Posts in Category: drawing

2014…. and it’s a wrap!

2014 is quickly wrapping up. It is a dark early evening, too dark to paint, so I am blogging instead. Facebook and WordPress are putting out these computer generated annual content reports, but they are much too silly, or artificial is possibly a better description. So I thought I will tell you what really happened this year :).

I painted 6 paintings:

Ok, the last one – working title Turning Time – is still a work in progress!

E is for Empathy will appear on a cover of my husband’s book A Rumor of Empathy, Resistance, Narrartive, Recovery in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy – Lou Agosta, PhD. Interesting book, check it out!

Adagio for Three Strings has won a Most Innovative award in National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) Fall Show. Much too excited about this!

I had work in two shows in 2014:

– Matite in Viaggio, Centro Candiani, Venice Italy – October 2014

– National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) – December 2014

Ardmore overpass 8-1-2012

I participated in my second Sketchpack project

It runs from Cape Town South Africa. Every day for the month of August I drew a small drawing. My 31 drawings traveled to Cape Town SA to participate in a show.


I have started teaching oil painting

and had a number of victims students study with me in my studio as well as online via Skype, gotta love technology!

Paul painting

Paul painting


Urban Sketchers Chicago

Urban Sketchers Chicago, a sketching group I started in 2012, is going strong with its monthly sketch crawls, active Facebook, blog and other online presence. The group now has nearly 350 sketchers and a wonderful unique spirit.

Chicago Sketch Seminar 2014 took place in June 2014 and was a great success. I was privileged to lead a group amazing volunteers and together we created this wonderful event. About 70 sketchers from all over USA and even one international sketcher attended and participated in 8 sketching workshops and 3 sketching activities. And one Dinner, Drinks and Drawing event!

If you are still reading this, I really appreciate!

I hope you had nice holidays so far and wishing you Happy Healthy and Artful New Year!!

Edgewater goes to Venice

After all the fuss and bother – lost emails, language barriers, and impossibility to communicate – the spirit of art and urban sketching prevailed. “Matite in Viaggio” exhibition opened in Venice Itally yesterday, October 10, 2014. Five of my drawings are showing there!

Matite in Viaggio 10-10-2014 processed Matite in Viaggio - Alex Zonis catalog 10-10-2014

 Here they are in the covered exhibition table – photo on the left. And here they are in the exhibition catalog along with my b&w photo and what seems to be a blurb of text – photo on the right. I wish I remembered what I wrote, and can only hope it is not too embarrassing.

And I almost missed this whole excitement because I could not go, which sucked. But a friend was there and took these photos ( photos © NotNot Tana Luc). Thanks, Luc!!



A portrait for a birthday

I have not drawn a graphite portrait in some time, and so was very pleased when a far away friend wanted a portrait of his sister for her birthday. He wanted me to draw it so he would include it in a movie he was making as a birthday present for her. What a thoughtful thing to do!

Anyway, here’s the portrait

Esther 9-14-2014 lo-res medium


I forgot how pleasant it is draw in graphite and how relaxing – just values, no color.

The bottom line – I want a brother like that!!

The Sketchpack Project 2014

Alex sketchpack concertina 2 8-31-2014

August came and went in a single minute it seems. It was even more busy because I was invited and participated in The Sketchpack Project 2014. My regular readers may remember The Sketchpack 2013 from last year. This project is organized and run by my good friend Di Metcalf of Artsource from Capetown, South Africa. Artsource sends out concertina sketchpacks, and participants make a sketch every day for the month of August. Completed sketchpacks go back to Capetown and take part in the exhibition.

These are my 31 (more or less) drawings drawn every day or nearly every day during August 2014. This year I couldn’t be bothered with having a single theme or a discipline to stick to it. So these are a stream of consciousness drawings, whatever happened in my life, that I drew. My friend tragically passed away – I drew his portrait. Charlie the dog came to visit – I drew Charlie. I worked on compositions for paintings and drew thumbnails. Went for walks and drew what I saw. Broke dishes and drew the shards. A fantastic practice – I highly recommend it to anyone.

See drawings here –

Every day in August – the last sketches

So many things were happening in the last weeks that I nearly forgot I had a few more sketches from Every Day in August project! These are from around my neighborhood – Edgewater.

The little red tractor-beachcomber is busy combing our beach every morning along with two others – one blue and one green. It makes a nice summery buzz-buzz-clankedy-clunk noise to wake up to.

Our beach looks just like Miami with these ultramarine umbrellas. We call this area Michigan Riviera in summer. You don’t want to know what I call it in winter.

In Chicago we only get two seasons – Winter and Construction. It is Construction now, I had a choice of three different backhoes within 2 blocks of my building.

And then the project came to an end. Here’s the whole concertina pack – 31 sketches – just before it got into the mail to go to Cape Town. I already heard from South Africa that it arrived (whew!) and is being installed in the exhibition.

Everyday in August 2013 - finished

The earlier sketches can be seen under these links:

Every Day in August

Every Day in August – more sketches


– Every day in August – 4th installment

Every day in August – 4th installment


Aug-25-27 web

Here are a few more sketches for the wonderful Sketchpack Project 2013 out of Capetown, South Africa. The first three are fun classic cars from a classic cars show we stumbled upon in Stockholm – an MG, a Ford, and a Buick. And a delightful garland of kids I caught walking down my street a few months back. I let myself use my Artistic License painting their clothes, and had to nearly completely invent the leading boy because he walked out of the frame while I fumbled with my camera :).

The earlier sketches can be seen under these links:

Every Day in August

Every Day in August – more sketches


One of these days I will make a separate page for them.

Today my blog turns 4 years old! Who could have thought?! To celebrate this occasion we,  the blog and I, got ourselves a present – a brand new URL.

Welcome to!

And I also want to use this post to share 6 more sketches from Sketchpack project.

See more Everyday in August sketches here: Everyday in August part 1 and Everyday in August part 2.

Every day in August – more sketches

The next 6 sketches for the wonderful Sketchpack Project 2013 out of Capetown, South Africa. The first 6 can be seen here – Every Day in August.

We have a Facebook group for members of this project where we post our daily sketches and chat away about sketches and everything else. It is quite amazing to say this – but I seem to have a few new friends in Capetown and Johannesburg area. Some even invited me to visit – an amazing feat considering the distance – 8494 miles  – and amount of jet fuel needed to get there from Chicago. But you never know… if there is a will – there is a way!

Every day in August

I was invited to participate in The Sketchpack Project 2013. My friend Di Metcalf from Cape Town, South Africa organized it. I got sent an accordion sketchpack and am doing a drawing a day, every day for the month of August. The sheets are really small – 4″x3.3″ (10 x 8 cm), so the sketches  do not take a lot of time. I do them in the evenings, after I finish painting and teaching.

I decided to use this opportunity of daily sketching to try out ideas for future paintings. I have a list of ideas, let’s see how they look as images. When the month of August is over and the sketches are finished, the sketchpack will fly back to Cape Town and will participate in a show.

Above are six sketches from the first week. I will be adding more when I have time.

Midway Plaisance

I am way overdue posting new sketches. I’ve been very busy painting and did not have much time for sketching or posting sketches. Now is a good time to catch up.

From Logan Center 12-16-12

In December Urban Sketchers Chicago went to investigate the new Logan Art Center in Hyde Park. It turned out to be a wonderful building with spectacular views on Hyde Park, University of Chicago and even the lake from its glassed terraces on 8th and 9th floors. On the other hand the Center is so new it set my teeth on edge. It smells fresh cement dust.

When I called to check if Urban Sketchers can come and draw there, the event manager recommended the Penthouse views from 8th floor. Then he added that to rent the Penthouse for a group use would cost us $1000. That was pretty funny, and after we chuckled over it, he suggested that we just come and sketch in the Penthouse if it is available, and leave when someone arrives to use it. This strategy worked well. The brick gabled building in the sketch is a view down from the Penthouse. After an hour of drawing some people indeed arrived to set up a show, so we went down to a cafe on the first floor.

Midway Plaisance 12-16-12

The cafe offered a moody and pleasant view on Midway Plaisance – all gray and misty in December afternoon. I’ve never sketched a landscape before and cars are still an unfamiliar business to me. I decided to be brave and try new things. The cars came out a bit wonky and cartoonish I think, but overall effect is kinda nice.

Here’s us in the Logan Art Center cafe with Midway Plaisance behind us:

USK Chicago meet 12-16-12

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