Sunday, April 21, 2013

Memorial Park

As we know, the drought has killed a lot of trees in Texas and Memorial Park is pretty hard hit. It's one thing to read that the city will cut down about 5,000 trees. To actually see what that means is another thing altogether. I went for a walk on one of the multi-use trails on the south side of the park. In some places spring had brought green lush foliage and things looked almost normal. In others, however the whole area was cleared and the great mountains of brown debris and sad stumps told the tale. Earth movers have made mountains of branches and stumps and bark where the city has been working. Little green understory plants have popped up in some of the cleared areas. I can only hope we have a wetter summer than is currently predicted. The Memorial Park Conservancy has plans to replant, but those babies will need water!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quality Time

On Saturday my daughter asked if we could spend the day sketching together. So, while the big get-together was going on downtown (and that was an amazing turnout!) we were enjoying the quietude of a sleepy little neighborhood in the Historic Southside District.

Our stretch of May Street only recently reopened after a complete resurfacing and we didn't even have to contend with street traffic.

The traditional and the not-so

World Wide Sketch Crawl in Houston took me down to Hermann Park south of downtown. I have been to this park since I was a child. I am the 2nd oldest of 8 kids in my family so inexpensive entertainment was always a priority. On summer evenings when I was young, my parents took us to Hermann Park's large amphitheatre to see live musicals. I particularly remember the performance of "South Pacific" with a huge procession of actors coming down the hill carrying torches and even a dive off a cliff into a pool of water mystified me.
This weekend was the annual Japanese Festival. I had never been to the festival or to the Japanese Garden part of the park. I only ran into one other sketcher. ?! Part of the festival had the typical rows of tents selling trinkets and food. The stage had performances including Taiko drummers, which I always enjoy. But two colorful parts of the event that 'drew' my interest were the Vocaloids and the tent for dressing in a Yukata, which is a summer weight kimono. Vocaloids are mostly teens, girls and guys dressed as manja characters. They dress in brilliant colored fantastical wigs, some reaching below their hips and colorful cartoonish outfits. These three teens, watched over closely by their mamas, were very popular, teen boys wanted to have their picture taken with them. The girls played music on their phone and danced along in cartoony poses.
At the Yukata tent was a long row of beautiful kimonos with sashes, sandals and hair decorations. For $5 you could get outfitted and stroll around in the gardens for 20 minutes. I thought that was a tremendous bargain. Of course there was a lot of picture taking. All through the garden they teetered around on the wooden sandals.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

39th Worldwide Sketchcrawl-Salado, Texas

This sketchcrawl weekend found me on a craft retreat in Salado with only a little time for sketching. However, the town is charming and I did manage to get out on Saturday and record just a bit of it. This is a bicycle fence, which is a small-town phenomenon I hadn't heard of. Very cute. And this is the pedestrian footbridge over Salado Creek. The weather was gorgeous and the bluebonnets were out, but it was a busy weekend!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

39th Worldwide SketchCrawl in Fort Worth!

A BIG turnout for the 39th Worldwide SketchCrawl in Fort Worth!  This was our first downtown outing, organized by Urban Sketchers Texas, Downtown Fort Worth Inc., AIA Fort Worth and several sketching friends; the weather was amazing! Everyone agreed this should be a monthly event...stay tuned!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sketch Crawl Houston - Japanese Festival

This weekend's Houston location for participating in the WW Sketch Crawl will be at the Japanese Festival in Hermann Park!
Date:   April 13 (Saturday)                  
Time: Saturday 10:00 –
Place:  Hermann Park 
6000 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77030
FREE Admission
Check the SketchCrawl website forum for updates and meeting location.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fort Worth Sketchcrawl Saturday April 13

Urban Sketchers Texas and Downtown Fort Worth Inc. are sending out a call for sketchers (and aspiring sketchers!) to meet at 10 am April 13th at Burnett Park (501 W. 7th Street )in Downtown Fort Worth to participate in the 39th Worldwide SketchCrawl.

WHAT IS IT? Worldwide SketchCrawl ( takes the idea of a pub crawl and adapts it to a social sketching event. It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online. These events are "global;" sketchers from around the world gather in their cities on the same day to participate and post their sketches online.

1. There are no rules.
2. Anyone can participate
3. Any level of ability, from veteran artists to first time sketchers.
4. Bring your own sketching gear.
5. Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

We will meet in the park at the corner of 7th and Lamar Streets. Anyone who wishes to participate is welcome! We will chat briefly; disperse to sketch the visual treasures of Downtown Fort Worth. We’ll reconvene at the park at noon to share sketchbooks and for a group photo, then adjourn for lunch on your own. Downtown onstreet parking is free on weekends. More information at

QUESTIONS? Contact Urban Sketchers Texas through