Art & Shuttlecocks

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

This is a panoramic doodlewash of Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art featuring the well-known Shuttlecocks, a four-part outdoor sculpture of oversized badminton shuttlecocks by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The playful sculpture turns the massive stone structure of the museum into a gigantic net with large shuttlecocks on each side (the racket must be huge!)

I’m still playing with a looser and faster style to see how quickly I can sketch things. I love using this little Moleskine album and it’s fun to draw and paint right across the seam. I used only Cobalt Turquoise, Raw Umber, Sap Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Cadmium Orange for this one. Difficult to get a good photo when I’m done, however, so if you want to see the doodlewash a little better you can click the image below.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art by Charlie O'Shields

The museum is known for its neoclassical architecture and extensive collection of Asian art. In 2007, Time magazine ranked the museum’s new Bloch Building number one on its list of “The 10 Best (New and Upcoming) Architectural Marvels” which considered candidates from around the globe, so I’m thinking I’ll have to sketch that at some point to show you what it looks like. It’s a much more modern structure that echoes the shape of a feather from overhead, creating a “stone and feature” concept for the entire complex.

It’s definitely worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Kansas City and the best part is the admission is free! I remember going here during art school to do reports for Art History or to attempt a copy of one of the masterpieces. For a brief period I also taught Intro to Interactive Media at the Kansas Art Institute which is right next door. I love that there is so much dedication to the arts in KC. It makes it a very comfortable place for an artist to call home!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    Both your painting and the sculptures are awesome! I think we’ve been through KC before, but never stopped there. Will have to make a special trip there one day.

    • Author

      Thanks so much! You should stop next time! And look me up when you do! 😃👍🏻

      • Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

        I sure will! I enjoy meeting online friends in person. Met a bunch of writing pals I’d only known online in NYC this past spring; what a blast that was!

        • Author

          That sounds awesome!! Years ago I had a photography blog and met up with another photoblogger in San Francisco to wander around and shoot the city. It was a blast. And I still have the photo she gave me on my wall.

          • Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

            What a fun thing to do with another creative! 🙂 And San Fran is an awesome place to photograph!

          • Author

            Thanks Teresa! It was so much fun. She recently moved back to KC, so we’re planning to get together again. We were each other’s first ever people to meet in person through blogging!

          • Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

            Oh, hooray! Have fun and post something about your gathering!

          • Author

            I will…when it finally happens…we’re both artists so scheduling isn’t our forte. lol

          • Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

            I hear ya!

  2. Nancy 7 years ago

    Looks like a really neat place. Every museum has its own personality. We have a cool place here in NJ called “Grounds for Sculpture”. If you’ve never heard of it, you should google it.

  3. Beautifully done, Charlie! Love your rendering of the sculptures!

  4. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Beautifully done!

  5. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    Really cool painting and sculpture, Charlie! I like how you ignored the crease in your moleskine and made it one continuous painting. 😊🎨

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! Glad you like it! I did get a pool of green water in the crease that I had to dab out a big with a paper towel to avoid getting a dark green line. Hehe….still playing with how to do this! 😉

  6. memadtwo 7 years ago

    It looks like a giant is playing badminton! I like your perspective and view. And do share some of the Asian art inside too. (K.)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe! Hehe…it is like a giant playing…like he only comes out at night and this is the result in the morning. Hadn’t thought about sketching inside, but I’ll definitely consider it!! Would be like I’m in art school again! 😃👍🏻

  7. Carol King 7 years ago

    What an interesting sketch. I just love the giant shuttlecock sculptures. With the building as the net! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing all this interesting information about K.C. One day I will make it out there.

  8. Kari 7 years ago

    I think you are a natural at this loose style. I love your shadows! Are you getting faster at the whole process?

    • Author

      Thanks Kari! Yeah…I’m sketching much faster now. Usually just less than 30 minutes or less for a doodlewash like this one. I just have to remember to stop and not fuss over it too much! Hehe 😊

  9. Catherine Johnson 7 years ago


  10. […] local Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. These structures were adding next to the original stone museum (which I had sketched earlier here) to house new collections. At night the “boxes” glow and it looks really cool. This is […]

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