Posts tagged ‘Las Vegas’

My lap of honour around Vegas starts at the Luxor.

I am alone in the pyramid lift and it is making a noise no lift should make. It shakes violent from side to side and the display says ‘EZ’. What does that mean?  Is this part of the experience? I feel claustrophobic.

The display still says ‘EZ’. The doors start to rattle inwards and for the first time in my life, with force, I press the ‘save me’ bell. Nothing happens, but a second later the display says ’16…17′ etc. Soon the doors open and I leap out with enthusiasm.

Near check-in, The Luxor

To my dismay, when I head out, the only available lift is the bone shaker. I hold the doors until a big group of people join me. Their reaction to the shaking and grinding confirms this is NOT part of the experience.

Who can resist the MGM Grand Lion at sunset

I can confirm that women wear far more clothes in the real Paris

Halloween at the Harley Davison shop. Almost as terrifying as the lift at the Luxor.

Leave a comment

I had a request for Halloween pumpkins today. So with just an hour to spare before leaving Vegas for my road trip, I reeled off as many pumpkins at I could.

One of the brilliant Halloween displays on the Linq Promenade

Friday the thirteenth: The gates of hell, where soft rock meets teeny pop. No wonder that fella looks a bit peaky

Sweetly terrifying pumpkin family

Leave a comment

9am is far too early to stumble across a pair of 20 foot high peacocks, just begging to be sketched.

Peacock flower display in The Bellagio Conservatory


Once I finished the pen work, I eyed up the fancy mosaic floor and decided this was not the place to risk ‘Inktober day five: The return’. So I went round the corner to a safer spot, to finish the ink wash.

Don’t spill it. Don’t spill it.


Not quite believing that no one moved me and my grubby little palette on, I returned to my flowered friends to finish off.

Next stop, the worlds largest chocolate fountain, 8m high and multi-flavoured!

A woman knows real love, for the first time


My final stop of the day had to be the fountain of the gods at Caesars palace.

Oh wing-ed horse you are the campest I have ever seen, with your teeth so white. Forever destined to be a grinning backdrop in the photographs of tourists less beautiful than you.

Leave a comment

For Inktober, I’m following the urban sketchers manifesto, essentially, paint it as you see it, live, as it happens. 

However today, I’ve also managed to match the official Inktober theme of ‘gigantic’. Hard not to, since everything in Vegas is gigantic.

I’m working solely in ink this month, straight down in pen with no sneaky pencil outlines first. So the MGM Grand lion could so easily have ended up wonky.

See… I really am here!

The MGM Grand lion. It could so easily have gone wrong…

I also did a quick sketch of New York-New York, whilst a couple stood next to me getting married by a man with a briefcase. Just them and a photographer. 

I added the colour sitting next to an Irish bar, in New York, in Las Vegas. Weird.

Think I made a better job of the real thing!

Leave a comment

One of the first things you see when you hit the tarmac at McCarran airport is the sheer, golden sheen of the Mandalay Bay hotel, looming over the jet black pyramid of the Luxor.

Normally I would have my sketchbook out, desperately putting down some lines, but right then, it’s too sobering. It would be impossible to be here without mentioning and feeling for the people involved in, and impacted by the recent mass shooting. 

Over the next week, I’ll try to capture Vegas as I see it. 

I circle through sprawling, dim lit Casinos and out into the blinding sunshine, face to two face with two women in leather hot pants, brandishing whips. It’s pretty clear that life in Sin City, goes on.

I start with Paris, which I last sketched in the flesh in 2014. Midway, a couple ask me to take their picture. I do.

Then on to the Bellagio fountains, where Fleetwood Mac and Phil Collins pound out to a techno beat. 

The fountains spring into action to the tune of ‘Gad bless Amer-i-caw’ and I have 15 minutes to sketch them. 

Midway, a man asks if he can take a picture. Now this is not unusual. I stood sketching at the top of Gornergrat mountain in Switzerland, whilst literally, a train load of tourists shoved long lensed cameras between me and my page, some ruthlessly diving in, others smiling and gesticulating thanks. I don’t usually mind and if someone asks, I usually let them, but my body thinks it’s 1:30am, I’m tired, and I don’t fancy it. ‘I’d rather you didn’t’ I say politely, he tries again, I say the same. He walks around the other side of me and tries again (bear in mind I have only 15 minutes) ‘no’ I say, ‘but it’s for me’ he says. I raise an eyebrow and carry on sketching.

It’s 7pm in Vegas, but my body thinks it’s 3am. I’m standing alone on the strip in Las Vegas, sketching the iconic Flamingo. Midway, a man asks me if I might have any idea where the Uber pick up point is. It’s time to sleep.

Leave a comment