Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On a recent trip to a dance convention in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky there was hand sanitizer all over the place. The flu scare had everybody worried.
And at the same convention a view of some of the items on the tables during a workshop.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Broom tractor

It's been a while since the last post. Spent the summer working on our house. Now I can start back to sketching again. I hope so any way. This little broom tractor was sitting at the construction site where Farm Lane on the campus of Michigan State University was bridged by the CSX railroad. Looks like it would be fun to drive.
Pitt sepia pen with watercolor in a Hand*book journal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This past Saturday the 13th I went north to Baldwin Michigan to deliver some work to the Pamela Tripp Gallery. What a day it was. Sunny, warm. On the return trip I stopped in the town of White Cloud and took time to sketch this old grain elevator, Some of the reds are a little too much as a lot of the steel siding and roofing was rusty. The roof though, on the main part of the building was fairly new and was as white as snow.

Pitt pen, watercolor in a Hand*book journal


Tuesday June 16 I had some time before a dentist appointment so I parked in the shade in Raynor Park in Mason, Michigan. This fellow was mowing lawn and made enough passes that I was able to get a quick sketch of the mower and him.
Precise rolling ball pen in a Hand*book journal.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Indiana Blacksmithing Association

We spent last Firday and Saturday, June 5 and 6, in Tipton Indiana at the annual conference of the Indiana Blacksmithing Association. Didn't do a lot of drawing but here is the best of the ones I did. Above is an old Champion coal forge that had been donated to the auction.

A coal forge is a piece of machinery that a blacksmith uses to build his fire in then to heat a piece of steel to forging temperature, usually about 1800 degrees or so and a light yellow color. The top tray is usually of cast iron then covered with clay to protect it from the fire. A blower is below to put a blast of air into the fire. Without the blast the fire will go out. This particular forge has a hand crank blower but the forge I use every day in my shop has an electric blower. I hope that helps explain what a coal forge is. I work over one most every day and forget that everyone doesn't know what the equipment is. Thanks for asking.

This is a quick sketch of an anvil bridge that one of the demonstrators was using. It allows you to work easier on smaller pieces. I'm going to build one of these as soon as I can get caught up in the studio. Also I found out when we got home that Saturday was International Drawing Day. So without knowing it, I participated.
All done with Pitt pen in a Hand*book journal.



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Past & present

It is Saturday morning and the job site is working but it doesn't appear to be a full crew. This excavator was parked for the weekend. It would look like I may have misjudged the scale but this machine had a very long arm and it just wouldn't fit on one spread. This is at the Farm Lane bridges project on the campus of Michigan State University. The bridge girder behind the machine is for CSX railroad. Just north of here is the bridge for Canadian National railroad. Both bridges now have train traffic on them and they are in the process of digging Farm Lane down to final grade in preparation for opening to traffic this fall.

This old grain elevator is in Grand Ledge Michigan. It is no longer in use but there are several newer buildings around this that are part of a thriving grain business. This is a bit out of proportion but you get the idea. It is almost all steel siding and roofing with some of the red paint still visible and a lot of rust. This building sits to the south side of CSX main line tracks.
Both sketches Pitt pen, watercolor in a Hand*book journal

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sketchcrawl #22

International Sketchcrawl #22. Old Town Lansing, Michigan, April 11, 2009. It was a great day, sunny but not warm. But there was no lack of subject matter and the folks at the Portable Feast restaurant were very friendly and had lots of good coffee.
1221 Turner Street. The door on the right was very interesting. I didn't quite get it right though. It is actually narrower that I have it shown. And the window above it on the second floor is also narrow and all the rest are wider.
This building is on the north side of Grand River Avenue in the 200 block east. There are old rail road tracks next to it and I suspect that it was, at one time, a passenger terminal. I had never noticed there is what appears to be a platform along the east side, by the tracks. This sketch didn't do justice to this building and one day I will re sketch it and add color and hopefully learn more of it's history.

And this is MA (Michigan Avenue) tower now in North Lansing just south of Grand River Avenue and along a spur track to Freidland Iron. At least they saved it and didn't tear it down. Don't know when it was moved here. I would assume the stairway that went to the second floor of this tower has long since been removed. It would be quite an effort to go to work without them. This tower is in very good shape and is clad in a pale green aluminum siding.

One of many lamp posts in Old Town Lansing with a banner flag promoting Old Town.

This building is the Southern most on the west side of Turner Street. My planning is off a long way here. I should of drawn it with the first floor showing as the store window is very colorful. Maybe another time. The brickwork on the side of the building is interesting. There are several course of bricks that are not parallel with the plane of the building but are running and maybe a 10 degree angle from the rest of the bricks. I would guess that there was another building next to it years past. There is a parking lot next to it now.
all in this post, Pitt artist pen, watercolor in a Hand*book journal drawn on location with color added in my studio.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beaver Pennsylvania

This is a sketch of the old Railway Express building at Beaver Pennsylvania. Very well maintained. This is on a CSXT main line. Just to the north is the old railroad depot. It is used as a 911 call center.
It was a beautiful sunny warm day, April 2nd and we had coffee at a small shop in downtown Beaver. This was what was across the street. My vertical lines went askew a bit but you get the idea. There is enough scenes in this little town to fill several sketchbooks.
Pitt pen, watercolor in a hand*book journal.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Boogie in the Burgh 2009

We just returned from our annual Pittsburgh dance trip. Every year the Steel City Boogie Club puts on this dance. About 500 people and a very good time is had by all. This year was their eleventh year. We have been there for all eleven. This is the canopy over the front door from the porch of the Embassy Suites hotel near the Pittsburgh airport where the dance is held. This day it was in the 60s and no coat was needed. Sadly, two days later the flag in this sketch would be lowered to half mast in honor of three police officers killed April 4th.



The two sketches above are of people in the ballroom either in the workshops or just observing as I was. The bottom sketch is of two of the many couples trying to learn some new dance moves.
Pitt pen, watercolor in Hand*book Journal

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Flint fire hall

This fire hall is on M-21 west in Flint, Michigan. Drawn from a photo by me taken a few years ago. Photo was to be used as reference for a watercolor painting. It never happened. Maybe someday.
Pitt pen, watercolor in a hand*book journal

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

EDM #215

Every Day Matters weekly challenge number 215, draw your thumb. Well, I drew just a bit more.

Pitt pen, watercolor in a hand*book journal.

Lansing City Market

This is the southeast entrance to the Lansing City Market. I have this somewhat out of proportion but it gives you the general idea of what it looks like. Maybe another time I'll try to do a more accurate sketch. But I will have to hurry. This building is being torn down when the new market is done. I don't know the time line though. Seems like this building is about 100 years old. This is also the first sketch in a brand new hand*book journal.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A lot of equipment


We went to the Green Door Blues Bar in the 2000 block of East Michigan Avenue in Lansing last night. Sundays is open mike or sit in Sunday. Lots of musicians with a wide range of talent and all levels. You have to take the so so with the good. That's how a so so musician becomes good. Anyway, I was struck by the wide aray of equipment on the stage. Everybody has their own amp. What I didn't get to draw was the drum kit and the keyboard. But a good time was had by all.
Pitt pen in small Hand*book*Journal.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sausage Mfg. Co.

This building is in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, PA. at the corner of Penn Avenue and 22nd street. Sketched from a photograph taken by me a few years ago on our annual trip to Pittsburgh.
Pitt pen, watercolor in a Hand*book journal.

Friday, March 6, 2009

EDM #213

EDM challenge # 213, draw a microwave. This is ours. It's an old Norelco and was purchased in 1978 or so. The door latch is a bit sticky but it still works just fine. Our kitchen is in the old part of our house and the old part of the house is a quonset building. So to make space for this unit I had to open the curved wall and build in a "box" to set the microwave in. On the right hand side, in the shadows my wife Patty keeps event tickets on magnetic clips. We always know where our tickets are.

Pitt pen, watercolor in a Hand book journal.

Railroad depot, GTW

This is the old Grand Trunk Western depot on South Washington Avenue in Lansing, Michigan. The tracks beside it are now Canadian National. The last use of this building was a blues club. We spent a fair amount of time there and heard some really good bands. The tracks are 10 or 12 feet from the building and I can remember seeing trains going by but never hearing them or feeling their vibration. The grand old building is now falling into disrepair rapidly. I didn't indicate the missing roof tiles or the broken windows. If it isn't maintained soon it will have to be torn down.

Pitt pen, watercolor in a Hand book journal.

Mason elevator

I spent a little time in Mason Michigan today. Was able to sketch the north end of the Mason Elevator complex. I needed a bit more time but this describes it fairly well.
Pitt pen, watercolor in a Hand book journal

Monday, March 2, 2009

Red band


The Detroit Edison keeps track of the condition of their utility poles and when one needs to be replaced they nail a red steel band around it. This particular pole is across the street from our house and is way back off the road. Should be some good sketching opportunities when they do the work. Lots of big trucks with high lifts. And I know for sure they will leave some rutts in the lawn. Glad I won't have to be the one to fix them.

Pitt pen, watercolor, in a Hand book journal

Sunday, March 1, 2009

They've got mail


Rural mailboxes are sometimes an interesting subject. This first one in right across the street from my house and I look at it from my drawing board. It is quite a simple affair with it's two paper boxes.

Pitt sepia pen in a Hand book journal
This next sketch though is a different story. Five mail boxes plus an array of paper boxes all on different types of posts. One mail box is green. One paper box is red. During the summer there is always a pile of "free" papers on the ground around these boxes and then there will be a few free phone books dropped there too. Seems to always be a mess. This is visible from my window but I have to lean foreward a bit to get the view. Anyone else have "mailbox" stories?

Micron pen, watercolor in a Hand book journal.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Russell theatre

The Russell theatre in Maysville, Kentucky. Maysville is the hometown of Rosemary Clooney. I believe that I read that this theatre was owned by her family.

Sketched from a photo taken by me three or so years past. Pitt pens, watercolor in a Hand book journal.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

VanBuren Ice House

This sketch is from July 26, 2008. I had not finished adding color so it was not uploaded. Originally I had thought this building was part of the old Williamston, Michigan grain elevator but in the local paper today there was an article about it. It was an ice house or cold storage building built in the 1880s and used for cold storage into the 1920s.

Pitt pens, watercolor in a Hand book journal

Saturday, February 14, 2009

View from my south window

This is what I see from the window over my drawing board. There is a busy highway between us. I was going to add some color but he house and garage and fence are white. It snowed last night so pretty much every thing else is white.

Pitt sepia pen in Hand book Journal

Friday, February 13, 2009

A tour of Lansing

The day started in Old Town Lansing Michigan across from the Unicorn Tavern. I've never been in there but they do have bands on the weekends. We'll have to try it one day.

Then just south of downtown Lansing for a sketch of the Board of Water & Light power plant. These three stacks can be seen for miles around.


Then I met some friends here for lunch. Zeus' Coney Island on South Pennsylvania in Lansing. Good food, good conversation. Haven't seen these people for a while.

Pitt pen, watercolor, Tombow grayscale brush pens, Hand book Journal

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


This is the back door of Emils Restaurant in Lansing. I sketched the front in an earlier post.
Hand book journal, pitt pen, watercolor

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Same purpose

The final installment in the Wet Canvas dot com Duo Challenge. These two items have the same purpose, one doing ity's work very losely and the other very uptight.

Monday, January 19, 2009

East Michigan Avenue

On Sunday we went to the Green Door Blues Bar in the 2000 block of East Michigan Avenue in Lansing. We were a bit early so I sketched the view from the alley by the parking lot. The upper floor of this two story building appears to be living quarters, possibly rentals. The rope and pulley may be to hoist groceries up to the apartment.
"Monitors" - At the Green Door was a funds raiser of sorts to help send a band to a competition in Memphis, TN. The band being sent, and by the way they won the local competition last summer, is "Six Hands Down". I've gotta tell you, they are HOT. But there were five other bands that played through the afternoon and evening before Six Hands Down took the stage. They were all good good bands. Everyone had a great time and the food was good.

This drum kit was set up for the entire day and each band's drummer just brought his sticks. Behind the stage is a big window and on a nice day it is so bright that you can't see the musucians faces. I left the window out intentionally.

This is what I could see from my seat in the Green Door thru the window behind the stage. Emils Itallian Restaurant. Guess I'll have to go to Emils now for dinner so I can draw the front of the Green Door Blues Bar.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pen clip


Entry five of six in the Wet Canvas Duo Challenge. The pen explains itself but the clip is a promotional item from a long since merged or bought up local bank.
Pitt pen, watercolor in a hand.book journal.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Phone notes


This sketch is number four of six for the Wet Canvas dot com duo challenge.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sketch Crawl #21

These were done on Saturday January 10, 2009 as part of the 21st International Sketch Crawl.

This first image is of a peice of snow removal equipment waiting to be used. By the end of the day there was five inches or more of new snow so I imagine this was used several times during the day.Next is the coal unloading facility at the power plant on campus at Michigan State University. Somewhere out of sight is a machine that will rotate the entire car to dump it. Will have to see if I can get a tour.These next two sketches were done at the livestock pavilion at Michigan State University during the Michigan Horseshoers Association annual get together. There was a lot going on but I only managed two sketches of some of the equipment they were using. The nice thing about this venue was that it was warm and dry.