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Irrepressible Sketchers Hang Show

Emerald Art Center, 500 Main, Springfield, OR

We were invited to hang a show of our work to help others visualize the joy of sketching, and the group didn’t hesitate to pull it together despite weather woes. The show will be up Jan. 10- Feb. 4, but our opening reception is Friday, Jan. 13, 7:30-8:30 – join us!

Here’s an overview shot of how the show appears in the upper gallery at the Emerald Art Center.

   Artists showing work  on these walls are: Jane Harrison, Anne Bonine, Erik Johnson, Joby Patterson, Patti McNutt, Barbara Sommers, Hugh Larkin;

      Hugh Larkin,  Jan Brown, Barbara Aten, Tricia Clark-McDowell, Satoko Motouji;

   Phyllis Helland, Sandy Larkin, Ken O’Connell, Jane Harrison.  Also included in the show but not pictured here is Penny McAvoy.

     Penelope gives some feedback to Hugh, our master hanger, on how level the pieces are, then Hugh steps back to admire the show.

Happy sketch hangers: Sandy Larkin, Penelope Youngfeather, Hugh Larkin, Barb Sommers, Jan Brown. Not shown here but helping out with the labeling, glass cleaning, frame straightening and general enthusiam were Ken O’Connell, Penny McAvoy, & Jane Harrison.

Come see our show!

We Always Keep On Sketching!

While the blogger may get bogged down, the Top Drawers never let anything stop them from meeting to sketch – not bad weather, impending holidays, nor visiting guests (we just bring the latter along!). So here’s a catch-up posting:

Dec. 13, 2016, 5th St. Market, Eugene, OR


Dec. 20, 2016, 5th St. Market, Eugene, OR



Dec. 27, 2016, New Day Bakery/World Cafe, Eugene, OR




Jan. 3, 2017, New Day Bakery/World Cafe, Eugene, OR





And there you have it!

The Faces Change, But the Game Goes On!

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

all-1     all-2We all enjoyed gathering downstairs at the Market & using the big table, but it was a changeable crowd (as usual): Judith, Ken, Hugh, Erik, Sandy, Barb So, Penelope, Heidi, and Tricia in these shots.

berry-sandy-1   berry-jane-1   berry-barbso-1_edited-1Sandy brought a berry sprig, which she, Jane, and Barb So sketched.

hu-e-1    hu-e-2    hu-3Hugh and Erik made fast work of their sketches at the table end.

bearclaw-k      bearclaw-sAnd then there were the bear claw pastries – Tricia was agog at Ken’s rendition, while Sandy was busy sketching Ken’s pastry!

tricia-cal    tricia-2   tricia-3Tricia shared the calendar she made of her Sicily sketches, then got caught up in sketching the wine cork swags above the wine bar.

ban-k-1     ban-k-2     ban-k-3Meanwhile, Ken was busy sketching his banana, going darker.

ban-sandy-1         ban-sandy-2Then Sandy got involved in the banana sketch mania, too.

barba-water    barba-2    barba-3Barb A came sneaking in with the water container her grandkids gave her for hiking – perfect for water color wherever she is!

judith-1   pe-h-t   pe-2Judith was sketching the display across from her. Penelope, Heidi, & Tricia were too busy to talk. Then Penelope decided she should do a sketch from where she was currently sitting – Provisions!

h-phyl-1    h-2    h-3Heidi was bemoaning having a colorful bag but only a black & white sketch. Tricia offered her travel palette & water brush – color on!

phyl-1       phyl-2Phyllis joined us late, but not too late to sketch what she saw!

How do you sketch that?

Perugino, Eugene, OR

all-1      all-2From one end of the table to the other: Heidi, Ken, Jan, Hugh, Erik; Judith, Jan, Hugh, Barb So, Patti. But it was kind of musical chairs!

heidi-1    heidi-2   heidi-3Heidi started out the sketching query – she had done a sketch of her grandson, but now wondered how to do it white on black, which Ken was eager to demonstrate, and Heidi eager to try techniques.

e-1    e-2    e-3Erik was back with us after recuperating from a detached retina. A bubble was put in his eye to push the retina back in  place so it could be laser stitched, & the bubble will take awhile to dissipate – here’s what it looks like when he looks through it, he said. Wow.

jan-1    jan-2    jan-3Jan started sketching wine bottles and Jane loaned her the use of her Qor watercolors to see how they’d work – nice bright colors!

hugh-1        hugh-2Hugh is red-green color blind, and was asked how he knows what colors to use where. People tell him what colors things are, and his tools are all labeled accordingly. Clever guy!

patti-judith      pattiAt the foot of the table, Judith was asking Heidi & Patti for sketching advice, and here’s Patti showing how to sketch a container.

p-1        p-2Penelope came in with Thanksgiving day sketches, said she realized she hadn’t sketched food in awhile, and got to work on biscotti!

jane-1          jane-2Jane was intrigued with the decorations at Perugino, and her sketch went clear across the page fold! Here it is with watercolor added.

penguin-bso       penguin-hughBarb So. and Hugh were looking at a decoration at the other end of the table, & here are their versions. Yes, it’s a penguin there!

A Newcomer’s View of What We Do

Perugino, Eugene, OR

all-1Judith Musick is a newcomer to our group, and wondered what we do and how we do it – here Barb Sh starts showing her, while Hugh and Barb So discuss our upcoming sketch show, Jan. ’17 at EAC.

barbsh-judith     barbsh-peopleBarb Sh shows her how her sketch pages grow organically. Then here’s her response to Judith’s query, “do you ever draw people?”

p-1    p-2And speaking of drawing people, here’s Penelope drawing Satoko.

sat-1    sat-2    sat-3And here’s Satoko taking up the challenge to draw Penelope!

jane-1    jane-2Jane demonstrated the ever popular sketch topics of what you’re eating, & what photos you’ve taken (note: her guy has been eating.)

judith-1     judith-2Meanwhile, Judith takes on 2 honored topics: tools & each other.

hugh-1      hugh-2Hugh’s been a good model for Judith, while he sketches a scene he caught on some paving stones, complete with autumn leaves.

barba-1-hugh    barba-2Barb A came by to show us how she’s been finishing up her sketches from Sicily – should she add color to the window or not???

judith-3        p-mapDoes anyone ever draw maps, Judith wondered, looking at a wall poster. Maps! Penelope is the queen of map making in sketchbooks!


And then Satoko topped off the meeting by showing her PowerPoint presentation of the Italy sketch trip in Sept. 2016.  Let’s go again!


5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

1       2Have to keep your eye sharp to follow the changing participants, not to mention the changing focus of attention! Can you find them? Barb So, Ken, Jan, Barb A, Hugh, Pierre, Barb Sh, Penny, Patti…and more!

ken       barbshKen was dutifully (& tardily) sketching his fabulous cinnamon roll, and Barb Sh was completing her medieval scene sketch.

pierre      hughPierre tried adding water to his soluble crayon sketch, while Hugh sketched the coffee machine behind him.

pen       triciaPenelope continued on her search to find joy in her sketchbooks, and Tricia took up the persimmon challenge. Speaking of which:

per-1       per-pattiPatti brought a persimmon for our visual pleasure, and here are Barb So, Penny, and Patti diving into the capture.

per-barbso       per-pennyHere are the finished sketches by Barb So, and by Penny.

per-tricia       per-janeHere’s Tricia’s persimmon, and Jane’s ink sketch.

x-0And when the persimmon furor abated, art discussion was full on.

x-1           x-2What were Jan, Barb A., Joby, Hugh (& Jane) discussing? An upcoming TD show! (More on that later. ) Then with Penelope’s arrival, it was back to art tools and looking at each other’s work.

Sketching Present and Past

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

1     2We were back at 5th St. Market, but in a different part of the upstairs – Hugh, Ken, Erik; Pierre vR and his granddaughter Kylie.

3      4Kylie and Pierre fit right in and got right down to sketching – Kylie doing window perspective, and Pierre the three guys at table end.

5      6Penelope showed up with a cluster of political buttons which she intended to sketch, & Erik had do get a closeup photo of one.

erik      hughErik began one of his spectacular autumn scenes, and Hugh  sketched an intriguing building from his travels using his iPad .

ken      ken-2Ken caught us up on his accordion sketchbook developments since his trip to Italy – he’d added some watercolor and details – lovely!

jane           barb-1Jane, sitting across from Kylie, was intrigued with the bistro lighting above her. Barb A started adding to her darling donkey sketch.

sicily“Now tell us about the trip to Sicily,” Ken said. Penelope started with the map, while Barb A added a chicken to her Sicily sketch.

sicily-2        sicily-3But wait, there’s more! Barb delighted us with sharing more of her Sicily sketches, too. What a marvelous way to savor the trip.

Catching Up and Sketching On

Full City Coffee, Eugene, OR

allWhat did we do before the days of technology! We’d planned to meet at a new coffee-tea shop, but turns out it doesn’t open until 11:00! Since we meet at 9:30, we texted folks & went over to Full City – here’s Barb A, Hugh, Tricia, Barb Sh, and Penelope.

barbsh-1         barbsh-2Barb Sh caught us up on her extension tour after LaRomita with Ken, showing quick sketches done while the tour guide droned on.

barbsh-jane   todi-janepierreThen we compared sketches of the same place done by different sketchers – the Basilica in Assisi (Jane, & Barb Sh), and the Duomo in Todi (Jane, & Pierre van Rysselberghe – welcome to the group!)

hugh-pierre      hugh-janeHere’s Pierre next to Hugh, and here’s how Hugh’s sketch of the place developed (along with Jane’s start of her chocolate croissant).

p-1-barba     barba-1Penelope came with her sketchbook from Sicily, and Barb A was busy sketching a donkey from the same trip. Delightful!

p-2       p-3Here are some examples of the sketchbook Penelope put together. The rings allow her to add half pages. And look at the tiny vignettes!

tricia-1    tricia-2    tricia-3Tricia had sketches from the recent mushroom festival, and referring to her photos, filled in the rest of the page. Yummy!

barbsh-4           p-4And lest you think that all they did was talk, here’s the sketching evidence for Barb Sh & Penelope. Sketch on!

Travel Journals Take Precedence!

Whole Foods Market, Eugene, OR

all-1We were in a new place with many of us having just returned from travels, so it was a bit of a scramble around the table: Tricia, Erik, Hugh, Ken, Satoko, Phyllis and Barbara Aten (Jane behind camera).

book-venice-hugh    book-angelasJane brought back some books – one on how Venice was built (Hugh especially like the sketches), and one by our sketch friend in Rome, Angela Maria Russo, with her sketches of the “beasts” of Rome.

all-2-sicily-sat-map     all-3Then we were into the travel journal sharing – Satoko started with showing her cover map of Sicily, and then her watercolor sketches.

sicily-erik-hugh     sicily-barba-ken-triciaErik & Hugh enjoyed paging through Satoko’s journals, while Ken got busy asking Barb A & Tricia about their experiences in Sicily.

sicily-barba    tricia-sicilyBarb A & Tricia had a hard time choosing their favorite sketches.

rome-erik-barbso       umbria-sat-phyl-barbaBarb So slipped in to see Satoko’s sketch done in Rome, while Satoko, Phyllis, & Barb A looked at Jane’s opening sketch in Umbria.

days-phyllis        days-satBoth Phyllis and Satoko had done daily mini-sketches with text about the day’s events (a favorite tool of teacher Winnie Givot).

tuscany-phyllis     tricia-sketchingWe all enjoyed seeing Phyllis’ sketch from Tuscany (remember this view?), but Tricia was the only one who did any sketching today!

Good Times on West 11th

Erik arrived early, but could only stay a few minutes because of a Doctors appointment (which was turned out fine), and grabbed the only table that was open, next to the window. Hugh and Sandy showed up very soon, and started sketching as soon as Erik left, after catching up a little socially.


Hugh decided to work from a digital photo of a memorable event: Sandy bicycling along the road on one of the terrific adventures.


Looks like Sandy was drawing from a photo as well!
Good job!



A mother at the next table drew our attention.  she had the sweetest little girl with her.


And food, of course!


Jan drawing some decorations in the coffee Shop