Monday, July 11, 2016

Serenity and Sketching at Lan Su Chinese Garden

I've made a couple of trips to the Lan Su Chinese Garden this month. It's such a peaceful and idyllic spot with meandering paths,  ancient stones, lovely plants and flowers, places for contemplation, and the gentle sound of flowing water. I never get tired of coming here, but I sometimes run out of time. The final details on this sketch were added at home at our front table.


I drew the boat in the lily pond, but went back another time to get a better view of the lilies.


How do you sketch the scent of gardenias?


I drew the side of the teahouse from a quiet, shady corner outside. A musician stopped to look at my sketch and soon afterward I heard his music coming through the open window.


Later, I decided that the sketch needed at least some color that surrounded it.
How do you sketch the sounds from a lute?


Finally, for this one, I sketched a pavilion and rooftops from inside another. pavilion. 


As I sketched this, a Chinese American visitor from Seattle told me that this garden applied the feng shui principles of a traditional Chinese Garden. His two little daughters were busy taking photos and watching the koi. I should have sketched them, too!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sketching in the West Side of Portland

This old fire station in NW Portland is under construction as it's being converted into a residence. Besides the sign, an old telegraph box has also been preserved. 


A block away, an old Victorian peeks out between the trees. In my college days, I lived a couple of blocks from here. Then it was a neighborhood largely made up of students and very old people. Now there are lots of high-end shops, several popular restaurants, and many lovely, restored homes. It's always been charming, just in different ways.


I've always liked this gate to apartments in the Pearl District. This is just a few blocks from where I worked when I was in college. Then, the neighborhood was made up of offices, warehouses, and small businesses and there were very few places to grab a lunch. Now there are apartments and condos,  restaurants, shops, art galleries,  public parks, and lots of lively people.


This is a corner of the Studio Building, a downtown building that now houses Pastini, a tasty Italian restaurant.  At one time, this building ( 1928)  held rehearsal spaces as well as studios for musicians. The frieze around the building has busts of several composers. 


Across the street to the west of Pastini is Directors Square, a block with a popular fountain, large chess pieces, and a cafe with outdoor seating. This is one of my favorite downtown places to have a coffee and sketch people and the surroundings. In the summer months there are often day and night events held here. Some of my favorites are the dances with live music, but it's always fun to watch the toddlers play in the fountain.


A few blocks away, outside the Historical Society, this young woman cooled her heels and took a nap.  Napping people are always a pleasure to sketch.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Architecture and some Chairs

With a sketching trip in England coming up, I've been preparing by drawing some architecture.

On the Bishop's Close sketch, I practiced grays (ultramarine blue and Quinacridone Sienna) and discovered that I love Arches Watercolor Paper (several grades above my usual paper).



The Firehouse Restaurant is the first of a series of firehouses that some other sketchers and I are beginning.


These are some quick pen sketches made after going to the Farmers Market by PSU.




Parts of the Winchester Inn in Ashland were under construction when we stayed there last week.


It was wonderful to sit under an umbrella or on the porch sketching, until the heat got to be too intense. Then we headed for the plays, movies, or the air-conditioned shops.



Here's a final sketch with no architecture, but some yummy cherries and bright snapdragons.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hither and Yon, Sketching Outdoors in Portland

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens are gorgeous now, with the rhodies in full bloom. I sketched there last week on an 86 degree day. There's an abundance of trees and bushes in all their spring glory and plenty of birds and other waterfowl. Although I only sketched a duck and a couple of geese,  I heard bird calls from a number of different birds--even one that sounded like a Whippoorwill!



The Japanese Gardens are serene and beautiful, but it's always a disappointment not to be able to use watercolor there. Colored pencils are just so slow to me now and pen and ink doesn't show all the saturated greens against the blue sky.


On a new building across from Tanner Springs, I tried to capture the reflections of the buildings and sky. This is far trickier than I expected!


The shadows are what caught my eye on the YWCA. This was sketched from Behind the Museum Cafe on a chilly day before the leaves were out.


I sketched the top of the First Congregations Church from the sculpture court at the Portland Art Museum.


Closer to home, the Urban Sketchers of Portland had a sketchcrawl near my neighborhood. I took the opportunity to try to draw a car outside the Hollywood Vintage store. I don't like to draw cars, but thought I might like drawing an old design. I still don't like to draw cars.


This was sketched from my porch when the lilacs were just in bud and the camellias were still loading the branches nextdoor.

Quick Little Sketches

I always have a little moleskine sketchbook in my purse for when I have a few minutes for a quick sketch. Here are some of them...


Laurelhurst Theater from Starbucks on 28th & Sandy

Wisteria at Pioneer Square

Aretemsia from Crema


Jimmy Mak's without the band

NE 28th from Alma

Corner by the gym

From Whole Foods on NE Burnside