Sunday, February 18, 2018

Staying Inside at Andrea's

Some intrepid souls ventured forth into the damp and windy February morning but we had a lovely time indoors drawing each other and rearranging all the excess art supplies on the tables. The waffles were fantastic!

February's Outing

Thanks to Andrea for hosting our monthly gathering in Portland's Boise neighborhood. Waffles, art supply exchange and a warm place to gather and share. What else could you ask for?
I wandered over to North Mississippi Ave. and found a place out of the wind and rain to do a litle outdoor sketching.  Thanks to Paul and Ali for joining me and to help keep me motivated.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sketchcrawl and Materials Exchange

A bunch of people showed up at Andrea's and piled their no-longer-wanted art supplies on a table in the hall, and then chatted over coffee and waffles.  About half of us stayed there, settling down in the warm to sketch each other and Andrea's house plants, while the rest of us ranged up and down Mississippi.

I walked out with Paul, a tall young man who had just started sketching, and we soon found Glenn, who had found a spot sheltered from the wind and rain.  So we all sketched the nursery across the street.

Then back to Andrea's house for sharing our sketchbooks and selecting from the art supplies that Andrea had organized in our absence.  I didn't really need anything (one of the advantages of switching to digital sketching) but, after everyone else had picked through the piles, I found a couple of mechanical pencils and some lead that should combine well with my mismatched pencil and lead at home.  And a few pouches, that should work to organize something.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Chinese New Year

I went to Lan Su Garden for their New Year's Day.  For the Year of the Dog.

Both the paper bush and daphnes were blooming, so the air was fragrant. I sat down to sketch one of the giant fabric lotus flowers that had been installed in the pond.

Then I circled back to the entrance courtyard, to check out the replacement osmanthus, with a clump of oranges huddled at its feet.  It looks like it's thriving.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Feb. 17 - Sketch Materials Exchange / Waffle Brunch / Sketch Crawl

Sunlan Lighting store, just down the street on Mississippi. 
Image Credit:

Saturday, Feb. 17, please join us for a sketch materials exchange, waffle brunch, and sketch crawl. Bring your art materials that you don't like to use and get some different stuff.

Andrea's House
4057 N. Borthwick Ave

This is in the Boise neighborhood, near Mississippi Ave.

10:00am: Andrea's House - Introductions and Waffle Brunch - also drop off sketch materials for the exchange. There will be coffee.
10:30am: Sketch crawl around Boise neighborhood - Mississippi Ave has lots of cute shops and a food cart pod too.
12:00noon: Andrea's House - Sketch materials exchange - swap your languishing art materials for something new to you.
12:15pm: Sketchbook sharing.

1. sketching materials that you want to get rid of - such as pens/pencils/sketch books/other art materials/pencil cases.
2. sketching books that you want to get rid of or loan out or show off.
3. desire to get some new materials to try.
4. OPTIONAL: waffle topping

See you there!

The image is of the Sunlan Lighting store, just down the street on Mississippi.
Image Credit:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

January sketches

A couple of sketches including our January sketchcrawl at McMenamin's Kennedy School in NE Portland.

A day last week was good enough to do a bit of outside sketching at PSU. The Beech tree was so spectacular in its winter structure and a great contrast to the PSU Library structure. I wound up doing two sketches from different angles.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Portland Winter Light Festival

The festival had expanded quite a bit since the last time I visited it, with four hubs now.  The first one that I visited was in the courtyard of the World Trade Center.

 This was a centipede, mounted on top of a half dozen bikes that were hitched together.  This was as far as I got in the sketching before a half a dozen people mounted the bikes and rode it away.

This was a huge dodecahedron containing thousands of LEDs, cycling through endless pretty patterns.  Prettier than I was able to replicate, actually.

Then I walked down to the waterfront and headed down towards the Tillikum Bridge, stopping to sketch OMSI from across the river.

There was another hub at OMSI, with sculptures both along the esplanade and in an empty lot behind the museum.  I remembered some of the works from the last time I came to the festival, but there were many more, including a row of mushrooms, each surrounded by a ring of kids who coaxed music out of it, and this - a steampunk flamethrowing chandelier.

I left that pod and headed north along the esplanade, stopping to sketch the made in Oregon sign.

The third pod was at the North Park Blocks, but I didn't find any sculptures out of doors, only something going on in the PNCA auditorium.  And the fourth was at Cathedral Park, which I wasn't going to walk to.

Monday, January 29, 2018


It was a chilly and rainy afternoon, but this morning, the skies were relatively clear and some plum blossoms were blooming in NW Portland. I love these fleeting signs that spring will return.

Monday, January 22, 2018

10x10 Urban Sketching Workshops

We are happy to bring back a popular series of on-location sketching workshops to Portland starting March, 2018. We are working together with the international Urban Sketchers organization and many local chapters around the world with the goal of establishing a year long educational program for current and aspiring urban sketchers in the area using Portland’s sites and culture as our main subject and inspiration.

Each workshop will be 2 hours and 30 minutes long and will take place either in the morning or afternoon on Saturday or Sunday. Check the schedule for exact times and days. All workshops are suitable for any level of sketcher and the full series will cover such subjects as color, line, texture, composition, perspective, human proportion, sketching crowds, story telling, picture planes, panoramas, complicated interior angles, scale, as well as overcoming common issues and obstacles when it comes to sketching on location. To find out more ... 

Kennedy School

We met in the Courtyard Restaurant.  I did one quick sketch on my phone while waiting for my order,

and then wandered about the wings of the old school, looking for things to sketch.  A movie theater (in the former auditorium?), meeting rooms and hotel suites (in former classrooms), bars, an espresso stand, a gift shop, an outdoor heated pool.  There was a courtyard, but you had to go back through the restaurant to get to it.  And, for all the windows, the halls were remarkably dark.  I finally settled on a view across the courtyard to the windows of the restaurant (in the old cafeteria, maybe).

For the throw-down, we met in one of the bars.  Which hadn't opened until noon, which was good, as I could have spent hours sketching the ironwork in it.