On Saturday, January 7, I loaded my backpack with a hodgepodge of sketching supplies and took the bus and light rail way out west, to the hilly fringes of Portland for a meetup of Urban Sketchers. It was only my second meeting with the group--and my first time meeting folks in daylight--so I was a little giddy with nerves. I figured it would help to draw bus signs and lampposts along the way, to loosen my hands up for the gathering.
Arriving at Bill Sharp's studio, I found quite a gathering of lovely folks, who promptly fell to discussing paper, pens, paints, the excitement of travel, and the even greater excitement of traveling with a sketchbook in hand. Is it that I don't hang out with artists often enough, or just that I will always get goosebumps when folks start talking about tubes of Payne's Gray watercolor paint going on sale? The nicest part of it all was that we promptly fell to drawing little pictures of each other, quite comfortably and unabashedly.
Bill had generously provided drinks and snacks, and the hot tea was very welcome on this chilly (but eventually sunny) day. The group was also very generous about sharing their wide knowledge of the world around them--including identifying the seedpod that I had sketched out in the garden as from a Stewartia tree. (Which I spelled wrong in the sketchbook, of course.)