Monday, January 21, 2019

expecting clear views of Willamette River bridges from atop OHSU......

Well you can see from other postings that the expectations were not realized as the fog played with us all morning!
In the end we all had to think a little out of the box and sketch the other bridges that were around us.

Turns out there were a surprising number of brridges for us all to sketch!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Back at you, Elo.

Business Meeting, PdxUsk today

Pdx Usk are so welcoming! I received an invitation to come to the business meeting through FB, so I thought, why not? I had no clue what the business meeting was about, and soon discovered it was a little gathering of our fearless leaders doing all the behind the scenes hard work to make our Portland group run well. Even though it had been more than a year since my last appearance at a sketch crawl, I was invited to participate and contribute to our blog. I'll try my best to update the "More Sketching Opportunities Around Town" page. Please don't hesitate to send me any info you have on other drawing, sketching from life opportunities to share on this page. email me at or comment below. For now, here is a glimpse into today's meeting at Cafe Yumm, on 3rd and Morrison. (see our guest Usk-er in the background? he's very relaxed ;)

February SketchCrawl - Vista Bridge

Saturday, February 16, Vista Bridge / Goose Hollow Sketch Crawl

Continuing our bridge theme for 2019, we will be meeting in Goose Hollow to sketch the Vista Bridge, starting at Fehrenbacher Hof, a PDX USK favorite!

10:00am -  Meet at Fehrenbacher Hof for snacks, coffee, and introductions.

Goose Hollow Sketchcrawl / NaNoDrawMo #1610:30am - Sketch inside or out - view of Vista Bridge, or views inside the cafe.

12:00 noon - THROWDOWN - location determined on site.

12:15pm OPTIONAL- Meet at Goose Hollow Inn, 1927 SW Jefferson St, for lunch and sketchbook sharing.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, March 16, 2019 Sketch Crawl
We will sketch the Burnside and/or Steel Bridge - and the Cherry Blossoms!

Details to follow.

OHSU Bridges in the Mist

We had fun exploring different areas of the OHSU building.  The fog could not deter us.  People sketched from different areas of the building.  As always the conversation was delightful!

In the Clouds at OHSU

Fog and low-lying clouds restricted our visibility for awhile but we sketched anyway. and the fog gradually lifted. Ellie and I found a view from a window at the entrance of the sky bridge and went with that.

No bridge in the drawing at OHSU but I got a quick drawing in of the Hawthorne bridge at the bus stop.


Kay and I found a ledge to work from just before the skybridge to the VA.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sketchcrawl on Pill Hill

With more bridges

We started out in a solid fog.  That came and went, with buildings and views appearing and then fading away again.

I started out with the skybridge, standing near the entrance to Doernbecher.
When I first started, the bridge disappeared into the mist.  But as I worked a ghostly image of the VA hospital emerged behind it.

When I got done with that I emerged from the other end of Doernbecher and wandered off in search of other bridges.  I found one that led to an elevator to a parking lot and, looking back at Doernbecher, realized that its entrance, where I'd stood and sketched the skybridge, was yet another bridge.  So I sketched that bridge, from this bridge.

And then headed down to the top of the parking garage to sketch this bridge.

Sketching in the Fog at OHSU

When we rode the OHSU tram today, our views were only of white fog. Throughout the morning, things would appear for awhile and then disappear again. The sunshine would come through and the trees would be backlit and a few minutes later they would be lighter in front or they'd disappear. All would be gray and white and then color would gradually seep through. It was fascinating to try to identify things as bits would appear temporarily through the fog. 

This was my bridge view...

Here are a couple of sketchers....

and this is the city, under a blanket of fog...

Here are many of the sketchers and the view.

Although it wasn't what I expected fo find today, I really enjoyed the morning with the ever-changing scenery and the good sketching company.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Portland Zoo

It's been an awfully long time since I've been to the zoo. It was a cold, windy and sunny day. There was a lot of construction but some of the old familiar exhibits were there. I kept it simple. I sometimes forget how much I enjoy a plain old pencil.

 That crocodile stayed still forever! Maybe he was taking an afternoon nap.

Bridge over Balch Creek

The middle one on the Lower Macleay Trail.  The one that spans the waterfall.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019 Urban Sketching Workshops in Portland

Exciting news! New 2019 Urban Sketching Workshops in Portland (also known as 10x10) are here. Check out new topics, packages and locations! We will kick things off with a free Introduction to Urban Sketching and cover a lot of territory from there. Get your sketchbooks ready–it is going to be a great year.   
For more information and to register visit

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Fremont Bridge

I ran out of my preferred breakfast tea in the morning.  And decided to run down to the shop where I buy it in the morning, before the rain that was supposed to show up around noon.  And, seeing how the shop is down on Thurman, not far from the Fremont Bridge, I took my tablet and sat down on the steps of the Montessori school to do a sketch.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Lan Su Garden

Yet another bridge.  This one with dozing koi.

Oregon Zoo

It's a view from a bridge.  Specifically, the bridge over the elephant enclosure.

I hadn't been to the zoo in years, and I like the new elephant habitat.  It's much larger than before, and with dirt or sand underfoot instead of concrete.   It's designed to keep the elephants more active and mobile.

And they did keep moving, albeit slowly.  I started to sketch one elephant at a feeding station, and then another came up and nudged her out of the way.  So my composition kept changing.  They both left before I was done and I had to complete the lines from memory, and put in shadows wherever I thought they belonged.

More from the day at:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Balch Gulch Bridge

I took a walk up into the woods, seeing how it was so nice, taking my big tablet so as to get a sketch of one of the bridges, seeing how this is the 'year of the bridge'.  But the trail was super crowded, as everyone was taking advantage of the good weather on a holiday to go hiking in the woods.  And it was freezing cold next to Balch Creek.  I took the shortest clockwise loop and then walked home over the Balch Gulch Bridge. Three (or maybe four) mountains were hazily visible.  I thought that I could see Rainier, but it might have just been a cloud on the horizon.  And I saw Mt Hood, for the first time from the bridge.  It must be hidden by the leaves on the trees for most of the year.

I walked down to the end of the bridge, and did a sketch of the finial that they added when they rebuilt the bridge.

New Year's Eve

To celebrate New Year's Eve I walked to Good Sam, and then spent the last night of 2018 riding the rails, bouncing between four different streetcars and four different MAX trains, sketching.  This year, people were subdued and not partying on the trains.  Some were on their way to parties - they were carrying guitars or wearing party hats, and some women had no coats (and it was 37 out!) - but none were talkative and very few seemed to be very happy.  Most simply fiddled with their phones.