Sunday, November 7, 2010

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

This isn't a Southern California sketch spot, but it's too good to pass up. I stumbled onto this place on a work trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was put together by Frederik Meijer of the Meijer retail chain. Here's the Wikipedia link:
I thought this place was going to be small, it's huge! We walked around for at least two hours and you need a whole day. The Da Vinci Horse at the top of this post is amazing. Here's the story on it:
Here's the sculptor:
They have everything from monumental sculpture to the small Degas at left.
They also have a children's garden. An amphitheater that has concerts in the summer and an indoor sculpture collection and indoor garden area.
Grand Rapids as a whole was awesome. Great clean downtown area (another great sketch spot), good restaurants and in the summer it's beautiful. Great plein air spot. I brought my whole oil set up but didn't get a chance to paint. Bummer.
 But the sculpture garden is worth the trip alone. I've never seen anything like it. The park itself is big and open, and when I was there, not crowded. Even if you don't sketch it's like Disneyland for art lovers. I think it might be closed in the winter because of the snow but I'm not sure. Go. Now.
 Here's a few more shots:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Los Angeles County Natural History Museum

This place is a sketchers dream. Dinosaur bones, eagles, elephants, insects and on and on. The museum is in Exposition Park so you have to look at it as a whole. You also have the Air and Space museum and the California Science Center.
They now have a A12 Blackbird out front. Along with the planes already out in front of the air museum.

You need a whole day here. I lost a few hours sketching in one of the bird exhibits alone. There is a lot to sketch here, including The Colosseum. There is also a 747 near the Space Museum.
There is a huge rose garden in the center of the complex of buildings.

Lots of dino/animal bones to draw also. If you're studying anatomy this is a great place. As a matter of fact you can start researching just about any project here.
Here's a few sketches: