Friday, December 30, 2011

Mr. Kringle's Inventionasium

This is from Mr. Kringle's Inventionasium. It's a seasonal attraction at Tower City, and I've always been curious about what it's like inside, especially since I am the be all and end all of Christmas decorations in my 24 story apartment building. It did not disappoint. So many decorated Christmas trees is so many colors. Toy soldiers. Elves. Toys. Everything you can imagine in such fun candy colors.

I took my little sister (through BigBrothers/BigSisters---which I highly recommend that you do, if you don't already), and although she was too old for this, we still enjoyed it. I think I had a goofy grin on my face the whole time in there. She had some fun, and the staff there really wanted to make sure that people had a good time. If you have small children, it's a must. It's $6 a person, but the "extras" like toys and photos can add up. You were allowed to take pictures anywhere in the attraction with your own camera, but you could not in the room with Santa. We didn't do the Santa part, though.

I'm not sure what will come of it next year when the casino opens, but I hope that they continue it. It's such a great reason to go down and see the Christmas decorations at Tower City and have dinner at one of the restaurants or in their big food court. Plus, things change so much, it's nice if there are things that people can count on doing every year as a holiday tradition.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday hours

Took a drive downtown to Cleveland's W. 25th Street neighborhood today. Thought about drawing the West Side Market, but chose instead the little strip of buildings on the west side of the street. Then we were off to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, where one could easily go back and do actual gingerbread house drawings while the Christmas season is upon us.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Marie's Restaurant

I couldn't make it to the sketchcrawl at Tower City on Saturday, so I managed to get this sketch done Friday before work.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seoul Hot Pot

Not too many days will be left to do some outdoor sketching in Cleveland. This is a restaurant on Payne Ave in Cleveland's Asiatown. It's called Seoul Hot Pot, and although I've never been there, I hear a lot of good things about it. I will go at some point. There are just so many good restaurants around here to get to.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Still Life

This was a still life that I had set up for the watercolor class that I teach on Monday nights. I thought I'd change up a bit and do a still life in the sketch book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sketching with Friends

Mary by Maroonic
Mary, a photo by Maroonic on Flickr.

Pat and I sketch together at lunch some days, and sometimes Sophie joins us. We don't always sketch the same things even though we might be looking in the same direction. When we do, the results are interesting!

This statue might look similar in both sketches but our style and background varies. I often do a simpler sketch and with light color and when I look at Pat's I want to go back add lines and details and color. Sometimes I do and sometimes I leave it as it is!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grasselli Library

One advantage to working on a college campus is that there is always something close by to sketch. The library has an outdoor reading garden and this little statue is tucked away in a hidden corner. Conveniently, there's a bench hidden back there too.

When the weather forces one to sketch indoors, the library is filled with stacks of books that probably make for more interesting sketching than reading.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rockefeller Greenhouse

No this isn't the Rockefeller Greenhouse. I was up there but got called home to help out with a family logistical emergency. So here is a sketch I did up at Gardenview Horticultural Garden in Strongsville earlier that week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Momocho Mod Mexican Restaurant

I have been to Momocho several times, and the food is always great. I highly recommend that you get a plank of guacamole with their fresh chips. I also recommend the smoked trout and the pepita crusted trout (I'm a sucker for seafood when I go out to eat). In fact, I suggest the guacamole with blue crab as well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sketch Crawl Saturday October 1st

Come join us as we sketch at Cleveland's Rockefeller Park Greenhouse.  The forecast for Saturday is rain so we can sketch both indoors and outdoors if the sun is shinning,  we will meet at 10am.  Hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Medina

These are the three moleskine sketches I made while visiting the Medina Farmer's Market last year in June. It was a beautiful day and I took advantage of it. The second sketch is of the gazebo in the center of the square.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Medina Town Square

I visited the farmer's market in Medina this morning, and afterwards worked on this sketch on toned paper. Medina has one of the best farmer's markets going, and it goes without saying that their town square is outstanding. Quintessential small town America. As I started to sketch, the sky started to clear up and the temperature was in the low 60s. People were walking around all happy with their fresh produce, and a great blues band played on the gazebo. A fantastic morning.

I have a couple sketches from a year or two ago of Medina's square that I'll post in the near future.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Apex Academy

This it the view directly under my living room window, just across the street. I can see all the way to the lake from this window, but that was just a little too much to tackle in my Moleskine sketchbook.

It's been so rainy and overcast the last week or so, that it's made it difficult to be outside drawing. The next best thing is to draw outside my window. There's a lot to see out of the living room and bedroom, so this is a good way to get some sketches done when the weather is bad outside.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Idea Center at Playhouse Square

This is the Idea Center on Euclid Avenue near Playhouse Square. It houses our PBS station, and although it is a minor part in this sketch, has a really cool sign along the left side of the building. I went Sunday afternoon to draw this building and to listen to the jets fly overhead from the air show, and I didn't realize how interesting the buildings facade really is until I sat and started to draw it. Was a lot of fun, though I probably didn't capture the best news on the scrolling thing above the bottom windows. Not a lot of activity going on around this area this morning, but I got the sketch in before it started to rain again.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cleveland Air Show

Airshow-Plane by Maroonic
Airshow-Plane, a photo by Maroonic on Flickr.

We picked a brutally hot day to visit the Cleveland Airshow -- 90 degrees out with not much shade and reflective heat beaming up from the tarmac. After we toured the planes (the Continental/United plane had full air conditioning!), we strolled over to watch the show. We took shelter on the edge of the runway under the wing of this small plane. The wing prevented us from looking straight up but we had a great view of the school bus shooting jet-fueled flames!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Avengers' Movie Set

Sunday morning was overcast, but the rain held off long enough for four of us to get some quality sketching time in. There wasn't much going on at this end of the movie set, but we can always find plenty to draw. We did hear one gunshot much further up East 9th, and we saw lots of workmen searching through the pile o' debris. They seemed to be looking for mangled street grates. Security guards came and went. One guard looked like he was sitting (or sleeping) in a recliner.

Later in the morning, people started to show up for the Indians' game, and we were treated to a man across the street yelling, "Tickets!" for the better part of an hour. We stayed until we couldn't take the smell of french fries behind us at Panini's any longer. Instead of getting that, we went over to Li Wah and had dim sum. One of our favorite things to do on a Sunday!

I'll post another sketchcrawl in a couple of weeks. We should have time for a few more before the weather gets cold. It usually stays nice and hot well into October.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sketchcrawl: Sunday, August 28th, 2011, 9am

Meeting Place: southwest corner of East 9th and Prospect intersection
Date/Time: Sunday, August 28th, 2011, 9:00am
Parking: There should be parking along Prospect and Huron, and there are garages/lots along those streets as well
Location: We will be at the south end of the East 9th Avengers movie shoot. This location may change based on the activity and sites that we can see. Please arrive promptly to avoid missing us
Who: Everyone is invited! All levels and skills are more than welcomed!

NOTE: Please check this blog before you leave the house on Sunday, because any cancellation will be posted here by early Sunday morning. If there is no posting, then it is ON!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It was terrible rain storm Sat. Mina and I found a little corner and hurried up did some sketches. what an experience. We treat ourselves Dim Sum afterward.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I went downtown yesterday (thinking the crawl was on a Saturday as usual), decided to skip the filming and just did a sketch of Euclid Ave looking west. It was hot sitting on that sidewalk! A guy came up and chatted with me a while about the watercolor process, saying that he dabbled in it at one time. I hope he gives it another shot!

Today's Sketchcrawl Postponed

Today's sketchcrawl at the Avengers' movie set is postponed. I will post details about rescheduling it for next Sunday in the next few days.

Hope to see you next week!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sketchcrawl at the Movie Set Update

Please watch here tomorrow by 7am. I am watching weather forecasts, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow morning to announce if it's postponed or not.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sketchcrawl at the Movie Set

Please join us at a Sketchcrawl at the Avengers' movie set. We are going to meet at the Charter One Bank on Superior at East 12th (1215 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH for your GPS/Mapquesting). There is a lot of street parking around there. Meet at 9am. If you are coming later, send an email to, and I will give you a phone number to text when you get there to find our whereabouts. We'll look to draw for about 2-3 hours, depending on how interesting we find the location.

The posted schedule for shooting puts them on Walnut Ave, which is only about a block or two away from our meeting spot. If by chance the schedule is off, we will be going over to East 9th.

Watch here for weather-related updates.

If you would like to be a contributor to the Cleveland Urban Sketchers blog, please also email We would love to have a lot of drawings posted next week from the movie set.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Here's two sketches from a sketch crawl a while back. They're in a watercolor moleskine which explains the texture of the paper.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Downtown Cleveland Alliance Sketchcrawl

The upcoming Downtown Cleveland Alliance Sketchcrawl will be Saturday, August 6th at 10:00am. It will be a walking sketchcrawl during the Cleveland Take a Hike historical walking tours. Saturday meets at the Arcade (401 Euclid Ave). It will be a tour of the Gateway District.

You can find more information here about this walking tour or the other tours that run weekly throughout the summer.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wade Lagoon

Met a new sketcher at Wade Lagoon (behind the Cleveland Museum of Art) today, and it was a great morning. She picked this location, behind the mermaid statue, and it was a great decision. I wouldn't have chosen it on my own. The sun was bright, but not unbearable. The temperature was warm, but mild. I was shocked on my way home to see that it was in the 90s, certainly didn't feel like it was.

It was fun to watch the geese play around. They certainly seem to have cliques that they like to stay in. Every once in a while, several would decide to fly low on the water, almost skipping/running on the water. But, there was one that just couldn't do it and kept taking a nose dive deep into the water. Poor guy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Come Sketchcrawling, Sunday, July 31, 2011

Come sketching at the lagoon behind the Cleveland Museum of Art at 9am on Sunday, July 31, 2011. We'll meet near the side of the lagoon that is closest to the museum. If the weather is rainy, we'll post an update here very early Sunday morning. So, just check this blog out before you leave your house, or simply look out your windows.

All artistic levels are welcomed.

There is plenty of free parking on East Blvd. and MLKjr on either side of the lagoon. There is also free parking on Sunday at any meters you see around Wade Oval. If you would rather, there is a paid parking at the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Bring snacks & water/juice/soda, so you can enjoy working on your sketches for most of the morning.

Post any questions or comments to this blog posting, and we'll answer ASAP for you. If you plan to come, it'd be great to post on this blog that you're going, that way, we know to expect you.

See you there!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Edgewater Sketch

Edgewater Sketch by Maroonic
Edgewater Sketch, a photo by Maroonic on Flickr.

In honor of WW Sketchcrawl 32, I brought my Moleskine sketchbook with me to the North Coast 24 training run and captured this view across from Edgewater Park. Close to the finish, the wind really kicked up, the sky behind the buildings grew dark, and the lightning started.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Walnut Wednesdays

I took enough time to draw this, that the lines had gotten way too long for me to stand in the hot sun to get lunch. This wasn't stopping all of the people from the business buildings that surround Walnut Ave, though. They were in long lines. You often couldn't tell which line someone was in. This demonstrations the eternal truth about Clevelanders, "We love good food." We don't care if it's in a fine restaurant, a deli, a dive, an old warehouse, a food truck. . . . If you make good food, we will come to eat.

Walnut Wednesdays happens from 11:30-1:00pm weekly. About 8-10 food trucks set up on Walnut Ave to sell for lunch hour. There are a lot of people who show up, so if you plan to go, go early.

I sketched first, and by the time I was done, the lines were far too long for me to stand out in the hot summer sun. I'm upset, because I had planned to get a shrimp po'boy from Zydeco Bistro (I haven't tried them yet). But, all was good, because I didn't see them there anyhow. Maybe I'll catch them next week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taste of Tremont

Noreen and I went and sketched (and ate) our way around the Taste of Tremont this past weekend.

We ate a lot of food, and fortunately, they had smallish servings, and we did a lot of sharing. We started with chicken paprikash (when in doubt, get chicken paprikash). Then, Noreen got mac and cheese from Lolita, and I got nachos from Grumpy's. The nachos had 3 kinds of beans, great cheese, and a salty/sweet taste. Then, on our way to Lilly Chocolates, we stopped and got wonton chips with bacon quacamole from bac. Then, to Lilly Chocolates where we sat in the a/c and had ice cream floats. I had orange cream soda with malted vanilla bean ice cream. Very good as always, thanks Amanda and Lilly girls! Then, we hit Cookie and a Cupcake. Now, I just figured that all I'd heard about them has been hype. Buy, no way! I got just the normal yellow cake with chocolate cream frosting, and boy, it was the best yellow cake ever.

As if that wasn't enough, I got a cabbage roll to take home from the booth for Prosperity Social Club. We also strolled through the shops and St. John's church. All in all, a great 4 hours or so spent outside in the gloriously hot day. The only thing that could have made it better is if Tremont had set up misters to spray the crowd. That would have been awesome.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dr. Seuss Sculpture Display

There is a traveling exhibit of bronze Dr. Seuss sculputres at Eton on Chagrin Blvd in Woodmere. It's up until September, and I enjoyed sketching there the other day. I just sat on the floor behind a plant to get this good angle of The Grinch. Not many people came through to bother my view, and anyone who cut through apologized for getting in the way. A family also stopped by and they all took their pictures in front of the Lorax.

I may draw another sculpture next week. The Green Eggs and Ham looks fun, and so does the Yertle the Turtle stack of turtles would be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Slavic Village

Here's one from the trusty moleskine that has a little more urban flavor.

Cleveland Botanical Gardens

Went to the Botanical Garden with a friend on Sunday. We found this spot to sit and draw. I crew this structure and accompanying plants/flowers. My friend faced the other direction and drew the plants/flowers in that direction. Even though this was a deadend, once we sat down, it became the most popular spot in the gardens. And, since it was a deadend, people had to pass us twice. It was all fine, though. Not many people were at the gardens on Sunday, even though they are allowed to bring their dogs on the grounds Sunday.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I'm honored to be asked to contribute to this blog. This is the Post Office on Snow Road in Brookpark that is now closed. That's snow you see clumped next to the light pole and stop sign. The P.O. itself is to the very right of the drawing, a simple box shaped building. I think this was done in early 2007, but I didn't date it, so I can't say for sure. Thanks for inviting me on to Urban Sketchers Cleveland!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Alcazar Hotel, Cleveland Hts., Ohio

Maureen, you got me into this thing, I guess I have to at lease post one drawing to start out, it's an old one.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shaker Square, Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Sketchcrawl

Here are my two sketches from the Cleveland Sketchcrawl this morning. The sketchcrawl was at the West Side Market, and anyone of any skill level is more than welcomed to join it. We will try to post the dates/times/places on here in the future, so you can join the next time around.

This blog has also invited a lot of the sketchers from the Sketchcrawl group to contribute on this blog. If you are a sketcher, and you didn't get an invite, just leave a comment on a post, and we'll send you an invite. Just check out the manifesto on our page to give you the rundown. We want this to be an active community, and we want to adhere to the Urban Sketchers guides, among them--sketches need to be done on location. Sketches can be done in any medium, so if you paint on location, that is perfectly fine!

See you all soon!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cool Globes

It was a quiet morning down at Wade Oval. I'd gone down to do some sketching, and I was pleasantly surprised by several globe sculptures around the oval. There were some people walking laps around the inner oval (which isn't much of a walking track, only took about 4-5 minutes to make a lap). There was a group of 4 women using a big stone slab as a table for a game of Uno. Do to the holiday, none of the museums or gardens were open.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This is #9 of Get out and Play.  Hanging out on the Green at Oberlin College.  This is Bosworth Hall,  The inscription above the main door read: "But of all things truth bearth away victory".  #10 was Eastcoast Custard and once drawing..just eating.
Beautiful day to be on the Green at Oberlin College sketching the surrounding historical buildings.  This is a sketch and wash of Finney Chapel.  It's a pity I did not have my paintbox with me to paint the wonderful Spanish style red roof.
Here I am at # 7 of Get out and play.  Coventry is  wonderful street full of odd shops and eateries. Lining the whole street are these wrought iron sculptures that wind around trees, benches and bike racks. It was a pleasure finding space and drawing them.  As you can see #8 was the Gelateria on Cedar.  No drawing...just eating....

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cleveland GardenWalk 2011

Went on the Cleveland GardenWalk. I only had time for two of the neighborhood, Hough and Tremont. This converted firehouse was in the Tremont area. Behind, it's a garden of green and ivy with a koi pond. It was great visiting all of the community gardens around the city, and seeing all of the great people revitalizing their neighborhoods.