Monday, May 22, 2017

Update on USK 10x10 Workshops

On Saturday we met at the Union Station for a class on one point perspective as it applies to drawing interior spaces. Jason Roberts did a great demo, and we saw quite a few "light bulbs go off". We meet again in two weeks to learn about two-point perspective and to apply these principles to drawing more complex city scenes. Plus a demo on how to draw modern glass architecture. Join us https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reporting-from-portland-urban-…







Saturday, May 6, 2017

So proud of my students this morning in the Bike Cataloguing class at Splendid Cycles. They worked really hard and had to deal with a very complicated subject. The result was satisfying–another Portland's story is told in sketches of whimsical bikes. 

If you would like to be a part of the global urban sketching workshop series taking part around Portland this spring and summer check out the details and programming here





May Sketchcrawl - Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Saturday, May 20 - Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
We've sketched at Crystal Springs before and it's well worth the slight added complication of getting us all there from the nearest cafe. I believe the rhododendrons will be at (or just slightly beyond) peak bloom, and there's a lot beyond rhododendrons to draw as well.

Cost: $5 for entry to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, plus any food or drinks you want to buy at First Cup.
  • 9:30 am: Meet at First Cup Coffeehouse - 4103 SE Woodstock Blvd. Portland Oregon 97202. At 10 am we'll see if those with cars can ferry down those without cars, but if not, it's a 15 minute walk due west on Woodstock then briefly north on 28th to get to the garden.
  • 10:10 am: Meet at Crystal Springs - 5801 SE 28th Ave (between SE Holgate and SE Woodstock), Portland, OR 97202
  • 12:00 pm: We'll gather to share sketchbooks near the entrance to the garden, and optionally head to lunch at Laughing Planet. - 4110 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202.
Map to our meeting location, First Cup Coffee:



Map to Crystal Springs, in case you'd like to rendezvous with us there:

Friday, May 5, 2017

New trees

Another installment on my continuing saga of recovering from this winter's storms.

I planted replacement trees in late April.  And by 'I', I mean Friends of Trees, although I did tag along and help out.

This is a crape myrtle, replacing the 90-year old catalpa that came down in the snowstorm in January.



And this is a persimmon, which replaces the catalpa that the city had me take down.

Monday, May 1, 2017

#usk10x10Portland Vignettes at the Oregon Historic Society

Kitchen implements brought to Oregon by settlers in the 1800's


Display of stuffed beaver, bird and various old Oregon items

Glenn talking about vignettes.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

First 10 x 10 workshop on vignettes at the Oregon Historic Society

The first 10 x 10 workshop on sketching vignettes at the Oregon Historic Society Museum was a total success. Looking forward to 9 more with these and other sketchers. The first three workshops are sold out but there are still spaces in the ones coming up later this spring and summer. 



Sunday, April 23, 2017

March for Science / Government Buildings

I got soaked riding downtown to meet with the other sketchers.

After coffee and breakfast we wandered out into the rain.   Which had settled down to, at best, a drizzle.   I hung out in front of the federal building all morning.

I started out doing the sculptures at the entrance while waiting for the March for Science to get started and reach us.





 













Then a motorcycle cop who was directing traffic out of the way of the march.




















And finally, I caught Andrea lost in her own creative process.

March for Science and Government Buildings Sketchcrawl

To mark a new chapter in the Resistance movement I made a new accordion book to take to the March for Science on Earth day, April 22, 2017. 



Every time I would find a good vantage point to sketch rain would start and I would have to scurry for cover. I did spot my favorite Unpresidented Brass Band right away who were tuning and prepping ahead of the march.


Sketching from the top of the of Morrison bridge allowed me to capture the crowd listening to the rally speakers ahead of the march. Congressman Earl Blumenauer addressed the enthusiastic crowd about the dangers of the government who does not believe in facts or science. 


Always a crowd pleaser–a group of Raging Grannies. 



As the rain intensified I found cover in a parking lot on Columbia Ave. that allowed me to see the crowd as they were turning off Naito parkway. I used the same trick during the Women's March in January.  



Most of color had to be finished at home, as I wasted too much time running away from the rain. 


Science March / Government Buildings

A small crew gathered at the Good Earth Cafe, cozy inside while it rained hard outside.

I sketched a few people in the cafe who seemed to be about to march.



Then we all went outside.  The rain let up.  I focused on a view of the Portland Building.  There are a lot of protected views from the awning in front of the Justice Center.


Finally we met up at Rock Bottom Brewery for lunch.  It was another delightful time.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Government Buildings / Science March Sketch Crawl tomorrow!

APRIL 22

This is a reminder about our sketch crawl tomorrow!

With so many critical things happening politically right now, it is good to know where government functions are, and to sketch them. There are a lot of government buildings clustered around this spot. We will sketch around Lownsdale Square, at SW 3rd and Main, near the Elk Statue.  If there is a protest that day, we can sketch that too.  The Science March is happening tomorrow - so it will be a great thing to sketch.

Rain is predicted so bring your rain gear.
  • 9:30am - 10:00am 10:00am - Meet at Good Earth Cafe () for coffee, snacks, and socializing.
  • 10:00am - Option 1 - sketch the rally at the Morrison Bridge
  • 10:30am - Option 2 - sketch government buildings, statues, cars, and marchers possible protesters.
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing at Gandhi Indian Restaurant (
See you there!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cherry blossoms again

One last try for the cherry blossoms on the waterfront.  Still blooming away.  But there's a rain of petals now, and a tinge of green as the leaves are starting to come out.


On this one I was trying for pen and ink for the tree and rocks, and for serendipitous splatters for the blossoms.

Granted, it took a while to find random splatters that I liked.










This was going to be a value sketch.
But the sun decided to leave us at this point and all of my shadows disappeared.






Finally, I remembered the brush that I'd brought to experiment with.  I used it to put down the vertical lines of the tree, and then used my finger to smudge in the faint horizontal lines of the bark.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Those Elusive Cherry Trees

Every year, I sketch Portland's cherry trees and I always try to somehow capture the color, or the delicacy or a tiny bit of the beauty of the trees. I keep trying and trying!

This year, I was so eager, that I was down at Tom McCall Waterfront Park before the blossoms opened. I wasn't alone, as several people came out to enjoy a rare sunny day under the cherry tree branches.


As Portlanders know, we've had many rainy days this year.  On those days that it didn't rain, I dashed to waterfront park. Often, the gray clouds loomed overhead, but I was lucky to have avoided most of the showers.



With the start of spring break, the park was full of people taking photos, posing for photos, shaking branches and just enjoying the beauty and delight of a (mostly) rain-free day.


Finally, I decided to focus on a close-up of a tree with its graceful branches and delicate flowers. 


I'm hoping to get in at least one more day under the cherry trees, but if not, I notice that the magnolias and plum trees are looking inviting.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sunny Saturday in Old Town

My original plan for the day had been to spend a couple of hours at the Chinese garden before the rains started in the afternoon.  But the newest weather report called for no rain at all.  So I headed straight for the waterfront to do the cherry blossoms, leaving Lu San Garden for the afternoon.



There were plenty of people as well, and some impressive clouds, and I'd intended to add some of both.  But a street preacher showed up, with a microphone and an amp, and sort of spoiled the mood.

So I headed towards the Chinese Garden.  But got distracted by a passing freight train.

Finally got to the garden, and found a spot to do a tree (a magnolia, maybe) in front of the tea house.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Goodbye, Katura!

Last weekend, we had a sketchcrawl at Tabor Bread to wish Katura and her family a happy move to the north. Thank you, Katura, for your time and effort as a blog administrator and for your help with the NW sketchcrawl a few years ago. We'll miss your cheerful outlook, your curiosity, your charming family and of course, your sketches. Your next urban sketching community will be lucky to have you and we know that you will be in good hands. Best wishes to you!






Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sketchcrawl on the waterfront.

We'd aimed for peak cherry blossom time, but hit rain instead.  But Jason invited us all to perch in his office where we could be dry and still look out onto the waterfront.


Sketch crawl, pinkish trees

It was a peaceful treat to get to sketch from Jason's office. The blossoms weren't​ quite ready but it was still a lovely view.

The sun is actually coming out right now for a moment.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

another sketch at N. Williams

I had wanted to revisit the area around New Seasons on N Williams that our group sketched in Feburary. But this time I stayed inside because of the unsettled weather (at times sunny, or rainy, or cold).
The sitting area in New Seasons Market has great big windows to allow views of the corners of N Fremont and N Williams.

Graphik pen and watercolor

Graphik pen and watercolor

It was nice to have some sun and to show the shadows in these views. Portland has just been a little too grey lately.