Thursday, October 3, 2019

Lower Macleay Park

Another good turnout for the September sketchcrawl, a little chilly but no rain. I brought a long piece of paper folded into an accordion, but not too long to make it unwieldy.

Monday, September 30, 2019


The endless sewer maintenance work seems to have moved into the Pearl.

Balch Creek Sketchcrawl

I walked a laborious two blocks to meet a bunch of other sketchers at the Macleay Park Trailhead.

I found a vantage point to do the underside of the bridge, with a simplification of the trusses that hold it up.

And then walked up the trail to do the waterfall, where I got some relief from the all-encompassing green around me.

I stood on the footbridge that spans the creek.  Which bounces when people are walking on it.  Good thing I didn't need to draw any straight lines.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

September Sketchcrawl: Lower Macleay Park

Saturday's rain held off and we had a beautiful day for sketching in Lower Macleay Park. 

Prior to sketching, we were asked what  personal sketching goal we had for the day. Several people had concerns about how to deal with all of the green. Looking at the results, it didn't appear to cause any undue problems. The sketches are wonderful! Sketching while sitting trailside, hearing the birds and the creek and the footsteps and voices of hikers, and breathing the fresh air all made this one of my favorite sketch crawls. Thanks everyone, for coming out and joining in!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

October 19th 2019 Sketchcrawl: Broadway Bridge

Continuing our bridge theme we will sketch the iconic Broadway Bridge which was built in 1913. The Broadway Bridge is a bascule bridge and was the longest span for this type of bridge at that time.

10am: Meet at Starbucks (see map below). 1102 NW Lovejoy
10:30: Walk to Broadway Bridge
12pm: Sketchbook throwdown TBD
12:30pm: Optional lunch at Laughing Planet and Hot Lips Pizza 
at the Ecotrust Building, 721 NW Broadway

Getting There: easily accessible by public transportation.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Climate Strike....downtown Portland 9/20/19

There was an awesomely large crowd that gathered downtown across from City Hall today.
I found a spot a little down from the park for the first couple of sketches and then moved up a little when the crowd started to travel down to the Hawthorne Bridge.

I used a larger format than my usual sketchpad and had pre-colored some pages. That way I could just use my pens and waterbrush with Lexington Grey on site. Later I added some additional color.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 2019

First Presbyterian Church - the Pipe Organ

Last week on Friday, a group of Portland Urban Sketchers was allowed special access to First Presbyterian Church. They are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the installation of their pipe organ with a year of organ music through their Celebration Works program and were interested in seeing sketches of the organ.

Our sketch group has only had one sketchcrawl at this location before; it was a decade ago and we sketched only from the outside. This time we not only went inside, we got a demo of how the pipe organ works and some historical backdrop as well. What an honor!  We'll be returning to this beautiful building for a future Saturday sketchcrawl and are grateful to our contacts at the Church that made this possible. 

For a last minute sketchcrawl on a week day, I was impressed with our great turnout! Thanks to everyone that made time to visit, and to those sketchers that shared their sketches with FPC afterwards.

The inside of the Church is full of warm wood tones and graceful arches and curves.  However, it's also full of interesting shapes that we may not understand well yet, like the pipes on the pipe organ! I got fairly confused in my one big sketch and can't wait to try again now that I have some ideas about how to approach this subject.

Thanks again to the folks at First Presbyterian for taking the time to invite us in and let us sketch!

Friday, August 23, 2019


On Sunday I took a day trip to Maryhill - the state park, the old town, Stonehenge and the museum, to get some sketches in.

In the morning I started in the town, now little more than a ghost town with many of the buildings empty, and did the church and an old gas station, with a couple of windmills behind it.  And a glimpse of Stonehenge high up on the hill above me.

Then we gathered for lunch, and then caravanned up the hill to the museum.  And there we, as a group, looked at this year's plein air exhibit.  This display the paintings that a dozen or so artists did near Maryhill over four days around the beginning of August.  One of whom was Elo.  Someone had done the same gas station that I'd done this morning.  But most of the paintings were of Mt Hood, from various angles, or of water - the Columbia or waterfalls.  No one bothered with the host of windmills running down both sides of the gorge.

So, after I wandered through the rest of the museum, I bought an Italian soda at the cafe and then walked out onto the patio to do just hills and windmills.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Albina Sketchcrawl

I started out by wandering to the north from the meeting place, to get a good view of the tangle of on-ramps and off-ramps that connect I5 to the Fremont Bridge.

And then walked up the hill to Emmanuel Hospital, to the top of a parking garage there, where I found a view of the bridge itself, bracketed by a couple of evergreen trees.

First Presbyterian

Kalina arranged an outing to sketch at First Presbyterian. In return for sketches that the church could use in their newsletter.

I got there early,and started out with a pen drawing of the facade.

Then we were invited inside to sketch there. (And got an impromptu organ recital.) The church is filled with carved cherry wood, with a balcony that undulates around the sanctuary.

Facade of the Organ

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Albina Mississippi crawl

I haven't sketched in this area for years, but have always enjoyed its mix of urban decay, sweet little indie businesses, massive industrial buildings, and in the distance... downtown skyline to one side, Fremont Bridge to the other.

After the first two sketches I walked down towards Interstate to sketch the Fremont Bridge... but couldn't help it, I love those criss-crossing overpasses and had to keep going!

Albina/Mississippi from Dawn Patrol Coffee
Albina/Mississippi area
Albina/Mississippi area

September Sketchcrawl - Sept. 21: Thurman Bridge and Macleay Park

Our next regularly scheduled Saturday sketchcrawl will take in the historic Thurman Bridge, which was built in 1905 during the Lewis & Clark Exposition. This bridge also crosses the entrance to Macleay Park which we will have the option to explore. It's less than a mile's walk to reach some stone building ruins down a hiking trail. This should be a nice crawl to spend some end-of-summer weather in a beautiful lush environment!

Image is from

Schedule: (Find your own breakfast beverages/food prior to meeting. See Resources below.)
10am: Meet at Lower Macleay Park entrance (see map below). This is one block west from NW 29th & Upshur.
12pm: Sketchbook throwdown at same location
12:30pm: Optional lunch at Industrial Cafe at 2572 NW Vaughn.
(This is a ~7 block walk from the park.)


There is a restroom and some parking near the park entrance.
A nearby cafe for snacks/coffee is Clearing Cafe at 2772 NW Thurman, which is about 5 minutes' walk east from the park.

Getting There: The entrance to the park is a 7 minute walk from the NW Wardway & Montgomery Park Trimet stop, which is served by lines 15 and 77.  There is some parking in the neighborhood but we're uncertain how easy it will be to find a spot.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

N Interstate and Albina

It was cool and overcast today so we didn't have to find shady spots for drawing. Lots of people focused on the Fremont Bridge while others focused on the neighborhood. Fun day!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Fremont Bridge again

I walked down to the site of the road construction under the ramp up to the Fremont Bridge.  Thurman is open to car traffic again, but there's still a lot of work yet to be done.  But no construction today, seeing as it's Sunday.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

I found some good views of the Steel and Broadway bridges, from the Willamette Greenway Trail.

And in the next section, upstream of the Broadway Bridge, I found a spot where I had a good view of the Steel Bridge.  And of a great blue heron

And at this point, I had a problem.  The McCormick Pier Condos have had problems with homeless people on the trail.  They even tried to close the trail a while back, to keep them out.  The city made them reopen it, so they came up with another solution.  Now you're allowed to walk or run along the river, but you can't stop.  A polite security guard came by to tell me to move along.

Monday, July 22, 2019

My friends house

Today I sat in the driveway and sketched my friends house.
A few days ago I sketched my husband during a  scrabble game.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

August Sketchcrawl: Fremont Bridge and North Portland - Saturday, August 17, 2019

Saturday, August 17, 2019
We are going to N Russel Street under the Fremont Bridge.
by Kalina Wilson
  • 10:00am - Meet at Dawn Patrol Coffee (670 N Russel Street, Portland, OR- Inside the LABrewatory) for coffee, snacks, and introductions. Accessible from Max and bus.
  • 10:30am - Sketch the Fremont Bridge or the surrounding area.
  • 12:00noon - Sketchbook throwdown, location tba.
  • 12:15pm - Optional lunch and sketchbook sharing at the LABrewatory with food from Tomale Boy (670 N Russell Street)

Newport/ Depoe Bay Coast Sketching

Greetings from the Oregon coast..I am thinking of you trying to get in some bridge sketching!  ( and husband sketching).
I am having a bit of a challenge posting from my iPad.... oh well

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Sketchcrawl at Cathedral Park

Getting to St Johns on transit from my house is a bit awkward.  You either take one of the few 15's that goes past Montgomery Park to the end of the line, then get off and wait for 40 minutes for a 16 to pick you up for the rest of the way, or you go the other way and cross the Steel or Morrison bridges, and then transfer to a bus that makes the long trek up into the peninsula.  But I decided to be clever and concocted a direct route without a long layover.  It involved riding an orange bike to the hub outside of Schoolhouse Electric, then crossing the railroad tracks to catch a 16 on Front.

But there was a catch.
 That being a freight train parked on the crossing.  And extending as far as I could see in both directions. I settled in to wait, to see if by chance it would get out of the way before my bus arrived.  And sketched until I heard it go by on the other side of the train.

Then I checked the bus schedule, and decided that taking the bus in an hour wouldn't make me too late, and decided to try the new coffee shop in Schoolhouse Electric.  Had a latte and a croissant and read the Willamette Week from cover to cover.  And, eventually, the train started up and rolled away, and I was able to get to Front and catch my bus.

I'd missed the pre-sketching gathering, so I headed straight down into Cathedral Park and worked my way down the hill until I found a spot in the shade with a good view up at the bridge.
And then headed down to the river, where a stern-wheeler was passing.  I watched it go by downriver, and spied a mysterious ship off in the distance.  So I worked my way along the river to find a better view of it.