Monday, December 31, 2012

London Sketchbook

A wonderful Christmas in London - 10 days at least partly captured in sketches.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Earl etal

Rendezvoused with friends for an afternoon in Seattle yesterday. I got in a few quick people sketches here and there. Earl (at the next table at the Seattle Art Museum's cafe) was tickled about being sketched, so I said I would post the sketch. I told him I thought he looked a bit like Archie Bunker. He said he may look like him, but he is the exact opposite of Archie Bunker. 
Earl at Taste (Seattle Art Museum.)
Pretty Girls on the Bus

Place Pigalle People

Cap'n Whidbey Inn

So I was late getting to Cap'n Whidbey, and had to leave early, but managed to make this sketch of some of the sketchers so diligently working away. What this sketch does not show is the incredible amount of talking and laughing that was going on. Everyone was in a jolly (maybe after Holiday euphoria?) and social mood. I so love the Sketchers. It is always fun and relaxing to play with pens and watercolor and paper together.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Scenes in the Bar

A rather a wacky afternoon sketching in the bar at the Captain Whidbey Inn. 

The fabulous bear head and salmon on the wall + my surreal "Breaking into the New Year" bottle of wine and a too small ice bucket!!


Yesterday's adventure took us to the quite quaint, cozy, creaky, elegant Captain Whidbey Inn for sketching, food, and merriment.  Not only is the Inn an ultimate destination place for dining and lodging, but the drive in that area of Whidbey Island is also exquisite.  I only had time for one quick sketch, The Bear.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

WISk Party At Phyllis's

It was a treat to be in Langley for the WISk holiday party at Phyllis's house.  Her home was full of handmade gnomes, Santa Buddhas, talented WISk sketchers, delicious food and beverages!  
One cozy corner of Phyllis's beautifully decorated home!

 Santa Buddha!
 Second attempt of the tree....spilled water all over myself and sketchbook the first time.
Festive Q!

Christmas Party at Phyllis'

It was another one of those rainy days, but we were sketching with a Christmas feeling at Phyllis & Robert's home.  We were all snugged up tight on their big couch and in the dining area with lots of food and wine and plenty of Christmas spirit.
A cozy afternoon celebrating Christmas and sketching

Even the puppets and statues celebrated!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve at Zumba!

Drawing people in motion is always a challenge, but really fun if you can manage to get anything at all resembling human beings! I danced and shimmied and jumped and shook it at the Zumba Christmas Eve Burnout this morning at Island S.W.E.A.T. Shop  until I was spent. Then I tried to sketch. It was a blast and a great way to start out the day on Christmas Eve.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Hug

Christmas Lights upon Lights


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sketchers' Christmas

There were SO many fabulous sketches done at the Whidbey Island Sketcher's Christmas party, I'm feeling sheepish about posting mine. Thanks so much to Phyllis and Robert for hosting our joyous, raucous group!

Mantle with stag candelabra, Buddha and painting.

Surprise celebrity model!
These big panoramas are laborious! I gave up part way through.


LOTS to celebrate -- the holidays, art together, each other's company. AND we survived the Mayan Apocalypse! Here's a cheer to Art, and Paint, and SANTA, who all helped Phyllis host this wonderful event! And here's a toast to another great year of art and fellowship on Whidbey Island. Thank you, Sketchers, for making my new life here on The Rock such a fulfilling one.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sketcher's Christmas Party

Wow!! What could be more fun than a sketcher's Christmas Party? We wedged 17 of us into my little condo, had more food than we could eat, more wine than we could drink (really), and almost more energy than the place could hold. Everyone made wonderful sketches while talking, eating and drinking. Amazing. We are multidextrous. AND to top it all off our surprise model was Santa himself. That jolly old elf.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Thank you, Cynthia, for inviting us to sketch your beautiful home overlooking Saratoga Passage.  There was so much to draw, but first I was taken with the clouds outside your window, and the glimpse we had of Hat Island.  Then, I love horses and your horse lamp and comfy chair grabbed my attention.  What a lovely way to spend a December Friday afternoon!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Bird Count - Area 8

I participated in Audubon's Christmas Bird Count for South Whidbey yesterday. It was my first time birding. I told them I couldn't identify birds, but I could count. I was on Nancy's crack team of birders for Area 8. I was assigned the job of note taker, recording the counts of every species we spotted. It was 37 degrees, windy and raining. Nasty conditions for finding birds or for being a bird, I would imagine.

After a while I had to draw the line. Literally. I turned the bird count book over to someone else, stayed in the car to warm up and sketch at this location.

Maxwelton Valley
The real birders are those dark scratches in the distance huddled together looking for birds in the freezing wind and rain.

Counting birds at Maxwelton Beach

I do believe I distinguished myself as a novice birder by identifying a brand new species at the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom, the Chartreuse-Crowned Hawk. Can you spot her? She's quite magnificent.

A rare sighting of the large, but elusive, Chartreuse-Crowned Hawk

 The only other bird I identified turned out to be a leaf.

When I bailed after a lunch of the best chili and cornbread I've ever had (note to self: must get Nancy's recipes), we were up to 40 species, which I am told is quite low. The most prevalent birds we found were Pine Siskins and Canada Geese, I think.  Last year they did the South Whidbey bird count on a beautiful sunny day and our team identified 60-some species.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


And ANOTHER beautiful home in which to stretch the sketching skills. Cynthia invited us to her lovely home in the woods overlooking Camano Island. Yet again, another exercise in "Omigosh! What do I sketch? What do I sketch?" So many colorful and eclectic collections! The red capped mushrooms, the polka-dot dishes, the Santas tucked into every nook and cranny. But, for me, the highlight was little Muffin, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, tucked into her comfy, English cabbage rose covered chintz cozy. Sweetest doggie EVAH!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Aleli and John have so many wonderful, eclectic collectibles in their Anacortes home. It is almost impossible to choose just one thing to draw. A lot of the sketchers do two or three drawings, but I am so slow that I only ever seem to get one done. This time I concentrated on these two beautiful red horses and Santa.We are so fortunate to get an invitation to sketch here again this year!

Sparse Art

Pomegranate,  first attempt at Sparse Art.

Sparse art is something I made up while sketching last month with the Whidbey Island sketchers.  I'm still having so much fun...... I never knowing what's going to end up on my sketch pad.    If anyone knows more about sparse art please share.  Thanks,  Mary

Red Wine - Sparse Art

The wine kicked in.......Sparse Art

The Travel Sketchbook Begins

We're off to London for Christmas.  Paint box is filled and ready to go. I couldn't resist getting a jump start on my London sketch journal even before we get on the plane!  Happy holidays sketcher friends.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Table at Aleli's

We love to party with the fun and festive Anacortes Sketchers! Thank you Aleli and John for inviting the Whidbey Island Sketchers to your incredible home again this year for the Anacortes Sketchers holiday party. Everyone loves to sketch at your house and we all had a great time.


The Whidbey Island Sketchers met the Anacortes Sketchers at the lovely home of Aleli and John.  There was much holiday merriment and huge numbers of sketching possibilities.  I chose their Cinnabar horse.  There were actually two horses, so I hope the 2nd horse forgives me and perhaps I'll sketch her another day.  Thank you for your hospitality!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bears, Bears, and Buddhas

A thousand thank yous to the Anacortes Sketchers, and especially to Aleli and John for hosting Whidbey Island Sketchers for such a festive, rich, warm, gorgeous, delightful day of sketching, eating, and of course drinking wine. This inviting home was decorated to the gills with a teddy bear theme. It was a visual and spiritual delight. I was entranced with the juxtaposition of the Buddhas and the Bears. Barb told me these are monks, but it sounds better to say Buddhas and Bears. I don't think Buddha would mind. I loved sketching this.

Bayview Farm and Garden and More

I loved Barb's description of "flash sketchers invading Bayview Farm and Garden. There was so much to sketch there it took awhile to settle on this one display. I really enjoy sketching large complicated scenes. Of course when we got cold we had to find a nice warm place with wine. Blooms Winery was not far away. Sue made herself comfortable propping her feet up on a stool. I really struggled with getting the perspective right, nearly abandoned the sketch, but couldn't leave it alone. I was finally happy enough with it. Another great day with Whidbey Island Sketchers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lauren Bacall Bear

Today we were at the annual Christmas party with the Anacortes Sketchers at Aleli's home.  Last year her home was decorated everywhere with Santas; we are talking lots of Santas.  This year we had a bit of a different theme with designer Bears.  These Bears were made with old quilts, jackets of fur, & fur stoles.  Their parts were moveable and I had fun sketching and painting Lauren Bacall with her ribbon and lace headdress and black fur coat.  Annnnd, here she is Lauren.....
Lauren Bacall, waiting for Humphrey

Festive Party Sketches

Thanks to our sketching buddies to the north, the Anacortes Sketchers, who invited the Whidbey Island Sketchers to join them in their holiday sketch party.  What a blast (thanks Aleli and John)!  I'm afraid I spent way to much time gabbing and laughing because I only managed to get in a couple of very simple little festive sketches. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Today's flash mob of Sketchers occurred at the beautifully stocked store of Bayview Farm & Garden.  There were innumerable interesting scenes to sketch.  I only had time enough for one and chose this joyful Laughing Buddha, whom I placed beneath Phaeleanopsis orchids and Staghorn ferns, given there was no Boddhi tree.  I think he found enlightenment.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sketcher Portraits at Blooms Tasting Room

After dumping my paint water in my lap (twice) and soaking my pants while trying to draw Christmas decorations at Bayview Nursery, I decided it was time to repair to Blooms Winery Tasting Room. The results were much better after a glass of Blooms Syrah.  The lovely sketchers were my subjects.