Monday, October 31, 2011

Magnolia Big Band at Anchor Pub

John on Bass
We had an absolute ball sketching at the historic Anchor Pub in Everett yesterday. The Magnolia Big Band was playing and everyone was so gracious and welcoming to the sketchers. The food was good, the music was great, the band was charming.And I got to meet one of my sketching idols, Gail Wong, a member of Seattle Urban Sketchers.

Max V. Irwin (V. is for Varmint)

And best of all, we got to meet the charming Max V. Irwin, an 85-year-old dancing fool and fan of Magnolia Big Band who showed up in hopes of a dance floor. I would have danced with him except (a) I don't know how and (b) I'm 6 inches tall than him. But I sketched his portrait instead. If you'd like a dance with Max, he'll be dancing at the Sons of Norway in Everett every Thursday afternoon!
Max with the lady sketchers

Anchor Pub & Magnolia Big Band

I never thought of myself as a Sunday afternoon Pub person, but Magnolia Big Band changed my mind.  We had a terrific time meeting other sketchers from Seattle (Gail Wong in particular) and listening to the most enjoyable music.  Loud, but it didn't blow you out of the room.  Prior to the band playing the Pub played Tony Bennet music.
Listening to the sounds!

Our model the dancing man Max!

View of the lower bar.

Three guys and a speaker!

Dia de Muertos Festival

Had a great time sketching at the Dia de Muertos Festival on Saturday in Seattle.  Wish I could have stayed longer!  So much to sketch.  Happy Halloween today and Day of the Dead on wednesday.

Fabulous altar at the festival.

This dapper chap was taking a break from his street musician duties.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Winter's Approach

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WiFire Apparitions

My first ghost sighting at Whidbey Telecom's WiFire Coffee Shop... 

Happy Halloween!

Backyard Color Riot

View from the deck
I had to try to capture some of the outrageous color in my own backyard before it's gone. I can no longer remember the name of the bright red shrub, but I bought it years ago at this time of year, specifically for it's red fall foliage. Below it are Autumn Joy Sedums, behind is a purple smoke tree. In the background, rose hips, a Japanese Maple and a Pin Oak also contribute to the joyous palette.

Kudos to Whidbey Telecom

The Whidbey Island Sketchers experienced  Whidbey Telecom's state-of-the-art Customer Experience Center yesterday. Our little phone company really knocked it out of the park with this space. What a great showcase of local artists' works and great resource for the community. I was particularly blown away by Tim Leonard's metalwork and Kim Hoelting's woodwork, both of which were used in this counter. Joe Menth's mural-sized photography of vintage Whidbey Telephone switchboard equipment is also a must-see.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Whidbey Island Winery

Better late than never I guess. I loved our day at Whidbey Island Winery. The weather was sweet and soft and the sketchers were scattered around the grounds. One of my favorite kinds of days.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Happy Tractor

It's living a long life, now admired. Here's mine...

And this is Vern, Lisbeth's very first patron. I sketched him at Coupeville Coffee and Bistro. OKA, Miriam's. He's a good model. Great beard, wears glasses, strikes interesting poses and sits still.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Winthrop and the Methow Valley

My birthday usually falls at the peak of fall foliage season. This year we headed for the Methow Valley for my birthday getaway to find some fall color and sunshine. It was our first family trip with Duncan, the dog, and we found a cabin on the Methow River that was perfect for us. Duncan did great.

I only had one day of sketching, but could have used several more. I was uber-inspired by everything around me. Everything on the other side of the mountains is just breathtaking this month. And Winthrop is so kitschy. I'm inspired to organize a sketchers' retreat in the Methow Valley next October as soon as the shoulder season rates go into effect. 5 nights, 4 days. Seriously.
The Methow River, right behind our cabin

Pearrygin Lake State Park
Sherry's Sweet Shop

Shafer Museum
Old Schoolhouse Brewery
For those of you who just can't get enough of my birthday (I'm milking it for all it's worth this year), Dan posted some photos of our trip on his facebook page.!/media/set/?set=a.304971256186811.91835.100000218183963&type=1

Sherman Farm Pumpkins

For my birthday, I gave myself a full day (and evening) of sketching.  And who deserves it more than me? :-) This was my best of sketch of the day.

Did you know that Sherman Farm is the only commercial grower of heirloom Sugar Hubbard Squash in the country?  AND that they supply all the Puget Sound area Whole Foods Markets with cut Sugar Hubbard Squash? Well, now you do.

Tall Trees

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Time at Sherman Farm

Sketching pumpkins on a cool, sunny Fall day was a treat.

Langley Village

I enjoyed sketching Julie who was also sketching among the beautiful flower pots.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last of the honeysuckle berries

This honeysuckle vine was peeking out from the branches of the native evergreen plants along the side of the road while I was out for a walk.   The berries are so bright and inviting to sketch with watercolor.  I took the challenge.

Sketching Around Ebey's Prairie

I've been wanting to sketch out at the fabulous Sherman Farm - pumpkin and hubbard squash capital of the world, in my book!  Yesterday was a sunny, warm, perfect Fall day to head out to Ebey's Prairie for sketching. 

Old tractor at Sherman Farm
Quick stop at the new Coupeville Coffee & Bistro

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lovely Afternoon in Coupeville

It was nice to tackle something simple for a change. This charming scarecrow was standing against the window at Tea & Treasures in Coupeville. It was a very congenial sketching venue, complete with complimentary shortbread from the owner and a view of the very charming Coupeville High School homecoming parade on Front Street.
Next stop, Toby's, for a bite to eat and a glass of wine. These gentlemen sat at a nearby booth.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Big Buffalo

After a civilized afternoon of drinking English tea, listening to classical music and sketching a zen garden it was time to move across the street to sketch something much bolder and wilder.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Catch-up" sketches

 I needed something to demo on Sunday afternoon at Bailey's so I hauled out the sketch I did at the M-C Ranch and added some paint and ink to it.  So it is a little more than a sketch, a little less than a painting.  Pretty happy with it, all in all.  Composition and focal point still a little "centered", but I attempted to fix it with light.  What do you think, Pat?

I also had this one in the pencil/ink stage that I found in the bottom of the old art pack, so it came out and got some paint, too.  This one was from way back at the Compass Rose in Coupeville.  It was an amaryllis on top of a cabinet in that fantastic country kitchen.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mr. South Whidbey 2011

I volunteer as a vote-counter at the raucous Mr. South Whidbey (a fundraiser for Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund) every year. We vote-counters sit at the very back of Freeland Hall tallying up all the "votes" that are cast throughout the evening in the form of dollar bills, scrip, checks, quarters, nickles and dimes.  It's not a great vantage point for sketching the doings on the stage, but I got a couple quick and dirty impressions in my pocket-sized Moleskine.

Brian Plebenek,in drag, belts out a song for the crowd. He didn't win, but he SHOULD have -  if the contest were based on showmanship and heart. A real crowd-pleaser. He gave us a great performance from beginning to end.
Richard Epstein, in the King Tut headdress, was one of the "six-pack boys" collecting votes from the audience in 6-pack cartons. He was a candidate in last year's pageant.

Randy Hudson, Michael McInerny and the Mr. SW candidates entertain the crowd with a song.

The crowd gathers in Freeland Hall before the show begins.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Red Geraniums at Whidbey Island Winery
After a short tutorial from the world famous artist Phyllis Ray, Mary discovered the joy of color. She is now free. This is the resulting masterpiece. Thank you Phyllis. The next glass of wine is on Mary.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Behind the Winery

I "set up shop" over behind the winery by the garden fence and this great "junk" sculpture made out of cast-off, rusty implements.  The vintners were cleaning out the grape vats in preparation for the harvest and it smelled so good back there - very grapey and like wine.  The corn was still high and on the stalks and all the flowers were still in bloom.  There were hollyhocks and dahlias(?) marigolds(?) and some purple flower I didn't know at all.  And there was a lovely marmalade cat . . . . .

Wanings at Whidbey Island Winery

I count us lucky. The weather gods blessed us with one of our last nice days for sketching outdoors. We spent it at Whidbey Island Winery's beautiful park setting. There were peeks of sun and warmth, and with friends and wine, it made for a perfect day.
Besides the nice weather, the light is waning too. I think my Whidbey Island Winery sketch reflects it. I did a silly thing and chose a dark spot under a madrona to focus on.
Here are my sketches for the day...

After the winery Sue and I headed to Mo's for a few more sketches and a burger. I gravitated to the gentleman on the left because of his great profile. Unusual and handsome.
On the right... At times I get tired of drawing the backs of people. Oh well. It becomes more about the medium, light and composition.



Whidbey Island Winery and Mo's

Whidbey Island Winery
Yesterday's sketching was a real treat - a wonderful afternoon spent with new and old friends, a sketchbook, a glass of Whidbey Island White and even a little sunshine! We also had a watercolor demo by Phyllis which led to Mary's big breakthrough. She promised to post it as her first contribution to the blog - stay tuned!
Dahlias and nasturtiums:Whidbey Island Winery
Mos': Mr. Adams works a puzzle

Mo's: A lively conversation about flying