Vero — week 1

Top Drawers met at Vero cafe Tuesday, for the first time in quite a while.  Jane arrived early and left a couple items after a pleasant conversation, on her way to a necessary massage in preparation for her long long journey to Europe.  So, after we had all been working and talking for a while, the newly appointed photographer remembered he was supposed to get some pictures, so here are Barbara Summers, Barbara Shirk, Jan Brown, Penelope Youngfeather, and Sandy Larkin proudly displaying their pictures, of which Erik totally spaced getting photos.


Jane did return from a short absence to say goodbye to everyone, and Erik did manage to snap a parting shot.


After which, Jane took the camera and added another picture of the happy group, and the delinquent photographer, who promises to do a better job next week at Vero again.


A Bevy of Barbs

Inn at the 5th, Eugene, OR

Sandy-1     BarbSN-1 Barb Sommer sketches at the table with Sandy while Barb Shirk shows photos of her daughter’s painting, then Barb Stevens-Newcomb tells the story of her sketch which came from a dream.

Sandy-2    Inn-Jane“They’re all BARBS!” Sandy chortled; except her and Jane, of course.

BarbSo-1   BarbSo-2   BarbSo-3Barb So shared her sketch from last week (which included Jane’s sandal), then started an Inn sketch across from the sketch of her dog.

BarbSh-1   BarbSh-2   BarbSh-3Barb Sh had a faint dragonfly outline already, then added a pot of flowers, and finally some juicy blackberries. Next week: dragonfly!

BarbSN-2   BarbSN-3Barb SN is trying the effects of water brush on her watercolor pencils, then broke down to go for it with watercolor wet on wet.

Seeing Red

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR

We weren’t seeing red because of the wildfires all about us this summer (although that continues to be a concern), but rather were colored by the plethora of red umbrellas protecting us from the sun!

Sandy-2,Erik,Jan     Pene,BarbSN, Jan,Sandy, Erik, Jan (& Jane behind the camera) were the first to arrive. Later Barb Stevens-Newcomb and Penelope Youngfeather joined us.

BarbSN-2      BarbSN-3Barb showed us the progress she’s making on her colored pencil rendition of a turtle…now with a rider! What’s the story???

Pene-class      JanePenelope couldn’t stay – she was off to teach her class on “Art and the Travel Journal,” inspired by Ken O’Connell (pictured on her teaching notebook), while Jane sketched the couple across the way.

BarbSo-Erik   BarbSo-son_edited-1Barb Sommers brought a sketch of Erik in his signature hat, as well as the skyline surrounding her son’s place in Seattle – very clever!

Erik-1       Erik-2Erik (in the aforementioned hat) sketched his favorite patio tree, this time with the pole behind it, & pot of flowers in front.

Jan-1   Jan-2   Jan-3Jan was mesmerized by the graphic patterning in the patio chairs and table; adding the pot of flowers behind made them pop!

Sandy-3   Sandy-4   Sandy-5Sandy started out with Jan’s chair challenge, sketched Erik’s 2nd cinnamon roll, Jane’s sandal, the showed us her sketches from the bridge bike ride in Portland she & her husband Hugh did – exciting!

Sandy,Tricia,Erik Then Tricia sneaked into the conversation with Sandy (nothing disturbs Erik from his focus!).

Tricia-1   Tricia-3Here are Tricia’s latest sketches from her travels about Oregon.

Coolin’ It at Cortesia

Cortesia Sanctuary, in the woods outside Eugene, Oregon

1-CortesiaWelcome to Tricia Clark-McDowell’s world – Cortesia. We were all so pleased to be here in the cool green forest.

Share-BarbNS       share-Pene-1Barbara Stevens-Newcomb started the sharing with a colored pencil sketch she’d done in a class, and Penelope showed us leaf rubbings she’d done on tissue paper then glued to her sketchbook.

share-Pene-2   share-TriciaShe also shared a scene from her garden with Sharon Heinz, Barb Aten, and Tricia; then she looked more closely at Tricia’s sketchbook.

Tricia-1    Tricia-2Tricia and Sharon got busy sketching – here’s Tricia’s final sketch.

Sharon-1      Sharon-2Sharon was fascinated with the colorful coleus – she liked her outline sketch but what to do to capture the vivid colors? She got lots of suggestions from the group about how to add intensity & values.

BarbA-1      BarbA-2Barb Aten listens intently to Satoko’s comments, then gets her watercolors out to try her hand at the coleus leaf, too.

Satoko-1     Satoko-2Satoko scolded Jane – “You moved!” But despite the models refusing to hold still, she finished her sketch of three artists at the table.

Jane-1      Jane-2And Jane really was sketching, too – here’s her page about Cortesia.

Pene-1   Pene-2   Pene-3Penelope started with Tricia (across the table from her) and quickly added more people from around the table to her sketchbook.

Sandy-1   Sandy-2   Sandy-3Sandy had the perfect challenge – a blank sketchbook page! So she started by doing the replication challenge, and then to taking a photo of Tricia’s monk statue which may be replicated in clay soon!


Henry Poses Amidst the Red Umbrellas

Marché Café, Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum, UO Campus

Even though the red umbrellas cast a ruddy color on our paper, we were grateful for the shade in the sunny courtyard, as well as for Henry the Pug, who cheerfully posed for us:

ErikSandyHenry Sandy and Erik look on as Henry’s owner enjoys his morning coffee.

Sandy-Henry-1    SandyHenry-2Sandy does several preliminary sketches of the dog, then gives herself a break by sketching Erik, and then Henry comes to life!

AnneSatoko    Satoko-dog+Anne Teigen found another dog in the courtyard to draw, and Satoko Motouji started sketching people as well as the dog Henry.

Anne-Henry     JaneHenryAnne said she was looking for painting inspiration in her sketch; Jane was just happy to get that curly tail and pug nose captured.

Tricia-1     Tricia-HenryTricia starts with the dog owner, and then sketches Henry in several doggy poses – he is a cutie, for sure!

P & S       P - testPenelope shows Satoko her new sketchbook – but will the ink bleed? NO! Oh boy, another sketching tool to add to the collection!

Penelope-1       Barry's-Jane's PagePenelope shows the sketch she did in a colorful garden, and Jane shows her “completed” sketch page from last week at Barry’s.

Pene-class   Pene-class2Penelope shared information about the upcoming class she’s teaching at Oregon Art Supply – yay for encouraging sketching!

ErikAlex   Erik   AlexMeanwhile, what are Erik & Jane’s grandson Alex up to? Erik is fascinated by the sculpture across the courtyard in the bamboo, and Alex is fascinated by doing Erik’s name in calligraphy!

Lack of Sun No Deterrent to Sketching!

Barry’s, Eugene, OR

1-allDespite the unusual cloud cover (we’ve gotten spoiled by the sun!), eight of us gathered to sketch together in the courtyard at Barry’s – Barbara Sommers, Barbara Shirk, Jan, Penelope, Erik, Sandy, Tricia (& Jane behind the camera).

Erik-1      Erik-2Here are the early birds, fast at it: Jan, the two Barbs, & Erik – on the right you see how quickly Erik develops his sketch in layers.

Jan-1       Jan-2Jan had her eye on the Black-eyed Susans – check back to see more.

BarbSo-1        BarbSo-2Barb Sommers used a frame (left) to chose her images, and on the right you see how the sketch came to life.

BarbSh-1      BarbSh-2Barb Shirk had her eye on a couple across the courtyard, and here’s how that sketch took on additional depth & color.

trio-1      SandyWe love it when we’re somewhere that allows us to pull up another table to accommodate more sketchers – here’s Sandy, Tricia, and Penelope, with Sandy’s emerging sketch of the Black-eyed Susans.

Tricia       PenelopeTricia is working on adding value to a previous sketch, and Penelope added her morning quiche to a sketch of a prior jazz performance.

Jane-1    Jane-2    Jane-bikeJane’s page became a series of vignettes – across the street way above people’s heads in the photo on the left is the wiring graphic, and on the right is Sandy’s fabulous Bike Friday bike.

Later that night, Jane made a presentation at the Emerald Art Center about her book “A Year of Daily Gratitude Sketches.” She’s holding her original sketch pages, with a PowerPoint on screen.


Dappled Sun Sketching

Barry’s, Eugene, OR

2-Pen-1   3-Pen-2Hanna Yoshimura is back with us from Japan, and Penelope got a kick out of showing her the bird & map she drew from her trip to HI.

1-BarbSh-SharonMeanwhile, Sharon Heinz & Barb Shirk have a chat about tools.

Hanna-1   Hanna-2Hanna got right into the swing of things, sketching her breakfast treat, and then adding on to her sketch journal page.

Pen-3    Pen-4Penelope followed suite, adding today’s treat to one from last week.

BarbSh-1    BarbSh-2    BarbSh-3Barbara had us baffled, but slowly her mother’s fountain emerged.

Sharon-1   Sharon-2   Sharon-3Sharon was working on sketches from her weekend trip to the coast, where Hanna will be next week for the annual Sandgren paint out.

Erik-1    Erik-2   Erik-3Erik was busy layering his colors – zow! It’s Barbara!

all-Hanna,Jane     Hanna-wallSo here’s how the table was laid out in the courtyard, missing… Hanna sitting on the wall’s edge to add more to her sketch, and…
Jane-Erik    Jane-2Jane, chuckling with Erik, while she adds strange designs and applies an even stranger sticker she liberated from the side of the building.

Count on Ken

San Francisco, CA

While the rest of us were all caught up in dealing with the heat, family and visitors, and all kinds of projects, our  teacher, mentor, and friend Ken O’Connell was busy sketching while out of town.

Workshop notes




from 8th floor WORLDMARK, SFO


Fisherman's Warf

What a treat (& incentive!) to have him share! Thanks! We’ll be back at it next week.

Summery Sketching

New Day Bakery courtyard, Eugene, OR

Hard to believe we’re looking for a shady spot, but suddenly it’s hot in Eugene! We were happy to welcome newcomer Anne Tiegen, too.

Barbs,Anne,Sharon     BarbSh-rabbitBarb Sommers starts sketching while Barb Shirk shows Anne and Sharon Heinz her typical sketchbook pages, in which one image leads to another. Wonder how her rabbit page will develop!

BarbSh-start   BarbSh-brushpenBarb started adding a sketch of Barb Sommers underneath the clematis arbor, then took up the challenge of using the brush pen.

BarbSo-start   BarbSo-inkHere’s Barb Sommers with first a pencil outline, & how it looks inked.

Anne-Jane   Anne-start2   Anne-designAnne, a dedicated painter, gamely launched into sketching folks at the table, then got inspired for a possible design for a painting.

Jan-start    Jan-developedJan was tempted by the clematis over the courtyard entry, then went on to include the brilliant colored balcony across the street!

Jane-hose      Jane-New Day CourtyardJane first ignored the courtyard flowers, and focused on the hose hanging on the wall between Anne & Sharon; then the flowers.

Sharon-start    Sharon-colorpencilSharon started out with graphite pencil, then added colored pencil.

Trish,Anne,Sharon,Erik    Erik-startThen Tricia and Erik showed up – here’s Erik’s sketch.

Tricia-start    Tricia-watercolorTrisha began her sketch with ink, then added watercolor.

Jim,Joby,Sandy,Hugh   Joby'sMeanwhile, a report from the road – here are sketchers Joby (with husband Jim), Sandy & Hugh taking a break from their bicycling outing up the valley, along with the sketch Joby managed to sneak in from their stop at Thompson Flour Mill near Halsey.


Relishing Time in the Rose Garden

Owen Rose Garden, Eugene, OR

At last, a warm sunny day on a Tuesday! We were beginning to think we were hexed on our scheduled sketch day.

Jan & ErikJane & Erik happily enjoyed sketching there, Jan shaded, Erik in sun.

BarbSo's truck      BarbSo sketching    It’s a bit difficult to see in the shade, but Barb Sommers brought her sketch of the truck from the Farmers Market, then on to sketching.

Jan's river    Jan's new styleJan showed her abstracted sketch of a creek bottom – too weird? How about this one of Kokopeli?  NO, we all agreed – very cool!

Tricia sketching  Tricia startTricia found a place in the shade, and decided to work on contrast.

Erik starts    Erik - color   Erik got those preliminary arches down just right, and the foliage began to grow (until hunger pangs took him away for lunch!)

Jan - developing    Jan - done  Jan’s style blends expressionism with just enough representation – so charming and full of life.

BarbSo - color    BarbSo - doneBarb Sommers made a sweet sketch of the wild geranium, and beside it the tiny blossoms of feverfew – so light and delightful.

Tricia - developing   Tricia - doneAnd here’s how Tricia’s study in contrasts evolved – some leaves were in the direct sun, some in deeper shade. Well done!

Jane-Owen Rose Garden

Jane was busy taking photos, and doing little design vignettes from  the plants in bloom all around them. What a lovely special day!