Sunday, October 30, 2011

Autumn around Portland

The circus, Cavalia, set up their giant tent in NW Portland last week. According to the Oregonian, the tent weighs 5,000 pounds, is 100 feet high, has 71,000 square feet of canvas, and has seating for 2,000. When I was drawing it, I noticed that there are rope ladders hanging from each of the tent tops. Yikes!

This week, the Compagnons des Esquisse went to Cornell Farms to sketch their fall displays. This is a terrific nursery with a very friendly and knowledgable staff. They have wonderful arrangements of flowers, scarecrows, pumpkins, statuary, stunning trees and everything related to the garden. They were very inviting and let us spend a chilly, but sunny morning sketching.

I really liked this skeletal flamigo in his burlap basket of plants and gourds.

Lots of pumpkins....

This yoga frog seemed very serene in a bent branch chair.

If you find yourself in NW Portland on Barnes Road, check out Cornell Farms.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Sketches

My sketching group went to Lonesomeville Pottery to sketch the lovely grounds. It started raining while we were there, so our generous hosts invited us inside the house where they were starting to arrange for their big sale on October 28. I just had a short time, but one of our sketchers had already found a corner for me to focus on when I arrived. It was so nice not to have to choose!

Next, I sketched this little vignette of bottles and jackets. 
This Friday, they're having a sale of their northwest inspired and vintage-looking pottery. Here's a link , so take a look.

Last week, a couple of Portland Urban Sketchers and I did some sketching in northwest Portland.  The plan was to do an alogrithmic walk. (Go right one block and draw. Go right two blocks and draw. Again go right two blocks and draw and then repeat the whole sequence again. ) I started by drawing this scene from Starbucks. I confess that the dog was white and not black, but when you don't use pencil and then mess up, you sometimes end up with a black dog in your picture.

As I caught up with one of the sketchers, I noticed this porch which had a line of pots filled with end-of-season vegetables. Several tomato plants in the front yard were still producing.

Then I got a little distracted tracking down houses where I used to live back in the 70's when this part of town had cheap housing for college students.

One of these days, I'll go back and sketch these houses.

It was near time to meet and I hadn't sketched much, so I did a quick sketch of these pig statues on a sidewalk. I've always wondered, 'Why pigs?' and I still don't know.

And finally, here's another day's sketch, of another sketcher who is not sketching, but instead making a luminary for Halloween. I was so glad that she wore her beautiful fall jacket, that I had to include it in the sketch by putting it on a dressmaker form that was nearby.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to go out to practice drawing some more buildings, but who knows what might catch my eye instead?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Seattle Sketchcrawl

Last weekend, some of the Portland Urban Sketchers rode the train to Seattle to join urban sketchers there for the 33rd Worldwide Sketchcrawl. Seattle has a big, welcoming group, some of whom were familiar from the symposium in Portland two years ago. When we passed sketchbooks around, it was very impressive seeing so much talent in their group. To see more of their work, you can go to their blog Seattle Urban Sketchers

On the train ride north, we talked and sketched eachother, (as well as an agreeable young woman who offered to model for us).

After arriving in Seattle and posing for a large group photo, we split into two groups, one going to the international district and the other (mine) to Pioneer Square. Unlike Portland's Pioneer Square (which is failry new and called "our livingroom"), Seattle's is an area of some of the oldest buildings in the city, housing galleries, coffee houses, and boutiques.

The first sketch I did was of Merchants Cafe, Seattle's oldest restaurant. It still seems to be pretty busy.

Then I sketched in the park. Lots of tour groups left from here. There was an artist who was displaying his work in hopes of sales. 

Windows and signs... It's pretty hard to imagine that rooms were once that cheap.
 After the group sharing of sketchbooks, we went down by the ferries which were unloading huge numbers of soccer fans. I sketched the viaduct which was covered in ivy, changing into fall colors.

This man, all in purple head to toe, was smoking near the garbage can.

 This family seemed to be waiting silently for a ferry to come in.  Maybe they were entranced by the gorgeous bay and mountains.

It was a beautiful fall day in Seattle and it was very fun to meet the other sketchers and to sketch in a different place. We're already thinking about and looking forward to another group sketchcrawl together.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cloudy with a Chance of Sketching

Altostratus, Altocumulus, Nimbostratus, Stratocumulus, Cumulonimbus...

I didn't see any bows and flows of angel hair, or ice cream castles in the air, but there were plenty of clouds this week. Between rainstorms, I sketched the last of a community garden. Even though sunflowers are spectacular in August, I really prefer them in the fall when they're bedraggled and worn.

Today, I went to the Teahouse at Lan Su Chinese Garden to sketch (and eat) with friends.

On the way out of the garden, I did some gesture drawings of a lovely woman doing Tai Chi in the puddles.

So many things I would have sketched...but clouds (with rain) got in the way.

(with apologies to Joni Mitchell)