Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Busy Broadway Farmers' Market

Late Post from Sunday with Seattle USk.
The red brick plaza on the SE end of Seattle Central Community College began filling up with Seattle Urban Sketchers a little after 10 am. People from Mt Vernon to Issaquah joined the locals to sketch at the Broadway Neighborhood Farmers' Market. Summer produce gave way to harvest time crops like beets, French carrots, fennel, mushrooms, and freshly made artisan cheese, cider, cookies, pickles and jams.
My busy page reflects the lively and crowded market.
Samish Bay Cheese offered samples of "Arugula Ladysmith" with calendula blossoms and "Black Mambazo" an aged cheese with cocoa, chipotle and black pepper coating. I sampled Woodring's Black Currant Lemonade and fresh pressed cider. Chao Chang Garden just kept piling up the fresh fennel, flowers, beets and gigantic French carrots.

I think everyone came outdoors, knowing that this is probably the last beautiful fall day with sunshine for awhile. 
(I had an outing with the Anacortes Sketchers to post on Monday and my regular "Sunday Painters" feature for today, Sunday the 19th, so this is posted on Tuesday.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gordon's Skagit Farms with ASk

This is the second year and the third time I've been to Gordons. It requires at least an annual visit just to see what clever, inspirational and artistic way they are arranging their bounty of the season. (See my blogposts from last October to compare.)
I decided to make my drawing of the day for Inktober 2014. You make 31 ink drawings in 31 days and post them to your blog, FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and tag them with #Inktober or #Inktober2014. I decided to post mine here and on my Instagram since I am quite pleased to have reached Day 20!
Doesn't this look like an ice cream sundae with a cherry on top?
This is as far as I got with my color sketches of the day, since I was distracted by chefs arriving, hunting down sketchers for candid photos, misplacing my sketchbook, and various other feather headed things. I have to say, though, that I was enchanted by the way the pumpkins and gourds were stacked up like wedding cakes or the best 6-scoop gelati from Florence.

See more about today's outing on the Anacortes Sketchers Blog.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Do you remember that charming and witty painting called "Life is just a chair of bowlies?" I still think it is one of my all time favorite plays on words. (And you know how I like plays on words!)

So this week's challenge for you Sunday painters is to take a season, like fall, and instead of painting the autumn leaves, AGAIN, find things around the house, garage or garden that are fall colors. Use them as props for your newest attempt at painting autumn color.
Tip for beginners: Start by drawing from an overhead view. Don't worry about getting a perfect circle, it looks forced and unnatural in a live drawing.
Watch out for camera perspective problems
It's best to paint from life. You may practice, though, by using these photos. Just be aware that the camera does not have binocular vision like we do and the further out to the edges you get, the more problems there are with perspective. (See the window frame leaning toward the outside edges?)

Update: I went sketching with Seattle Urban Sketchers this morning and plan to be with Anscortes Sketchers tomorrow. This morning's sketches will be posted on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Williams' Farm Pumpkin Patch

Today I drove around the corner after my class at A Guilded Gallery to find the sun shining across the pumpkin patch owned by Williams Farms. Melissa, a family member, has everything set up beautifully in the little shed. She has a display of "Exotics" with a friendly scarecrow on top of a giant power line spool.

My sketch for the day in my Pentalic Aqua Journal
A panorama opens up for you, from the water truck, to the eye line displaying every kind of tree, the old house nearly buried under blackberry vines, the distant hills on the coastline, the corn maze on your right, and most of all-the pumpkin patch! If there ever was a time to use a full spread panoramic sketchbook, this it!

We are all welcome to sketch there anytime!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


As you know, a global project is underway for artists, called Inktober. 31 drawings in 31 days. Draw something in ink and post it each day on FB, TWITTER, YOUR BLOG, INSTAGRAM, etc. View mine by using the Instagram button in the right hand column. There are half marathon and quarter marathon options.

I chose one of my unused sketchbooks that had enough pages to hold all 31 drawings. On average, I plan to draw two or three per page. Each collection over those days will have some sort of continuity. Usually they are placed consecutively by date. The current page on Monday was where I planned to draw number 3 of a series on balsamic vinegar bottles.  And then........... 

As you can see, I've taken some liberties with the models.
I visited a private home with some of my sketcher friends and was inspired by their collection of raven carvings, sculptures and objets d'art. 
What other traits do ravens have? The middle one goes in tomorrow.
Each piece in their collection was as individual as the artist who created it. After observing them for awhile, you notice this about animals and wildlife, too. For my sketchbook and daily drawing, I plan to do a page on ravens. Three ravens and three personality traits, highly exaggerated: the somewhat threatening, aggressive quality they sometimes have, (tbd) and their humorous character.

By the way, the two out on the power lines came and went on another sketching day and I dropped them in for balance. We have lots of trees in our neighborhood, but underground power, so our crows and ravens just walk around in the street.

Monday, October 13, 2014

My day on the "Tea Deck" at Alexander Beach

Looking out over Burrows Bay
The owl "whooo" has no name and I sat on the "Tea Deck" at the home of friends of ASk on Alexander Beach today. First, I painted the boat with a bit of red paint left on it, pulled up on the near shore of Lake Chiquita. Then "who" should I paint next, but the wood carving of the owl. It was inherited with the house, so no one knows the story behind it. We sat together quietly for a while, just gazing at the beautiful view.
My sketch journal of the day's experience
Then came the ducks, reflections, the little aqua blue boat on the far shore of the lake and trees behind.
I finally went inside and was permitted to use the carving of a raven for my Inktober drawing of the day. See Instagram link in the right hand column to view more of my 31 ink drawings for October.

My chair on the tea deck, view of the "partly red" boat, and wooden owl sculpture

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Three signs of Autumn Rainy Season

You know the Autumn rainy season has begun here in my part of the Pacific NW when these three signs appear from our front porch:
  1. The neighbor's maple tree across the street changes color overnight.
  2. I need my Sistine umbrella for a trip to the mailbox.
  3. Spider webs collect their strings of crystal beads in the rain. (Zoom the hedge area to see the diagonal line of raindrops on the web.)
Fall color in the trees, a spider web with raindrops and an umbrella. 
What are three signs of the season where you live?  Take a Sunday morning or afternoon to express those one at a time in your watercolor sketchbook. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Foggy Weather

It's that time of year again here in the Pacific Northwest. The fog comes in during the night and it's there when I wake up, filtering the morning sun. I think it's beautiful. Somehow, it makes me feel cozy, like having a big fluffy down quilt wrapped up around my ears. Sounds are muffled and the world is simplified into big shapes of midtones and darks. Fog turns the whole landscape into a watercolor painting. 
The sky is almost a gunmetal color on foggy days.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It was a Yummy Day!

I should have posted this yesterday, but I was interrupted by life. Here is my sketchbook spread from our Anacortes Sketchers outing to Skagit River Produce.
My friend, Sylvia, gave me the title for this post. It truly was a yummy day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ASk at Skagit River Produce

It was a yummy day! The weather on Monday was perfect, the bakery outdid itself with fresh pies and homemade soup, and the sketchers worked all over the property, making beautiful sketches of everything in sight.
SOME people made several pages in more than one sketchbook!
The first crop of sketches.
As various people trickled in, we got to share our sketches. If we missed you in the the first two photos, maybe we caught you in the collage! Welcome, new sketchers!
Sketchers, squash, pumpkins and armloads of fresh sweet corn!