Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sketching Nirvana and Weaving Frenzy

Just spent three very full days sketching in Portland with 80 'Urban Sketchers' from all over the world who met here for the 1st Annual International Sketching Symposium! It was fabulous....based at the the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland's Pearl District, we roamed the streets with sketchbooks in hand, heard lectures from instructors from as far away as Singapore, Barcelona, and Naples, and were saturated with inspirational camaraderie. My first sketch was in pen and ink, but by the end of the three days I had loosened up and was working in ink and watercolor. It was such fun to sketch with other people and to see all the myriad styles and techniques.... what a group of talented people! I am still on overload.

I now have half a dozen sketch books, pens, and watercolors that were given to all the participants from the generous symposium sponsors. Can't wait to try out all of the new materials ! I'm also anxious to go back down to Portland to sketch with the local Urban Sketch group... but life here at Cloudrest tends to get in the way! (my vegie garden, the vineyard, the new puppy, etc)

This sketch of the college was done by Susanne Cabrera, one of the many talented people at the July symposium. It was interesting that many of the sketchers knew each other from the Internet after visiting each others blogs for years ... like pen pals who finally meet, the excitement of actually being able to sit down and sketch with that person who you admired, and who lived across the world, was palpable.

Each day we broke into small groups of 10-15 and went out with the various instructors to draw around the city. On the last afternoon, Tia, from Singapore, took our group, 'Urban Color',  to the Saturday Market on the PSU campus. Needless to say, we all hated to see it end!

Earlier in the month I took a 2 day workshop at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology out on the Oregon coast.  Fred and Lucca came and we rented a cabin on Cascade Head, where we were surrounded by Fir and Sitka Spruce and a view of the ocean....a recipe for relaxation! This was a two day weaving class, and I had the experience of working on a small table loom. My final product was a 6 foot long table runner, which I barely had time to finish! Of course, now I have to find time for more weaving .....

Three of us in the class decided to paint the warp threads for our projects, which created different effects depending on what color yarns were used for the weft. The blue yarn I chose was unravelled (frogged) from a silk-wool sweater! Lots of recycled materials were used.

So now that Summer is speeding by.... it makes me wish for a few more days in the week. Our puppy, Lucca, definitely brought warm days and a wagging tail with him! Besides nearly tripling his weight since we brought him home in late June, ( from 11.5 lbs to 29 lbs) he is investigating nearly every crevice and twig on the property. He especially seems to like going to the concerts at Oak Knoll Winery, and playing with our grandson, Brayden. He recently was introduced to Baxter, their Brindle Boxer and the two of them got along great.

 Can't beat that for a happy ending ! What will August bring?