Museum Compositions – Bouquets in Dallas


Dallas Museum of Art


Over the Thanksgiving weekend we were down in Dallas visiting our daughter, Caitlin.  We went to see the Dallas Cowboys play on Thursday, had Thanksgiving dinner after that and then spent the rest of the weekend just enjoying ourselves.  On Friday Linda and Caitlin went shopping and I went to one of my favorite museums, the Dallas Museum of Art.  I’ve been there 3 times now I think. It’s a large museum with an extensive permanent collection in all the major areas of art.  It also has rotating exhibitions, usually at least 3-4 at a time.  This time the major show was ‘Bouquets’.  That means it was paintings of flowers.  Not my favorite genre.  It could even be my least favorite genre actually.  

I knew this in advance and was thinking of going to the outdoor Sculpture Museum across the street instead but for some reason I forget now, maybe it was cold or rainy, I opted to go to the Museum anyway. I had my camera with me and figured at least I would be able to work on my ongoing ‘Museum Compositions’ series.  I also knew that the exhibition had at least one Matisse painting in it so it couldn’t be all bad.

One of the good things about the DMA is they allow photography (without flash) everywhere, even special exhibitions.  Most museums allow photography but not in the temporary exhibitions.  Some, like the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, don’t allow any photography at all.  So, I went traipsing around the museum and took some photos.  


I also did a drawing while I was there.  It wasn’t in my sketchbook but rather in a gallery in the Bouquet’ exhibition where they had an actual bouquet of flowers for people to draw. They had paper and pencils and places to sit.  I had a pen with me, the type I use in my sketchbook, so I used that on one of their pieces of paper to capture the scene.  There was a place to put up your art work once you were finished but I didn’t want to let go of mine.  I rolled it up and brought it home thinking I might color it later on.  It got hidden in a bag I brought home and I didn’t find it again until last week right before my road trip to Virginia.

One of my goals for 2015 is to follow through on more of my artwork so I figured I needed to scan the drawing and put it out there before it got forgotten.


Bouquets in Dallas

A drawing of someone drawing flowers in an exhibition of paintings of flowers at the Dallas Museum of Art.


I didn’t capture many shots I liked but here are two I think stood out.

Museum Composition - Bouquet #1

Museum Composition – Bouquet #1

This is one of the favorite ‘Museum Compositions’ images I’ve taken.  The pose this woman unconsciously struck as she looked at the painting was exquisite and I quickly got off 3-4 photos of her standing there.   I later went up to her and asked her if she was a dancer since the pose looks so much like one a dancer would strike. She said she wasn’t and I told her she sure had the posture of one. She took it as a very nice compliment and I was happy about that.

Museum Composition - Bouquet #2

Museum Composition – Bouquet #2

I like the color combinations in this one and I especially like the interaction between the two people. 


Photographs and drawings © 2017 Marty Coleman |

Watermark Church – A Travel Napkin Adventure

Drawing at Church

I went to visit my daughter Caitlin this weekend. She lives in Dallas and attends Watermark Church. I went to the early service with her then decided to hang out out in the big spacious lounge/lobby area for about 2 hours (instead of trying to find a coffee shop nearby) while she helped lead a 7th grade girls group.  I spent my time drawing.

the conversation

The Deep Conversation


The Conversation

The first drawing was in my sketchbook.  I was in the outdoor patio area and noticed three people having a pretty intense conversation. It seemed like they might be there a while so I thought I might be able to get a good drawing out of it.

The woman on the right was the object of the conversation. It was obvious the other two were discussing some issues with her. What about, I didn’t know.  While I drew, her 2 young children, one a barely walking toddler and the other perhaps a 3 year old, were getting curious about me and my drawing. The baby came over and offered me a cheese cracker.  I took it and thanked her.  She took an interest in my back pack so I showed her the snap clasp that held the flap closed. She watched with delight as I snapped it open and closed.  

Soon the 3 year old came over and wanted to try his hand at the clasp.  He handed me a sponge dinosaur so he would be hands free.  He quickly took the dinosaur back, ripped his head off, then gave it back to me.  The young boy snapped the clasp again and again while the little girl looked on, either at me, the clasp or her crackers.  

The trio in conversation looked over to be sure the kids were ok, and I reassured them they weren’t bothering me.  Meanwhile another child, perhaps 6 years old, started hovering. I could tell what she was doing so I turned and told her it was ok for her to watch me draw.  She liked that and stood a respectful distance and watched.  After I finished the line drawing I showed it to the little hovering girl and she quietly said she thought it was good.  I appreciated that.

By that time the conversation was winding down. The woman on the right came over to retrieve her toddler and I showed her the drawing.  She liked it quite a bit and I gave her my card so she could email me and get a copy of it.

I hope whatever life events she is going through, that she got help and support from the other two. I got the feeling she was dealing with whatever it is pretty well.  I wish her the very best.



Jamie and Jill

I had another hour to wait at that point so I went inside to get out of the heat, and perhaps find some other people to draw.  There are TV screens in the big lounge area showing the service and a number of people were sitting and watching. I knew that probably gave me at least 45 minutes of drawing time so I settled in and started drawing 2 woman sitting at a tall table.

This time I decided to use a napkin I had with my coffee.




The church has a very wide array of styles among those in attendance.  T-shirts, jeans, shorts, sandals, and tank tops were in abundance.  These two women were were dressed classier than most, combining high heels and casual tops together really well.  I was lucky in that they sat still for almost the entire time, with only the changing of which leg crossed which messing me up a bit. 

I showed the drawing when I was done and the sermon was over. They were a bit wary of me, just some random guy drawing them. But I gave them my card anyway, just in case they want to see the final drawing.  They expressed enthusiasm once they saw the card and said they were looking forward to sharing it among their friends.  They are Jamie and Jill.




The Lobby

Then church let out, the middle school kids got out, the elementary school kids were picked up and it was a zoo. 




I love drawing people and getting to know them as I do.  There is something about the slow, methodical visual investigation of line, color, shading, activity, expression, that allows me access to who they are in a way photography doesn’t.  I love photography, but I like drawing as well.



Drawings and photograph by Marty Coleman



Two Women in One at a Dallas Starbucks – A Travel Napkin

I went to Starbucks early this morning to draw and get a cup of coffee before everyone else awoke. A woman was sitting in front of me and right as I finished drawing her head, she left and was replaced by a man. I continued drawing and she became a woman dressed in men’s clothing.

travel napkin - the reader 1


Can see the line about 2/3 of the way down her head where the napkin folds open?  I opened it up and drew the woman again on the inside, this time imaging where she had just come from or perhaps was just going. 

travelnapkin - the reader 2

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