Thursday, September 30, 2010

J. Dogg's a Badass!

Naaaa. I think he's really a cream puff. Here are my sketches of J. Dogg and Jason at China City. Jason is an artist and a sketcher, and I sure hope to see him in my class starting November 6th at South Whidbey Parks and Recreation.

On the Patio at China City

A few of us stopped by China City for a drink and a sketch after a grueling afternoon of drawing chickens and junk at Island Recycling. We found some interesting local characters out on the patio. They caught us sketching them and next thing you know, they're lining up to have their portraits sketched.

China City Patio Patrons
China City Patio
Jason at China City
J. Dogg at China City

Free Range Recycled Chickens

I never found out why there is a flock of chickens residing at Island Recycling. But there they are, living the good life, by chicken standards. They're fat, so must be getting plenty to eat. They get to run free and have plenty of good hiding places from predators among all the recycling stuff lying about. I wonder if they lay eggs. Here are three of them relaxing under the shelter of a folding table.

Resident Chickens at Island Recycling

The Book Bus

So much great junk to draw at Island Recycle, but this dilapidated bus called my name. It's full of books. Was it a mobile library at one time? I wonder where and what this bus has seen. What's it's history? It made me think of Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey and the kinds of folks that may have owned this gem. Island Recycle begs a return.
Oh! And thanks to Patricia Duff of the South Whidbey Record for stopping by to talk with us. Great to meet you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ok, Well THAT Was Wild

One of the things I love about Whidbey Island Sketchers is that I end up in places I've never gone before on this giant island in the middle of Puget Sound.  Today was certainly no exception as we sketched at Island Recycling.  What a crazy place filled with too many treasures to sketch in just 3 hours.  For instance:

Here's the wild purple "book mobile" bus in the middle of the recycle yard.  I didn't do it justice!

And here's my first "figure drawing"!!!  A crazy mannequin on top of old patio chairs complete with recycle-yard chicken underneath.  THIS is why I love Whidbey Island Sketchers!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Django and Java at Langley Coffeehouses

Three musicians play while seven sketchers sketch them from every possible angle.
Someone blocked my view of the musicians at SW Commons, so I sketched the spectators.
Musicians gather after hours in front of a closed UBCC. And by "after hours," I mean 6pm.

Soup Box Derby 2010

Langley's wonderful and wacky annual Soup Box Derby took place on Saturday, September 18. I turned out to sketch, but, as always, sketching the spectators turns out to be much more doable than sketching the race.

Entrants wait their turn at the starting "gate" up the hill on First Street.
Spectators get comfortable to watch the race.
A well-mannered dog named Grace watches the race with interest.

Our driveway hostess, Woodsie, watches the race, too!
Woodsie poses for the sketchers.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Whidbey Island Kite Festival

What a glorious Fall day for the Whidbey Island Kite Festival out at Camp Casey near Coupeville.  I had to sketch from my "mobile studio" (aka, my car) because of the wind, but it was perfect for the kite flyers. 

Django at UBC

A splendid afternoon sitting on the UBC patio listening to great music, sketching with the sketchers and drinking delicious coffee. I call it Heaven.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Django Jazz at Useless Bay Coffee

Django is in the air this afternoon as these three jazz musicians sit at the table next to us. A perfect sunny, warm afternoon to kick off the first day of fall. It is said that musicians are a perfect sketching subject: they sit fairly still while making wonderful sounds. To quote a professional photographer: "Working with passionate folks acting naturally can be a creative hootennanny. Respect is everything."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Django Jammin' at Useless Bay

Django Fest returns to Langley this week and the Whidbey Island Sketchers were sure in the right place at the right time Wednesday to sketch a jam session on a sunny outside patio at Useless Bay Coffee. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Miriams Coffee shop & more

Second half - there is no controlling the order of these pics!

One half of Good Cheer Garden  Pat Brookes

This is catch up time:  I have been sketching and not posting.  Lets see if anyone remembers me being around for these sketches.

Brads Boat at the Raven & the Spade
Two value pencil sketches with wash - Miriams

Friday, September 17, 2010


Finally sketched this lantern stall I
photographed in Vietnam. Its tricky to get
the feeling of the darkness that surrounds
the brilliance of the silk lamps.

Something very magical about "the first dance" at a wedding. I tried to sketch in the romantic feeling. This is my nephew and his beautiful bride enjoying their moment with Lake Tahoe and the setting sun behind.

Line by Line

Getting Back to the Phantom Skill by James McMullan is the first of a 12 part series on drawing by this renown illustrator and teacher. My hero when I was a student and my reason for picking up watercolors way back in the 80s. I'm looking forward to reading and applying his teachings. Hope you find some nuggets of inspiration!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A High & Lonely Destiny

Sitting on the rocks with our feet in the water at Lake Tahoe, I sketched and my sister read aloud from CS Lewis' first book of Narnia. A really nice afternoon with Sally.

"Ours, My Boy, is a high and lonely destiny."

"Stop that yawing," said Digory.

Soul Food Farm, Vacaville, California

Even though these chickens are free to run around, eat organic, and do whatever, they suffer itchy bugs in their feathers. And so these hens spent the afternoon rolling in, and burying under, and flapping over them dry dirt. They were busy. So was I, trying to sketch them!

Free Range Chickens at The Soul Food Farm

These chickens would not stand still. Spent the afternoon at The Soul Food Farm in Vacaville, California and was able to sketch the free range chickens! These are the famous hens that Alice Waters from the Slow Foods Movement says lay the best eggs in the world!

They were all shapes, colors, sizes, and temperaments too!

Miriam's Espresso

I decided to sketch the espresso bar while sitting in Miriam's. Really fun just mindlessly drawing what was in front of me as I chatted with Sue and Lisbeth as they sketched me, Kris as she sketched Pat, and Cheryl as she showed us slides of Peru. Great way to spend the first rainy day of the season!

Mindless and Messy Wednesday Sketching

Maddison on her laptop at Miriam's Espresso
The lovely Sherryl holds forth at Toby's
Wendy & a laptop guy at Miriam's - both  looking a little off-color
Pretty girl with a sketchy character at the next booth at Toby's

Rainy Afternoon at Miriam's

Rained out at Rosehip yesterday so retreated to Miriam's for sketching and coffee. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hedgebrook Open House

Steve and Joanne at Hedgebrook
Steve and Joanne Rouse provided the musical entertainment at Hedgebrook's open house on Saturday.

Under the tent at Hedgebrook Open House
The food, drinks and music were under the big white tent. I admit I was a bit of a nervous wreck with so many people looking over my shoulder at this event. I was trying out a new Koi sketch box with colors I'm not used to and a new water brush I was having trouble with. I found myself apologizing to the folks who wanted to look at my sketch, explaining about my inexperience with the new tools.

Hedgebrook Sketches by Susan

A few of us did some sketching at Hedgebrook's annual Open House on Saturday.These are Susan Jensen's sketches from the event.

Birdhouse and crow skull
Reading in the barn - Susan Rice
Musicians- Steve & JoAnn Rouse
Wasp nest in the barn

Susan's Raven and Spade Sketches

Here are Susan Jensen's pastel and watercolor sketches from our Wednesday visit to The Raven and the Spade.

The Raven and Spade Barn - My first watercolor!
Raven and Spade Tractor

Friday, September 10, 2010

Raven and Spade by Betty

A sketch of sunflowers by Betty Rayle. Delightful, as always!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bared Flaws: The Raven and the Spade

The Raven and the Spade is possibly the only place on Whidbey Island where you can go 7 days a week for fresh farm produce and have it harvested directly out of the garden specifically for you. You can't get any fresher than that. And it's certified 100% organic. And it's beautiful. And the sun was shining. And Camille gave the sketchers delicious cookies. And they have two adorable dogs who roamed among the sketchers. It was an altogether happy experience.

I couldn't resist drawing this intriguing sculpture shot through with rusty holes against the beautiful view in the background. Incongruous might be the right word to describe it. The title was "Bared Flaws." I guess those holes are his flaws -- which he is baring to the world, as indicated by his open arm gesture. But he reminded me of Mr. Clean with some troubling skin problems.

Raven and Spade and Huh?

The weather gods were kind yesterday, giving us a warm sunny afternoon to sketch outdoors at the Raven and Spade. Beautiful setting and gardens. So much to draw, I had a hard time settling on a subject. Sue was drawing a statue with bullet holes so I sketched Sue drawing it. Do not talk to approaching statues. Freaky.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sketching at the Raven and the Spade