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!


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.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Overlook Park from the Mobile Studio, aka my car

I am not very big on suffering for my art. However Overlook Park has wonderful views even when it's cold and windy. Compromise is to sketch from my "mobile studio". That's the new name for my personal motor vehicle. Just christened this morning.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sketching Inside; Waiting for Spring Weather

I was at Lan Su Gardens recently, too, but I was too cold to sketch outside. Even the hot tea didn't keep me warmed up for long.  

 Sketching the calligrapher's desk, I resisted the strong desire to go inside and use the materials. If there had been a coal brazier under the desk for keeping the feet warm, the temptation might have been too much.

Kennedy School was plenty warm and even had the smell of woodsmoke.

I'm eager for when it will be warm enough to sketch the lovely gardens at both of these places. 
Come on, Spring!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spring in the Chinese Garden

It was my birthday today, and I celebrated by buying a senior citizen membership to the Chinese garden.

Spring was in the air.  Literally.  Those little yellow flowers beside the bridge were putting out a powerful scent.  And there was a daphne behind me.  The koi had come out of hiding and were taking their afternoon constitutionals.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seattle 10 x 10 classes

""I had a great time learning perspective tips from Stephanie Bower in Seattle this past Saturday.
I visited artist friends on Friday and the workshop was conveniently located in King Street Station.
The three hours flew by and Stephanie stayed longer to give us all feedback. I grabbed some lunch nearby and hopped the train home.
She a wonderful instructor and I recommend her workshops!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Upcoming Sketch Events!


It's Cherry Blossom time again Tom McCall Waterfront Park. We may catch the cherry blossoms in full bloom, if we go a week earlier in the month. Blooms or no, we still have Ankeny Fountain, Saturday Market, and Old Town/Chinatown nearby.  Then another cool opportunity at the Lan Su Chinese Garden!
  • 10:00am - Meet at Floyd's Coffee (118 NW Couch St.) for coffee, snacks, and socializing.
  • 10:30am - Sketch along the waterfront around the Japanese American Historical Plaza (near the intersection of Couch and Naito) from 10-noon. 
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch at Old Town Pizza (226 NW Davis St.) If it's warm and dry enough we can grab food from the Saturday Market, and meet/eat outside by the Japanese American Historical Plaza. 
  • 1:00pm - 3:00pm - Lan Su Classical Chinese Garden: Optional "Meet the Artist" event with our own Janene Walkky!  Kalina will bring a bunch of guest passes for the Garden to share with us. 

Let's send off Katura Reynolds in sketching style.  We already miss our former organizer now that she is moving to Seattle. Many hugs and well-wishing for our darling Katura.
  • 10:00am - Meet at Tabor Bread () for coffee, snacks, and socializing.
  • 10:30am - Sketch at the Mt. Tabor playground. We'll walk over together. We'll sketch the kiddos, the trees, the playground.
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing.  BYO.

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.
  • 10:00am - Meet at Good Earth Cafe () for coffee, snacks, and socializing.
  • 10:30am - Sketch government buildings, statues, cars, and possible protesters.
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing at Gandhi Indian Restaurant (

Saturday, February 18, 2017

N Williams

I met up for coffee and conversation, and then went out to scout out locations.  I ended up flattened against a wall in the courtyard of One North, across the street from New Seasons, and  captured a jumble - one corner of the curvy building, the church across the street from that, and a new apartment building beyond that.  (There was an old house and a rundown trailer around the corner that I couldn't get into the composition.)

Then a quick sketch (I was starting to get cold) of the sign above the building's bike repair station.  Showing the same corner of the curvy building from a different angle.

It was wonderful to sketch with everyone today!!!!
Nice turnout today for a rainy day.  I stayed inside the whole time, enjoying the relaxing vibe and conversation.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Another tree lost

After the catastrophic failure of the last catalpa, the city came out to look at my two remaining 90 year old trees.  The decision was that one still might make 100.  But the other one had to come down before spring.

So, on Sunday afternoon I sat down in the sun (on the stump of the downed tree actually) and did a farewell sketch.

Since the tree passes close to the power lines, PGE had to be involved.  They showed up yesterday and cut down about a third of the tree.

Then my own arborist showed up this morning to deal with the rest of it.

The rot that had condemned the tree didn't show up until the trunk was finally felled.  The cavity was so large that the man who made the last cut put down his chainsaw and was able to sit down inside the tree.