Friday, March 29, 2013


Today, some friends and I went down to the north waterfront to sketch at the Japanese Historical Plaza. It is a memorial to civil rights and a reminder of a shameful time in US history when west coast Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WW II. Business owners, elderly people, families and children all had to leave their homes to live in the camps, removed from the rest of society.  Some families even had servicemen who were fighting for the US, while the families were treated like criminals. 

The stones have poems carved into them and there are sculptures as well. At this time of year, it is surrounded by the one hundred blooming cherry trees, their petals falling on the stones. It is a place of sadness, but also hope, that we'll never let something like that happen again.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Skies

The other day, I went to Powell's Books to look at some art books showing how to paint clouds. 
Surprisingly, when I arrived on the art floor, I was floored to see a wall of cloud paintings by 
Heidi Keith. She painted 182 sky paintings, one each morning at 7 Portland, every day from the winter to the summer solstice. It's a wonderful show and if you're in town, you should go see it before more of the paintings disappear.

 I didn't buy a book that day, but I took special note of the clouds. I especially like how this building was reflecting the clouds in the windows.

I've been practicing painting watercolor clouds today, and I've found them very tricky, but fascinating. I really enjoyed looking out the window and trying to record what I saw. I made all of these using combinations of Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, and Alizarin Red. I tried different sketchbooks and different brushes and different techniques.

I've got a long way to go. 
This is what the Portland sky looked like through my camera.
 I can see why Heidi Keith would want to paint the sky each morning.

I also took time to paint a vase of camellias while waiting for paint to dry.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Winter to Spring

When it was chilly outside, I was getting desperate to sketch something in the house that I hadn't already sketched...thus the sketch of the closet.

I finished my sketchbook of very small things...

Luckily, winter turned to spring and there are more flowers to sketch.

I can get away from doing car sketching so much...

and soon, I'll be able to sketch people who are outside enjoying he sun.

Happy Spring!