Sunday, May 28, 2023

June sketchcrawl - Peninsula Park

sketch by Katherine Geis

For our June 17 sketchcrawl, let's meet at Peninsula Park at 700 N Rosa Parks Way. There are some terrific historical buildings in the park, a rose garden with a gazing pond, and it's surrounded by a neighborhood with lovely old homes.

Coffeehouse Five is about a five minute walk away at 740 N. Killingsworth. They have a restroom, and there's also one in the park near the playground.

  • 10 AM:  Meet at the gazebo in front of the rose garden for introductions.
  • Noon: Meet back at the gazebo for an optional sketchbook throwdown.

Also, a reminder about our July sketchcrawl: We've changed the date from the third Saturday to the fourth, July 22, for July only. The reason is that a bunch of us are going to SketcherFest in Edmonds, WA the weekend of July 15. Find out more about that at if you're interested, and we'll see you July 22!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Director Park, and thereabouts

The sunny, mild weather brought out a couple of dozen sketchers.

It was great to see everyone.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

May Sketchcrawl - Director Park

SketchCrawl - Saturday, May 20 - Director Park

Let's go back to Director Park.  There are the usual places to sketch in the area, as well as temporary floral art installations at present.  Coffee and restrooms are to be had at Case Study, on 10th, and at Nordstrom's and Starbucks, on Broadway.  

Sketch by John Lai

  • 10am - meet at the Teachers Fountain (or, if it's raining, under the canopy), for introductions
  • Noon - meet up again, for an optional sketchbook throw-down

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Tilikum Crosing


It was cold, and windy, and gray.  But at least it wasn't raining.  It we met up with the cherry blossoms that we missed last month.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

April Sketchcrawl - West End of Tilikum Crossing

Saturday, April 15: Tilikum Crossing Sketchcrawl

Sketch by Vicky Porter

Let's return to Tilikum Crossing, for the first time since the pandemic.  There are multiple bridges, the weird and wonderful architecture of the Life Sciences Building, and views across the river, down to the South Waterfront, and up to Pill Hill.

If it rains, there are many sheltered areas under the overhangs of the buildings to shelter in.  

Parking will be difficult.  But all streetcar lines pass through, along with the Orange MAXs and many buses.

The local Elephants is closed on weekends.  But Starbucks will be open.

  • 10am - Meet outside Flying Elephants at South Waterfront, 2730 S Moody Ave, Portland, OR 97201
  • 10:15-ish - Sketch
  • Noon - Meet again for a throw-down.
Sketch by Deb Rossi

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Sketchcrawl - March 18 at the Japanese American Historical Plaza

It's March, which means it's time for our annual visit to the Waterfront to try to catch the cherry blossoms in bloom at the Japanese American Historical Plaza! 

We'll meet at the Japanese American Historical Plaza at the foot of NW Couch at Naito Parkway. 

If you're looking for a nearby coffee shop, Floyd's Old Town Coffee and Tea is a great spot to grab a coffee or breakfast item on your way to the meet-up location (and to use the restroom!) The Society Hotel, at NW Davis & 3rd, also has a great coffee shop. Also, the Portland Saturday Market should be operating just on the other side of the Burnside Bridge. 
  • 10:00 am - Gather and do intros in the central square of the Japanese American  Historical Plaza (or if its raining, under the awnings at the Oregon State University Building, directly across Naito)
  • 12:00 pm - Gather again at same location for optional sketchbook throwdown
sketch by Deb Rossi, 2015

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Sketchcrawl - Feb 18th at Union Station

sketch by Saussha Flint, 2016

With unpredictable weather ahead in February, let's meet at Union Station to enjoy both indoor and outdoor sketching possibilities. There's plenty of grand architecture indoors, and some covered outdoor spots as well. Coffee and snacks are available at the train station, and if that doesn't suit, Lovejoy Bakers, at Lovejoy & 10th, is a five minute walk away.

  • 10:00 am - Meet at Union Station, 800 NW 6th Ave, in the waiting area, for introductions.
  • 10:30 am - Sketch in or around the train station.
  • 12:00 pm- Meet outside the main entrance for sketchbook sharing

sketch by Vicky Porter, 2016

Sunday, January 8, 2023

January 21 Sketchcrawl - Lloyd Center

We went to the Lloyd Center about a year ago, when it was about to be foreclosed, and, we thought, redeveloped, so we could see it one last time.  But it's still with us!  So let's meet there again, to celebrate things that have come back from the dead.

Kay French, November 2021

Most of the stores are gone, but the skating rink is still operating, with classes still going on.  So there will be kids to sketch, if no shoppers.  Lots of architecture and empty parking garages.  And, if push comes to shove, each other.

There's no longer any place to buy coffee inside Lloyd Center, at least not at 10am.  But there are a few places nearby, on Broadway.  

There'll be plenty of parking in the garages.  And plenty of access through bus, MAX or streetcar nearby.

  • 10am - Meet at the base of the circular stairway, to the west of the skating rink, just inside the entrance that is closest to Holladay Park.
  • Noon - Gather at the same place for an optional throwdown.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

December Sketchcrawl - Pioneer Courthouse Square - December 17

Sketch by Blane Bellerud

This December, let's go back to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

We'll meet in the covered patio behind the Starbucks, which is protected from the rain and has a good view of the square itself.  But, of course, people are welcome to wander through the surrounding blocks to sketch whatever appeals to them.  And if you'd like to stay after sketching, there will be music in the square, starting at noon.

Coffee and food will be available at Starbucks and at the Nordstorm kiosk.  The restrooms in the visitors center might be open.  The ones at Starbucks and the nearby department stores are sure to be available.

10am - meet at tables behind Starbucks for introductions

noon - (optional) sketchbook throwdown, at the same place.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Driven to Sketch

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe we’re all capable of change.

Morning near Astoria.

After managing to create a shop window art installation in early 2021, I burned out on the pandemic and life in general. I stopped drawing. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t draw for the sake of drawing. Virtual sketchcrawls didn’t speak to me.

The art installation.
As the world started to open up in 2022, I began to draw again in earnest. 

Mt Hood from the south.

When I ventured outside of my pandemic bubble, I found stimulation through travel. Everyplace I went, I wanted to capture the scene, to soak up what was elusive in daily life: new things. The freshness of my surroundings drove me to use my notebook to record as much as I could. I filled multiple pages of sketched goodness each day. I became more bold with the paint. I drew with abandon. My sketches weren’t technical feats, they weren’t masterpieces, but they filled a deep void.

 As 2022, comes to a close, looking over all the things that I drew, I realize that something is missing; I drew mostly on my own. 

In 2023, I’m not making any resolutions, but I’m hoping to do a better job connecting with the sketching community, maybe even encouraging us to expand our bubbles and find new stimulation in sketching and travel, together.