Ten Year Celebration for Top Drawers!

Eugene, OR

Ten years ago there was a sketch trip to Italy with Ken O’Connell:

the Crew

When we came back to Eugene, we formed Top Drawers, and have been meeting every Tuesday morning to sketch together ever since.

TEN YEARS! That calls for a party! We invited the original group plus new friends who have joined us over the years – celebrate!

group-1   group-2


Ken-Cathy   BarbA-Ken

BarbSH-Nancy     Joby-Lynn

T-BarbSN-T     T-Satoko-T

            Jane                       Lynn-J


cake-2      cake-3      cake-4

Nancy-Joby     Nancy-Ken-Lynn

posterFrom our first group art show at Full City Coffee/Palace Bakery.

What, Me Worry?

Friendly St. Market, Eugene, OR

Jane, our blog editor, was off this week helping at a workshop at Emerald Art Center, so members of the group stepped up to do the picture taking for the blog.

allAs you can see, no one was taking this too seriously with Ken behind the camera – Jan, Sandy, Satoko, Penelope.

Jan-phototakingThen Jan was pressed into photo taking, apparently with lots of commentary from the peanut gallery (see below):

Sandy-Ken-1       Sandy-Ken-2

Pen-Ken-2     PenPenelope & Ken crack up at a quip, then Penelope gets to appreciated the decorated envelopes Ken created.

Satoko-KenSatoko & Ken share a thoughtful moment – guess it wasn’t all laughs.

Erik-1    Erik-2And Erik didn’t get so carried away that he couldn’t add to his sketchbook – what a trooper!

Friends At Friendly

Friendly St. Market, Eugene, OR

Erik-JanErik and Jan can get very intense when they come to Top Drawers.

Erik-1       Erik-2Erik is frequently the first to arrive, and he already had this image in him mind, so it didn’t take long for him to get it down on paper.

Jan-1    Jan-2    Jan-3The flowers & guy at the table across from us caught Jan’s eye; she used Erik’s colors and Jane’s water brush for her terrific sketch.

begonia     JaneThere were pots of delicate begonias on the table, which Jane couldn’t resist (no surprise there!).

Penny-1    Penny-2   Penny-3Penny started out with ink, lifted some watercolor, and ended with a loose splash of the sunflowers from across the street – wow!

BarbSo-1   BarbSo-2   BarbSo-3Barb So. only had a short time to devote, wondered how much she could get done, zeroed in on getting the right color and shazam!

Sanctuary Sketching

Cortesia Sanctuary, Eugene, OR

Just Jane & Tricia were able to go sketching together today, as the others were busy with commitments or travel. But we enjoyed it.

Cortesia-1         Cortesia-2Here are two of the little welcome statues that greet you when you explore the Cortesia Sanctuary grounds, Tricia’s pride & joy.

Tricia-1       Tricia-2When Jane mentioned she didn’t bring her brush pen, Tricia showed her a sketch she had done with one, & both agreed the line was very bold. Then Tricia said she’d decided to start using her fold-out book.

Jane-1          Jane-CortesiaJane tried not to get overwhelmed with the place (& with her tools – she used her Lamy pen with water soluble ink, an Elegant Writer felt tip pen (water soluble) with watercolor, then her trusted Micron Pigma permanent ink pen, and watercolor on graphite outline).

Tricia-3        Tricia-4Tricia confessed that she’d avoided doing the fold-out sketchbook thinking she’d never finish it. Now she’s thinking she’ll do one for Spring & Summer at Cortesia, and another for Autumn & Winter!

Cortesia-3       Cortesia-4

Here are two new structures at Cortesia (courtesy of Tricia’s husband Forest) – an arbor into the garden, and a “tool shed” – really! It’s going to have a viewing platform on the top, too. Delightful.

Flowers, Food, Folks and Foreign Lands

Vero Espresso House, Eugene, OR

allHere’s nearly all who were there in the sunny courtyard from the left around: Satoko, Joby, Sandy, Tricia, Barb Sh, Erik, & Joby’s Jim.

Joby-share-1      Joby-share-2Satoko takes a look at Joby’s sketchbook from her recent travels.

Joby-share-3      Joby-share-penIn addition to her expressive sketches of people, Joby showed us her newest favorite sketching pen – from Czechoslovakia!

BarbSh-1      BarbSh-2At the other end of the table, Barb Sh spied a pot of flowers.

Jane-lilies    Jane-lilies-3   Jane-lilies-2Here are the lilies Jane saw, her hasty sketch, and a cleaned version.

Erik-lily-1   Erik-lily-2   Erik-jimErik sketched lilies, too, then shared a snack & chat with Jim (who regaled us with stories of his bike accidents! No more, Jim.)

Sandy-1    Sandy-2Sandy started out with a lily, too, then on to Erik’s apple pie – yum.

BarbSo-1        BarbSo-2Barb So stopped by for a few moments, and shared her latest sketch.

Tricia-1    Tricia-2Tricia had to take the low chair, and it’s good she typically sketches in her lap! Here’s her view across the courtyard at Vero.

Satoko-1    Satoko-2Satoko got in some sketch time, too – a pen & ink view of Barb Sh and the people on the deck behind her.

Who Needs Coffee & Conversation when you can Sketch!

Vero Espresso House, Eugene, OR

all-1    all-2We enjoyed gathering under the umbrellas (although there was neither rain nor sun) to sketch at Vero. From the left: Sandy, Erik, Jan, & Penny. Next photo: Ken, Penelope, Erik. (You can see Jane’s preliminary composite sketch in the middle of the table.)

Jane-1    Jane-2Here’s how Jane’s quick composite sketch evolved. She claims the secret is in not taking anything too seriously! (She also swears she will never purchase another 70 lb. paper sketchbook – too flimsy.)

BarbSo-1     BarbSo-2Barb So came, too – here are her updates on prior sketches – sweet!

BarbSo-3     Penelope-2Then Barb showed her trick for doing straight lines, while Penelope pondered how to get fireworks to show up on her prior sketch.

Ken-1    ErikKen & Erik a long time sketching pals – look at Erik’s rich colors!

Ken-2    Ken-3Ken chose to sketch what was in front of him, of course – Erik, and a strikingly colored petunia.

Sandy-1      Sandy-2Sandy started sketching the guy over Erik’s shoulder, who then put on his hat and left mid-sketch! So she sketched Erik instead. Too.

Penny-1   Penny-2   Penny-3Penelope didn’t waste any sketch time – first a quick pencil guideline, then into watercolor, and on to capturing that elusive bluejay. Yay!

A Rose is a Rose Until it Isn’t

Owen Rose Garden, Eugene, OR

g-rose-1       gazebo       G-rose-2It certainly started out with roses! Even the gazebo had them.

BarbSh-1    BarbSh-2    BarbSh-3Barb Sh immediately started adding the old fashioned roses to her page with the bird over the stenciled feathers – perfect! Will the rest of the group sketch roses, too???

E-P-1        E-3Penny McAvoy, new to the TDs, sat next to Erik, and got right into it. When Erik revealed his sketches he’d tried water on the background of the flowers (new for him!), and then got into another foggy scene.

P-1     P-2     P-3While Penny is new to our group, she dove right in, sketching that challenging gazebo (ack! those angles!), and a joyous cardoon.

Jane-1      Jane-2     Jane-3Jane sketched the cardoon and tried the gazebo roof angles, too.

BarbSo               Penelope-1  Barb So stopped by to share her sketch of her neighbor’s hydrangeas, and Penelope a sketch of the recent Olympic Trials.

Penelope-2        Penelope-3Then Penelope started sketching… what… ink.. and watercolor washes… keep coming back, it’s going to be last night’s fireworks!

So, roses not so much. But we had a great day sketching together.

Shady Doings – What Sketchbook # Are You On?

New Day Bakery/World Cafe, Eugene, OR

allAfter waiting for sun, here we are in the shade! (Predicted: 82º) Tricia, BarbSh, Sandy, Penelope, and Jane behind the camera.

Manda-1          Manda-2Barb’s daughter Manda Severin is the artist for The Meriwethers (who do a singing act about Lewis & Clarke) – here’s the latest song book she’s put together, which Tricia (being a Clarke descendant) also appreciates. Sorry about the shade making pages seem blue.

Jane-1    Jane-2    Jane-3Jane got right into sketching the day lily Sandy brought for inspiration. She’s now in sketchbook #32b; sketching since 2006.

Sandy-1    Sandy-2    Sandy-3Sandy was excited to finish this sketchbook (sketchbook #42, since 2008), and had fun doing multiple sketches of the day lily.

BarbSh-1     BarbSh-2     BarbSh-3Barb’s sketches slowly emerge from the one before (so she’s “just” on sketchbook #22, started in 2010) – this page was a feather stencil, watercolor grains sprinkled then spritzed, and now a bird sketch.

Sandy-PenelopePenelope joined us, ready to work on her sketch from the Solstice.

P-1    P-2    P-3First a light sketch of trees, a light wash, then bring on the color! She’s on sketchbook #42, began sketching in 1968.

Tricia-1            Tricia-2

Tricia’s sketchbook pages typically evolve over time, too – these vignettes are from today. Who knows how many sketchbooks she’s filled? She doesn’t know! She says she started sketching in 1997.

I’d say Sandy wins for sheer volume/time, but our beloved leader, Ken O’Connell is on sketchbook #87. Or #88. Or…


Sketching at Hideaway in the Sun

Hideaway Bakery, Eugene, OR

all-panoA chance to sit in the sun brought a lot of us out to our gathering at the Hideaway Bakery Tuesday moring: Barb So, Erik, Jan, Sandy, Penelope, Barb Sh, and Ken’s old friend Mike stopped by, too.

Ken-1    Ken-2Ken got there early, as did Erik, hence the requisite sketch of the requisite model. When he showed Jan his self-portrait, he explained that we tend to portray ourselves as younger than we are. We like it.

Ken-3       Ken-4Ken had just done a sketch workshop with some 4th graders at Gilham Elem., and shared the thank you sketches they did for him.

P-kids   P-garden page   P-solsticePenelope also had children’s art in her sketchbook from a recent trip, along with some full page art projects (& solstice sketches!).

Mike-1     Mike-2An old friend of Ken’s, Mike showed up to sketch with us, too.

BarbSo-1   BarbSo-2   BarbSo-3Quietly in a corner, Barb So was sketching in her lap, so surreptitiously that her model didn’t even know. Ta dah!

Trish-1   Trish-2   Trish-3Tricia is often a lap sketcher, too, which helps when you’re on a ferry trying to capture passing scenery! This from a  Whidby Island trip.

Jane-1   Jane-2   Jane-3Jane was busy sketching some of the people across the courtyard, but then her models got up & left! So the brief sketch is all she had.

Jan-1    Jan-2    Jan-3Jan was concentrating on the people across the table from her…first the gal on the left, then our own Sandy in sunglasses!

Sandy-1     Sandy-2And across the table, Sandy was sketching Mike and Jan.  Ha!

BarbSh-1     BarbSh-2     BarbSh-3What will Barb Sh add to her doggie page…ah, a sketch of her father from a remembered photo prior to his leaving for military service. What a nice remembrance to do for Father’s Day.

Erik-1   Erik-2    Erik-3Meanwhile, Erik (remember Erik?) was finishing yet another sketch of the sky and trees – look how he brings depth to the sky! Wow.

Sharing Tips at Hideaway

Hideaway Bakery, Eugene, OR

PanoramaPatti McNutt is behind the camera doing a panoramic shot!  In addition, present were Jane, Erik, Ann Tiegen, Sandy, & Barb Sh.

Erik, Ann-1     Erik, Ann-2Erik and Ann discover they both like to use artist’s crayons, and here they’re comparing water soluble and oil base versions.

Sandy, Barb, Patti          Patti's gouacheAcross the table, Sandy, Barb Sh, and Patti talk about Patti’s recent trip to Italy, where she happily used gouache (Talens brand) paint. She says that by using the Sta-Wet palette the paint never dried out!

Erik's sketch     Sandy's sketchHere’s Erik’s sketch of Patti, and Sandy sketching Erik!

Patti-1     Patti-2Patti started sketching a planter at Hideaway, then added context.

BarbSh-1     BarbSh-2The bakery is a dog friendly place, so Barb Sh took advantage of the available models! Lovely completed sketches in a short time.

Jane-1         Jane-2Jane brought a model from home to sketch – here’s how the sketch evolved from pencil to pen to watercolor. Such a nice time by all.