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.