Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sketchcrawl on Interstate

I started out doing a large chunk of the firehouse from a bit of a distance behind it.
And then wandered around till I was near the front, and noticed one tiny plant clinging to a toehold on a window sill.

And finally, I tried a small chunk of the water tower behind the firehouse, blocking in the forms and shading.  But the sun kept wandering in and out of the clouds, and the shadows kept changing.

Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center

It was a fun day with the Portland Urban Sketchers - and a nice number of new people.  Welcome to you all! The weather cooperated with us.  I enjoyed seeing everybody spread out at the site.  See you next time.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

JUNE 16, 2018 Sketch Crawl - Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center

The area around the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center has several interesting things to sketch. There is the Firehouse itself, the water tower, and the MAX. There is also a little cob structure next door. 
  • 10:00am - Meet at Red E Cafe (1006 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217) for coffee, snacks, and socializing.
  • 10:30am - Walk over to the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (5340 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217) and sketch around there.
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch at Lucky Lab (1700 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217).

Friday, June 1, 2018

USk 10K+10K Matching Fund Campaign

Help us bring Urban Sketchers workshops to everyone, everywhere! The Urban Sketchers 10k+10K Matching Fund Campaign will bring urban sketching to schools, organizations and communities that have not had the opportunity to enjoy on-location drawing. With you help we hope to raise $20,000 by June 8th. For more information and to donate visit

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sunny Daze.....

These sunny days have been a boon to get out and sketch the new spring colors.

Irving Park, loved this concrete structure....still trying to figure out how it is used??

Lauralhurst Park, large knobby tree trunks

Lauralhurst Park, Lager view of paths....with busy sketcher.

Lauralhurst Park sculpture

Mother's Day picnic

Chapman School park

And some street scenes from NE Alberta

Saturday, May 12, 2018

NEW!!! PDXUSK Business Time

I enjoy organizing for this group more when I do it with other people. So I wanted to invite y'all to my house once a month to join me in this.

For now it will be on the 2nd Sunday of the month, from 3-5pm. Our google calendar has the deets at:

This is time to gather and work on Portland Urban Sketchers business. Examples of things you may want to do during this time:

* Blogging of personal urban sketches
* Social media posting of personal urban sketches.
* Creating a post about that Portland Urban Sketchers event you've always dreamed of.
* Furthering a personal urban sketching goal - like teaching a class, getting an exhibit at a coffee shop, taking an art class.

Bring your laptop.

There will be snacks.

Hope to see you there! It's so much more fun to do this in the presence of other people. Your cheerful faces are energizing!

Relaxing Urban Sketching at Irving Park

As Kalina said, it was perfect sketching weather.  Just right temps and slight breeze.  And as always, wonderful company.

You all just looked so beautiful out there in the sun.

I love the trees in this park so I put a lot of attention in to one of them.  Plus I sat with my back against the one in this picture and enjoyed the tactile experience too.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Special Sunday Sketchcrawl - Pug Crawl!

Sunday, May 20
12:00 pm
Portland Brewing Company Taproom
2730 NW 31st Avenue, Portland

If you're willing and able to spend $10-30 on a benefit for the Oregon Humane Society and like the idea of sketching pugs in top hats, join me for a special Sunday sketchcrawl on May 20, 2018, for the 2018 Pug Crawl: "Blast to the Past"

Courtesy of

Entry is $10 if you purchase in advance or $15 at the door. Online ticket sales are open now. 

My intent is to take brush pens for quick, impressionistic sketches, and an Altoids-tin palette for light touches of color. Will you join me?

We'll meet outside the main entrance just before noon and go inside to sketch the pugs as they gather before the actual parade, which starts at 2pm.

This event is in NW Portland, reachable on Trimet with the 15 line. Portland Brewing has a parking lot and there should also be sufficient street parking in the area.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Saturday May 12 - Irving Park Sketch Crawl

Let's sketch Irving Park!  I can't make it on the 19th, so I'm moving this month's sketch crawl to the 2nd Saturday.  Don't forget there's also the Pug Crawl on Sunday, May 20th.

  • 10:00am: Meet at Whole Foods Market3535 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97212for introductions / coffee / snacks.
  • 10:30am: Sketch around Irving Park, at NE Fremont and NE 9th Ave.
  • 12:00pm: Sketchbook Throwndown in the park, exact location tbd when we get there.
  • 12:15pm: Optional - Meet back at Whole Foods, for sketchbook passing /  lunch.
Hope to see you there!

Here is some information about the beautiful trees at Irving Park:

Woodlawn Sketch Crawl

It was another nice turnout and a beautiful day for a sketch crawl.

I sketched the swings, trees, and bridge at Woodlawn Park.  Thanks for coming, everyone!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sketchcrawl in Woodlawn

I headed north from the meeting point, starting out by wandering through Woodlawn Park.  I sat down on the bridge and did a quick (of necessity) sketch of a mother and child on the slides.  They were gone before I'd finished, so half of the sketch was done from memory.

On to Woodlawn school, where I did a giant pottery urn, collecting rain-water for the adjoining gardens.

I'd been hearing trains to the north, so I headed to the edge of the school grounds to take a peek down the hill.  And saw looming over the industrial buildings on the flats, the OHS.  I hadn't realized that you could get to it from here.

Well, you can sort of get to it.  I headed down the hill and got across Lombard at a light.  But I'm way too old to try sprinting across Columbia.  So I leaned against a fence on the corner and sketched, first a massive old cherry tree on the grounds, and then the building itself.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

First Hill in Seattle

I was up for a concert on Thursday, and stuck around for a sketchcrawl on Friday morning.  It was raining lightly for most of the morning, so I wandered around looking for places that were out of the rain and had a view of something interesting.  I circled the area for a bit until I ended up at the top of First Hill, tucked into the entrance of the Polyclinic, and sketching First Baptist (where the concert had been).  It's actually even more baroque than this.  I left out about half of the twiddly bits.

Then I headed back down to Pike and found a spot where I could see the dome of First Covenant (the body was hidden behind a building with a parking lot on its roof) with the buildings of downtown rising behind it.

By this time the rain had finally stopped, so I walked down to do the Plymouth Columns, which were still dark with the morning's rain.  The trees in the park have grown significantly since I left town.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Update on 10x10 Urban Sketching Workshops

We are off to great start with this year's 10x10 Workshops. The first three is the series are now completely sold out. There are still a few spaces left in some workshops starting with June 2nd's It’s All a Matter of Perspective: Step by Step Guide to Drawing Believable Cities. Don't miss you chance to be part of this exciting educational opportunity. For more information and to register...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Save the Date: Sunday, May 20 - Oregon Humane Society's Annual Pug Crawl

Sunday, May 20
12:00 pm
Portland Brewing Company Taproom
2730 NW 31st Avenue, Portland
Save the Date: If you're willing and able to spend $10-30 on a benefit for the Oregon Humane Society and like the idea of sketching pugs in top hats, join me for a special Sunday sketchcrawl on May 20, 2018, for the 2018 Pug Crawl: "Blast to the Past"

Entry is $10 if you purchase in advance or $15 at the door. I'll announce again closer to the event when ticket sales are open. We'll meet outside the main entrance just before noon and go inside to sketch the pugs as they gather before the actual parade, which starts at 2pm.
This event is in NW Portland, reachable on Trimet with the 15 line. Portland Brewing has a parking and there should also be sufficient street parking in the area.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

March for our Lives- Portland OR

It was not the most inviting day to be out marching through the streets of Portland but that did not seem to deter the crowd of passionate students and supporters.

Parking myself at a good spot (about 9:30 am ) across from the gathering place in North Park Blocks to do some warm up sketches. It was exciting to see the crowd grow ever larger there.

I then moved to SW Broadway to get a view of the beginning of the march up SW Broadway to Pioneer Courthouse Square. I was a little sheltered when the light rain started so it worked out to be a good vantage point.....however eventually I had to give it up and move on. My feet and fingers where just too cold to continue standing there. Walking seemed to help a bit and the route to Pioneer Courthouse Square warmed me up.  However when I got there it was so crowded (a pretty good thing, I think) so that I couldn't get any view nor really hear any of the speeches.

Tried a few spots but nothing seemed to work so I headed for some warmth and relief.

I was struck throughout the march by some of the signs and chants. This one sign, carried by a young woman student, though was so poignant...... I had to record it.

Recording these passionate people, and especially the young students marching was an inspiration.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cherry trees in two cities

On Saturday, I went down to the waterfront to sketch the cherry trees with the Portland Urban Sketchers.  Unfortunately, they weren't out yet.  Not really.  There was a promise of pink, but the reality was of green and gray.   But the Steel Bridge was floating prettily above the trees.  So I did that scene, sneaking in the blossoms that I knew would soon show up.

Then I turned my attention to the people...

That afternoon, I took a train up to Seattle for a concert.  And the next morning, while walking through the UW campus to take light-rail back to the train station, I decided to detour through the quad, just in case those trees had popped.

And had they ever.  And just about everyone in the city had come by to take them in.  I sketched a small part of the scene (while overhearing a photographer complaining about how to deal with the crowds of people in his way).

Sunday, March 18, 2018

April 21, 2018 Sketch Crawl - Woodlawn / Dekum Triangle

Janene's sketch from 2016
APRIL 21 - Woodlawn / Dekum Triangle

Let's sketch the Woodlawn neighborhood.  There are a couple of nice indoor locations for us in case it rains.  Outdoors we have the Firehouse Restaurant and Woodlawn City Park for fun sketching subjects.
  • 10:00am - Meet at Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry () for coffee, snacks, and socializing.
  • 10:30am - Spread out and sketch the Woodlawn neighborhood from 10-noon. 
  • 12:00noon - Optional lunch at Breakside Brewery ().

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Today's Sketch Crawl

Another nice turnout today.  It was wonderful to make new friends and connect with old friends.

A couple of people sketches at Floyd's:

Then I found a seat at the bus stop on the Burnside Bridge for a street scene.  I will have to go back for the cherry trees.

And for the final throwdown - wonderful renditions!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Urban Sketching 10x10 Workshops of 2018 are almost here

Our first Urban Sketching 10x10 workshop of 2018 "The Cave You Fear to Enter Holds the Treasure You Seek: Overcoming Obstacles and Becoming a Sketching Superstar" is only 10 days away. It is now full! Thank you for everyone who registered and all of those who helped to spread the word, including Kay French, Andrea Matthews, Jason Roberts, and many others. I can't wait to embark on this adventure together. If you would like to check out other workshops this year follow this link:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

March 17 Sketch crawl - Cherry Blossoms on the Waterfront

Deb's Sketch from 2016
MARCH 17 - Cherry Blossoms

It's Cherry Blossom time again at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The weather has been strange so it's hard to know for sure if the cherry blossoms will be ready.  Blooms or no, we still have Ankeny Fountain, Saturday Market, and Old Town/Chinatown nearby.
  • 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.) Or, 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. 

 MARCH 18 - 10x10 Sketch Education

The first Portland Urban Sketching 10x10 class of the year is happening on March 18, 10:30 am to 1:00 pm, at the Kennedy School.

If you ever wanted to learn how to draw quickly on location, capturing a variety of exciting city scenes and colorful subjects using your direct observation skills now is your chance. Together with the International Urban Sketchers organization we are organizing a series of on-location workshops aimed at honing your sketching skills and covering such topics as portable watercolor sketching, perspective, drawing people on the move, sketching city panoramas, and many more. Workshops take places in fun locations around Portland starting in March and continuing through early November. We are offering scholarships to students to make sketching even more accessible.

Register here:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Staying Inside at Andrea's

Some intrepid souls ventured forth into the damp and windy February morning but we had a lovely time indoors drawing each other and rearranging all the excess art supplies on the tables. The waffles were fantastic!