Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mimi's Kitchen

A sketch from September 24th, my mother's birthday, done in her kitchen and showing flowers and balloons for the occasion. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Hubcap Place: Mel's Tires in Florence, SC

Between meetings for a project back home, I stopped by this place and asked if they'd mind my sketching. The owner really got a kick out of it, and even brought me a chair to sit in.

I remember this place so well from growing up.  A place for which you made your parents drive the long way home. An article appeared in the local paper a few years ago (see this link) telling the story of the father, Melvin Wright, who started the business, and the son, Melvin, Jr., who is keeping it up.

Of architectural interest is the building itself. The Pure Oil Company built its gas stations in the 30's and 40's in a Tudor Revival style, attempting to blend with the residential neighborhoods in which they were built. This example still has the original circular blue enamel sign above the entrance, echoing the shape and size of the hundreds of hubcaps hanging on the building.

Monday, October 12, 2015

DC 2015

Back in DC for an NCARB meeting.  Incredible weather, leaving the floodwaters of South Carolina behind.  

Franklin Square with a statue of Admiral John Barry, though they all look like George to me.

On the way to the Washington Studio School for an open figure drawing session, I stopped into this bistro above DuPont Circle.

The view from my hotel, the Public Library, though every time I tried to go in, it was closed for a private event.  The Convention Center is beyond.

The Capitol dome under renovation.

Louis Farrakhan addressing a capacity crowd on the Mall for the anniversary of the Million Man March.  Though his rhetoric was inflammatory, the crowd seemed mostly interested in enjoying the incredible weather.  He did pique my interest when he said that the recent flooding in Columbia, South Carolina was God's retribution.

Just down the street from our hotel was the National Portrait Gallery, the old Patent Office designed by Robert Mills.  The interior courtyard is covered by a latticework by Norman Foster.

On this trip I received more comments from passersby about my sketching.  The drawing that received the most praise is below, done by my five year old daughter.  It's my favorite, as well.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Drip on Main

Drip Coffee Shop on Main Street, Columbia, SC.  Regular lunch spot.  Great place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Versailles 2006

A favorite from the archives, this little structure at the Petit Trianon seems somewhat over designed and over engineered for its size.  A great little stone cave in which some sentry would be posted.

Bern, Switzerland 2004

Friday, June 5, 2015

Piano Lesson

Piano lesson with Mrs. Marian Stanley Tucker.   

Upon a solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 1948, The New York Herald Tribune described her as "...quite a pianist in the grand manner... an astonishing technique and tone, and a fine sense of poetry and romance."  

Her home is as fascinating as she is.  Pope John Paul II once sat in an antique armchair she owns, the back of which is in the center of the picture.   

This is the second sketch I've done while waiting on the lessons.  The kids can only handle short bursts, so we're in and out in about 30 minutes.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter at Mimi's

My son reading in the room that has seen so many hours of me and my siblings reading, playing games, listening to music, and playing music.  We had a great time with many young cousins doing the same.  The same old wooden blocks we played with can be seen in the foreground.  Also, multiple Easter egg hunts in the yard. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In the Board Room

Sketches during meetings with materials at hand: scratch paper, pen, and highlighter   

Monday, March 16, 2015

Across the street

Lunchtime sketch looking out from the 7th floor.  The downtown Marriott and Palmetto Center looming to the right, Sylvan Brothers in the middle with Blue Sky's sculpture installation "Neverbust" chaining it across the alleyway to the old Kress store.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To Tahoe and Back

A few weeks ago we went out west with kids, in-laws, nieces and nephews.  The kids all got up on skis, even if just for a little while.  Not much time for sketching except during our layover in Salt Lake City on the return home.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Yesterday I had the chance to sit in on an etching workshop taught by Steven Chapp.  I used a sketch I'd done at lunch the day before.  The technique is known as "drypoint intaglio," a fancy way to describe tracing our image onto plexiglass, inking it, and running it through a press.  Cool process, and educational.  It was held at if Art Gallery in Columbia, where an exhibit of Chapp's work can be seen.  

Walker O. Cain

While at my mother's over the holidays, I came across these Christmas cards from an architect friend of my grandparents.  Walker O. Cain worked for the firm McKim, Mead and White in New York, and later headed the firm in its last iteration, Walker O. Cain Associates.  I remember seeing these growing up, but never put together who had done them.  They remain inspirational pieces: