Friday, December 7, 2018

Oregon Historical Society- sketching visit

On this past cold and windy day in Portland I decided to visit the Oregon Historical Society. I had heard that there was a display of SantaLand items and thought that might be interesting.

Now, I am immigrant from the east coast, so I was not familiar with what Santaland was. It turns out that for many years the Meier and Frank company had this animated holiday one time it took up a whole floor of the downtown store. Over the years it was compressed to smaller spaces and eventually disbanded.

The display that I saw was pretty small. A volunteer there said that mostly it was due to the extremely poor condition of most of the items when the historical society took possession of them.
What I saw was the Santa chair, Rudolf, tree, wreath, and three elves. The sort of train thing behind the elves is supposed to be a model of a monorail that had been part of the original Meier and Frank display.

I originally worked this up in pen but was dissatisfied with the black and grey tones so decided to do it up in Gouache when I got home.

I walked around a bit at the other displays and settled on this other display to sketch.

And just to round out this report of my sketching day is my beginning sketch done from the Behind the Museum Cafe....a view out the window.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Staver Steamup

I made it for a bit of the day this year.  I had a prior commitment in the afternoon, so I had to go in the morning, just after they'd opened and could only stay an hour.

I started out by sketching some of the stationary trains, not being quick enough to do the ones running around the tracks.

By the time I was finished with that more families had arrived, so I did one quick sketch of a couple of kids playing with wooden toy trains.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Portland Nursery Setchcrawl

Thought I might join on the bandwagon to post sketches from our latest...and might I say, largest turnout! Someone mentioned that we had 35 people show up for this event. Amazing.

It was also an awesome day....sun, and wonderful shadows, as evidenced in these two sketches.

Not sure what this machine was initially for...perhaps heat? Anyway it was displaying a proper holiday spirit!

Fall color was awesome on this plant in a pot.

 I took the opportunity to do another quick sketch while waiting for our sketcbook share.

A few people had to leave early and were not there at the time of our share.
Would love to see those and others from that sparkling day at Portland Nursery! Please Post.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sketchcrawl at Portland Nursery

We scheduled our November sketchcrawl at the Portland Nursery on Division because they have a heated greenhouse there.  And we wanted a warm, dry refuge from the winter weather.

Well, this winter day was sunny and mild, if a bit windy.

I had to leave early, but I managed a couple of sketches, one of a statue inside the shade pavilion, and another of a jumble of pots stacked outside.

(While I was working on this one, a man wandered by and told me that I was cheating, because I was using a tablet.)

Portland Nursery on Division

What a beautiful day!!!

DECEMBER 15, 2018 Sketch Crawl - BG Food Cartel

DECEMBER 15, 2018 Sketch Crawl - BG Food Cartel

Image Credit: BG's Food Cartel at the Round
The BG Food Cartel is Beaverton's largest food cart pod.  Let's go check it out and sketch it!  The MAX stop is Beaverton Central.
  • 10:00am - Meet under the tents (4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005) for introductions, coffee, and snacks.
  • 10:30am - Sketch the carts.
  • 12:00noon - Sketchbook Throwdown at a cart location TBD.  
  • 12:15pm - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing at the food cart pod.  We'll figure out the exact lunch destination when we get there. 

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Portland Urban Sketchers Administrator Team  hereby declares 2019 to be THE YEAR OF THE BRIDGE.  Every month we will sketch a different bridge - views from it or views of it.  Here are some of the bridges we would enjoy sketching.
  • Tilikum
  • Hawthorne
  • Sellwood
  • Marquam
  • Steel
  • Darlene Hooley
  • Fremont
  • Union Station Pedestrian
  • Ross Island
  • Broadway
  • Vista 
  • Morrison
  • St Johns
We need your help to identify bridges that are worthy of our sketching attention!  Please send us any bridges you would like to sketch. 

In January, we will kick off THE YEAR OF THE BRIDGE from OHSU.  There is the Darlene Hooley Pedestrian Bridge and the VA Skybridge, plus views of the Marquam Bridge.  And, it is a warm interior space for January.  More information will follow. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thank You for the Fantastic Year of 10x10 Workshops in Portland

Last Saturday we wrapped up the last 10x10 workshop of 2018. This year in Portland over 50 sketchers and 4 instructors participated; 2 students received scholarships; and we are sending a portion of the proceeds ($1091) to Urban sketchers organization to help improve educational programming around the world. This year we have covered a lot of territory. First we addressed our fears and obstacles head on, held three workshops on perspective, learned to draw crowds at the Pride parade, and looked at ways to tell stories in our drawings, and much more. Thank you to all of you who participated and made this such a successful year!
We will kick things off in March of 2019 with “Introduction to Urban Sketching”–a free fundamentals workshop where we invite complete beginners as well as artists from other fields who are curious about urban sketching to attend. Please join us and invite your friends too. Urban Sketching will change your life! Registration to this and other workshops coming in 2019 will be announced soon.
Happy Sketching!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 17, 2018 Sketch Crawl - Portland Nursery Greenhouse on Division

NOVEMBER 17, 2018, Sketch Crawl - Portland Nursery Greenhouse

We have a great opportunity to sketch at the Portland Nursery.  They have a greenhouse with cacti and tropical plants - sounds great on a fall day! Our pre- and post-sketching will have an Asian theme.

Special Instructions from the Portland Nursery:

1. Please do not disturb or interfere with customers.
2. If you are going by car, please use the East parking lot (gravel lot), instead of the one out front.
3. If you are biking, there is a bike rack on the west side.
4. If you are going by public transit, Trimet bus and MAX have nearby stops.

  • 10:00am - Meet at Gary's Bakery and Bistro (8615 SE Division St # 101, Portland, OR 97266) for introductions, coffee, and snacks.
  • 10:30am - Walk over to the Portland Nursery Greenhouse at 9000 SE Division.
  • 12:00noon - Sketchbook Throwdown at the Portland Nursery Greenhouse.  
  • 12:15pm - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing at Wong's King (8733 SE Division St #101, Portland, OR 97266)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Swan Island sketchcrawl

Another lovely sketching day that started out cold and foggy but then moved to sunny and warm.
We explored a little part of a new walkway/path and its views of the river. This spot is worth another visit. Thanks Andrea, for scoping this out.

My warm-up sketch tried to capture some of the fogginess of the morning...not exactly!

I then switched to doing a series of vignettes using my two non-waterproof pens and Lexington Grey filled water brush.

This last group I added some color with Watercolor Pencils.

On Monday, I and a couple of other sketchers visited Reed College. The combination of architecture and big, gorgeous trees in color was too stunning to pass.

Watercolor pencils and ink

Trying to capture some of the color!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Sketchcrawl on Swan Island

 We all headed towards the river and straggled along the park there, finding vantage points.  I started out looking directly across the river, with the clouds pinned to the top of the Tualatin Ridge muting all the colors.

Then I wandered to the end of the path, and then backtracked to a shrub with colorful fruit.

Monday, September 17, 2018

3rd Saturday Sketchcrawl - Oct. 20 - Swan Island

OCTOBER 20, 2018, Sketch Crawl - Swan Island

Photo Credit:
Here's a place I've never been and have been wondering about for ages.  Swan Island.  It is full of industrial buildings and it sits on the Willamette River.   There is McCarthy Park with a path you can walk along.  It looks like it has some interesting views.
  • 10:00am - Meet at Anna's Island Cafe  (4715 N Lagoon Ave, Portland, OR 97217) for introductions, coffee, and snacks.
  • 10:30am - Walk over to the McCarthy Park trail  at N. Channel Ave & N Anchor St.  (I will make sure this is feasible.)
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing back at Anna's. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pottery in Montevilla

Most of us strung ourselves along Stark to draw the Academy Theater from different angles.  But I was struck by the figures posed in the window of a pottery shop and stopped to sketch them.

Montavilla and the Academy Theater

We had a good turnout, good weather, and good sketching yesterday. Here's a photo of the sketchers who were around for the throw-down and another of their sketches.

Some of the sketchers stayed for lunch at Flying Pie Pizza. It was also a chance to look at sketchbooks and iPad sketches up close.

Quite a few of us drew the Academy Theater and it was fun to see the various approaches. Here's mine.

Thanks everyone, for another fun day of sketching and chatting (and eating) together.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Sketchcrawl in Laurelhurst

It was a big group, with sketchers stretched for a block in either direction, on both sides of the street.  I'd gotten there late and found an unoccupied curb and sat down to do my own sketch.

And then, another sketcher just down the curb a bit.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Here's a photo of many, but not all of the sketchers who came out to sketch in Laurelhurst today. We had several new sketchers today, too. I hope everyone comes back again! Most of us sketched the church, but you'll have to wait for someone else to post a good photo of the resulting sketches.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sketchcrawl in the neighborhood

Gregg was coming down from Seattle for the weekend, so Vicky organized a special sketchcrawl for him, in my neighborhood.

Most people headed towards Trinity Cathedral.  But I'd done the red doors (or at least one of them) recently and headed the other way, to William Temple House.  And, seeing how Oliver lived only next door, I stopped by to see if he was receiving visitors.  And he was.  In fact, he climbed up into my lap and took a nap.  And so, instead of sketching William Temple House, I sketched Oliver.

I got done with that before he showed any sign of getting up, so I picked the second most interesting thing I could see - the entrance to the apartment building across the street.

Halfway through that a black cat tried to sneak into Oliver's territory, and he had to get off my lap to evict him.  And then Kalina and John and John's dog, Trevor, showed up, looking for sketchers.  For Gregg in particular.  We chatted for a bit and I scratched the dog's ears, and then they went off towards Trinity.  And Oliver, who had been lurking nearby, came out and gave me a right what-for for having paid attention to a mere dog.  And climbed back up into my lap.

When I was done with the second sketch, and had shifted the cat, I wandered over to Trinity myself, and had time to do a quick sketch of the northeast corner of the cathedral.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

SEPTEMBER 15, 2018, Sketch Crawl - Montavilla & Academy Theater

SEPTEMBER 15, 2018, Sketch Crawl - Montavilla & Academy Theater

Photo Credit: 
Let's go to Montavilla and sketch the neighborhood center.  The Academy Theater is there and there are a bunch of interesting shops, including an antique shop.  Montavilla Park is not too far.  There is also the "Beets Auto Body" sign.

Did you know that Montavilla started out as "Mount Tabor Villa Addition?"  That's what we heard.
  • 10:00am - Meet at Bipartisan Cafe (7901 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215) for introductions, coffee, and snacks.  They also have pie!
  • 10:30am - Sketch street scenes and/or the Academy Theater (7818 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215).
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch at Flying Pie Pizza, 7804 SE Stark - time for sharing sketchbooks.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Exciting announcements about the 10x10 Urban Sketching Workshops in Portland

Pete Scully's Masterful rendering of a complicated interior space 
We are at a midpoint with out 2018 edition of 10x10 Workshops–with 5 more workshops still happening through November. There are still a few spots open in each one. For more information and to register:

This coming Saturday, August 10th I am teaching “All the World's a Stage: Finding your Perfect Story” where I will be showing students how to draw human figure and how to approach a large public setting as a theatre stage where people act as if actors in a play, how to find those stories and convey them using drawings.

Then on September 8 Andrea Matthews takes sketchers to the popular PSU Farmer’s Market to explore how textures, lines and color could be used to approach such a vibrant setting full of colorful produce, flowers, foliage, and people busy shopping.

On September 29th I am back teaching “Humbled but not Overwhelmed: Keeping your Sketcher’s Cool in Large Complicated Spaces” which will give students the tools to break down and simplify large complicated spaces in order to capture soaring cathedrals, train stations, stately museums while visiting foreign lands or sketching in their home town.

On October 13th during the “Drama Queen or a Great Manipulator: Making Sketches that Intrigue and Grab Attention” I will reveal a number of magic techniques and sketching secrets that are sure to lead to sketches that turn heads and force second takes. This workshop will take place in the gorgeous Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Then, the drumbeat please…. because for the closing workshop of the season we are bringing the amazing Pete Scully to Portland to teach “All Together Now and with Perspective: Fitting all Bits and Pieces into a Grid” (November 10). If you are not familiar Pete is a highly revered urban sketcher, teacher and author who is a master at capturing complicated interiors with fantastic detail and precision. Pete Scully has authored several books on sketching and if you haven’t seen his work his blog is one place to start:

Happy Sketching!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Shadows and Mists

The corner of SW Park and Jefferson seems to be a hub of activity--from tour buses, people on rental scooters and bikes, and all kinds of eccentric characters passing by! In the midst of the hubbub, the shadows played peacefully on the doors of St James Lutheran Church.
When it's hot in Portland, often it is cool at the beach.  We spent some misty, even chilly, days there recently and loved every minute of it.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Rail Museum and Oaks Bottom

I grabbed an orange bike to get to the Tilikum Bridge, which meant I got there way early.  Early enough to start with a sketch of the streetcar bridge over the RR tracks.
Headed towards the rail museum, looking for another sketch.  But found that the other sketchers were already collecting.  So I chatted for a bit, and then, leaning against the fence (with the westbound MAXes passing a foot behind my head) I did a car and caboose parked in front of the museum.
By the time that was done the museum was open.  We went in and browsed a bit, then most of us got on the excursion train to Selwood, leaving only Deb to work her way through the old engines being refurbished in the museum.

We put-putted our way down along the Springwater Corridor getting  off at Oaks Bottom, and I found my way into the amusement park.  And was drawn to their new roller-coaster, the Adrenaline Peak.
It's a short ride, but an intense one, with the passengers being shot up and down and around and twisting about in a corkscrew.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Monster Drawing Rally IV

This is the yearly party at the art museum, where scores of artists sit down in the courtyard and create artworks that are sold to support the museum's youth programs.

I started out just sketching the crowd, which means doing whichever person happened to be in my line of sight.

I noticed that many of the women were wearing little black dresses.  In fact, at least three of them were wearing the exact same little black dress, with a halter top tied in the back and a flouncy skirt.

There was also a Darth Vader-ish person.

He was actually much more intricate than I was able to get down.  Cause he got up and left, going out into the crowd.

The first shift was ending just about then.  I walked past the tables of adult artists, and found, in the sculpture garden, a model posing for a bunch of kids.