Sunday, July 20, 2014

South Lawn, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

South Lawn, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
©2014 Steve Penberthy
Watercolor on Strathmore 140-lb CP paper
9" x 12" (22.9 cm x 30.5 cm)
I met up with Kate Johnson and the Urban Sketchers-Midwest group in Kansas City at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  We met at the entrance near the museum shop, then we all spread out to a sketching location of our choosing.  Some chose to sketch inside (pencils-only allowed inside) and I headed outside to the south lawn.  Since this was my first visit to the Nelson-Atkins, I wanted to sketch the iconic view of the museum, and headed down the hill to find just the right vantage point.  Sitting on the grass, I laid out some basic lines with a B pencil, then laid in some ink lines using a Sanford Uni-Ball Micro rollerball pen (see note below).  As I painted, I was lost in time and space with sounds of people on the grounds providing a nice soundtrack as I focused.  Many curious onlookers walked by, and some even said "hello."  After a little more than an hour, I made the long uphill climb back to the museum, carrying my sketchbook in an open configuration so it could finish drying.  I caught up with the sketchcrawl group in the Rozzelle Court Restaurant, where I had a cool salad, some water, and very inspiriting and stimulating conversations with my fellow artists as we passed around each others' sketchbooks.
(Note regarding the Uni-Ball pen: I'm quickly losing interest in the current incarnation of Uni-Ball pens and will likely cease using them for art; when I originally started using these pens years ago, the ink was somewhat water-soluble and a slight wash could be pulled from it.  I liked the way I could lay down ink lines and the water from my washes would almost make the ink disappear.  However, the newer pens tout their "Super Ink" which is fade- and water-resistant ink.  And, while I love the water-resistiveness of permanent pens such as Pigma Microns, I feel the Uni-Ball ink is just too one-dimensional in terms of line and expressiveness.)