Monday, December 8, 2014

Sketching In Lutsen over Thanksgiving

Traveling to Lutsen

Marcy and  I utilized the Thanksgiving holiday to go to Lutsen to unwind.  On these family trips we always squeeze in a little time to sketch and paint.  I expected there to be more snow on the ground, but the lack of it created a color pallete that kept me painting.

These are a few of the sketches and I hope you enjoy them.


Coffee cup sketch.

Duluth Cafe
If you haven’t been to Duluth Grill you will never find it on your own. It is fantastic and the comfort food has a foody twist to it. They also have a wide range of fantastic local art.  Their coffee mugs are made by a local artist and a good warm up painting to start the trip.

Lutsen Totem
Most of the wood columns around the lodge are carved in an abstract Totem theme. During dinner I was able to study this a little. I noticed it other place around the property and I wonder who first came up with it.


My Breakfast View

This is the view I spent a lot of time with looking at Lake Superior. I spent a lot of time at this table painting.

Gondola ride

Adam in our office suggested that we go to the ski hill and take the Gondola ride up the mountain to a restaurant bar.  The Gondolas are exactly the same as at the state fair but the ride is a lot more extreme.  Straight up this cliff to incredible views.  We had the whole family painting up here. I was able to get several smaller pieces done. The food was just OK but the location was spectacular.


Lutsen Grass 

I mentioned the colors of the grass without so much snow. This piece is a simple painting trying to catch the essence. I was also trying out my “fan” type watercolor brush.

My Favorite Tree
Often times I will precolor a page and draw on top of it later. (See below) This is a good example. After a long time of water coloring I had all of this paint on my palette. I just hate sopping it up and throwing it away, so I mixed it all together and the color became this nice brown. I washed the page with it and waited for inspiration. I woke up 2 mornings later with this idea of painting the tree I kept staring at between me and the lake.
Built Wash
I haven't decided if this is a finished piece or if inspiration will hit me to paint over it.

Lake Superior from Lutsen Resort
This is the view I woke up to and enjoyed every morning. This image itself is my attempt at the Tea Milk and Honey 3 stage water color approach I recently read about in Marc Taro Holmes wonderful new book The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location.
There were more sketches, but these tell the best story, I hope you enjoyed them.
James Nutt

Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 State Fair sketches!

For the past 3 years I have taken a day off to meet with Roz Stendhal and the Metro Sketchers to draw at the State fair for a whole day!  So wonderful and the temperature was amazing. 
I won't eat a deep fried candy bar, but I will draw one!

A warm up sketch of an architecture detail the Agriculture building

I have never tried a horse before. This is a standing inkwash.

Sleeping pigs are so fun to draw...standing inkwash

A sheep getting ready for the show. The only one still enough to draw...standing inkwash

Such an awesome slide and such great colors. Water color from my altoid kit.

This building was just too much fun not to draw.

I always start the fair with a Twisted Sister Sausage and it is my warm up sketch.

A friend works here and I had a great visit with him while drawing.
I hope you enjoy these!
James Nutt

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Red Door Studio Art-A-Whirl 2014

I didn't realize that I hadn't posted this blog entry from Art-A-Whirl 2014!
Thank you to everyone who came out. It has been a dream of mine to be in Art-A-Whirl since we moved to Minneapolis. I always thought someone might let me use a little space on their walls. I never expected to have a full blown studio in one!
5 artist share this space. 2 photographers and 3 architect needed an art outlet!
The place was packed all weekend!  Really wonderful to meet so many people and discuss art.  We worked so hard to get this set up and it was worth it.

This image is typical of how many people were in the studio the whole time. Leo really did great with the people and even tried to sell some art.
My friend Pat Mackey stopped by wearing the required architect black shirt.

The T-Rex! got the most attention of everything I had posted. I sold several prints.  T-Rex! is back in Hazels NE for the time being.  I have sold prints to or created new cardboard pieces for several people since the show.

Lots of friends who stopped by are in this picture.


The NewStudio Architecture crew came by!

Indeed Brewery and the band outside kept the place packed. There was so much fun stuff going on that it was crazy.

Leo had fun.

Our hallways are also art galleries. We are at the end of the hall so this gives a good indication of how busy it stayed.

Another shot of the common space.


The space is was only empty before the start and after!
Art-A-Whirl was a blast.  We will be open most First Thursdays if anyone wants to visit and see what we are up to. Thanks for all the support of our art. It really helps!
James Nutt

Monday, August 4, 2014

A wonderful evening in Excelsior Springs, Mo

From Minneapolis to  Excelsior Springs, Mo

On a trip to drop my son off with his grandparents in Arkansas I had a two day trip back to do as I pleased. I had always thought of stopping by Excelsior Springs to visit Cathy Johnson. Cathy is an artist I greatly admire and helped me with advice and encouragement and a great example of living by art.

These are roughly in the order I sketched them. 90% on site work.  The last 10% was line weight ramp up and some color touchup.  It was getting dark, and I will admit a little creepy being the only one walking around downtown once it got dark.

Cathy and her husband Joseph graciously welcomed me in.  I had no idea if they only had time for a quick visit but it turns out we all went to dinner together at a beautiful hotel downtown.  The restaurant at The Elms is quite beautiful and food was great.  As soon as the food was done the sketchbooks came out!

Neat little building corner.  I think it was the Mill Inn. I need to go back and put the lettering in.

It was starting to get dark and the color got away from me. This building isn't really green, but now that I have some distance on my frustration that it turned green I really like it. Always be careful with mixing yellow at night. You really can't see it so use about 1/3 as much yellow as you think. Or just go for it and have bright interesting colors the next day.  Either works!

This was just a neat building corner.

Such a wonderful evening.  After they left I had about 45 minutes to an hour of daylight and made a quick walking tour grabbing what sketches the light allowed.  I think I may have been one of 5 people out and about downtown.

The night before I loaded up two pages with color for some yet unknown project the next day.  Over breakfast I did these two drawings.  The family in front of me turned out to be an art teacher from Omaha that I wound up showing my sketches and paint kits to.  It is always fun to meet people.

Such a nice morning and beautiful patio to have breakfast at. I should have drawn the biscuits and gravy but they somehow went away to quickly!

James Nutt

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

James Nutt Sketching in Philadelphia and Washington DC

This week I had work travel. I left a little early to sketch in Philadelphia. I spent Sunday from 3-7:30 in Ritten Square and walking distance. The next day I took a train to Washington DC and got a few sketches of to amazing train stations in the same day!

I hope you enjoy. These are roughly in order. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

15 years of Urban Sketching

15 Years of Urban Sketching

Lately I have been going through old files and boxes of art stuff.  I thought it would be fun to post drawings from 1999 to now.  I have an assortment like this on my Behance page h

Roughly in chronological order..... 2014 to 1999

Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I did revisiting them.

Keep Drawing

James Nutt AIA