chicago drawings

And we’re back! :D

Before I went on the trip to Chica­go, I made a (small) goal to make one draw­ing a day, based on what­ev­er I saw on that day. It was intend­ed to be a way for me to get back into draw­ing, but it had real­ly unfold­ed into a time of reflec­tion, rel­ish­ing the day, trea­sur­ing qui­et time shared with Mike, and think­ing more about what I saw, learned and expe­ri­enced and how I was moved by these things.

The draw­ings are in a note­book that Mike gave me. It has this quote print­ed in it:

The past is a ghost, the future is a dream and all we ever have is now.” — Bill Cosby


July 18 — we vis­it­ed the Shedd Aquar­i­um. We learned about how the health and well-being of life in the sea, in the sky and on land are all connected. I made this draw­ing at night in our hotel room. The words that came from the draw­ing: Corals, bar­na­cles, kelp, sea­weeds, jel­lies, one ocean.

day 1


July 19 — we vis­it­ed the Adler Plan­e­tar­i­um. Before head­ing to Mil­len­ni­um Park, we stopped at a Dunk­ins Donut for $1 iced cof­fee and free WiFi. Through the store win­dow I was look­ing at the iron and wood struc­ture of the ele­vat­ed train tracks that run through the city, and the owl stat­ue on top of the pub­lic library. Ear­li­er in the day, we saw draw­ings of how ear­ly astrol­o­gists record­ed, tracked, and made sense of the stars they saw in the sky. A vol­un­teer told us about light pol­lu­tion and how we don’t see stars in the city any­more. Still ear­li­er in the day, when we were wait­ing for the bus head­ing to the Plan­e­tar­i­um, we chat­ted with a man who asked us to help him out with break­fast and then start­ed to tell us about him­self. He said he got com­pla­cent. So, I guess this is kind of a prayer.

May we find our light again
Our North Star
May we rest in the knowl­edge and the faith that it is still here
Even when we don’t see it

day 2


July 20 — Vis­it­ed the Muse­um of Sci­ence and Indus­try. Saw a film about the endan­gered coral reefs, and was amazed by the sea slug swim­ming. I sup­pose this is also a wish.

The hum­ble sea slug danc­ing, send­ing waves rip­pling across the ocean, reclaim­ing space.

day 3


July 21 — we vis­it­ed the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Stu­dio that day. Real­ly inspired by how he blend­ed archi­tec­ture with the sur­round­ing envi­ron­ment, and his use of geo­met­ri­cal pat­terns that were inspired by nature. And in the front yard of his home there was a gink­go tree — my favourite tree — the largest, tallest, most majes­tic gink­go tree I’ve ever seen. Mike and I sat at a Star­bucks before meet­ing up with a friend. I drew while he read blogs. Bliss.

Desire of the human heart to be attuned to the rhythm of nature.

day 4


July 22 — Vis­it­ed the Field Muse­um. Most amazed by the bio­lu­mi­nes­cence exhib­it. Learned about why cer­tain crea­tures and plants glow (i.e. mat­ing, dis­cour­age preda­tors “I glow, there­fore I taste bad!”, burn off excess ener­gy, etc.). Also fas­ci­nat­ed by pre­his­toric sea crea­tures, before the dinosaurs, in the Evolv­ing Earth exhib­it. Had a thought about mak­ing plush­es of those creatures. 

The art of survival.

day 5



July 23 — On our last day in Chica­go, we vis­it­ed the Jane Addams Hull-House Muse­um. Being a social work stu­dent I have read a lot about Jane Addams and her work in text­books. What the text­books did­n’t men­tion was that art forms of all kinds were thriv­ing at the Hull-House. It was­n’t just a place that pro­vid­ed afford­able shel­ter and food, child­care and employ­ment, it was also a place where peo­ple’s minds and spir­it were nur­tured and ener­gized by lit­er­a­ture, music, tex­tile art, pot­tery, paint­ing, poet­ry. It reaf­firmed my belief that the arts are also essen­tial in help­ing peo­ple get to where they want to go. What I also did not know was that Jane Addams was a big fan of the Arts and Crafts Move­ment and the designs of William Mor­ris, as am I :D The draw­ing was inspired by a his­tor­i­cal pho­to­graph of the chil­dren at the Hull-House paint­ing in the street in front of a stair­way. It was drawn at the air­port, wait­ing for our flight home.

Stair­case to somewhere.

day 6



Our trip end­ed there. Too short of course :( But what I real­ly val­ued was the expe­ri­ence of tak­ing time to sit down and draw. And to think, to some­how find words to con­sol­i­date my thoughts, which made me feel quite a bit hap­pi­er actu­al­ly. Or maybe it was just because I was on hol­i­day. Any­how, I’m hop­ing to find more oppor­tu­ni­ties to do more of this at home.

Mike and I are in the process of com­pil­ing our pho­tos of the trip — we took so many! With lots of sto­ries to tell! Can’t wait to post them!

Have a hap­py rest of the week, everyone!


5 thoughts on “chicago drawings

  1. Love­ly, love­ly draw­ings! :) What a great way to remem­ber your trip! I’ve been to the FLW Home & Stu­dio. On my vis­it, there was a cat hang­ing around. He would come inside the gift shop most days to lounge in front of sun­ny windows.…usually on some­one’s lap if he could man­age it. They told us he would show up most morn­ings and leave in the evenings. He lived in anoth­er FLW designed house in the area, but would hang out there instead. I often won­dered if he was FLW reincarnated…

    I’m glad you enjoyed your vis­it to Chi-town!

  2. Oh, this was … 8 years ago, maybe? I’m sure kit­ty is too old to be walk­ing down to the stu­dio every day. LOL
    But it’s still a neat place to visit! :)

  3. What an uplift­ing post! Draw­ings are such a good way to cap­ture the essence of a vacation.

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