Monday, June 23, 2014

Director Park

On Saturday approximately 20 sketchers (old timers, newcomers, and everything in between) showed up at Case Study cafe in downtown Portland, which happens to be one of my favorite cafes.  Kay filled us in regarding her great experiences participating in Sketchbook Skool and I showed off the sample Arm-adillo pencil cuff I'd received from Muse Art + Design. After fortifying ourselves with beverages we ambled down to Director Park.

The forecast was sunny skies and warm temperatures but when we arrived it was grey and slightly chilly, which - in the context of an urban park that is mostly made up of gray concrete to start with - was not very inspiring. Anyway, I'd been wanting to sketch the Guild Theatre for a long time; my first attempts years before had gone terribly awry.

The Guild Theatre opened in 1927 as Taylor Street Theatre, acquiring its current name in 1947, and it's the last single-screen theatre in downtown Portland. Unfortunately, it's been closed for years. It's another of those lovely older buildings that doesn't have any obvious way forward, since redeveloping it and adding bathrooms (its old bathrooms got reassigned to the pasta restaurant next door) would cost so much that the owners haven't been able to cut a good deal on the space yet.  I expect one day as the economy picks up and space becomes more valuable a deal will be made, and inevitably this lovely old signage will disappear from the face of Portland.  I'm glad to have had an opportunity to sketch it while we still have it.

After taking a break to visit the farmer's market for fresh berries and basil, I came back to find the sun had come out and many of the sketchers were lined up on benches near the giant chess board.

I sketched a few of them very quickly before we were to gather for lunch...

I'm really pleased with the participation we've been getting lately.  I've met quite a few wonderful people through Portland Urban Sketchers in the last year alone, have browsed many an inspiring sketchbook, and have shared tips and tricks and joys and woes with a lot of kindred artists. Thanks everyone!


  1. Love that theater sketch, love the stories you tell to go with it too!

  2. Great Guild Theater sketch.....very interesting about it's story. Didn't know any of that.
    I think I need to go and get that sketch done also.

  3. Yes, I was very underdressed with shorts and no jumper, but whipped out a sketch of Nordy's. Not to inspiring. I needed to have looked around a bit more. Great to see such a big group.