Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Sunday sketch drive on the road to Lake McMurray

Do you remember taking Sunday drives with your parents, like I did? There wasn't necessarily a concrete destination, just a reason to pile the family in the car and go see what was out there. Sometimes we packed a picnic lunch to eat when we found a likely spot. How about doing that with your family today? Take your sketchbook and camera with you and combine two of the nicest things you can do on a day off.

Look east of the covered porch and you will see another great Sunday drive, the road to Lake McMurray.
If you take Exit 221 off I-5, you'll find beautiful country views, and a great place to stop for lunch and for fresh meat, fish and produce to take home for dinner tonight. Skagit River Produce is family run by some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Skagit River Farm sketches

On Thursday, I mentioned that I would soon post the finished sketches from my two recent visits to the Skagit River Farm Barn. One of the co-owners, Gary, was sorting corn on the flatbed outside the big barn and told me that he ran the gas station across the street for 35 years. I remember stopping there many times on my way to the tulip fields for gas and a bloom map.

My finished two page spread of sketches from SRF.
3 years ago, Gary and his son built a brand new, yet beautifully reminiscent barn across the street from the gas station. They have filled it with fresh local produce and a kitchen that makes homemade soup every day. There is even an old fashioned pie safe, stocked full of fresh baked pies. You have got to stop in! It's right off Exit 221 on I-5 at the Lake McMurray exit.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fishermen's Memorial, Ballard

Both Plein Air Painters of Washington and Urban Sketchers Seattle were at the Fishermen's Terminal in Ballard this morning. There were visitors joining us from Michigan as well as familiar faces, returned from their travels.

My sketches of the Memorial Sculpture and jar of flowers.
There was quite a lot of visiting and catching up to do, so I only got these two sketches done today. I chose the figure at the top of the memorial. The elongated column combined with the raised arm of the fisherman tops out at an overall height of thirty feet. In the pavement, eleven feet south of the base of the sculpture, you will find the engraved memorial tiles.
For more information about the Memorial Sculpture and the Fishermen's Terminal please follow links.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Speaking of Corn

My husband and I, unbeknownst to each other, each bought fresh corn yesterday. He was out working  on Whidbey Island and I was at the Skagit River Produce barn. I was sketching about three feet away from the flatbed heaped with just-picked piles of fat, fresh ears of corn. Who could resist?

Added to yesterday's sketchbook page
Needless to say, we had too much corn to eat for one meal. I know we're going to finish it off tonight, so I sat at the patio table this sunny afternoon and added these to my sketchbook. Now the right side page is pretty much done. I have something in mind to finish off the blank spots in the two page spread. Check back on Saturday to see the results!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kids and Animals

Once I finished sketching in the sun, I retired to the shady porch for homemade soup.
You know what they say about working with, or sketching, kids and animals...... not the easiest thing in the world!! Today, at Skagit River Produce barn, it was a battle between kids and animals. These two guys invented PVC extensions to herd the last few renegade chickens back into the pen. I helped a little bit by triangulating with them and gracefully waving my sketchbook back-and-forth.

People and chickens like picking through the corn.
I stayed there in the back of the barn for a while, trying to figure out why the rooster was trying to sabotage my sketching session. He knew I needed contrast, so insisted on calling the hens into the shade. Once they were out of the sun, he promptly tucked his head under his wing and took a nap. No rooster portrait for you! Apparently, free range encourages lack of art appreciation. Never mind, I got three of them anyway.

Next, I turned my back on the chickens and did a sketch of Gary, one of the owners, and a friend, while they sorted out the flatbed full of fresh, ripe corn. 5 for $1 and we are having some for dinner tonight!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Long Red Radishes

It's fun to alternate between a Micron Pen and a nice pointy brush and watercolor.
I picked up these long red radishes at the Skagit River Produce barn on my way home from Rosario yesterday. No one seemed to know the official name for them. I will report later on how they taste, because I won't let anyone eat them until they are painted.

Update: Pat F. thinks the variety might be "Dragon". 

Monday, September 8, 2014


My sketch in progress on location 9/8/14
Anacortes Sketchers roamed all over the Rosario beach section of the Deception Pass park system today. Rosario Beach is a small cove on the southwestern corner of Fidalgo Island where you’ll find sandy beaches, centuries old trees that provide perches for bald eagles, and a meadowy bluff that comes to life with wildflowers in the spring.

I've been enjoying the paper texture and proportions of my new tiny Pentalic Aqua pocket journal. It's easy to carry, but presents a bit of awkward maneuvering while working on the bottom edge.
Finished sketch--Rosario, Looking Eastward (zoom to see larger)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's in your cup?

 Sunday usually involves taking a little time out to slow down, reflect, enjoy a cup of --------(fill in the blank). And then enjoy an art break. Whether it's the contents or the cup itself, why not make a sketch of your favorite?
Art in a cup! Make it, paint it, drink it!
 Coffee or tea? Cappuccino or Darjeeling? A cozy white mug or a delicate heirloom china cup?

Section of my sketches from last Friday. See full two page spread here.

Tip: Make two: one to use as your model and one to sip while you paint. Otherwise, trying to wait for your treat while you paint is just too much to ask on a Sunday!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Forget Me Not

Forget-me-not flowers
I'm thinking of two of my favorite gardeners today, my grandmother, whose favorite flowers these were, and Marsha. May you both rest in peace.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tea with WIsk at One Spirit Garden

I added more sketches as the dishes kept coming

It was the perfect late summer day, between 11am and 1:30pm at One Spirit Garden on Whidbey Island. I am grateful to Whidbey Island sketchers for allowing me to join them for sketching, chatting, laughing and tea. There were 18 or 19 of us. Some found a spot in the garden or at a table on the covered deck, while Glo, the owner and her assistant treated us to a fabulous afternoon of pampering. You two outdid yourselves! Thank you!

Two page spread in my Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook-Micron Pen and Watercolor

I chose Glo's homemade crust-less cheesecake for dessert. Hard choice from the other delicacies offered, like hummingbird cake, rich chocolate bundt cake, another one with carrots, pecans and a lemon drizzle, I think!!!!!! By this time, I had to decide between finishing my cheesecake or my sketch of it. I opted for half of  each.