Showing posts with label Kalina Wilson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kalina Wilson. Show all posts

Monday, June 23, 2014

Director Park

On Saturday approximately 20 sketchers (old timers, newcomers, and everything in between) showed up at Case Study cafe in downtown Portland, which happens to be one of my favorite cafes.  Kay filled us in regarding her great experiences participating in Sketchbook Skool and I showed off the sample Arm-adillo pencil cuff I'd received from Muse Art + Design. After fortifying ourselves with beverages we ambled down to Director Park.

The forecast was sunny skies and warm temperatures but when we arrived it was grey and slightly chilly, which - in the context of an urban park that is mostly made up of gray concrete to start with - was not very inspiring. Anyway, I'd been wanting to sketch the Guild Theatre for a long time; my first attempts years before had gone terribly awry.

The Guild Theatre opened in 1927 as Taylor Street Theatre, acquiring its current name in 1947, and it's the last single-screen theatre in downtown Portland. Unfortunately, it's been closed for years. It's another of those lovely older buildings that doesn't have any obvious way forward, since redeveloping it and adding bathrooms (its old bathrooms got reassigned to the pasta restaurant next door) would cost so much that the owners haven't been able to cut a good deal on the space yet.  I expect one day as the economy picks up and space becomes more valuable a deal will be made, and inevitably this lovely old signage will disappear from the face of Portland.  I'm glad to have had an opportunity to sketch it while we still have it.

After taking a break to visit the farmer's market for fresh berries and basil, I came back to find the sun had come out and many of the sketchers were lined up on benches near the giant chess board.

I sketched a few of them very quickly before we were to gather for lunch...

I'm really pleased with the participation we've been getting lately.  I've met quite a few wonderful people through Portland Urban Sketchers in the last year alone, have browsed many an inspiring sketchbook, and have shared tips and tricks and joys and woes with a lot of kindred artists. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Portland Spring: Cherry Blossoms, Weird Figure Drawing, and Sumi Horses

On one of our first comfortably pleasant spring mornings, Portland Urban Sketchers joined up with one of our favorite repeat visitors Laura Frankstone to sketch cherry blossoms along the Waterfront.  I finished the last pages of my Canson sketchbook, working with pink ink and fountain pens and brushes...

Next I started into a watercolor sketchbook,  and it's taking a bit of work to get used to watercolor paper again after filling a Canson book; watercolor paper is just an entirely different beast. In this sketch, I tried to capture the two different paths existing next to each other: the road into daylight, and the shady path below the trees. You take the high road, and I'll take the low road.

As usual I attended the regular Dr. Sketchy figure drawing session, which this month had a theme of H.P. Lovecraft to go with the upcoming H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. You can click through to see more, but head's up, Not Safe For Work.

A few nights later I attended oil painter Michael Hussar's "Roadshow", at which he created a kind of sideshow figure art milieu for sketching purposes which he painted as we sketched and listed to music and drank alcoholic beverages.  Most impressive was that even the goth kids came armed with sketchbooks. Go, goth kids!

This was an unusual event; it took place in a small indie club and had some focus on the celebrity of the artist as the main attraction, but really it was about making art with props and live performance that were of Hussar's selection and style.  It would be wonderful to see more events like this, where the entertainment is based on an assumption that people will want to not only look at it and photograph it, but sketch it.

Earlier this month, I had a dream that I became excited about painting (as opposed to drawing or casual sketching) and was particularly obsessed with the moment of the brush touching the paper.  That was the moment in which I wanted to live.  As a result, when local art store Muse announced a sumi painting class taught by Yu Ming Zhu, it seemed like the perfect thing.  That class took place on Friday.

While most of my "art" from the day of the workshop is just repetitious attempts at brush strokes in which I tried to get my hand to hold the brush and move in a different way than it is accustomed, I did produce these horses (copies from a famous sumi work, though I've forgotten the name of the artist). The paper on the left was highly absorbent and sported gold flecks that are lovely in close-up; the paper on the right was machine made and held the strokes better but had a less interesting texture.

The workshop was great fun.  As a sketcher, my "specialty" is working fast and loose, but sometimes that means lazy as well, and it was satisfying to really focus on the properties of the brushes and the paper.  I think the ideas of center line strokes and side strokes, along with the basic intent with sumi of capturing physical action in the stroke, will stick with me for a while, and I'll integrate some new information into my normal, fast-moving urban sketches.

Towards the end of the workshop with Yu Ming Zhu, I mentioned Urban Sketchers and Yu Ming said, "oh, then maybe you know Don Colley!" Don Colley is an urban sketcher, and has visited our Portland group in the past. Yu Ming has met up with Don Colley to sketch on various occasions, and they have a presence in each other's sketchbooks.  We also discussed sketchbook work, and I was not surprised to learn Yu Ming uses a Pentel Pocket Brush in his accordion book (along with fountain pen, watercolors and various other materials).  It would be a pleasure to sketch with him some day, and I highly recommend his classes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

By Rail, By Sail, By Bike

I'm catching up on posting sketches from the last several crawls, and find a transport theme has accidentally emerged.

We celebrated National Train Day at Union Station...

SketchCrawl - Union Station, National Train Day
SketchCrawl - Union Station, National Train Day SketchCrawl - Union Station, National Train Day

We sketched the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain while they were docked in Vancouver over Memorial Day weekend. I started with a thumbnail in which I worked out some problems of ratio, but still had a lot of trouble in the final drawing. And then the Hawaiian Chieftain sailed away...

Lady Washington & Hawaiian Chieftain docked in Vancouver, WA

Katura and Alanna and their spouses teamed up to provide an organized sketchride as part of Pedalpalooza.

Sketchcrawl/Pedalpalooza - Portland from Eastside Esplanade

Sketchcrawl/Pedalpalooza - Urban Goats Sketchcrawl/Pedalpalooza - Lone Fir Cemetery 

Many thanks to Katura and Chris and Alanna and Tad for their work to make the sketchride a success! It was also great to meet new sketchers and to get return visits from sketchers we haven't often seen.

Here's hoping this summer treats us all gently and we can have many beautiful sunny days of sketching together.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

OHSU Views

We met at the same cafe once before, but ended up staying in the area of the South Waterfront instead of taking the intended ride up the aerial tram to Oregon Health & Science University.  This time a group of us made it all the way up and the views were certainly worth the wobbly ride. We had our work cut out for us, but the sketchers were up to the task.

Here's long-absent sketcher Janene finally returned to the fold, and camped out for a lovely view of the river and Portland's east side...

I made this sketch while seated next to Janene. The great bridge/overpass shape was hard to resist.

When I went searching for a new scene I passed a few of my fellow sketchers hard at work...

Finally I chose a spot in the skybridge (as shown in Katura's post). The resulting sketch looks weirdly abstract, due to the strange shape of the building that houses the aerial tram dock.

OHSU was full of great views, but it was also a surreal place to spend time.  Once as I sat there touching up watercolors, a woman walking by exclaimed loudly to her friend, "I'm so glad my mother didn't die!"  There were doctors walking briskly through the halls in their scrubs and patients with crutches making clattering sounds as they passed. Of course, this is a place where lives are saved... and lost.  I felt grateful today to be visiting simply as a sketcher.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Scavenger Hunt: Fountain

Keller Fountain, as visited with the sketchers during Saturday's sketchcrawl. I focused on trying to emphasize the square shapes and the light hitting the water.  Drawing this made me think about how it would be nice to spend some time with good drawings of trees, and maybe try out some new approaches.  These trees could have been portrayed in a much simpler style, but I flailed a bit and made them very complicated.

It was great seeing the sketchers in the sunshine, instead of huddled against the wind and rain, or hiding out in cafes!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scavenger Hunt - Haircut

Once again, most of my recent sketching has been on the bus during the daily commute so I haven't made progress on the scavenger hunt items... until now :-)  This guy on the bus had a cool haircut.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dodging May raindrops

Here in Portland, we're ready to be out there sketching in the sunshine but we're not getting much sunshine - it's still dumping rain on many precious weekend days. I haven't even started on the scavenger hunt, and am impressed at all the drawings pouring in here at the blog - great work, sketchers!

Much of my sketching is still happening during the daily commute or various other stolen moments.

On the bus
Recently, Vicky and I both managed to drop by Sunnyside Piazza during the street repainting, though we missed each other. It was a challenging scene, with a lot of fast motion, standers-by blocking the view, complex shapes of vegetation and houses all around.
Sunnyside Piazza - annual repainting party Sunnyside Piazza - annual repainting party Sunnyside Piazza - annual repainting party

I attended Wonder Northwest, a "pop culture subculture" convention. Most of my sketching happened at the "Engineering Trek in the Park" panel discussion. The Trek in the Park folks enjoyed the live sketches I did at their awesome event last year, so I was particularly happy to sketch them again!
Wonder Northwest Wonder Northwest - "Engineering Trek in the Park" panel Wonder Northwest - "Engineering Trek in the Park" panel
A few of us met up to visit Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Funeral Home during their annual open house.  We started off at Staccato Gelato in Sellwood, and I sketched the view down Bybee...
Memorial Day SketchCrawl - from Sellwood Staccato Gelato

Alanna, Pascale, and I continued on to Wilhelm's. There was a sizable crowd already, mostly waiting to visit the Rae Room. The funeral home itself turned out to be a remarkable labyrinth of several buildings and outdoor areas all connected below with weaving, meandering corridors. There is a large fountain inside, alcoves with lovely stained glass, an outdoor pond with a stone bridge, the largest outdoor hand-painted mural in the nation, a great view of Oaks Bottom and Oaks Park, and corridor upon corridor of memorial boxes and urns.
Memorial Day SketchCrawl - Wilhelm Memorial Funeral Home Memorial Day SketchCrawl - Wilhelm Memorial Funeral Home Memorial Day SketchCrawl - Wilhelm Memorial Funeral Home

It was a great place to visit and I'd love to go again! Next year, sketchers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

PDXUsk members at my studio

I really enjoyed having my comrades in sketching visit my studio. I took a few of photos. It was more fun than it looks in the pictures

I also did one sketch of Kalina and Alanna

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ASIFA Drink 'n Draw at the Peculiarium

Some of us Portland Urban Sketchers tagged along with the Portland branch of ASIFA (Association International du Film d’Animation) for a Halloween Drink 'n Draw at The Peculiarium in Northwest Portland!

The ASIFA folks set up three light tables, and we were all encouraged to take turns making 10 frames of animation, following their simple guidelines. Alanna, Tad, and I each did one set. At the end, more experienced animators connected the end of each series with the beginning of the next to make seamless loops, after which we got to watch what we had done on the projection screen! It was awesome; I look forward to trying this again now that I have a little bit of a feel for how it turns out.

Here are some ASIFA folks at work on their animation frames (surrounded by the grotesque masks of the Peculiarium)...


The Peculiarium is a crazy place - an art gallery of the weird and macabre combined with a candy shop/novelty store/snack bar that will sell you meal worms to sprinkle on your ice cream, which you can eat as you stick your head up through the hole in the alien autopsy table.


Thanks for the fun, ASIFA, and thanks for the weird environs, Peculiarium!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Portlander in Scotland

As my fellow Portland urban sketchers are aware, I have just arrived back home after a wonderful 3 week visit to Europe. It had been many years since my last serious vacation and what might once have been a travel bug had swelled into a travel mammoth! It felt so good to be back in that traveler's mindset, thinking only about the day. What shall I sketch? What would I like for dinner? Perhaps I shall have a beer? I'm pretty sure I went at least five days in a row without once remembering that I work for a living - the traveling lifestyle swept me up that entirely.

The first two weeks were spent in Scotland, and have been reported extensively at my blog. Here are some sketching highlights from that time.

I flew out of Portland on September 1...

Day 0/1 - Flying to Glasgow

Made my "base of operations" in Glasgow (which I love), and managed to meet up with awesome Glasgow Urban Sketcher Stuart Kerr...

Glasgow near cathedral Necropolis Great Western Road, Glasgow Stuart with some of his commercial work

Did a couple of day trips to Edinburgh, which is possibly the most beautiful city I have laid eyes on (though my heart belongs to Glasgow)...

DSCI0054 Edinburgh, Fleshmarket Close

Then took train and bus to the Highland fishing village of Ullapool, where I did some hiking but also had wonderful views from cafes and pubs when the weather turned wet...

Ullapool from Shore Street Ullapool hillwalk Ullapool - thistle Ullapool Shore Street

Traveled to the Isle of Skye, which was mostly a lost opportunity because weather was bad and most of the dramatic vistas were obscured...

Portree Talisker Distillery

Continued by bus, ferry, and train to gorgeous Glenfinnan, also in the Highlands and currently gaining some notoriety as a Harry Potter filming location...

Glenfinnan monument Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel

After that, I visited with friends in London and then continued on to Belgium... but more on that soon!