Thursday, December 1, 2022

December Sketchcrawl - Pioneer Courthouse Square - December 17

Sketch by Blane Bellerud

This December, let's go back to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

We'll meet in the covered patio behind the Starbucks, which is protected from the rain and has a good view of the square itself.  But, of course, people are welcome to wander through the surrounding blocks to sketch whatever appeals to them.  And if you'd like to stay after sketching, there will be music in the square, starting at noon.

Coffee and food will be available at Starbucks and at the Nordstorm kiosk.  The restrooms in the visitors center might be open.  The ones at Starbucks and the nearby department stores are sure to be available.

10am - meet at tables behind Starbucks for introductions

noon - (optional) sketchbook throwdown, at the same place.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Driven to Sketch

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe we’re all capable of change.

Morning near Astoria.

After managing to create a shop window art installation in early 2021, I burned out on the pandemic and life in general. I stopped drawing. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t draw for the sake of drawing. Virtual sketchcrawls didn’t speak to me.

The art installation.
As the world started to open up in 2022, I began to draw again in earnest. 

Mt Hood from the south.

When I ventured outside of my pandemic bubble, I found stimulation through travel. Everyplace I went, I wanted to capture the scene, to soak up what was elusive in daily life: new things. The freshness of my surroundings drove me to use my notebook to record as much as I could. I filled multiple pages of sketched goodness each day. I became more bold with the paint. I drew with abandon. My sketches weren’t technical feats, they weren’t masterpieces, but they filled a deep void.

 As 2022, comes to a close, looking over all the things that I drew, I realize that something is missing; I drew mostly on my own. 

In 2023, I’m not making any resolutions, but I’m hoping to do a better job connecting with the sketching community, maybe even encouraging us to expand our bubbles and find new stimulation in sketching and travel, together.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Washington Park / World Forestry Center - Saturday, November 19

Hello everyone!

Given the weather we've been having lately, for our November sketchcrawl we're choosing a location that offers several options for shelter (along with food, and a public restroom) so even if we wake up to a cold and wet day, we should be able to find a comfortable spot.

Sketch at Oregon Zoo by Katura Reynolds
At the Washington Park/Oregon Zoo MAX station we will have these sketching opportunities:

  • Sketch mountain goats in the free area near the entrance of the Oregon Zoo
  • Follow a trail in Hoyt Arboretum
  • Sketch the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial
  • Pay the World Forestry Center entrance fee and sketch inside (opens at 11am, $5)
  • Pay the Oregon Zoo entrance fee and sketch inside (opens at 9:30am, $24, subject to availability)
  • If you've bought a MAX ticket, sketch from the underground platform
  • Hide out inside the Cascade-to-Go cafeteria at the zoo entrance
Saturday, November 19
10:00 am Meet up in front of the World Forestry Center 
12:00 pm Sketchbook throwdown in the same spot, or wherever we announce at the meetup

There is a public bathroom near the MAX Station, and a cafeteria at the Oregon Zoo that can be accessed without a ticket.

Besides the convenient MAX station, there's also plenty of paid parking.

See you there!

Sketch at Hoyt Arboretum by Bill Sharp

Saturday, October 8, 2022

October SketchCrawl - Ladd's Addition, 10/15

Ladd's Addition is a beautiful place to sketch as the leaves are falling and Halloween decorations are going up. This was a fairly regular sketchcrawl location for us in the early days but we haven't been back in years!

Sketch by Deb Rossi

Sketch by Vicky Porter

Saturday, October 15

10:00am meet in Ladd Circle Park on the side near Palio's 
              (1996 SE Ladd Ave, Portland, OR 97214)
12:00pm back to the circle for the sketchbook throwdown

Note: I highly recommend bringing a camp stool/folding chair for this location.

Restroom options: Palio's if you're willing to make a purchase, or walk 7 minutes south to New Seasons Seven Corners at 20th & Division

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

September SketchCrawl -- Riverplace, September 17

Sketch by Carrie Holst
At our last sketchcrawl I asked participants what they wanted to do next, and discovered there's clear consensus that we can never get enough time along Portland's waterways.

So let's draw boats at Riverplace!

This location offers us coffee, food, restrooms, outdoor seating, and views of the marina. There's a pedestrian walkway along the marina with good views of bridges and the southern prospect of Portland's Waterfront Park.

Sketch by Vicky Porter
Saturday, September 17

10am - Meet at the US Merchant Marine Memorial, 1510 S Harbor Way, at the entrance to the Riverplace Marina Public Dock. See map below. 

12pm - Return to meeting place for sketchbook throwdown.

Food & Drink (& Restrooms)
Just down Riverplace from our meeting location are Little River Cafe, which has restrooms, and Upstream Coffee. There's also a public restroom 5 minutes' walk south near Pajaro.

This is an 8-minute walk from the Streetcar 5th & Market stop, and about 10 minutes from the Yamhill District MAX station. Many buses that cross Hawthorne Bridge will have a stop within 10 minutes of Riverplace.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

August SketchCrawl - Multnomah Village, August 20

Please join us on Saturday, August 20, to sketch at Multnomah Village during the "Multnomah Days" celebration!

This street fair first took place in the 1920s, so it's one of Portland's oldest extant neighborhood street fairs. There will be live music, street performers, food, and vendors. Expect great people sketching with a backdrop of old Portland neighborhood charm.  

Sketch by Deb Rossi

Sketch by Alanna Randall
Parking is expected to be tight so please take public transport if you can (Trimet bus 44), or leave some extra time to find street parking. 

10am - Meet in front of Multnomah Arts Center

12pm - Reconvene at same spot

Sunday, June 26, 2022

July Sketchcrawl - PSU Campus, July 16

From time to time, we've sketched at the farmers' market on the PSU campus, but someone recently requested doing the Walk of the Heroines, which is also on the PSU campus. 

Note that, with the pandemic still on, PSU has closed most of their buildings to non-students.  But the the Fariborz Maseeh Hall, across from the library, will be open for customers of the farmers' market.  Coffee and food will also be available from multiple booths at the farmers' market.

Karl Miller Center at PSU, by Vicky

Saturday, July 16

10:00am: Meet at the Walk of the Heroines.  Probably on the platform at the center.
12:00pm: Sketchbook throwdown at same location

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

June SketchCrawl - Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, June 18

Sketch by Kalina Wilson

This month we will be returning to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden! The garden offers beautiful landscaping, a lake, bridges/walkways, ducks and geese, and plenty of people. It'll be a lovely sketchcrawl, very much worth the effort to get there.

The challenge is that there's extremely limited parking (not even enough for our group alone) and no neighboring coffee house, so we are asking participants to find alternate transportation and take care of their beverage/breakfast needs before arrival. (They do have restrooms though.)

The closest bus line is TriMet Line 19, which can be transferred to from MAX Orange Line.


  • Please find a way to avoid parking at the venue! Bus, Rideshare (Uber/Lyft), bike, park in the neighborhood and walk in, or coordinate rideshare in our email list.
  • Entrance fee is $5.00
  • NOTE early meeting time -- I'd like the bulk of us to get inside at 10am so we can find a good space to talk and disperse, to avoid blocking up the entrance area. But if you arrive after 10am, please come on through and find us.
  • Take care of any food/drink needs early since there's nothing on site


Saturday, June 18

9:45am: Gather at the garden entrance
10:00am: Enter the gardens ($5 fee).
10:15am: Intros just inside the entrance -- we will be easy to find.
12:00pm: Sketchbook throwdown at same location

Sketch by Deb Rossi
Sketch by Deb Rossi

I look forward to seeing you at the Garden!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

SketchCrawl - West bank of Willamette River, north of the Pearl

Saturday, May 21

Let's go to a spot that we haven't been before (that I can remember) - the stretch of the left bank of the Willamette from the Fremont Bridge extending to the north.

There are newer apartments there, with old warehouses and docks nearby, scattered sculptures, river views, and, of course, a big honking bridge.

There's one coffee shop nearby, Cascadia Coffee Pub,  across from the Dockside, at NW 17th and Front.  Parking along Naito/Front is dicey, but there's street parking on the other side of the RR tracks, and a pay lot off Thurman.  The 16 has stops at 17th and at Thurman on Front/Naito, and the 24 and 26 stop at Raleigh, which is maybe a half-mile away.

  • 10am (or a little later, depending on bus time) meet under the Fremont Bridge, close to the river.  The closest intersection is Thurman/15th and Front/Naito.
  • Noon, meet again for an optional sketchbook throw-down, the same place if it's raining, or somewhere quieter if it isn't.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

SketchCrawl - Saturday, April 16 - Director Park

Let's take a break from doing our taxes (or celebrate having gotten them done) and meet at Director Park to sketch.

It's a couple of blocks west of the bus mall, so there are vast options for getting there by transit.  We won't meet in a coffee shop.  But you can pick up a caffeinated beverage on your way there at Flying Elephant across the street, Case Study a block to the west, or the Nordstroms coffee window or Starbucks a block to the east.

Andrea Matthews, 2014

10am - meet at the Teachers Fountain (or, if it's raining, under the canopy), for introductions

Noon - meet up again, for an optional sketchbook throw-down

Monday, February 21, 2022

SketchCrawl - Saturday, March 19, Waterfront and Cherry Blossoms

Sketch by Jessica, 2016 (see blog post)

We're feeling great about meeting again in March, just in time for our annual visit to the Waterfront to try to catch the cherry blossoms in bloom at the Japanese American Historical Plaza!  

Normally we meet at Floyd's coffee, but let's meet at the Plaza this year and keep it all outdoors for maximum safety as the omicron numbers continue to come down.

Floyd's will still be a great spot to grab a coffee or breakfast item on your way to the meet-up location (and to use the restroom!) 

Sketch by Vicky Porter, 2017 (see blog post)
10:00 am - Gather and do intros in the central square of the Japanese American Historical Plaza
(NW Couch and Naito Parkway, then head towards the water)

12:00 pm - Gather again at same location for optional sketchbook throwdown