Friday, December 10, 2021

December Sketchcrawl - Pioneer Courthouse Square, 12/18

Sketch by Ellie

For December, we'll go back to another long-time tradition of ours -- downtown's Pioneer Courthouse Square.  We meet at the tables outside Starbucks, where our options for sketching include the square itself, courthouse, holiday tree, weather vane, and people gathering for holiday performances taking place in the square starting at noon.

I have a special (very optional) request: wear your most colorful coats, scarves, and/or hats. Not only will this keep you cozy in the probably chilly outdoor seating area, but also anyone that includes you in their sketch will get to add a punch of color!

For this sketchcrawl we usually just stay put at those tables, but additional sheltered areas nearby that could easily be explored during the crawl include Pioneer Place Mall and Director Park.

Sketch by Ali Corbin

9:30-10: gather at the tables outside Starbucks, on the northwest corner overlooking the square

10-12: Sketch!

12: Sketchbook throwdown, optionally stay on to sketch or just enjoy the performances in the square

I hope to see you all for our last crawl of the year and perhaps chat about your art plans for 2022!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

How to Join a Sketchcrawl

Doing something for the first time is hard. You're not sure if you can. You don't know the right people. You are wondering what to bring or what to wear. Add in strangers and performance and it seems like a recipe for awkwardness.

The good news is that joining a sketchcrawl is easy. 

Showing up is first thing to do (and possibly the hardest.) If you can do that, everything else will just flow. And do show up on time/early. That's when people gather and talk informally- it's a good way to meet other sketchers. First timers are welcome.

There's no secret handshake or Urban Sketchers badge- your ticket is a piece of paper and a pencil. Look around for people carrying notebooks or backpacks and you'll know you've found us. Sidle up to a group, eavesdrop if you like, but don't be afraid to say hi, we're a nice bunch of people. It's that simple.  

As for materials, you can get started with the most useful and cheapest art materials: a Dixon Tigcongeroga #2 pencil and some white paper. (Many sketchers come with a notebook of mixed media paper, a pencil, some Micron pens, and a small watercolor set, but don't let your lack of art supplies stop you.)

After a critical mass has arrived, there's a brief time when we introduce ourselves, then disperse to sketch for about two hours. (Bring an extra layer of clothing or a hat, sitting still and drawing for a long time can be chilly.) Some people like sketch alone, sometimes I find that sketching with others lets me learn new techniques or is just more fun.

When the time is up, we have a "throw down,"where people put their notebooks out for others to see what they drew.

It sounds intimidating to put your artwork out for public viewing. Let me assure you that there is no more welcoming community than Urban Sketchers. The focus is always on what people like. Among our group, variety is valued. Participation and enthusiasm count. 

Sharing creates community: It gives people ideas about how to be better artists, it forms bonds of trust, and it's just fun to see.

So now that you know what a sketchcrawl is all about, won't you come out and join us in 2022?

Saturday, November 6, 2021

November Sketchcrawl - one last time at Lloyd Center, 11/20

Our last sketchcrawl before the pandemic shut us down was at the Lloyd Center.  Let's go there again for its swan song, before it's closed and turned into whatever dying malls become.

Kay French, Feb 2020

Even more stores have left the mall in the past year and a half, but the ice skating lessons are still scheduled, so there should be kids to sketch, even if shoppers are scarce.  And those up for a real challenge can do a one-point perspective of one of the arms of the mall.

Capitalism, CC BY 3.0
The Starbucks that we met at last time is closed now, but google tells me that there are other places to get caffeine nearby.  So let's have everyone manage their own beverage and meet at the SW entrance - the one with the pile of coins (inside or out, depending on the weather).

Saturday, November 20
Lloyd Center Mall -- SW Corner entrance near Capitalism statue

10am: Intros, then sketching
12pm: Gather at same location for sketchbook "throwdown"

Friday, October 8, 2021

October SketchCrawl - Irving Park, Saturday 10/16

Sketch by Andrea Matthews
Sketch by Andrea Matthews
Just in time for Autumn, let's sketch this public park full of maples. Irving Park also encompasses broad rolling lawns, some shelters in case of rain, a playground, and a public toilet. There is a cafe (no indoor seating) just a few blocks away for your coffee, pastry, and sandwich needs.

It would be a good idea to bring a fold-up stool if you have one. 

For pre-meeting coffee and treats, the nearest cafe is Cafe Destino at NE Fremont & 14th.

Saturday, 10/16

9:30-10am: Meet at park entrance across from Door of Hope Northeast, 831 NE Fremont Street

12pm: We'll reconvene within sight of this same entrance for the sketchbook throwdown.

NOTE: If the forecast is for rain that morning, we will likely meet up on the south side of the park under a shelter just east of the tennis courts.

Trimet line 8 passes nearby on NE 15th. There is some street parking available.

Here's some information on the trees of Irving Park.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

How to stop the "first page jitters"...

 I have more sketchbooks than a reasonable person should own. Most of which are still blank. I've suffered for years with the affliction of "first page jitters". I now move past my debilitating sickness by making the first page of my sketchbook an ode to one of the loves of my life...Coffee. 

Here is my new sketchbook with a drawing of my morning coffee:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Hammi - not a sketchcrawl

As it turns out, the weather was absolutely miserable this morning.  And I have to admit that I was relieved that I wouldn't be out tramping around in a park somewhere.

But, hearkening back to our virtual sketchcrawls, I did do a bit of sketching today.

This is Hammi, whom I'm fostering.  She has a prospective furever mom lined up.  We just have to get them together to see if they click.  And then Pippin will have her house to herself again.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Some September sketches

More sketches around this town of Bristol, RI. The humidity is finally calming down so outdoor sketching is more fun. I went out sketching with a new sketcher here and she was asking about some of the ins and outs of urban first advice was weather related; find a shady spot where the view appeals to you and then; safety; and access to a WC (water closet)among other advice.
Sorry that Pdx sketchers are not meeting in September but hope to see some sketchers efforts on this blog, at the email site or on Facebook!

Monday, September 6, 2021

No September Sketchcrawl

As we were expecting might be the case, Oregon's COVID cases are spiking right now and hospitals are full, so we're doing our part to keep our community safe and will not be scheduling a September sketchcrawl.  It pains us to skip it when we were all so excited to be gathering in person after the long hiatus, but we have every hope and expectation of sketching together again in October. We'll be announcing that sketchcrawl soon!

We welcome you to sketch on your own and post your drawings to share -- on the blog, in the email list, or in the Facebook group.  You are also completely welcome to use our group to arrange meetups with other sketchers to whatever degree you feel comfortable with, or share any resources or ideas you find inspiring!

See you in October!

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Reduction Sauce

 I like going out in boats a lot. And I like sketching a lot. Therefore I like going sketching in boats a lot.

Drawing from a boat presents multiple interesting challenges. For starters, you are always moving even when your sails are down and your oars are stowed. Your subjects are often in motion too.

Second, your eye picks up so much that is hard to translate to a pad of paper quickly, if at all. Observing details from far away while bobbing up and down is hard, but fun to do.

So earlier this summer when I went on a cruise from Olympia to Port Townsend, I decided not to use my paints and tried to capture the essence of each scene in pen and ink alone. Sort of like cooking, I created a reduction sauce on paper.

And for the record, no clams were harmed in the production of these sketches! ;)

Sunday, August 1, 2021

August Sketchcrawl - Cornell Farm Nursery

Let's try something further afield this month - Cornell Farm Nursery, at 8212 SW Barnes Rd.

Saturday, August 21, 10am to noon-ish
We'll meet at 10am in front of the cafe (the big yellow house) and then again at noon, somewhere, for a throwdown. Here's a map of the nursery.

Sketch by Amy Stewart

For people driving, it looks like they have on-site parking.  For people busing, the 20 has a stop nearby, at Barnes and Leahy.  The nursery is on the south side of Barnes, a bit west of the intersection.