Monthly Archives: June 2014

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Zebra Butterfly by Kerry McFall

Zebra Butterfly by Kerry McFall

Cleveland Botanical Garden Glass House by Kerry McFall

Cleveland Botanical Garden Glass House by Kerry McFall

I could spend hours and hours in this place… the butterflies and birds are enchanting, and watching the people discover the enchantment is even more fun!

Sketchbook Project will be in Portland(ia) next weekend – oops, make it July 8 & 9…!

June 25 – just got word that dates have been changed to July 8 & 9, so changing them here as well.  KM

Last year I joined the Sketchbook Project when we were in Brooklyn, and now my little sketchbook is touring the country with 100’s of others in a special little “bookmobile”.    The topic I chose was “Borders”, one of those interesting multi-dimensional concepts that gives lots of room for interpretation.  I actually had a bit of “stage fright”, staring at that little blank book, but I approached like I do any other sketches, just get started and see what develops!

Sketchbook Project page spread, mixed media by Kerry McFall

Sketchbook Project page spread, mixed media by Kerry McFall

If you happen to be in Portland, I highly recommend stopping by and thumbing through a few sketchbooks.  I couldn’t believe how marvelous it was to hold the ACTUAL sketchbook in my hand, reading the artists’ own handwriting, seeing every stroke of the pen – it’s why original art is so much better than a copy, duh!  Here’s the scoop:

The Sketchbook Project Mobile Library is making two special stops in Portland, OR! To start, we’ll be at Portland Art Museum on Friday, July 8th and 9th. We’d love to see you out! 

Thousands of sketchbooks have been sent in from across the globe to make their rounds across North America on The 2014 Tour. We are only in town for 2 days before moving along our route, so you won’t want to miss it!

These events are totally free to attend. You’ll be able to browse sketchbooks cataloged by theme, materials, tags, location, and much more. You can even pick up a blank book for creating your own submission to next year’s project.

Please join us:

June 27th | 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205

June 28th | 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Director Park
SW Park Ave
Between SW Taylor and SW Yamhill
Portland, OR

My, What Big Ears You Have!

painting of Corgi black and white

“Clara the Corgi”, mixed media copyright Kerry McFall

I met Clara the Corgi last fall in Knoxville when she was still a puppy, looking for all the world like she was made out of spare parts: German Shepherd ears, quarter-scale Australian Shepherd legs, Basset Hound body, intense cartoon Mouse face… At that time, she could climb the stairs to get to the bedrooms, but she couldn’t figure out how to get back down.  Things aren’t much different now – the spare parts have all grown, but in the same mis-matched scale as before. However, she has developed the “coiling slinky toy” technique for getting downstairs, alternating front end to the east and rear end to the west, two steps at a time.  My Dad would have called that technique “ass over teakettle”.

She takes her security guard cues from Tay, a large (and slightly slow-witted) black Labrador, when anyone approaches the house or drives up the drive.  Clara trots up and stares urgently at Tay, the question clear on her face, “What should we do, Boss?!”  Tay determines, after careful consideration, whether or not they should A) bark hysterically, B) raise hackles and rush madly but mutely to the door, or C) just keep hanging out and shredding stuffed toys.  Options A and B are obviously Clara’s preferred choice, and there was ample opportunity for both as the house remodeling crews came and went during our recent visit.  But like a good pack dog, she follows her leader.  If option C can’t be avoided, she demonstrates her distaste with one disgruntled backwards “woof” as she returns to her cushion.  It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.


Aliens Land In Cleveland

"Star Gazer" sketch by Kerry McFall

“Star Gazer” sketch by Kerry McFall

This lady was about 6″ tall and completely captivated me.  She stands in the Cleveland Art Museum, staring intently at her plexiglass enclosure through to the ceiling.  Such simple lines.  I am not sure exactly how she wound up in Ohio after being dug up in Turkey, but I am convinced that she must represent an alien traveler that was stranded here on earth eons ago… the grace of her slender body, the shape of her head, tiny pinpoint eyes, none of which bear any resemblance to female statuettes from ancient times (at least not that I’ve ever seen).  Well, okay – maybe Egyptian… but the alien theory works for me!

Cleveland was a little detour en route to Eerie.  The flight to Ohio offered several people-sketching opportunities from magazine ad photos (below), then the art museum and the Cleveland Botanical Garden provided more sketch fodder .   The Botanical Garden provided a fluttery bonus in the glass house – dozens of tropical butterflies on the wing!  I took lots of photos and will be working on paintings from them soon, in between drawing lessons with a curly-headed two-year old, who really can dial Lithuania with amazing speed and stealth…