An Obsession.

It's officially summer in these parts. And you know what, it hasn't been terrible! I've been keeping very busy these days teaching drawing at KCAI, working for Petite Alma, Storybird, and a very new exciting book project! I've also started up a drawing on location group here in Kansas City (just like the one in NYC last summer). It's been a lot of fun exploring my hometown, meeting new people and seeing everything through new eyes. 

Last week we met at the Plaza (and outdoor shopping area in midtown KC). I live near by, so I actually come down to draw at the Plaza quite a bit. I've been enamored with the J.C. Nichols fountain and the sculptures of the horses that represent four major rivers of the world (The Mississippi, Volga, Seine and Rhine). After Sketch Club was over, I passed by the fountain on my way home and was just stunned by how pretty it looked all lit up. It was a have-to-draw moment. 

Night Fountain, Kansas City

Night Fountain, Kansas City

Of course, this isn't what I sat down and painted on location! I've been wanting to experiment with taking my sketchbook drawings and paintings and turning them into more refined larger paintings and practice my watercolor skills in the process. This piece is 12x16" and done completely in watercolor with a bit of white gouache (look ma, no photoshop!). 

Keep in mind, this was not my first shot at the fountain. I've been drawing it regularly all spring and have finally captured all four horses. Here are a few of my other Fountain pieces:

this one is the on-location sketch of the above, larger piece

this one is the on-location sketch of the above, larger piece

Obsessions are fun, aren't they? While I sometimes post my location drawings on this blog, I always post them on my tumblr, so make sure to follow me there as well! 


Well, my year started off with a bang. Last week I had the extreme pleasure of painting a mural for our good friends' who are expecting a baby boy next month!


These are friends of ours who live in Kansas City, but they used to be friends of ours in New York CIty. In fact, when we first moved to Manhattan, they lived just down the street from us. Having an element of New York City in the mural was their only requirement (making them dream clients).


We decided to go with one of the famous Gothic Bridge in Central Park. Below it runs what could be interpreted as a yellow brick road, of course, celebrating their current home in Kansas City. When the baby is born, his name will be added to the road.


This was the first mural I've ever completed (or begun for that matter!). So I jumped in the only way I knew how, with gridding off my design. From there I just began to fill in with pre-determined, and pre-mixed colors I purchased at Home Depot. I used primarily Behr paint (the best in my opinion, worth the extra price). I bought 8 different colors in all, and mixed an addition 5 or 6. 


In all honesty, I had a blast working on this project! It was so refreshing to paint this large and I enjoyed the physical element of it just as much as the artistic...even though I discovered pretty quickly just how out of shape I am! But seriously, real paint, a ladder, lots of messes, what could be better?


I sure hope this little guy enjoys his wall as much as I do. If not, I might just have to move in!