A Portland weekend

This past weekend (8-11 Nov) I went to Portland on my own. The primary reason was to meet up with Anne, a friend from Florida, at Orycon. Anne has family in Portland so makes it an annual visit timed to also be able to attend this Science Fiction convention. The friend who lives in Portland joined us. And then I learned that Carol, who moved from Seattle to coastal Oregon, would also be at the con. So I was able to hang out with a good group of friends.

On the way down I stopped at a new McMenamins: Kalama Harbor. Got my McMenamins Passport stamped, had lunch and did a sketch.  Oh, I only just now realized I forgot to get the McMenamins stamp on the sketch!  Drat.

I arrived at the hotel in time to get settled and go out for a quick sketch near sunset. The sky was clear and there was a good view of Mt. Hood, complete with “Alpenglow”.

One of the main reasons I attend cons is for the costuming. There weren’t very many interesting ones this time. The exception was the Science Guest of Honor, Dr. Ethan Siegel (scroll down http://40.orycon.org/guests-of-honor/ ) He was dressed as the James Webb telescope. When I recognized him, he said I was one of the few who did. I attribute that to friend Maggie who works at Goddard and took lots photos while it was being built!

On Saturday afternoon I left the con to attend Urban Sketchers Portland’s final 10×10 of the year. Urban Sketcher Pete Scully was up from Davis, CA to teach this workshop.

It was held at “Cargo” which was an almost overwhelming place with so many things crammed into two floors.

The title was “All Together Now and with Perspective: Fitting all Bits and Pieces into a Grid”. He briefly covered One and Two Point Perspective as well as Curvalinear. Then adding objects and people into the perspective grid. We first did thumbnails and then a 10 minute sketch. He encouraged us to sketch the same scene for a longer sketch time. I added more of the space into my last sketch.

Note:  all these sketches were completed with a fountain pen filled with DeAtramentis Document Urban Grey.  It performed well and didn’t smear with the application of watercolor.

I had one last hang out with my friends on Sunday.

I also was thinking of the 100th Anniversary of the WWI Armistice. I was thankful a young woman organized a brief commemoration at 11am (“11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).  She had been handing out poppies all weekend.  Americans don’t wear the poppy on Nov 11 as we celebrate it as Veterans Day… for the living service members and veterans. The British Commonwealth, though, wear the poppy today in remembrance of all who died in WWI and other wars and to commemorate the Armistice.  Because of that significant anniversary, I wore the poppy.

And then it was the drive home.

More photos. 

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100 years later

Posting late after a drive home from Portland.  I would have liked to have memorialized this 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice at the large event at MOHAI today.  However, a young woman at Orycon gathered a few together for a brief ceremony of readings and then silence.

I offer these poppies once again.  Americans don’t wear the poppy on Nov 11 as we celebrate it as Veterans Day… for the living service members and veterans.   The British Commonwealth, though, wear the poppy today in remembrance of all who died in WWI and other wars and to commemorate the Armistice.

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Welcoming Winter at Anderson School

We attended a talk about “Winter Welcome”.

On Monday Himself and I went to McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell. Himself has been a master brewer in the past and taught brewing in the SCA. He used to buy a case of Samuel Smith’s “Winter Welcome” every year. That evening, Gavin, the brewmaster for Samuel Smith, would be there to talk about their brewing process. This is a brewery founded in 1758 that continues to brew beer in the very same way it was done at the founding.

It is in Tadcaster, England.  That’s in Yorkshire and Gavin certainly had a strong Yorkshire accent!  I was out of practice in understanding Yorkshire but I became more attuned as the evening went on.  I’d once driven by the brewery but never went in…. had to keep on driving as I was with my supervisor and we were transporting a teen in custody!

It was a good talk, mostly attended by McMenamins brewers and some home brewers like Himself. It was a small group and the Winter Welcome was complimentary! I had a pint but that was more than my limit. I found it just a bit too “hoppy” (to much hops) for me. Being a small group, the talk was mostly Q&A.

We had arrived about 3pm so while Himself took a nap, I went out to sketch. This is inside The Shed.

I completed this using the new DeAtramentis Document Urban Grey ink on 100% cotton, 140# watercolor paper.  I did not notice any smudging.  It behaved similarly to my usual waterproof ink.

Sketcher friend, Roy, came over to join us for dinner as he lives near by. He asked me to take some photos for an article about his recent book illustrations that will appear in an area magazine.  The next book in the “Pope’s Cat” series is out and Roy’s illustrations are in glorious full color.

We had dinner together and then Himself and I went to the event.

More photos

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Happy FP Day 2018

Happy Fountain Pen Day!   






I’m recognizing FP day by testing a new ink in my Lamy Fountain Pen.  It’s De Atramentis Document Urban Grey.   I’ve waited months for this to be available in the USA since I read Jane Blundell’s post about it. So far I’ve tested it on two different Mixed Media papers:  Bee and Strathmore Series 500.

On the Bee, I could see just the faintest of grey shading.  The blue is watercolor.

On the last day of Inktober, I sketched my ceramic pumpkins using this ink.  Then I later painted the sketch.  I don’t consider this a fair trial as the ink had dried for several hours.  However, there was no bleeding

I next did a trial sketch from a photo in the same manner that I would in the field.  This is the Strathmore Series 500 Mixed Media sketch book.  I didn’t notice any bleeding. I do like the shade.  Other greys I’ve tried were either too blue or too dark.

So far, I’m working from a 2ml sample from Goulet Pens.  Before I spend the money on a bottle,  I want to test it in real conditions on location and using watercolor paper.  The specs on Goulet indicate it’s not fast drying.  For comparison, it says the same for Platinum Carbon Black, which I do consider to be fast drying.




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Finished! 2018 Inktober

Week 5 final days 29-31 October

I got all the way through Inktober and did an ink sketch every day.  As I’ve written previously, I used a toned sketch book for the first time.  I consider that trial a success and may use it occasionally.  I still prefer ink and watercolor, though.

Day 29 (Monday) Kennedy School facade, sketched on location. While sketching, I was visited by a stray cat with which I shared a bit of my scone. I suspect the cat is often fed by those at these tables on the front patio.

Day 30 (Tuesday) This is the staircase in the Pittock Mansion built in the early 1900’s in Portland, OR. I visited it on Saturday and started this sketch, which I finished  on Tuesday.

Day 31 (Wednesday) This is the final sketch for 2018 Inktober. I made it! Being Halloween, I sketched my collection of ceramic pumpkins.

This is done with a new ink: DeAtramentis Document Urban Grey. I like the color just fine. It’s better than the other grey inks I’ve tried.  In a simple test, though, I found that it’s not completely waterproof.

Thus ends Inktober.  I’ve earned my pin.

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Portland weekend

As I’ve written, we were in Portland this past weekend.  Himself attended BSides, an IT security conference.  I was out and about with our friend, Wanda.

On Friday morning we lucked out that it mostly wasn’t raining.  So I got a chance to see the Lan Su Chinese garden again.  This time I was able to get a sketch done.  It’s the only watercolor one I did over the weekend.

We drove out to McMenamins Edgefield.  It’s a wonderful 72 acre property on which they’ve made so many bars and activities.  It was originally the Poor Farm.  I didn’t sketch there as I was busy getting 2 pages of McMenamins Passport stamps done.

Photos of the day are here.

On Saturday we visited the extensive Japanese Garden.  Then, since it was nearby, we went to the Pittock Mansion, built in the early 1800’s.

Photos here.

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Inktober 2018 Week 4

Week 4    23-28 October

I’m behind in posting only because we were in Portland, OR over the weekend and I have almost 400 photos to edit plus several sketches to scan and edit.  I am a day ahead with Inktober sketches!

Day 22 (Monday) Mutant squash. Drawn from life.

Day 23 (Tuesday) From my photo in August at a sketch outing in Queen Ann neighborhood.

Day 24 (Wednesday) Knaresborough bridge; from a photo shared from the BBC Yorkshire instagram account by @nataliakweikphotography

Day 25 (Thursday) Sketch of our model at last night’s cosplay Drink and Draw: Heather as Jasper from Steven Universe. No, I don’t know what that is, either. Had to look it up but once I saw the character, she’s got the costume right!

Day 26 (Friday) We were on a trip to Portland, OR so Himself can attend BSides, an IT security conference. While he attended the 2 day conference, I was out and about with our friend, Wanda. We lucked out with a mostly not-raining morning in the Lan Su Chinese Garden. This is the Moon-Locking Pavilion. The tip of the roof of the “Tower of Cosmic Reflections” is visible on the right.

Day 27 (Saturday) This is a sketch done on location from Friday afternoon as we relaxed in one of the McMenamins many properties around Portland: The Chapel Pub.

Day 28 (Sunday) Sketch from yesterday morning in the Portland Japanese Garden. Completed on location.


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Jasper Cosplay

I’m behind in posting only because we were in Portland, OR over the weekend.  We left the morning after last Wednesday’s Cosplay Drink and Draw (24 October).

Heather was again our model, this time portraying Jasper from Steven Universe.  No, I didn’t know what that is and had to look up the character!  And I forgot to take some photos.

I used this one as an Inktober sketch, too.

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Inktober 2018 Week 3

Inktober Week 3:   15-21 October

Day 15 (Monday) Just a bit of Halloween candy sketched at Mixed Media play day at Daniel Smith Seattle store.

Day 16 (Tuesday) This was the view from the deck of Rock the Dock yesterday. After delivering art for the show, I had lunch with another artist. It’s next to Foss Waterway Museum and has a view of the marina, a bridge and The Mountain. It’s half way through the month of October and we had our lunch out on the patio in the sun!

Day 17 (Wednesday) Sketching on location with Tacoma Urban Sketchers. I made one of my sketches the Pagoda at Point Defiance Park.

Day 18 (Thursday): Sketch of model at our weekly Cosplay Drink & Draw.  Photo is not so good as I did it there and then gave her the sketch.

Day 19 (Friday): The texture of a tree stump; from my own photo.

Day 20 (Saturday) On the light rail to a sketch outing in Seattle. The UW fans were wearing the purple.

Day 21 (Sunday) After this is the home stretch: just 10 days left. This is a Hawaiian Dancer from a photo in the newspaper about an event.

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Not Diwali

Urban Sketchers Seattle rearranged our usual schedule to attend and sketch the Diwali Festival at Seattle Center Armory.  Except I didn’t sketch the festival…more on that below.

As I often do, I traveled by light rail into Seattle. While parking was no problem at the station, the train was standing room only, crammed with University of Washington fans headed for the game. So it was a sea of purple.

When we arrived at noon, though it was the start time for the festival, almost nothing was set up. The welcome and dancers on stage did start on time and the lanterns were hung from the ceiling.

Our sketch throw-down and our group photo:

Since the festival wasn’t fully underway, I decamped to sketch something I’d had in the back of my mind. Typewriter Eraser, Scale X is a sculpture of a large-scale typewriter eraser by Claes Oldenburg. I sketched it in it’s previous location in the Seattle Art Museum’s Sculpture Park. A couple years ago it was moved here, in front of the Frank Gehry designed MoPop (Museum of Popular Culture, formerly the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum). Just to add a third Seattle icon, I included the Space Needle.

At that point, I could have gone back to the festival. But, since I still had over an hour and I’d brought my MoPop membership card, I decided to zip through the Marvel exhibit. I knew there were a couple sculptures that I might want to sketch. This Spider Man photo op had a convenient bench right in front, so it’s the one I picked. I got to see some people doing cute and funny poses with it. This little one was the best!

More photos of sketch outing.

Photos from the MOPOP Marvel exhibit

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