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



Guy’s Day.

So Hugh and Erik were the only Top Drawers to appear at Allan Brothers on Tuesday.  We had a great conversation, and solved all of the worlds most pressing problems, but not where to meet next week.  Hugh left it to me to decide, and I will, when I send out the email notice…..

Meanwhile, Here’s a selfie with Hugh:img_1111

And Hugh’s wonderful interested in architectural details:img_1112

And my own efforts at reconstructing distant memories:img_1113

Though Ken was not with us at Allan Bros, he was with us in spirit in Umbria, along with several of the TDs:


Alan Brothers Week One

Tuesday, Hugh, Barbara, Jan, and Erik met at the Alan Brothers Coffee Shop on 5th Avenue across the street from the jail.  It was a very pleasant gathering.  Barbara and Hugh arrived first and got right to work;  after getting coffee, of course.


Hugh was drawing an architectural detail of the rail and stair way.


Then Erik and Jan arrived. There was some discussion of which procedure to follow: order a treat and draw it before eating, or just eat it and draw whatever you want.  No decision was made, though Erik went ahead and ate half the treat, which was not great, and would have looked better in a drawing.  But he drew from memory in any case.


And finally, thank you Jan, for taking a few pictures while the primary photographer and organizer is away in Italy!  And going ahead with your own sketch of the woman at the next table.



Where is Everybody?

Well, there was a little confusion over the Top Drawers’ meeting spot this week.  Perhaps it was because so many were on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, toodling around looking at art and sketching.  Only Barb Sommers turned up at our originally determined site–Thistledown Farms–Sorry, Barb!  no pictures yet from her….
At the last minute, Jan Brown and Erik Johnson thought that the New Day Bakery and World Cafe would be warmer and closer, though  only Jan and Hugh showed up!  Erik had other urgent responsibilities to attend to.
So there are a few pictures!

Here’s Hugh at work


And here’s what he’s working on:


And here’s a snap of Jan’s efforts.


And here’s a couple from the hardy travelers!



Creativity Bursting out at Barb’s!

Barbara Shirk’s house, Eugene, OR

allHere’s the crew in Barbara Shirk’s colorful back yard –  in back: Ken, Jan & Barbara Sommers; in front: Sandy, Renata (Heidi’s sister), Heidi, & our wonderful host Barbara Shirk.  (Jane behind camera)

food-1      food-2Barbara tells Ken how she made the brownie-waffles. Jan & Barb So enjoy having tea with theirs, as well as yummy croissants.

barbsh-1       jane-1        jane-2Barbara had a demo of how to use water soluble “dust” (Ken Oliver Crafts – Color Burst, or Colour Craft – Brusho). She used a stencil over the paper, poofed out some color dust, then spritzed it with water to reveal the color – you can fold your book or paper to get a reverse pattern. Then you have a background for sketching! Here’s Barb’s sample first, then Jane’s stencil work (& a stencil still carrying enough wet color to do a 3rd page, upon which she sketched).

barbso-1      barbso-2      barbso-3Here’s Barb So. picking her color “dust”, spritzing the “dust” that’s on top of a stencil, folding her book, then lifting the stencil – ta dah!

b-h-r        hrBarb shows Renata and Heidi what she did, and then they were eager to try it, too.

renata-1      renata-2      heidi-1Barb Sh holds the stencil flat while Renata poofs the “dust” across her stencil and then spritzes it with water. Heidi is tickled with the variegated color effect she got by using different “dusts.”

jan-1      sandy-1Jan really got a vivid effect with her color burst. Sandy took advantaged of the hand held dryer for hers (note Ken in the garden).

ken-1      ken-2      ken-3Meanwhile, Ken was busy sketching in the garden, letting the color and shapes inspire the multi-layered page he’s creating.

jan-2     jan-3     jan-4Barb So enjoyed Jan’s sketch of a nearby colorful pot evolve.

heidi-2     heidi-3The nearby hardy fuchsia’s caught Heidi’s sketching eye.

sandy-renata       sandy-3Sandy & Renata were sketching side by side – here’s Sandy’s sketch of one of the whimsical snail sculptures Barb Sh has in her yard.

sandy-2        renata-3Both Sandy and Renata enjoyed the process of sketching over the top of their colorful stenciled backgrounds, too – the last photo is of Renata’s playful flowers (inspired by the garden). We hope she’ll come back and sketch with us again, although Germany is far away.

Connecting with other sketch artists

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

allNine sketchy artists gathered around tables at 5th St. Market this week – here are Barb Sh, Ken, Rita Cavin, Erik, Jan, Sandy, Sue Ashton, & Carol Schaafsma, with Jane behind the camera.

old-friends        old-3Sue, Carol, & Rita are old painting buddies, who went on the sketch trip to Italy with Ken in 2015. After catching up, everyone was right into sketching (note Sue with scone model – yum!)

ken-barbsh-rita      old-carol_edited-1Sue puts color to her scone sketch, and Carol tackles a perspective challenge, while Barb Sh and Ken talk to Rita  about her painting.

barbsh-1      barbsh-2BarbSh shared her 3-D pop out effort of Carlsbad Caverns – wow!

jan-sandy-1     jan-sandy-2Jan & Sandy, old TD buddies, enjoy chatting, too.

erik-1      erik-2Erik gets a image onto his paper – a familiar (but somewhat sad) sight in Oregon – a clear cut hill. Those stumps really tell the story. Nice to have a sketch of the bright sun behind a forested hill above.

jan-1        jan-2Jan used one of Erik’s water soluble crayons, and that found using a blending brush gave her the texture she was after for background.

danish-1      danish-2Jane and Sandy couldn’t resist the little Cream Cheese Danish with fresh raspberries – purchased solely to sketch, of course. (Yum, yum.)

barbsh-3        ritaBarb Sh adds color to her museum sketch, and Rita shows us her sketch from the cafe across the way. Good to have her, Carol, & Sue with us again. We love the connection among artists.

joby-1    joby-2And speaking of artist connections, here’s our dear TD Joby clear across the world doing what we do, sketching (& biking). In the first photo she’s in Piata Amzei, Bucuresti; the second sketch is of Stjarisu, Transylvania, Romania. Thanks to her fabulously fit biking husband Jim for the photos. We love having artist support staff.

Sketching what’s in and what’s out

Barry’s Deli, Eugene, OR

Our meetings often start with catching up…

pre-Barb-1      pre-Barb-2      pre-SandyBarb Sh’s sketchbook included a “perhaps finished” David Helphand concert at the masoleum, as well as the courtroom of a recently observed trial. Sandy added her backyard ceramic tree & stone fountain to the sketch of the fellow she did last week.

Erik-1     Erik-2Erik was a good example of how yes, you can appreciate the fine pastries at Barry’s and still turn out a stunning masterpiece.

box-Jane          box-PennyJane resisted immediate gratification (surprise!) by sketching her magic bar first. Fast. Penny got to sketch the empty container (and don’t you like the loose watercolor of a flower she did previously?).

box-Sandy-1       box-Sandy-2Sandy got a different angle on the box, with untouched treat.

Ken-2       Ken-3Ken started sketching the trees outside, then some studies of Jane.

Jane-tools-Penny      Jane-toolsPenny did a sketch of Jane, too, along with her tools, which Jane was busy sketching, too (here with the actual mini-palette on display).

Barb-1      Barb-2Barb Sh told Jane now she needed a hand reaching with brush into the palette, and proceeded to demonstrate hand sketching. Nice!