Sunday, December 23, 2012

Taking Time to Sketch

The cookies are baked, the gifts are nearly ready, the tree is decorated and we're playing carols, so there's finally time to sit down and sketch a bit! Not only does it feel good to play around with ink and paint, but I think I really need to do this...maybe especially when things are hectic or I need to find that little bit of serenity and absorption in the moment. 

...Now, back to the wrapping! Cheers, everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Remnants

Here are some miscellaneous sketches from this month. These first two are sketches of clay sculptures by Glenn La'Fontaine. They are in the Native American wing of the Portland Art Museum.

Here are a couple from a sketchcrawl with the Urban Sketchers Portland group. The first was sketched from the window of Stumptown Coffee on Belmont and the next was sketched in an intersection nearby.

The following are from my figure drawing class at PNCA and from a drop-in session at Hipbone studio.

And that's the end of the sketches for November.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Series: 3

Last week in the south park blocks, we saw this man walking his very fat little black dog. Obviously, I took a lot of liberties with the scene--like removing all the cars, signs, and buildings and cartooning the trees, the dapper man, and his adorable little mop-like dog. I think I even took a couple of pounds off the dog.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunny Day in the South Park Blocks

We had a beautiful fall day last Friday and I went sketching.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rain and a SketchCrawl

Portland's Urban Sketchers had a sketchcrawl on a rainy Saturday, so most of us stayed inside and drew eachother. We started at Floyd's in NW Portland...

By lunchtime, we had moved on to Old Town Pizza and since, by this time, I had drawn most of the sketchers, I decided to draw some of the other customers...

The little boy in red was wearing a fancy folded napkin as a birthday hat.

I wasn't quick enough to capture a sketch of the zombie eating at the bar.

 Sunday afternoon I was out again and there was another downpour. Still it didn't keep this woman from wearing her flipflops...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Today's Sketchbook

Today, I met up with another sketcher, for coffee, a chat and a sketch at 26 Cafe in NE Portland. The window also had a spider web made out of a string of lights, but I thought that might be too much for this sketch.
 After looking at Linda's sketches, I was inspired to come home and draw some tiny peppers that I bought quite a while ago. At one stage, I kind of liked this drawing, but I got carried away with the paint and then the crosshatching and I overdid it. I'm still kind of pleased with the fabric, though. I won't be able to try it again, because the peppers had to go into the compost pile. Now I'll have the sketch, too, to remind me not to waste food.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Apple Tasting

The local urban sketchers group went to the 25th anniversary apple tasting celebration at Portland Nursery to do some sketching. There was a lot going on. I found that after doing so many long-term drawings this week, it was difficult to get into quick sketching. I started by doing a warm-up sketch of a cow sign, used by some families as a prop for an autumn photo. Feeding the kids popcorn helped them cooperate with the photo shoots.

This is another sketcher who was sketching people selecting apples to buy.

Crowds lined up to go into the tent to taste a variety of apples.

I liked the roof top garden...

The band, Petty Cash played for kids and adults.  I appreciated the chance to sit on a hay bale to sketch.

And here's the sound guy, who has a sense of humor.

There was much more to sketch, but the rain clouds moved in and released a downpour, so it was time to go.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Body Beautiful

The Portland Art Museum is having an exhibition of Greek and Roman sculptures from the British Museum. Since I am taking a figure drawing class now, I thought it would be a good idea to practice on some well-lit, motionless forms. I'm trying to see and draw the planes in forms.
A week ago, I sketched Hercules and the discus thrower...

Then I sketched some facial parts...

 Today, I went back and sketched the discus thrower again. (That's a tree trunk, not his leg in front, btw)

Next, I decided to just focus on his torso...but those contours by the ribs are backwards and his waist is way too narrow...

I decided I needed to focus on torsos, so a drew a youth...

 When I put my drawings on this blog, errors just pop off the screen at me. For some reason, they're much easier to spot than when I look at my sketchbooks. Now I have lots of things to work on next time I go back to the museum.

These are from my figure drawing class at PNCA... Week 2:

Week 3:
A few of these lines are instructive lines from my teachers...

I definitely need to work on the neck next time!!
The torso seems a bit twisty, but I kind of like the arm...

Lots and lots to work on!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Zoo

On a beautiful fall day a couple of weeks ago, I visited the zoo with some other sketchers. I hadn't been there in years. I found that even the very slow moving animals are still in constant motion and they're very tricky to draw! Disclaimer: I pretty much faked in on the giraffe's spots.

This little goat was in the petting zoo. When the goats weren't being brushed by the children, they could rub up against brushes recycled from street cleaning machines.

Rose-tu, the elephant, is expecting a baby some time in November. When we were there, the zoo keepers were giving her some solo time in preparation for the birth. (Usually, the females like to stay in a group.) We saw the tail end of her exercise routine, too.

I remember seeing Packy, the first elephant born in captivity in a zoo in over 44 years, shortly after his birth in 1962. It was a big event and I put the clipping in my scrapbook.  I can still sing the Zoo Key song, too.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Urban Sketching

Today Portland's Urban Sketchers sketched in the Goose Hollow neighborhood. We met at The Hof, which is a "symbiotic companion" to the Goose Hollow Inn. It was a very friendly place with excellent hosts and tasty food. There were lots of interesting decorative objects (old toasters, egg beaters, and more) that will be fun to draw sometime when the weather isn't as nice at it was today. Today, there seemed to be lots of neighborhood regulars, as well as a mayoral candidate meeting upstairs.

A block away, I sat outside of a little park and drew this Victorian...

and later I drew this florist shop that is full of autumnal offerings. I'm not happy with the crosshatching that I did, but there's no going back when you use ink.

It was a beautiful day to be out sketching and it was fun to be with the group. I'll definitely be going back to this neighborhood, and the Hof again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Purple Hat Project

My son's fiance told me about the Purple Hat Project through Legacy Hospital.  Knitters make purple hats to be given to families of newborns in the months of November and December.  The purple hats are to remind parents of 'The Period of Purple Crying.' The goal of the campaign is to help parents understand crying, how to deal with frustration and to end shaken baby syndrome.

The letters of PURPLE stand for:
P Peak Pattern Crying peaks around 2 months of age and then decreases
U Unpredictable Crying can come and go unexpectedly with no apparent reason
R Reistant to Soothing Crying continues despite soothing efforts by caregivers
P Pain-like Face Healthy, crying infants can look like they're in pain, though they may not be
L Long Bouts Crying can go on for 3-40 mins. or longer
E Evening Cry Crying occurs more in the afternoon and evening

It sounded like a very worthwhile project, so I promised to knit some hats...

and I got a couple of friends to knit some more...

I like imagining little newborns wearing their purple hats with the little umbilical cord type topknots.

Here's a link for more information about  Shaken Baby Syndrome and the Period of Purple Crying. Although it's probably too late for this year,  here's a link if you'd like to knit or crochet a baby hat for the project or if you just want to see some adorable babies in purple hats:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sheep, Goats, Alpacas, Llamas, and More

Yesterday, when I was reading the paper, I noticed that there was a Flock and Fiber Festival at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby. There would be exhibits of sheep, goats, llamas, rabbits, alpacas, and more. It sounded like a great drawing opportunity, so this morning we headed out of town for the festival on this lovely fall day...

At the festival, I started with some quick sketches of sheep and goats...

There was even a Romney ewe (not for sale)...

I moved on to llamas and alpacas....

These two looked so cute with their haircuts...

In the llama and albaca exhibit hall, I met a nice woman, Brenda from Bend, who raises alpacas for pack trips. She told me that they need hay, grain, minerals and a minimal amount of water and they can carry their supplies as well as the hiker's. Because they have two stomachs, their food is well digested so they don't deposit seeds or other invasive things on the trail. They're eco-friendly as well as being just adorable to look at.

These people were watching the sheep judging...

There were dozens of vendors of yarn, looms, spinning wheels, and everything related to wool. I did a quick sketch of this woman spinning...

 On the way out of the fairgrounds, there was an Irish Wolfhound show, so we paused to watch so I could do a little more sketching....

It was a great day, but we were hungry and not wanting to eat the local food...

we went on to McCormick and Schmicks for a late seafood lunch.

Here are a couple more photos from the festival...

And believe it or not, this isn't make-up...