Friday, December 30, 2011

Mr. Kringles Inventionasium

I took my lil sis (my little sister through BigBro/BigSis) to the Mr. Kringle's Inventionasium. We went on the last night that it was open. I'm not sure I conveyed how fun it looked inside, and the floor certainly wasn't as sloopy as it appears in the picture (though it did have a weird feeling under your feet).

The characters were a lot of fun, and there were a lot of colorfully decorated Christmas trees to look at.

It was too young for her, but she will definitely try anything (except for a haunted house, which I leared the hard way in October). And, we got to shop a little in their gift shop, which she's always game for.

This set-up is at Tower City, which is the building you see at the opening of A Christmas Story, and you see when Ralphie is staring into the window at all of the toys. It's nice that there's still something Christmasy in there, though I'm not sure what will happen to this attraction when the casino opens next year.

When I took my father to see Tower City a few years ago, he said that the people who had the old Higbee's window should permanently set up the window display from the movie. I totally agree. It would be awful fun to see that all year long.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Repetitive Circle Pattern

I usually use the LubeStop on Mayfield in Mayfield Heights for my oil changes. I like them because they always act like I'm an old friend that has stopped by to visit them, and they always make such a fuss. They also don't try to get me to do a lot of extra stuff on my car in order to just make a sale.

This time I went to the Firestone (Lee Road in Shaker Heights) that helped me out the day before Thanksgiving, after my usual Firestone (I've used for 6 years) in the Cedar/Fairmount area refused and then got sarcastic with me. I really recommend the Shaker Heights location. They're quick. They give very accurate estimates of how long things will take, and they don't try to push work on you that your car doesn't need.

My little wait at the Firestone gave me time to draw about a third of their wall of tires. It was great circle practice to say the least.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Marie's Restaurant

At home today, still feeling a bit flu-like after sleeping almost the entire day away yesterday. Thought I would post this from last week, was a fun sketch because this building has such varied and interesting textures.

I have some more to post, but seriously, I just want to go and lay down some more.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seoul Hot Pot

Not too many days left where outdoor sketching can be done in Cleveland. As you see in the journaling above, we've already had out first snow. It obviously wasn't a bad snowfall, but there were a few lawns that had a good blanket of snow.

So, for anyone who hasn't been to AsiaTown in Cleveland, you should go. There are so many great restaurants. Seoul Hot Pot has a good reputation, and I do plan to go. I love Koko's Bakery across the street and Li Wah further west on Payne.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vanderbilt, PA Church

Another sketch from my recent visit back to Pennsylvania. This is a church in a little town called Vanderbilt. It's a small town built along what is quite possibly the most crooked road ever.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Old Connellsville Bank

Yes, it would seem that everything in Connellsville is built on a steep hill. It really is a nice change of pace from drawing buildings in Cleveland--where mostly everything is built on flat land.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

East Crawford Ave

I think that the lower door of this building (the one set partly below street level) used to be a barber shop. It seems that it's now a set of apartments. I wish more building owners in the downtown are of Connellsville would put more color on the structures, like this one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ft. Ligonier Days Parade

The worldwide sketchcrawl was October 15th, and this is my sketch from that day. It's the costumed mascot for the Shriners.

I'm not a parade person. But, my mother loves parades. So, we watched a lot of the parade.

Monday, October 3, 2011

El Jalapenos

I took some liberty with the sky in this. We haven't seen a blue sky in a very long time!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Momocho Mod Mexican

I love the interior of this restaurant as well. It has a whole Day of the Dead and Mexican wrestler theme going on. Great modern Mexican food.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Holden Arboretum (Or How I Learned to Read Dates Correctly)

I made it back up to Holden Arboretum to see the gnomes before they disappear in about a week. If you recall, I went up with a friend earlier in the year, and I had misread the dates. So, we were there a week before they were put on display. Some of them were a little rough around the edges, but most had stood up to the weather fairly well. I saw all of them, but this little guy was one of my favorites. It's by Cleveland artist, Billy Nainiger (I hope that I'm spelling that correctly). He has a studio at the Tower Press building, and he's always very gracious and welcoming during the holiday open studios.

Holden wasn't very busy the day that I went (being that it was a weekday and kind of overcast), so I got to walk around a lot of it undisturbed. There was still a lot of flowers to see, though they do have some flowers in bloom at any point in spring, summer, and fall. I saw a lot of chipmunks and some black squirrels.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Apex Academy

This is the view directly under my living room window. I realized a couple of days later why I thought it had reminded me of a board game. It actually reminds me of those computer sim games where you build a city or so such thing.

This is Apex Academy in East Cleveland. It is attached to the former Christ The King church, which was pretty handy having right across the street. But, that closed a while back now. For the most part, it's fine having a school across the street, except for pick-up and drop-off times and the headaches that the parents cause on my street and Noble Road when they whip in and out of there like nuts. Or, when the little kids who live up the hill in Cleveland Heights throw rocks at passing cars on Noble Road.

It does amaze me of how little use that basketball court gets. You'd think that there'd be kids all day using it in the summer when school is closed, but I don't think I ever saw it being used. Maybe the school is mean about that?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Idea Center

When I went to sit and draw the Idea Center, I found a concrete bench/piece of art to sit on. It was the words "Change" and "Things." Depending on where you looked at it, it was either "Change Things" or "Things Change." As I was sitting there, a man came up to me to ask me for a sandwich for him and his wife. When I draw downtown, I sometimes bring food with me just for this kind of thing. I had forgotten yesterday morning, and because I had my sketchbag with me, the only money I had were a few quarters meant for parking meters. I went to give him those, and a guy in a car at the stoplight on Huron yelled for the man to leave me alone. I said, "No, it's okay." I gave the man those quarters, and then I think the man in the car had a change of mind. He hollered over that he didn't mean anything by that, he just wanted to make sure that I knew that I didn't have to give the man anything. Maybe I changed something with him? They do say that acts of kindness are contagious.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Avengers' Movie Set

Joined 3 other sketchers Sunday to sketch part of the Avengers' movie set. We were at the corner of East 9th and Prospect. Not a lot was going on at this end. There was something going on at one of the other locations, because we did hear a gunshot at one point that came from furhter up the street. We also saw a lot of workmen going through the pile of debris to find twisted and mangled street grates to take elsewhere.

A guy stopped by and told us about how the movie people were blowing up East 14th overnight. I guess we missed that action.

Mina (one of the other sketchers) told us about how the reason this particular point in East 9th was closed was because the bulk of the storefronts had no businesses in them. So, it wasn't hard for them to shut it down.

A little later in the morning, the people coming in for the Indians' game started to show up at the bars. Some stopped by the movie set to peer up the road, but for the most part, it was about 10am, and they were drinking lots of beer at the bars. I repeat, at 10am. We did get treated to a scalper across the street that was screaming, "Tickets!" for about an hour. I'm not sure he is going to make enough money off of scalping tickets to make that worthwhile, especially since you can walk right up to the ticket window and buy some. The other treat we saw, were 50-something men who were really pushing the capacity of their button-front Indians' jerseys.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dublin Irish Festival

I haven't been out to sketch for a couple of weeks, but I forgot that I hadn't posted my sketch that was based on the Dublin Irish Festival. I had a meeting at work that morning, so we got a late start to getting to Dublin, Ohio, and as you can see from the notes from my sketchbook, the day turned ugly pretty fast after we got there.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

More from Taste of Tremont

I forgot that I hadn't posted this sketch from the Taste of Tremont. This was the 2nd sketch of the morning, right before we went to go around and eat. I originally sat in the grass to draw this, but then this bug kept biting me. It seriously felt like it had vampire teeth, hurt so bad everytime he got me. Noreen said that it was a deer fly. I said that if I got West Nile, that they would know to come and spray here. It was a relentless fly. I got up, sprayed myself with bug spray, and it landed on my legs before the bug spray dried. I looked around and, gross, but I had set up about 2 feet from a pile of dog crap. I moved to the sidewalk, and that bug left me alone.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More from Wade Lagoon

This is more from last Sunday drawing around Wade Lagoon. I tried drawing this church a couple of years ago, and I'm not sure I did any better this time around. It's really a hard building to draw, and I didn't help myself by not sitting directly in front of it.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wade Lagoon Mermaids

Met a new sketcher this morning at Wade Lagoon. She picked this location behind the mermaid statue. I would have never picked it on my own, but I am so thrilled that she did. Also, we were sitting in the sun, which I normally don't do because I'm so pale. But, I had loaded on sunscreen and gave it a shot. It was so nice. The sun was warm, but not too hot. The temperature was mild, and there wasn't any humidity. And, it was fun watching the geese play around, beg for bread, and chatter with each other.

This upcoming week is going to be very busy, so I'm not sure if I will have the time to set up somewhere to sketch. So, it was good that we did over 3 hours of sketching this morning.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cleveland Irish Festival

If you have followed my for any amount of time, you would have noticed that I don't normally draw people. I don't have a phobia of drawing people, it's just that they move too much. So, I sat down during the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival to draw the harpist. He had played during the morning mass, and he had tried to teach us some Gaelic for one of the hymns. Gaelic, even a small hymn, cannot be taught in a few minutes.

Well, while I sat there drawing later in the early afternoon, I thought, "Oh, a harpist, he won't move that much, right?" . . . . Wrong! He moved and he kept moving the sound equipment. So, when I started getting the hang of when to work on him and when to work on the equpiment, then his show was ending. So, I faked it and hide his right arm at his side.

He had a great voice and told some wonderful stories about banshees and such. We heard stories a few years back about how wonderful our Grandfather used to sing these old Irish songs. People used to say that his voice was so beautiful, it made people weep. Some of his friends had even offered him money to send him to New York to record, but he'd never gone. It's so sad, but neither me, nor my sisters had ever heard him sing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Walnut Wednesdays

If there's one eternal truth about Clevelanders, it's that we love food. We love good food, whether it's a fine restaurant, a quick service counter, a deli, or a food truck. "If it's good, it's good," seems to be the motto.

On Wednesdays, 8-10 food trucks set up on Walnut Ave. off of East 9th St for lunch hour. If you haven't been there, you'll know where it is, just follow all of the people emerging from the business buildings as they head over to get their lunch. Show up early, because the lines get long and entangled. I sat on the south side of Walnut to draw. When I was done with my sketch, the lines were far too long for me to stand out in the hot sun, but I was in the minority. There were lots of people standing out in the sun, having a good time, waiting for their lunches. Even men in heavy suits were out sweating in the sun to get the good food.

This happens from about 11:30-1:00pm every Wednesday. If you don't work downtown, I suggest getting a parking space on East 12th north of Superior (near Charter One). Cars leave those spots frequently, and if for some reason, there isn't one free, just circle the block. Though, I had no trouble getting a spot there at a meter, and I was only about 2 blocks from where the trucks were set up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taste of Tremont

Enjoyed a gloriously hot summer afternoon at the Taste of Tremont. We got there before it actually started so that we would be able to get a good sketch in before the crowds showed up. And, boy, did the crowds show up! Lots and lots of people were there. Last year, they estimated 20,000 people there.

So, what did we eat? It was good that all of the booths had small servings, because you get a better taste. We started with Chicken Paprikash, but I'm not sure who it was from. Then, my friend got mac and cheese from Lolita. Then, I got nachos from Grumpy's which had 3 kinds of beans and a great salty/sweet taste. We never did identify the sweet, though it might have been on the chips. Then, fried wonton chips with bacon quacamole from bac. Then, I saw on facebook that Lilly Chocolates was going to have ice cream floats. I had an orange cream soda float (with malted vanilla bean ice cream), Noreen had a root beer float. Then, we hit up Cookie and a Cupcake. Now, I've heard a lot about them, but I had figured that it was all hype. I mean, they're cupcakes, seriously. . . . Okay, now. . . . Let me just say, it was incredible. I just went for a yellow cake with chocolate ice cream, and it was truly the best! I was going to get short rib sliders from Dim and Den Sum, but they sold out in the first 20-30 minutes, which uh, seriously? The event was to go on for 8-9 hours!

If that wasn't enough, I got a cabbage roll from Prosperity Social Club to take home. It was great too.

That's not counting the cute necklace that I got for $4 from Banyan Tree. We were there for about four hours. We strolled into St. John's to look around, and it's shocking that churches as beautiful as this may one day disappear.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dr. Seuss Sculpture Display

I have more time before the display leaves to draw a few more of the characters. I don't often use watercolor, but it lended itself perfectly to the sculpture.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cleveland Botanical Gardens

It was a nice day on Sunday to sketch at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. A nice breeze cut the intensity of the hot sun, and the crowd was light. Though, once we sat down in this spot, it became the single most popular spot in the gardens. Since it was also a dead-end, people had to pass us twice. Everyone was so nice and apologized to us, but we were actually the ones that were in the way.

It really amazes me at how some of these incredible attractions don't have crowds. This was even a day that people could bring their dogs into the gardens. When I got home, a woman joined me in the elevator, and I said something like, "Beautiful day out, huh?" She said right before she got out on her floor, "What does it matter? There's nothing to do!" Seriously? Nothing to do? You've got to be crazy! Sometimes there is so much to do, I can't narrow it into the time I have available.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cleveland Institute of Music

Was meeting a friend at the Cleveland Botanical Garden today, and I showed up early to draw around Wade Oval again this week. It was nice and shady across the street from the Cleveland Institute of Music, so I settled in there to draw.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

West Side Market Sketchcrawl

Spent the morning and a good amount of time afternoon with the Cleveland Sketchcrawl group. This group gets together once a month to sketch around the city. Anyone of any skill level is welcomed. After 2 hours of drawing, we broke for lunch at the Great Lakes Brewery. It was the perfect weather to sit outside and have a beer and some good conversation.

The top sketch is from the alley that sits between the two parts of the West Side Market. It was interesting to draw the backside of one of the food stalls, except the boxes were moving so fast that I would leave space for one, turn around, and it would be gone. Then, I would start drawing something else, and a big pile of boxes would appear in front of it.

This second sketch was from after lunch. When I walked to my car to get my wallet for lunch, I saw that this Airstream trailer had pulled in. It's a mobile vintage clothing store. Very clever and quite cute. A lot of people were going in and out of it, but I didn't see them sell anything.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Pink Nightmare

When I do my sketches outside, I always start in pencil, then either do the line work in ink or the color in marker or watercolor. Well, today, I was outside in between the rain, so I left inking the words until I got home. I was almost done when I huge, unexpected, clap of thunder happened, and needless to say, I can't say that I have nerves of steel since there is evidence of it on my sketchbook page.

A word about my new sketchbook. I have the Moleskine watercolor, and whereas I really dislike having to balance the long format of the book, I really like the paper better than the blank journal (my first which took forever to fill, because it has a bazillion pages) or the sketchbook (which is nice, but does not have white paper, or even off-white, it's full-on yellow).

My goal this summer is to go out and do at least two drawings a week. This was my second this week.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Holden Arboretum

First thing as soon as we got to Holden Arboretum, I got bit on the back of the neck by some unidentified bug (it's unidentified, because it was all squished by the time I saw it). Noreen was a little surprised when I said that I'm not much of an outdoors person; I had just spent 10 minutes telling her where my plan is to move to (right downtown in Cleveland), so she should have seen it coming.

I just really hate bugs. I hate how they go at your eyes. I hate how they fly around the top of your head. I hate how they walk on you. I hate how once you had one on you, your skin crawls like you have a thousand on you. This is how I became really good at smacking bees and hornets. Because I don't want one in my home, and once one gets in there, I have to take care of the situation.

Though, we did come across something fantastic while we were walking around. We were on a grass path near one of the lakes, and there was a snapping turtle right in the path digging a spot to lay eggs. Was fantastic to see that. (I am, in fact, a fan of turtles----just not bugs).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our Lady Of Lourdes Shrine

I took my mother here last fall when she came out to visit. It was a nice afternoon while we walked the grounds, climbed the hill where the rosaries are, and shopped in the gift shop.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chagrin Falls

If you read the text on the sketch page, you'll see that things were pretty jumping at Chagrin Falls this morning. I thought there was a festival of some sort, but it was actually a farmers' market run by the same people who run the one that I go to about every other Saturday morning. When I finished drawing, I went to browse the market and ran into a vendor that remembered me. He sells pies and quiches, and I usually pick up a red onion and feta mini quiche whenever I see him set up at the other market. I didn't pick one up today, because I just had one yesterday. But, it was tempting.

Instead, I went and got an ice cream cone to have before heading to an arts festival at Legacy Village. This festival was such a disappointment. There wasn't much at all there that was original or interesting. Almost no ceramic artists (you can usually count on them to have affordable and practical pieces) were there. It was just very repetitive with people having the same things, in the same style, and very expensive. I've gone to this show before, and I hadn't had that problem. This is the same reason why I probably won't waste the time going to the Cain Park arts festival. It's the same vendors year in and year out. I've already bought from the one or two that interested me, and even though I like seeing them and seeing what they have new, I have no plans to buy from them again. Plus, it's quite a crock that you have to pay to go in to browse. And, if you're going to ask me to pay to get in to browse, you shouldn't make me walk through giant mud puddles to get to booths. You should use the admission fee to lay down wood planks or hay on those mud puddles. My favorite year, they laid down soil that had fertizlier--so when it got steaming hot, everyone's booths smelled like cow manure!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Art Fur Animals 2011

Another year has rolled around and another Art Fur Animals is on the horizon. This year's is Friday, June 3rd from 6-10pm at the Battery Park Powerhouse (7524 Father Frascati, Cleveland, Ohio). The auction of ceramic dogs (and maybe a cat or two) will benefit the Friends of the Cleveland Kennel.

There will be food, raffle prizes, drinks, and great people. Tickets are $20 at the door. Come out and support this wonderful cause! Maybe bid on my dog, Chef Barkardee!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rockefeller Greenhouse

Spent a little of the morning at the Rockefeller greenhouse doing some sketching. It wasn't that busy there, but it was cold in most of the building. One of the workers told my friend that it was because they'd kept windows open to make the lilies last until Easter. It probably wouldn't have been bad, but it was really windy and just gusting through the middle of the building. We did find this nice spot off to the side to draw a little fish fountain.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Art Museum

Another piece from the sketchcrawl a few weeks back at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Monday, March 21, 2011

East 30th Cafe

Another from the Sunday morning and early afternoon at the Asian Plaza. These giant tall vases had such reflections on them.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Asian Plaza

This scene needed some serious editing, because there was so much merchandise in the windows. I didn't edit the sign though, their "T" had fallen off at some point. It was a very nice morning, sketching in the Asian Plaza and then having dim sum at Li Wah. The place was really packed, and luckily we had decided to eat by about 11:30, otherwise we would have been waiting in such a long line to be seated.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Armor Court

Another suit of armor from the Cleveland Museum of Art's armor court. I can't tell you how much having the stool opened up the options for sketching there. You can't bring your own stool in, and if you can't get one of theirs, then you're stuck drawing what you can see from one of the main benches. And, in the armor court, there are only 2 benches, so you can only see a little bit of the collection from those benches.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sketchcrawl at the Museum

Joined the sketchcrawl today, and ended up drawing for most of the morning and afternoon (not counting a break to go to the buffet at the Indian Flame--YUM!). This was the last thing I did during the day. The ink and marker was done at home, because you're not allowed to do ink at the museum. Pencil only. It was good to borrow the little stools, because we weren't limited to where we could draw based on where we could sit.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Still in Museum Mode

I must still be in museum mode, because I went to the Natural History Museum last night to sketch after work. It's open until 10pm on Wednesdays which gives people the chance to go up to the observatory to view the stars and such. I stayed in the rest of the museum to draw. There weren't a lot of people around, except for a very loud birding group in the lower level. I overheard one person say that during a trip that a particular person was in their group, and it was hard for them to view birds with how talkative that person was. Seemed to me that they were all pretty talkative! :D

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cleveland Museum of Art

Met my friend, Noreen, at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Sunday morning to draw. It was nice and quiet, and we both drew quite a bit in the armor court.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

MAC Store

I used some creative license with this in that I made the 2 cars in WonderWoman colors in honor of the MAC/WonderWoman collection, because they were rather boring in silver and black. I should have done something a little closer, so that I could have seen the window decorations a little better. But, I was across the way in my car, and this is what I could see.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Grays Armory

After a quick tour of the armory showing where we could draw for the sketchcrawl, everyone scattered to draw. I settled into the middle of the locker room, sitting in the dead center. Unfortunately, I may have ruined that spot for anyone else by sitting in the middle of the room, but I didn't realize at the time. It was hard to get a good spot to draw both levels of lockers, so I decided to do the ones under the front windows.

Was a good morning sketching, and the turnout was pretty good.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blue House

I need to actually pull out my book on perspective if I'm going to keep doing these houses with the circular tower thing.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

East Cleveland Theater

I'm beginning to really love these scenes with snow on the ground, like it much better than having grass to sketch. Now, this is good, because snow has been on the ground solid for weeks.

This is one of my favorite buildings in East Cleveland. It's the East Cleveland Theater, and as you can tell, it used to be a church. After drawing a bunch of Rockefeller houses, I have to say, I'm still liking the brickwork as part of the whole sketching process. But, I'm not sure for how much longer.