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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bring on the Color, Spring is on the Way

I've drawn flowers for the Vernal Equinox before, but this year there are really slim pickings in our yard. Miniature daffodils and heather are pretty much all the perennials that are in bloom so far.

I've been systematically studying Wil Freeborn's book, 'Learn to Paint Watercolor with 50 Paintings.'

These are some of my attempts: 

Souvenir rocks and shells

Items from my purse, (highly organized)

The art supplies I used to make this sketch

Here's one leftover from before spring officially arrived. I drew this in the car on a chilly, rainy day. The wind was whipping the cypress trees that were already frayed and broken from the winter ice storm. The camellia bush was the only thing in bloom.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Waiting for Spring

I was at Lan Su Gardens recently, but I was too cold to sketch outside. Even the hot tea didn't keep me warmed up for long.  

 Sketching the calligrapher's desk, I resisted the strong desire to go inside and use the materials. If there had been a coal brazier under the desk for keeping the feet warm, the temptation might have been too much.

Kennedy School was plenty warm and even had the smell of woodsmoke.

I'm eager for when it will be warm enough to sketch the lovely gardens at both of these places. 
Come on, Spring!