Monday, October 28, 2019


Silly me!

I thought I would have time to sketch during Open House Chicago! 

This is my sketch of Holy Name Cathedral done early in the morning on February 4, 2009, when with out the brave Chicago First Responders the Cathedral would have burned to the ground. I told this story many times OHC2019 weekend.

Over 1,000 people toured Holy Name Catherdral  durintg this year’s open house. We docents barely had a chance to sit let alone sketch! It was well worth it however. 

Sharing a part of our beautiful city is always a joy to me whether it’s done by sketching or through words. 

Sharing Chicagoland!

Enjoy a selection of sketches from USk Chicago members who sketched their explorations during Open House Chicago.

Paul Ingold

"Quick pen and watercolor sketch outside of the Maxwell St Police Station (now UIC Police), Edbrooke and Burnham, 1888.

This station has been in many TV shows. 
It might be most famous for a few scenes from Hill Street Blues (early 80's).

A guided tour took us thru the lobby, holding cells, and gun range. I sketched outside, just as the arctic air rolled in from the lake."

Kris Van Stockum 

"I wanted to explore a neighborhood I don’t usually frequent, so I chose Lincoln Square/Ravenswood. Visited The Zen Buddhist Temple and Dank Haus Chicago, as part of Open House Chicago. Here’s my sketch from The Zen Buddhist Temple on Cornelia."

Nishant Jain

In line at the #glessnerhouse.

Lori Hill 

“Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go on a #sketch crawl during the Chicago Architecture Center open house at several historic #chicago landmark theaters and buildings.
LOVED visiting the James M. Nederlander Theatre (formerly Oriental Theatre) and sketching art!"

Mark Jones  

"Had the pleasure to get a tour of the former warehouse and distribution site of Bowman Dairy, one of the largest dairy suppliers in Chicago the late 1800’s up to 1966, located at State Street and Root Street in Chicago. Omni Ecosystems has begun a renovation to make it their headquarters. This is a sketch of the doors at the Root Street loading way that separated two of the buildings. Color pencil and Blackwing graphite pencils in a Kohinoor Bristol Smooth Sketchbook."

Tomoko Tanka 

"Sketched Old St. Patrick’s Church yesterday. While drawing it, I started hearing bagpipes and saw many people dressed up coming out...and thereafter newlyweds."

Shruti Vijay 

"I chose to sketch at the @americantobyjugmuseum as a part of Open house Chicago 2019 @chiarchitecture They have a wide and great collection of Toby jugs. It is truly a hidden treasure and a must visit."

Hendriko Teguh Sangkanparan

Hyde Park "Moving to the next point of interest!"

It was a great weekend. Thank you for sharing your sketches!

If you were out there sketching Chicago and it’s neighborhoods as part of Open House Chicago and would like to share your sketches post them in the comments. We’d all love to see them! 

The new blog posts will be mentioned in the Facebook group but if you’d like to keep up to date by email just fill in your email address in the place provided in the upper right corner under the banner. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Exploring Chicago History as an Urban Sketcher

Sketching History!

This weekend we have an incredible opportunity to explore Chicago and sketch in 350 iconic Chicago architecture treasures downtown and in Chicagoland neighborhoods. USk Chicago is encouraging you all to get together in small groups and visit your favorite Chicago treasure or explore a new one. Click here for site information.

I'll be at Holy Name Cathedral wearing a different hat, or tee shirt in this case, welcoming visitors to that Chicago historic landmark. I hope to get little sketching in, too. If you stop in at HNC be sure to say hi!

Don't forget to use the hash tag #USkChicagoOHC so we can see and share your sketches, a virtual sketch throw down! If you prefer not to post your sketches but would like us to share them for you, email them to me at

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Open for Your Sketching Pleasure!


Sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Center, Open House Chicago will take place on October 19-20. It’s an exciting opportunity to visit 350 iconic Chicago architecture treasures downtown and through out Chicagoland neighborhoods. It’s a free event where you can explore these gems inside and out! It’s also the weekend of our regular monthly sketch meet. 

What to do? Where to go? What ever you want!

Here’s the plan- We are encouraging you to organize your own small groups to tour and sketch together! It can be downtown or in the neighborhoods. Click here for site locations. If you’re willing to host a small group either downtown or in your neighborhood reply to this post and we’ll help you set it up.
Let’s be sure to use #USkChicagoOHC so we can see and share your adventures.