Friday, September 2, 2016

The View from Foshay (Plus Critters, Dead and Alive)

8/29/16 brush pen, colored pencils, ink (Capella Tower)
Sketching at the Minnesota State Fair was certainly the highlight of our short visit to the Twin Cities, but we had a few quieter adventures that were fun, too.

Foshay Tower, built in 1929, is a lovely art deco building modeled after the Washington Monument. At 32 stories, it doesn’t seem like a skyscraper anymore, and many buildings in downtown Minneapolis now dwarf it. But as a viewpoint of the city, its observation deck is fantastic. Amid the usual boxy, glassy monoliths were a couple of more interesting buildings that caught my eye: Capella Tower, with its halo-like top, and Wells Fargo Center. Sketching both through the imprisonment of the observation deck’s security girding, I really enjoyed the different architectural challenges of each.

The upper part of the Capella are the rounded tiers of a wedding cake, while the lower part is more traditionally flat-sided. I had to observe the shadows carefully to retain those shapes.

8/29/16 ink, colored pencils (Wells Fargo Center)
Wells Fargo was a different matter. Instead of the usual planes and lines, this building seemed to be made of textures and patterns in shades of warm and cool grays.

Coincidentally, Greg and his sister had a family meeting to attend at Capella Tower, so while they were inside, I found a shady spot in Capella’s courtyard to sketch the towers of Minneapolis City Hall (incorrectly labeled on my sketchbook page as Hennepin County Courthouse). Unfortunately obscured by a pedestrian walkway, the rest of the building would have been fun to sketch, too.

On another day we visited the Bell Museum, a natural history museum on the University of St. Paul campus. Compared to our own Burke Museum, the Bell seemed tired and outdated – lots of dimly lit dioramas that had seen better days. (In fact, it is closing at the end of the year for a major move to new digs, so in a couple of years it will be worth revisiting.) Disappointed that there weren’t any dinosaur skeletons to sketch, I had to settle for a white-tailed deer, which was still fun because I’d never sketched one.
8/29/16 brush pen, colored pencils, ink
(Minneapolis City Hall)

In addition to the skeletal and stuffed specimens, the Bell has a few living creatures, including several tarantulas! Squatting next to an aquarium with a hairy, dead-still beast of a spider, I felt the fear and sketched it anyway!

Before leaving the Cities, I got a chance to sketch the skyline over the east bank of the Mississippi and the lovely Stone Arch Bridge that crosses the river. I have fond memories of sketching in the same location three years ago when the Twin Cities Urban Sketchers arranged an outing for me there. 

8/29/16 brush pen, watercolor, colored pencils, ink (Stone Arch Bridge across the Mississippi)

8/28/16 colored pencils
8/28/16 ink, colored pencil

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you got to do a big variety of subjects while there. I like the buildings as seen and sketched thru the girding.


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