Thursday, August 17, 2017

Quick Boat

This is a quick fun little sketch that I did of the boat that sits behind us in our marina. The piece was fun to do because it was loose and fast with quick splashes of paint...something I'd like to do more of.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Drying Out

Drying out is a sketch of a Chicago Mac racing sailboat that limped into Frankfort, Michigan and the marina we were staying at. The boat had suffered a line wrapped 'round its rudder and a furling line ripped from the mast. The damage was the result of very bad weather on Lake Michigan during the night of July 15.

The boat was parked in a slip next to us to do repairs and dry out the crew's foul weather gear. It was one of over 300 boats competing in the annual race up Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island, a distance of 333 miles. The boat was 1 of 5 that limped into Frankfort due to blown out sails, equipment damage, injuries, and illness. The boat also numbered as one of more than 100 boats that dropped from this year's race due to punishing Lake Michigan weather.

As one who periodically takes part in cross Lake Michigan races, my heart goes out to all the crews who took part in this year's Mac race. It was a tough one.

Arcadia House

This is an old house that's a half block up from the marina in Arcadia, Michigan. I did the sketch while we were staying in Arcadia on our boat. I've sketched the house several times over the years. It's falling apart, abandoned, only the lawn is mowed or it would be over grown. I talked to a couple of people about the house, one while I was working on the sketch, both said at one time they thought they'd buy the house and fix it up. Unfortunately the dreams went and the house will soon be beyond repair.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Power plant chimney, again

[By Marcia Milner-Brage in Cedar Falls, Iowa]

The Cedar Falls Utilities coal-burning facility is in the old-town neighborhood where I live. It's hard to miss the landmark chimney, towering above everything else.  Railroad tracks lead to the coal yards next to the chimney. Washington Park is on the other side of the tracks. One has to cross the tracks to access this riverside park. I drew the above recently from the park's entrance. Train cars are often stored here.

The above drawing is part of a recent paint marker series I did of Washington Park. See more of that series on the international Urban Sketchers Blog HERE.

October 2012, I included the chimney in another drawing. It became a backdrop to Wertjes Uniforms, a shop for police officers and firefighters, which is just down the street from my house.

Monday, June 5, 2017

J. Nagem

This is J. Nagem, an all steel, home built, trawler/tug that's currently residing in a corner of the yard at our marina. The boat is about ready to launch for the season so Sunday afternoon I pulled out my sketch book, sat under a tree and sketched away.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


This abandoned, overgrown, farm house sits on the same property as the barn sketch I posted under the title "Last Legs." The house is up and around the drive that passes the barn. The place hasn't been lived in for years and is now mostly obscured by the brush, trees, and tall grass that have grown up around the old house. Like the barn it will soon be gone.

I'd intended to go back and sketch the house the day after I did the barn but wasn't able to for a couple of weeks. When I went back this past Friday, to do the sketch, the sun was shining brightly but as I worked on the sky darkened to the west and by the time I headed back to the boat it had started to rain.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Last Legs

I've driven past this old barn, that's just outside of Whitehall, Michigan, for years. Saturday afternoon with boat launch chores at least under control, I decided to have a go a sketching the old barn that sits, ready to fall down, on one of many of Michigan's used to be farms. I've no idea how old the barn is but I did note the large beams in the structure are hand hewn.

I was almost done with the drawing when the gentleman who lives across the street from the old farm stopped by to see what I was up to. He told me it was a good thing I was drawing the barn now as the property has been sold and the barn will soon be torn down.

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