Wednesday, May 31, 2017

NYC Sketchbook

The view from our hotel. One of the buildings looks like Batman's head--or maybe a pussy hat.

The Cooper Hewitt

Imagine this with diamonds

This screen also had a golden Josephine Baker playing the violin, but that was too much for me to draw!

We both loved the Jawlensky exhibit at the Neue Galerie.

a postcard

Oops--upside down sketchbook when I drew the silverware.

There was a long line and we were tired and hungry and then surprised by the bill!

Selfie while watching a video installation in Chelsea

A lovely coffeeshop with outdoor tables and umbrellas in Chelsea.

View from the Highline
One of the main reasons I wanted to come to NYC and see the Whitney Biennial.

I really wanted her glass of wine, but I knew I wouldn't make it through the hot afternoon if I had one.
Our lovely lunches at the Whitney

Foodtrucks out the window

felt pigeons in Washington Square Park
This young man stormed off, leaving his backpack,  after shouting this to his parents. They  just looked at the pack and then at  eachother and rolled their eyes.
Metropolitan Museum of Art


Here and There in Portland

 Waiting for the Climate March...

After the Climate March....

Jamison Square

Drinking coffee and sketching...

Listening to music and sketching audiences...

and always, flowers...

Monday, May 8, 2017


We've had lots of terrible weather this winter and spring, so outdoor sketching has been pretty limited until now. That left me to mostly draw in the house or in coffeeshops. Somehow, that's never as inspiring as being outside, so I took the opportunity to take an online class and follow a book of watercolor instructions so keep up my creative spirits. I decided that it was time to actually try to learn how to paint with watercolors, instead of just messing around.

Here are some of the direct copies of Will Freeborn's examples in 'Learn to Paint Watercolor with 50 Paintings. I took some liberties and added a few things of my own (for example, the tattooed arm got a political message), but most are similar to his examples.

After this flower, I wanted to try some on my own, which I did with mixed results. I'm not pleased with the smudgy dark backgrounds.

I also took an online Craftsy class by Anna Mason. She gave excellent, detailed, exacting directions which I did my best to follow. This rose (approximately 10" x14") was a test of my patience and persistence. It was drawn and painted from a photograph and it has numerous layers.  I learned a lot and I'm glad I finished it, but I won't be doing more of these. I call it 'Never Again.'

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

That's it for the Cherry Trees This Year

This is my final cherry tree sketch for 2017, done in an accordion book. I sketched this while there was lots of action in the park: people practicing Qigong. dog walkers, bicyclers, families with toddlers and strollers, lots of people taking pictures, a drunken man sleeping behind me, and even a drone over the Steel Bridge. It took me several days to finish painting it. It seemed like too much time was spent waiting for paint to dry!

This one I tweaked by adding some shadows. The people seemed to be floating more in the previous version.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Those Elusive Cherry Trees

Every year, I sketch Portland's cherry trees and I always try to somehow capture the color, or the delicacy or a tiny bit of the beauty of the trees. I keep trying and trying!

This year, I was so eager, that I was down at Tom McCall Waterfront Park before the blossoms opened. I wasn't alone, as several people came out to enjoy a rare sunny day under the cherry tree branches.

As Portlanders know, we've had many rainy days this year.  On those days that it didn't rain, I dashed to waterfront park. Often, the gray clouds loomed overhead, but I was lucky to have avoided most of the showers.

With the start of spring break, the park was full of people taking photos, posing for photos, shaking branches and just enjoying the beauty and delight of a (mostly) rain-free day.

Finally, I decided to focus on a close-up of a tree with its graceful branches and delicate flowers. 

I'm hoping to get in at least one more day under the cherry trees, but if not, I notice that the magnolias and plum trees are looking inviting.