiley Press in January 2013.
I became a member of Urban Sketchers back in March of 2010, and was a lecturer at the 2nd International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Lisbon in August 2011. The Lisbon experience was amazing, and inspired me to enlist some regional talent to start Urban Sketchers Texas! I'm really looking forward to watching our network of sketchers grow and become a source of inspiration and encouragement for creative professionals and recreational sketchers alike.
flickr site: www.flickr.com/photos/jamesrichardsdrawings
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Dos Salsas (translation: two sauces . . . roja and verde or red and green) is the premier Tex-Mex restaurant in Georgetown. As a matter of fact, according to Urban Spoon, it is the most popular restaurant in town. It certainly gets my vote! Pretty much on a weekly basis. . . usually for enchiladas suizas . . .
I arrived early for dinner with a friend the day I sketched the fountain (tucked into a corner of the parking lot, between the Dos Salsas catering truck and a loooong bench for the usual customer overflow . . . not a lot of space for landscaping . . . this used to be a Dairy Queen!). The water was turned off, but the steady stream of birds (mostly grackles) seemed to be enjoying it immensely. As a matter of fact, even though it was a little chilly and getting on to evening, one brave grackle helped himself to a serious bath . . . a whole lot of "splishing and splashing" went on!!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
occupied and rebuilt by five different governments; Spanish, French, British, Confederate and finally, American.
During the American and Confederate years the fort was home to 19 cannons like the one I've sketched here. If you're ever in the neighborhood, it is well worth a visit!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Every November in an arena at a local Trader's Village (a sort of flea market) a Native American Pow Wow is held. I took S and one of his buddies a couple of years and ago and knew I needed to go back this year to sketch it. There were Pawnee, Cherokee, Alabama Coushatta and many other groups from around the U.S.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
An annual Veteran's Day project at my son's jr. high school honors veteran's with this display. Each 8th grader interviews and makes a poster about a veteran they know personally. All the posters are laminated and hung on "clotheslines" running between the trees in front of their school. The display hangs for a week. There are hundreds of them. I spent some time this morning reading the posters, it really brings home the fact that we all have a link to the armed forces who serve for our benefit. It is a touching tribute. While there were plenty of grandfathers, and a few grandmas, there are a large number of men and women who are currently serving. God bless them all. This sketch is just a small portion of the display.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
. . . and its "onion dome." The Old Masonic Building, constructed in 1900, has quite a history. In addition to its intended purpose, it has served as a post office, and most recently the lower floors have housed restaurants (first Chinese, then two different Italian, and finally a restaurant and bar. . . the space is now sadly vacant), while the upper floors are used as offices.
The building is on the square, on the corner, with lovely views from the second story balcony (just beyond the trees). The dome is quite iconic!!!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Right on the square, in the middle of our bustling downtown, this little "homegrown" gem is perfection!! In addition to excellent coffee and a light menu, there is a rotating assortment of local art on the walls, and an "open mic night" every Friday, with a featured guest. A wonderful cross-section of Georgetown can be found hanging out here at any hour!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Our group was small, but mighty. We sketched at a big Farmer's Market in the Heights just north of Downtown Houston. The weather was clear and pleasant to start but warmed up plenty by quitting time. I had the best little perch on a display of mops tucked in a corner drawing these vendors. A little old Mexican woman just kept busy tending her wares the whole time. A few passer-bys checked on what I was doing and the booth owner was very nice to let me sit there. I got a nice bag of fajita seasoning from her. This is probably the best smelling place I have ever sketched. Between the fruit and veggies, herbs and fresh baking smell from the panaderia across the street.
It was a warm and summery day on the square in Georgetown for the 33rd World Wide Sketchcrawl. Our crew of sketchers was "little but loud," as we commandeered a bench in the shade, loaded up on bottled water, and sketched the view before us. We shared the area with artists from all over the United States, who were selling their wares at Georgetown Art Works' Art Hop. This particular tent had framed hammered copper pieces on offer.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
A small but enthusiastic sketchcrawl group had a great morning of sketching in downtown Lubbock today! We decided to all sketch the Old Pioneer Hotel, a local landmark that is currently being restored. Originally opened as the Lubbock Hotel in 1929, She has survived both the 1970 Lubbock tornado(which struck downtown) and urban flight...She is indeed "sketch-worthy"!
Friday, October 14, 2011
The sketch was done on location with pen and ink with watercolor.
Or, since this is Texas - "World Wide Sketch Drawl"
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Hope to see you there! -Jim
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
On Saturday the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft celebrated it's 10th anniversary. D, S and I have enjoyed many openings and exhibits in the wonderful space at HCCC over the years. (as observers not exhibitors) The weather was cooler and of course clear, on account of the drought, so we headed into town to check it out.Cool Dr. Butter carved ice sculptures with a chain saw, spraying ice shavings over a shrieking audience of kids. He even carved an ice beer mug, filled it with beer, and handed it off too, the ultimate frosty mug.I visited with a lady that was dying fabric with plant roots and spinning cotton boles into cotton thread. How could I not have a pocket pie from a food truck called "Oh My Pocket Pie" for lunch? Unfortunately, I was too full when the ice cream truck rolled in dispensing FREE ICE CREAM to jump in on that gig. S on the other hand was skulking around trying to figure out how to get round 2 on the ice cream, and that is after he had already decorated and eaten a chocolate cupcake at the Sprinkles booth.
The HCCC is just part of the museum district in Houston, within walking distance of the Contemporary Art Museum, Hou. Museum of Fine Art, Children's Museum, Holocaust Museum, Museum of Natural History and the Zoo.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Georgetown, county seat of Williamson County, has a beautiful courthouse with a somewhat stormy past. Built in 1910, the courthouse has undergone several major and sometimes disastrous renovations. The 1966 "renovation" destroyed many of the key architectural features that identified the building as Neoclassical Revival architecture. Fortunately, in 2006-2007, for a tidy sum of $6 million, the courthouse was restored to its original glory. It's a venerable old structure, beautiful inside and out!!!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
That was the scene unfolding nearly a century ago. The Panhandle South Plains Fair was drawing city and country folk together and helping Lubbock earn the nickname "Hub of the Plains" - an improvement over "the city that shouldn't be," as Lubbock was originally called, because of its isolated location and lack of major cross country highway links. The Fair and the city have grown almost simultaneously since those humble beginnings. Today, the Panhandle-South Plains Fair is known as "The Granddaddy of West Texas Fairs," and ranks second only to Dallas's State Fair of Texas in attendance and continuous history.
The first Fair was held in the fall of 1914. There were no fairs held during the World War II years of 1942-45. The annual extravaganza of today bears little resemblance to the first Fair, but one tradition remains firmly intact: the goal of the Fair, which is to strengthen community ties within our region and promote growth and prosperity throughout Lubbock and its surrounding communities.
The Trinity Trail is pretty quiet early on a weekday morning, and it offers some spectacular views of the downtown skyline. At this particular vantage point, park planners noted the fortunate juxatpositioning of the skyline with this wonderfully crafted old bridge, and planted a park bench at this fortuitous location, making it a natural for sitting and sketching the view. The sun was rising off to the right, casting a purple hue on the buildings and causing light to glint off the metal bridge--a brief but special moment to be captured with speed and luck.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
This sketch was done in pen and ink(Namiki Falcon fountain pen w/black Carbon Ink)...watercolor wash added later at home. Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. Apologies...not exactly urban!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Richard Serra's "Vortex" is a fantastic icon and sentinal for Fort Worth's Cultural District, and complements the horizontal architecture of the Museum of Modern Art beautifully. Also great sound effects when you jump, clap or shout on the inside! This sketch was done pretty quickly in an 8x12in. Moleskine watercolor sketchbook with unipin fine line permanent ink pen, then washed over with watercolor. I threw a little table salt on the blue sky while still wet for some added interest. When I added the dark shadow I thought I'd ruined the drawing, but once dry it made a big difference in the liveliness of the sketch.