Thursday, May 31, 2012

Waiting....Sketches from the Car

I used to hate to wait, and life often required waiting.  In order to make my frequent watch-checking more amusing, I had a watch that changed colors with the second hand. That helped a little, but mostly,I was an impatient, restless (and sometimes irritable) fidgeter when I waited. That was before I read Danny Gregory's blog  and started carrying a sketchbook with me everywhere. Now, like many people who draw regularly, a wait doesn't usually bother me because it's a chance to squeeze in a quick sketch. Sometimes I even tag along on a grocery trip or a latte run just to be able to sketch something while waiting. Here are some of the things I've sketched recently from the car.

This is Franks A Lot hotdogs, across the parking lot from Whole Foods.

I liked the funny toys in the storefront window.

This is about as much of a building as I like to draw.
We watched storm clouds gather from the airport Cell Phone Waiting Area as we waited to pick up some friends. 

Their flight was late, so I started sketching things inside the car.

Now, with smart phones, it's easy to be distracted and waiting isn't much of a problem. Still, I'm going to try to keep up my sketching-while-waiting habit that I've been doing for several years. Thank you, Danny Gregory, for showing us that just about anything can be interesting to draw.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finishing Up

I've been finishing some sketchbook pages today, trying to balance out poor compositions, adding text, or in this case, adding color. It was freeing, just playing with the colors rather than trying for reality.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Painting the Street

Today the neighbors and friends at SE 33rd and Yamhill painted their intersection. Actually, they repainted it, giving it a bright fresh look for summer.

These were the colors...

Here are some of the painters...

and some of their footprints...

The sunflower grew larger and couldn't be contained...

and this is the near final result:

I stopped by to watch and sketch a bit. Here are some quick gesture sketches of some of the painters. You'll have to imagine their bright colored paints and their bright colored feet!

That's got to be one of the best corners to live on in Portland!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hawthorne and Beyond

I found a few more things on the Urban Sketchers Portland Scavenger Hunt list.
Coffee is always easy to find. This came from The Hazel Room on Hawthorne.

(I should have anchored that enormous cup of coffee with a shadow.)

Sitting on the porch there, I sketched the bikes and roses.

(Until drawing this, I hadn't realized that the bicylist logo is wearing a helmet.)

Here's another one done on Hawthorne: The Backstage Bar behind the Bagdad Theater.

(Here's a problem with adding paint at home: I painted sky over part of what should have been building.)

 Dads with babies aren't on the list, but they're easy to find. These two were at Jamison Square.

Lampposts are on the list, so here a a couple seen from between
The Schnitz and the The Winningstad theaters.

 One of these days, I need to tackle the harder items on the list: the bike pile, the elk, and a Benson Bubbler.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Accordion Book

Last spring, my friend Linda gave me an accordion book that she made for me. It was filled with luscious water color paper and with the flowered cover, it looked perfect for sketching signs of spring. This spring, I finished it.

The book is made from one big sheet of paper that is cut and folded. Here's one side...

and the other.

The other day in Heather's garden, I sketched her Bleeding Heart...

and her deep blue Columbine.

And here's some more vegetation. Yesterday, I had the fixings for my lunch and they looked so lovely, I decided to draw them first. I was hungry before the picture was done or the beets had been cooked, so I had a sandwich instead. Today, I'll eat a tasty beet salad with goat cheese.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Week of Sketches

I got these great cups and saucers at the Oregon Potter's Show and Sale. I think they're going to be perfect for sharing a cup of tea and a cookie with a friend. I wish I could remember who made them. They look like they were made in a studio in the woods.

Technically, this next one wasn't painted this week, but it's another Oregon potter's creation from a previous year. I really enjoy having morning tea in this cup. Someday, maybe I'll get the teapot that goes with this.

We've had a few days of absolutely beautiful weather, so I went to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens to draw some enormous flowers.  Many people passed these tangly trees until I started drawing them. Then people started to pause to look at them, examining them closely, taking pictures of them, and in one case, posing the whole family in the branches. Another sketcher pointed out that drawing sometimes helps other people to notice things around them, too. Good point.

The rest are my attempts to draw things from the PDX Urban Sketchers Scavenger Hunt list.
This is a drawing from inside Elephant's deli, two attempts at the Portland sign on the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and the Umbrella Man at Pioneer Square.

(Did I improve?)

(The only guy expecting rain.)

It looks like we're going to have more beautiful weather, so that means more sketching outside! Hurray!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Challenge

The Portland Urban Sketchers have a Scavenger Hunt Challenge going on. The idea is to sketch the Portland places, people and  things on the list and post them to the blog before September. There's a prize, but the fun part is trying to sketch everything.

I was downtown today and had some time to wait, so I pulled out my sketchbook and scavenger list and decided to go for the fountain. As a retired teacher, it seemed appropriate to sketch the Teachers' Fountain in Director Square. I don't know that I've ever actually seen any teachers in the fountain.

The sun came out and I got a quick glance at some shadows before leaving. I added the color at home. 

That's one Urban Sketcher Challenge down and several more sketches to go!