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


  1. Karen Boe January 22, 2013

    Alex, Happy new year! Wonky cars or not, it’s a wonderful design. I could see it repeated and made into a border fabric print. I love to see your sketches – they are a fun contrast to your detailed paintings, and just as inspiring.

    • Alex Zonis January 22, 2013

      Happy New Year to you too, Karen! Thank you for your comment, I do too like the effect Midway Plaisance sketch creates. I tried to get the gray mist and fog, the rhythm of the cars just happened and I like it.

  2. Carol King January 23, 2013

    Ah, the smell of fresh Cement Dust in the morning. Nice sketches Alex.

    • Alex Zonis January 24, 2013

      Better cement dust than napalm, lol! Thanks, Carol! Did you go sketching with USk NY lately?

  3. joantav January 23, 2013

    That is a funny story about the Penthouse…boy, did you get a bargain day. lol Nice sketches!!! That sewing machine below is just gorgeous! It reminds me of the one my mother had when we were growing up.

    • Alex Zonis January 24, 2013

      Thank you for visiting and for your comment, Joan. The old Singer invokes memories in many people – a distinct design.

  4. Linda Halcomb January 24, 2013

    What fun…and what a funny story. I’m glad they were accomodating. Very nice of them.

    • Alex Zonis January 24, 2013

      Hi Linda! Good to see you! They were accommodating and gave me an impression that they care about artists in general, not just their own – rare trait these days. I talked to two different people on the phone when preparing for the event in the Logan Center and they both were very helpful. Not the way it was with the Art Institute who could not dig themselves out from under the weight of their bureaucracy :(.

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