Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cozy . . . Charming . . . Cianfrani Coffee Company

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

Sketching The Buddy Holly Center

No visit to Lubbock is complete without a stop at the Buddy Holly Center in the historic Depot Entertainment District.  Housed in the old Ft. Worth and Denver South Plains Rail depot building, the Center features a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and music of Buddy Holly.  It showcases unique memorabilia donated by the family, friends and fans of Lubbock’s favorite son. The Center also houses the Texas Musicians Hall of Fame and the Lubbock Fine Arts Gallery.  Visitors from far and wide love to pose for a quick photograph next to the the iconic metal sculpture of Buddy's trademark horn-rimmed glasses.  
I sketched this on location in pen and ink with watercolor added later in the studio.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oct 15 - 33rd World Wide Sketch Crawl: Houston

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.

33rd World Wide Sketchcrawl, Georgetown Style!!

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.

We had a grand time and even achieved minor celebrity status as we were photographed and chatted with by several interested groups!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pioneer Hotel-Downtown Lubbock, Texas...a grand ole gal coming back to life!

The landmark Pioneer Hotel, which opened as The Lubbock Hotel, was built in two stages.  The building stood six stories when it first opened in 1929. The remaining five stories were added in the early 1930s.

The 83-year-old maiden - who still casts a large shadow in downtown Lubbock - has proven again that age-old adage they don't build them like the used to.
Inside this 11-story structure, where tons of structural steel meet even more concrete, construction workers toil away - framing dozens of luxury condominiums while working to preserve and restore the Pioneer's memory-filled ballroom, lobby and historical mortar artwork.  On the third floor, work crews have been busy restoring the original ballroom that will contain both a banquet area and service facility.
Restoration efforts are also taking place on the ground lobby floor area, where an original staircase leading to the ballroom will be given a makeover and where new retail space will be opened.  "There are just some incredible views since we opened this up with nice ceiling heights and solid concrete between the floors," said Mike McDougal of McDougal Properties about the $10 million-plus project.
McDougal eventually intends to construct three - three-bedroom units; 20 - two bedroom units; and four - one-bedroom units ranging in size from 900 square feet up an eye-popping penthouse measuring 2,800 square feet.

33rd Worldwide Sketchcrawl in Lubbock

 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"!

Great day for a Sketchcrawl!

After putting out the call for sketchers to come to Fort Worth for the 33rd Worldwide Sketchcrawl, I had no idea how many might actually turn out.  After all, Urban Sketchers Texas is barely a month old, and we were competing with college football and the most beautiful afternoon in recent memory.  I was delighted when a dozen sketchers convened to compare sketchbooks, and I met two more who had to leave before "show and tell."  Not bad for a first outing!  Here's my sketch for the afternoon, drawn while perched on a curb at the corner of N. Main and Exchange Streets.  Really looking forward to our next outing!  -Jim

33rd Worldwide Sketchcrawl in the Fort Worth Stockyards

A dozen sketchers converged on the Stockyards National Historic District for an afternoon of sketching the visual carnival of cows, cowboys, bikers, turistas, amazing signs and a plethora of historic buildings, followed by "show and tell" and beverages at the venerable White Elephant Saloon.  Many thanks to Rhonda Fields for encouraging her students from U of Texas at Arlington to come out...and thanks to all for making it a fantastic day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial

The Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial was dedicated in 2003.  It is the largest veterans war memorial in the United States outside of Washington, DC.   It was built by a dedicated group of volunteers and it's construction cost of over a million and a half dollars was raised through the sale of engraved bricks and private donations.  My dad and uncle's bricks are in the panel to the far right....

The sketch was done on location with pen and ink with watercolor.

Sketch Crawl Houston

Or, since this is Texas - "World Wide Sketch Drawl"
Hey sketchers come on down.
We'll meet in the front at 9, make a plan for the day and go from there.
Canino Produce Farmers Market
at 9 a.m. 2520 Airline Drive 77009
We will park across the street in their lot.
Anyone of any age or skill level who wishes to participate is welcome! We will chat briefly; disperse to sketch, reconvene to share sketchbooks and for a group photo,... then lunch?
P.S. Bring your own sketching supplies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Congrats to Urban Sketchers Singapore!

Congratulations to our Urban Sketchers family in Singapore, producing an exhibition of the group's work and an accompanying book that will be released Oct 21...VERY cool! 

33rd Worldwide Sketchcrawl in Fort Worth!

Here's the call for DFW area sketchers (and aspiring sketchers!) to meet at 2pm October 15th in the Fort Worth Stockyards to participate in the 33rd Worldwide Sketchcrawl. We will meet in front of LOVE SHACK, 110 E. Exchange Avenue, near the Stockyards gateway sign. Anyone of any age or skill level who wishes to participate from across the Metroplex or beyond is welcome! We will chat briefly; disperse to sketch the amazing (and sometimes bizarre) visual treasures of the Stockyards, reconvene around 4:30 to share sketchbooks and for a group photo, then adjourn for social time.

Hope to see you there! -Jim

Saturday, October 8, 2011

33rd World Wide Sketchcrawl in Lubbock, Next Saturday, October 15!!! A Call to Sketch

The newly formed Urban Sketchers of Texas is sending out a call for all Lubbock sketchers of ALL skill levels. The occasion? The 33rd World Wide Sketchcrawl . . . this coming Saturday, October 15th!!! We will meet at Starbuck's, University and Glenna Goodacre Blvd., at 10:00AM. before sketching (all you really need is something to draw with and something to draw on!) around downtown Lubbock and the Depot District. Then, we'll regroup at 1 p.m. at the Cactus theater to take a group shot and to socialize/eat lunch. It's very informal, and it'll be GREAT FUN. Everyone is welcome. You KNOW you want to be there!!!

33rd World Wide Sketchcrawl in Georgetown, Next Saturday, October 15!!! A Call to Sketch!

The newly formed Urban Sketchers of Texas is sending out a call for all Georgetown sketchers of ALL skill levels. The occasion? The 33rd World Wide Sketchcrawl . . . this coming Saturday, October 15th!!! We will meet in front of Cianfrani Coffee Company, 109 West 7th Street, at 1:30 p.m., before sketching (all you really need is something to draw with and something to draw on!) around the beautiful and historic Georgetown square. Then, we'll regroup at 4 p.m. to take a group shot and to socialize. It's very informal, and it'll be GREAT FUN. Everyone is welcome. You KNOW you want to be there!!!

Cool saturday morning in the Depot District

 Enjoyed a nice morning sketch down in Lubbock's Depot District.  This area south of downtown Lubbock has developed in recent years into a vibrant "night-spot".  Named because of it's proximity to the old train depot(now the Buddy Holly Center), the area encompasses several city blocks of former industrial/agricultural retail stores, offices, warehouses and machine shops.  People are now attracted to the district for it's retaurants, clubs, theaters and art galleries.  After a hopping friday night of football weekend(Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M) revelry, the only "happening" place this morning is Brown's Barbershop!  Brown's is a long time fixture on Buddy Holly Avenue and Richard Brown stubbornly refuses to join the mass retail exodus to southwest Lubbock.  Three chairs...no appointments!  Just grab a copy of Field and Stream, enjoy some barbershop talk and wait your turn!

On location pen and ink w/watercolor wash

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dr Butter and Pocket Pies

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.

Kimbell Art Museum expansion

Fort Worth's venerable Kimbell Art Museum is undergoing an expansion that will more than double the amount of gallery space. Much of the new space will be underground, and the entire site is shrouded in a blue construction fence, so it is hard for passers-by to see much of the progress. But this is my neighborhood; I walk the dog past the museum every morning, and I enjoy the ever-changing juxtapositioning of the construction cranes with the 1936 Will Rogers Pioneer Tower.

Monday, October 3, 2011

33rd Worldwide SketchCrawl - Houston Oct 15

33rd Worldwide Sketch Crawl Houston will be sketching on the 15th of October. Check out the forum at http://www.sketchcrawl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=6911 and let us know you'll be joining us. The location is still up for discussion, so check in to get the details. See ya there, Judith.

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Welcome to Georgetown, Texas!!!!!

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!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Let's go to the fair!

"Horses and wagons line the dirt roads of Lubbock - a fledgling city incorporated only five years ago but already boasting a population of approximately 2,000. Farmers gather around the town square, comparing prize pumpkins and sheaves of grain, discussing farming methods and the prospects offered by the wide open spaces in fertile West Texas. Their wives and children mingle nearby, making new friends, swapping home remedies and recipes, playing games - generally in awe of the sights and sounds of "the big city."
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.
From:  http://www.southplainsfair.com/pages/about/history.php

Good Morning Fort Worth!

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.