Attended my first ever sketchcrawl - the 4th annual West Coast Scketchcrawl in Tacoma, WA this year. I was only able to attend one session, but it was SO fun seeing all those sketchers spread out over the city (over 100 sketchers from southern CA to Vancouver BC). My 2 hours of sketching yielded these two:

drawn w/ fountain pen in Stillman & Birn Alpha 9x6

drawn w/ fountain pen in Stillman Birn Alpha 9x6 (over the gutter)

both drawn in Canson mixed media notebook w/ ink & watercolor

The 2 above are from our  recent camping trip to Salt Creek near Pt. Angeles,WA. Relaxing & fun but too cold to call it a perfect trip.


some recent sketches

I've been sketching. No earth shattering revelations or epiphanies, just practice.

at my local beach about 10 minutes from the house - Seahurst Beach:
haven't added the watercolor yet

beachcombing finds

at Seattle Art Museum free evening concerts:
 the iconic Calder sculpture with the city in the background

Georgetown neighborhood Oxbow park:
LOVE this tree! sketched in my 4x6 pentalic book

sketched in my 4x6 pentalic bk on way home from work

drawn standing in the midst of the pea patch garden looking toward the boots & hat in 4x6 bk

And, around the yard:
geraniums on the deck

our sundial but mostly I wanted to practice rocks

Thanks for looking - all comments, critiques, or helpful tips are welcome!


practice continues

Here's what I've been up to - practicing, practicing.

A couple more AK cruise sketches - top one, a church in Sitka, next is Creek St in Ketchikan, Sorry the scans come up with all these weird shadows. Someday I'll have to figure out how to fix that! :)

I recently finished a book on sketching and watercolor by Cathy Johnson (a couple of them actually), so that inspired me to work on trees. I love a beautiful or weirdly deformed or unusually shaped tree so my practice is encompassing some nature practice as well as buildings........

the giant tree in the neighbor's yard


alaskan cruising recap

We took a week long cruise to AK a couple weeks ago. I managed to do some sketching while on the ship and off - the sketching was done quickly, paint added on the ship...

St Michael's church, Sitka with Mt Arrowhead looming behind.

The reference photo ........

The atrium in the center of the ship that spanned a couple of floors. This was TOUGH! I spent a couple hours sitting and sketching & trying again on those angles. Not great but I feel a sense of accomplishment none-the-less.

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On the Lido deck for breakfast about 7am. Not many people about which is good.....I could sit at a table and sketch uninterrupted.
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Sketching from on board the ship through a window.... (my shoes the most colorful part of the view)

Pencil sketch of the famous Red Dog Saloon in Juneau. Dan had his first LEGAL drink here at 19 in 19.......72! Yikes, it's like it was yesterday.

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Creek St in Ketchikan - this street is famous for once being a street of brothels; now it's all tourist souvenirs stores.

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Our last port of call was in Victoria which I'm more familiar with but found this pretty archway at the side of the Empress hotel. You'd think it was spring instead of mid summer.

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A last view from the ship - a mountain in the distance as we leave Ketchikan.

The one thing I realized at the end of the cruise is that I didn't sketch or even photo any of the food! What an oversight! But, there was plenty of delicious and well plated food. And some mediocre meals. Overall, a great, relaxing week.


some urban sketching

My sketching practice continues:

A random building on Las Olas Blvd, Ft Lauderdale  (watercolor painting, 2nd for #worldwatercolormonth)

On my walk I passed a house with these wonky, beat-up, old birdhouses poking up out of the front hedge......a perfect sketching opportunity! And those angles! Oh my......

The train yard on 4th Ave just south of Costco.....perfect sketching place with a railing to prop my sketchbook!

I went to my 4th monthly urban sketcher get together last weekend. We celebrated the 7th anniversary of the first Seattle USk meeting by gathering at Fisherman's Terminal again, like the first time. There were about 35-40 of us spread over the area. Once again some absolutely beautiful sketches were created. I'm in awe.

Here are my efforts (boats are HARD!), Drawn across the spine in Stillman & Birn Alpha with Platinum pen, carbon ink, watercolors.

After completing the above one, I had a little time so did a couple smaller ones in my 4x6 Pentalic bk.

A sculpture of an eagle (my somewhat sad attempt) and a beautiful tree on the marina walkway.

Hope you're having a creative week!


#world watercolor month

Participating in #worldwatercolormonth, here's a couple recent urban sketches of my neighborhood walk with watercolor added......

Drawn in 4x6 Pentalic sketchbook, platinum fountain pen, carbon ink, watercolors.

A local church that I drive by every morning on the way to work. A front yard swing on my evening walk.

world watercolor month


Join in! Begun by Charlie O'Shields of Doodlewash, he managed to get July officially designated as World Watercolor Month. To sweeten the fun, he's joined by The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, a charity supporting the exploration of art for children.

WWM (world watercolor month) can be found on instagram, twitter, and, of course, facebook.

Everyone is encouraged to experiment, to play, to try out, watercolor. Make one a day for the month of July, or one whenever you can. One or 31, it's up to you. The goal is to encourage people to connect with art and their own creativity.

I love watercolor painting. Sure, it's challenging and doesn't always turn out the way I'd like. That happens with ALL my art! :)  But, I love the way colors move and blend with the water. If you haven't worked in watercolor before, watch a couple you tube videos, buy a few inexpensive colors and give it a try!

Share your art in whatever social media platform you'd like - use #WorldWatercolorMonth so everyone can find you!

Looking forward to seeing your efforts (and I'll share mine here!)


week 2 of vacation

Our second week of vacation found us in Pompano Beach, a small community sandwiched between Boca Raton and Ft Lauderdale. We stayed at a Wyndham resort which was lovely - a beautiful room, gorgeous grounds and lots of on-site activities. We went to the beach once and it looked just like Myrtle Beach (long strand of white sand), so our  relaxing time was spent pool-side. Most of my sketching was done around the resort.......

Kind of practicing on all the variety of palm trees near the pool.....there are an amazing amount of different types of palms. 

This is definitely an example of how sketching helps you focus on your surroundings. In previous years, I would have admired a tree or two and gone back to reading. This time I really LOOKED at the trees, figured out how they were similar or different, attempted to capture them. I love that aspect of embracing sketching. 

Once again I attempted people - we went to see a horse race - trotters - one evening and between  races I tried my hand at capturing these guys..... You can see I gave up on one of the faces; but the bodies are okay....

the everglades

the everglades

he takes his gaming very seriously!

lots of funky trees in FL

It was very hot and muggy in FL - don't think we'll be going back.....we've been there several times and that's enough. There are more places to explore.