Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Sketch Challenge Highlights Summer

Several sketchers took advantage of the August sketch challenge - "summer weekends" - to capture their favorite weekend activities or sights.   See their sketches on our Monthly Sketch Challenge page and enjoy this last month of summer here on Whidbey.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Guemes Island Adventures

The sketchers had a big day of sketching and touring around Guemes Island on Wednesday. We spent most of the day sketching at Anderson's General Store. But then we piled into Tom's truck and headed for the top of Guemes Mountain to see the spectacular 300+ degree view, stopped to see our tour guide's beautiful hand-crafted home at the base of the mountain and took a peek at the all-volunteer Guemes lending library. There wasn't room for all 6 of us in the truck, so a couple of us rode in the truck bed. Great fun.

Good friend, master story teller and local character, Tom Andrak showed us around the island.
Mary Jo (aka, MJ), long suffering wife of you-know-who joined us for happy hour at Anderson General Store when she got finished with her volunteer work at the library.
Hey, it's Tom. Again! Now, officially the most sketched person on Guemes.
Oh, look who it is! Our lovely and talented tour guide, Tom. Again! I'm starting to get tired of looking at this guy!
Sunflowers at Anderson's General Store. Not my best work, but at least it's not Tom!
John, the guy sitting at the next table at the  Rockfish Grill in Anacortes. His wife's comment when I showed them the sketch: "Well, this is a first. "
Susan drives us home after a long day of fun, but hasn't a clue I'm sketching her as we chat.

Thanks for a great day, Tom!

Hit-and-Run Mystery Sketcher at Anderson's General Store

One of the best sketches of the day was done in just a very few minutes by a complete stranger (to us) waiting for the ferry.

To quote our new member, Susan, "This sketching thing is contagious! How great that this guy, waiting for the ferry, just jumped in, asked if he could borrow my sketchbook, and put me to shame? He captured everything with just a few lines. Who was that guy?" Turns out he is Dan Olsen, owner of Olsen Tree Service - on the island for a job.

To capture a scene and gestures with a minimum of line and detail is what we all strive for. Another thing I love about this sketch is that it depicts Tom (again!) and another couple of locals conversing over the fence. Tom is on the outside side of the fence keeping his dog company because the dogs aren't allowed in the food service area. Guemes is a dog paradise and a dog lover's paradise. 

Susan added a little color to the sketch after the mystery sketcher and his friend dashed off to catch the ferry. 

Hey, it's Tom! (Again)

Brand new Whidbey Island Sketcher, Susan Jensen, joined us for the first time for the Guemes Island field trip. She seems to be hooked already! She did this great sketch of Tom using hard pastels. Terrific capture!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Island Hopping: From Whidbey to Guemes

The Whidbey Island Sketchers hopped a 5 minute ferry from Anacortes over to Guemes Island and found a wonderful world of sites (and characters) to sketch.

We started at Anderson's General Store where we all were enthralled by the giant sunflowers.

Then hopped in Tom's truck for his impromptu tour of the island, including Mt. Guemes he and many others helped save from development. 

Betty and I loved his home and couldn't resist sketching petunias from the porch.  Thanks for the tour Tom.  I know we'll be back.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guemes Island field trip

This is from Mt Guemes looking toward Mt Baker.
Sue's friend Tom took us to the very top to a nearly 360 degree view, breathtaking!
We started at Anderson's General Store near the ferry landing
with color and sunshine and great food! But the sunflowers eluded me
in my sketchbook......
So I sketched Anacortes from the courtyard.
Tom spent much of the day showing us the beautiful Island, then....sat to be sketched!
Thank you !

Betty's Colorful Views of Guemes Island

Betty Rayle sure achieved her trademark color and energy in these two sketches from our Whidbey Island Sketchers field trip to Guemes Island today.  Here's the view from Tom's front porch.

And here are the colorful flowers at Anderson's General Store where we all enjoyed a couple of hours sketching before heading out for a tour of Guemes by Sue's friend, Tom.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thanks Good Cheer

Hoop house at Good Cheer Garden by J. Pittis
From Julie Pittis:

"Just being in the garden I felt the warmth of community spirit all around.

Thanks, Julie"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Best Boss Ever: Sharon's Going Away Party

As I sketched this group of women on the deck of the Basil Cafe at Bayview Corner last Wednesday, I could tell something special was going on. There was a lot of laughter, excitement and hugging. As they were leaving, I found out they all worked at the Clinton Post Office and that it had been a going-away celebration for their boss, Sharon, the "best boss ever." They couldn't stop talking about what a great boss she was. She was retiring to Costa Rica . . . or was it New Zealand? Somewhere exotic sounding, anyway. Unfortunately Sharon is the only one at the table who didn't make it into the sketch. But her adoring employees thought she would love to see it. so I said I would post it on the blog.
Somebody show it to Sharon, OK?

Rides at the Fair

Sue and I sat in the bleachers overlooking the fair activities. It was visual overload for me and took some time to sift through it all. A fun time all in all at the fair, especially looking at the critters.

Sunflowers at Good Cheer

The leaves on these sunflowers are like elephant ears, they're so big. I'd like to do another and concentrate on the flowers.

Good Cheer Garden

The Garden provides a cornacopia of food to the Food Bank.
What a bright friendly place to practice sketching!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Baaaaaack at the Fair

Kris and I set up to sketch at a table in the sheep barn at the fair Friday afternoon. We apparently looked like official 4Hers because we were asked many questions - like, "Do sheep bite?" We were also repeatedly asked to stamp some card that kids were getting stamped at each animal exhibit. It was tempting . . .we had paintbrushes in hand. The sheep barn at dinner time is hysterical. We were squealing with laughter at the all the riotous "Baa!"-ing from every kind of sheep voice. Some of them sounded exactly like people imitating sheep.
Gotland X Sheep at the Island County Fair
Gotland X Ram
Gotland X Sheep at the Fair
Kiddie Rides at the Island County Fair

In the Garden of Good Cheer and Good Food

Sunflowers - Good Cheer Food Bank Garden

Swiss Chard - Good Cheer Food Bank Garden
Food for both the body and the spirit grow well in Good Cheer's Garden. It feels good to just be there in the warm sun in the midst of all the beautiful summer garden bounty listening to the chatter of the happy, good-hearted volunteers working away. This garden is really a win-win-win for our entire community. Brava to Cary Peterson and all those who make it happen.

Through the Garden Gate

While sitting in a friend's backyard, I experimented with less drawing and more color.

Greenbank Farm Fun

Sherryl had some fun with the Whidbey Pie Cafe logo and the heron sculpture at Greenbank Farm.

Crabbing and Sketching

Sherryl did this one on a hot lazy day of crabbing and sketching on the Langley Marina.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Warm sunny afternoon at Whidbey Institute

These are Annette Hanna's sketches from our recent day of sketching at Whidbey Institute.

A piece of historical Whidbey

The garden

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Good Time at Good Cheer

I wasn't there long today, but I sure enjoyed the time I was there.  Here are sweet sketcher friends Sherryl & Natalie who agreed to pose and gab while I sketched them.  Fun time gabbing & laughing, ladies.

And, before I dashed, did a quick splash sketch of the raised beds at Good Cheer.

Painting in the Good Cheer Harvest Garden

The hoop house at the G.C. Harvest Garden was full of lush green veggies and tomatoes getting ripe as the warm sun was filtering through the plastic covering. The covering was reflecting the colors of the sun, trees and sky with shades of purple possibly from the chemicals in the plastic. Also inside the hoop house were orange and yellow marigolds to keep away the slugs? Must be working for them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A question of drawing and color

The Sketcher's Symposium was satisfying and interesting in so many ways.
Awesome sketchbooks and a broad range of presenters and styles.
One of the things I always face in sketching is the dominance of line or color.
It can easily become a disturbing competition between the two.
One of the things I want to play more with is this balance. I love drawing, and I am usually initially attracted to color. It's a matter of more experimenting, and choosing.
Definitely line dominant...not too satisfied with this one.
This is an early morning view from our living room, lifting fog. Line dominant ok...
More play, again looking out the window at summer dahlias.
And Truman's scarlet runner beans in our back yard garden.

Garden/Whidbey Institute

Pietala Garden

Beautiful place, quiet and restful. My choice was the garden gate.  I wish I could have come earlier and stayed longer. Pat

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pine Tree

Painted this old, massive tree at the Whidbey Institute. So many colors bouncing around on it's trunk. Blues, violets, greens, and rusts reflected from the dead needles on the ground. It's a magnificent tree. I was riveted.