Friday, November 14, 2014

Metra in a cold day

I had lunch with friends in Chicago yesterday. We met at the Metra station in Joliet to take the double decker train.  There's a temporary ticket office because the main building is closed. The new access to the platforms consists of two staircases made of concrete, one of them with an elevator. The waiting area in the platforms looks more like it belongs to a modern city, but this is something so needed in old Joliet. My friends didn't mind me sketching them, they look very calm because we were paying attention to whoever was talking in our group. In my opinion, it's better to sketch listeners instead of the ones who talk, since they don't move. My pen was the one that kept moving because of the train motion, so lines are a little shaky, I show respect for those who sketch in trains, it's quite a challenge to draw a straight line. It's a shame a sketch of my face is not included, it would be interesting to see myself, since it's been reported to me that I look like I'm upset when I'm focus, but it's just the opposite, when I sketch I'm usually calm. 

The trains are huge, double decker. I sketched the outside train from indoors, actually, everybody was waiting indoors, Chicago is very cold now. I added people later at home as a reference of size. 

Once inside  the train I tried to render the height of the train and watercolor it later. I had fun chatting, eating, shopping, and of course, sketching.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Illinois Route 66

I've heard so much about the famous Route-66; I know it crossed the United States from the Midwest to the West Coast, but .... does it still exist? In my quest to know, I found that part of the old road still exist and passed through nothing more and nothing else than Joliet, the next town from where I live. So last Saturday, I drove there and South to sketch some of the roadside attractions in three different towns.
The first one was the Rich & Creamy Ice Cream Store in Joliet. Once my husband took me there when I moved to the United States years ago. I wasn't impressed, I thought it was dated and old. With my limited knowledge about this country, I had little appreciation of what I was witnessing. That has changed.  Now I like anything vintage and that has history. I sat on the shade across the road, it was cold, but I captured the Blues Brothers on top.
Next day, Sunday, I headed South to the Village of  Dwight in Illinois. There's is a beautiful historic place call the Ambler's Texaco Gas Station. I LOVED the vintage gas pumps. This time I wasn't going to let the cold weather get to me, so this smart girl parked the car with the trunk's window facing the building. I sketched in the trunk very comfortably and stayed warm. I love the result.

Finally I headed back North to the town of Wilmington to make a stop at this statue made of fiber glass, the Gemini Giant. Now a restaurant, it started as a stand selling only hot dogs. I believe old Route 66 is full of this giant statues, something in vogue then. I had a great weekend on Route 66.