Monday, June 9, 2014

Portland to Seattle, Dock to Downtown, River to Ranch

In early May I took Bolt Bus to Seattle where the kind and excellent Red Harp escorted me to MOHAI to see Gabi's amazing show and meet up with Gail Wong and other Pacific Northwestern sketchers. Deb later joined us (she posted her sketches and notes from the day a few weeks ago).  It was great to see some familiar faces and catch up with Gabi after not having seen him since Santo Domingo.

The first sketch came out a bit abstract, in part because of the challenge posed by that massive red ship hull next to a mess of ropes and railings. The figureheads and lanterns and jug were sketched inside MOHAI's exhibit hall.

SketchCrawl - Seattle
SketchCrawl - Seattle SketchCrawl - Seattle

After lunch, we spent a lot of time admiring Gabi's exhibit, which includes space for sketching from the windows and we soon settled in to make use of that. My first sketch below captures esteemed colleagues Gail Wong and Frank Ching.
SketchCrawl - Seattle SketchCrawl - Seattle

See Redharp's post to Seattle Urban Sketchers for more views of the day!

Then on May 17, the Portland sketchers met up for a sketchcrawl in Downtown Milwaukie. The Avalon Theatre and nickel arcade caught my eye with its bright yellow and red 5 cent posters.

SketchCrawl - Milwaukie

Next I sketched the library which was situated under a magnificent, richly toned tree.

SketchCrawl - Milwaukie

The week after that we had a visitor, sumi artist and painter Yuming Zhu who is based east of Seattle. I had attended his sumi workshop in April and was delighted to discover he's not only a sketcher with a strong urban sketching habit, he's also friends with Urban Sketcher Don Colley, and a friendly and creative person. I invited him to join us for sketching whenever he's in town, and in late May we got our chance!  A few of us Portland Urban Sketchers met up with him and visited the Eastside Esplanade, where we sketched from right down on the water.
SketchCrawl - Eastside Esplanade

Next we moved up onto the Esplanade proper, and this view where the walkway passes under the Morrison Bridge seemed like a great opportunity to play with water soluble graphite.

SketchCrawl - Eastside Esplanade

Yuming's style with a Pentel Pocket Brush appeals to me a lot, and as we head into the summer, you can bet I'll be experimenting with how I move my brush and how my line can capture my body's motion and make it part of the thing I am sketching.

Last year some good friends finally achieved their long-time dream of owning a farm. It's in Ridgefield, Washington, and on a recent Friday after work I hopped on a bus and set out to visit them there for the first time.

Rob's Farm Rob's Farm

They have a massive 28 year old horse, and an old horse-drawn carriage that they sometimes pile into as a family (with their three kids). The other horse is very talkative, as is the rooster. Their ducks are of a variety that is surprisingly vertical - Indian Runner ducks, if memory serves. There were also chickens and fledgling turkeys. I tried to sketch my friends' youngest son but he got interested in my brush pens so we had some play time instead. ("It's like paint!" he exclaimed with surprise, delighting in the deep black of the ink from a Pentel standard brush pen). It was a lovely visit.

Rob's Farm

The two horses here are actually the same horse; he kept rolling around in the grass and kicking his legs out, seemingly frolicking just as a dog might.

Before putting together this post, I had been thinking I didn't get out much in May...


  1. Wowie! What a lot of adventures, and a lot of great sketches to show for it as well. Thanks, Kalina!

  2. What a great collection of sketches! I LOVE the first abstract like ship hull!

  3. It's wonderful to see all these sketches here, Kalina. My favorites have got to be the animals with all those lovely lines. So many terrific sketches!

  4. A pretty nice collection of sketching in May. Loved seeing the farm sketches of your friends animals and landscape.


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