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Sunday, June 23: Kelsey Creek Farm

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Sketcher’s Delight in the Twin Cities

8/15/15 Diplodocus at Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul

Escaping without a single mosquito bite, we’re back from a brief visit to the Midwest – the Twin Cities of Minnesota. This annual trip is always a good mix of family visiting and city touring, so I always manage to squeeze in sketches wherever I go. The biggest challenge this year was the weather – boiling heat with 100 percent (!) humidity on most days; a deluge on one other day. We spent most of our time indoors evading both extremes, which turned out to be a sketcher’s delight.

8/15/15 St. Paul's Cathedral
Our first indoor stop was the Science Museum of Minnesota, billed as “Minnesota’s favorite museum” for good reason. I thought our Burke was rich in dinosaur skeletons (arguably one of my all-time favorite sketching subjects), but I’m sorry to say that it can’t hold a candle to the SMM. While the rest of my party saw all three of the museum’s jam-packed floors, I happily stayed on the paleontology floor sketching as many prehistoric critters as I had time for.

By that afternoon, the heat was unbearable, but I couldn’t see St. Paul’s Cathedral without a quick sketch. I found a spot of shade across the street, but after about 20 minutes, all I could manage was its elegant domed top before the heat got to me. Someday I’d like to go back and sketch the whole cathedral – on a cool and comfortable day.

On the one day of our trip that was neither too hot nor too wet, we spent a beautiful afternoon at Como Park Conservatory and Zoo in St. Paul. The rest of my party opted to spend most of their time viewing the many and varied plant exhibits while I stayed outside to sketch the conservatory itself. A hundred years old, it’s a grand and elegant building of glass. (I’ve never had the nerve to sketch our own conservatory at Volunteer Park, but given that Como Park’s is much larger, I probably should stop procrastinating and get to it.)

On the day that it poured, we visited the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. I’d love to go back sometime and sketch the exterior, but for this trip, I settled for the main altar. 

8/17/15 Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul

8/18/15 Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis


  1. Welcome back, Tina. We missed you. Looks like you put your sketchbook through a nice workout, despite the weather! Judging by this lovely sketch of the Como Park Conservatory, the one at Volunteer Park shouldn't be a problem.