Monday, July 21, 2014

Detail Detective

Last week I helped with a program for kids at the Portland Art Museum. One of the activities was to play "Detail Detective," using 35mm slide frames to hone in on little corners of the artwork as a way to explore and share what you're noticing. We used the "Two Way Street" exhibition of street photography as the venue for this game.


These were my starter-sketches for the activity: pick a slip of paper, see if you can find it in the gallery. All were sketched in advance with the baby kiddo underfoot or in my arms. She loved sitting on the floor and patting the walls of the gallery (especially where the carpeted wall surface transitioned to smooth painted wood.) But she did eventually get impatient, which is only fair. My last little box was drawn while she was straddling one hip, grabbing my nose in her tiny hand, and shaking my head back and forth, back and forth!

Thank you for your patience, baby child. Once you are big enough to not just eat all the art supplies, I do hope that you love doodling as much as I do.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sensible hats and tired feet: #WCsketch

I've put up two posts from the 2nd Annual West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketchcrawl event over at, so I figure I'll drop my last handful of sketches here just for kicks. It was a warm day and I was a little tuckered from the various planning committee duties (still am, in fact--almost typed "wet coat" instead of "west coast" above!) But as we wrapped up the second round of sketchbook sharing in the afternoon, my hands found a new pencil and I found myself whacking out a few more doodles.

Part of the motivation was the fact that Paula's hat was nearly the same vermillion color as the pencil in my hand...

...And sensible summer hats were really such a staple of the sketching toolkit on that very warm summer's day.

Having packed everything up and loaded myself, my gear (too much gear), and the baby onto the city bus, I started to realize how tired the day's adventure had left me. When the kiddo got a bit fussy just two blocks from home, I was only too glad to take a break in a shady spot of overgrown lawn at the local schoolyard. She had a great time tugging on grass flower stalks while I leaned up against the fence, drank the last of my water, and thought, "Whew! What an adventure!"

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fleeting Nature Sketches

The thing with sketching nowadays is that at least 3/4 of my brain is caught up with making sure my curious, semi-mobile infant is only putting awesome things in her mouth while we're out in nature. This weekend I challenged myself to experiment with doing some quick sketches in the full knowledge that I'd have to put the pencil down any moment--here's what I got onto the page.