New Place, New People, New Tools!

Natural Grocers, Eugene, OR

1Here we are, checking out a new space – nice wood tables, large windows and bright light, free coffee, and a friendly welcome. NICE!

3       2Patti McNutt starts a sketch of the inside building structure, while Barb Shirk focuses on the wood wall sculpture.

4     FullSizeRender The assistant manager welcomes us, including newcomers Connie & Susan, a neighbor and a cousin of Barbara Shirk.  Then the fellow responsible for scheduling cooking demos shows the calendar.

6      7Barb shows Sandy her new Lamy pen loaded with water soluble brown ink (pic shows it over Copic Marker), and Erik took a closeup of Patti’s rediscovered tiny pen point Pentel Hybrid Technica pen.

8      9Connie tries out the paints a friend sent her from France (very dense), & Barb Sommers shows us a sketch from out her window.

5      E-HeidiConnie laughs about her sketch of Erik with his signature hat, and Erik shows his emerging sketch of Heidi.

10      11Barb Sommers starts a pencil sketch of the green pepper and red onion on the table, and Patti goes straight to ink!

12      13Jan Brown starts with Stylo colored ink pens, and Sandy adds colored pencil to her ink drawing of the same subject.

14      15Heidi does some colored pencil overlay, and Jan adds water soluble Tombo markers.

16      17Jane added watercolor to her ink sketch on toned paper, and Sandy adds some commentary to fill out her sketch page.

19      18Patti posts her sketch of the inside of the store on their bulletin board, as Jan, Heidi, and Sandy finish their sketches.

Good Enough to Eat!

Allan Bros., 5th St, Eugene, OR

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As we frequently do when we sketch in a café, Erik chose something to nibble on as his sketch focus, and dutifully laid down line & color.

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Turned out to  be a quickly completed sketch, and the model was indeed good enough to eat!

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Meanwhile, Sandy admired Barb Shirk’s sketches from last week, and then claimed she just wasn’t inspired today, maybe next time.

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Barb got caught up in sketching people in the line for goodies.

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Heidi found the addition of cayenne pepper to her hot chocolate to be worthy of a sketch, but she sure didn’t wait before she consumed.

Jane-1  counter-baskets   plant in pot

And Jane just messed about with brush pen and water-soluble pen.

It’s All About The Sketch

Allan Bros. on 5th St, Eugene, OR


The early gatherers – Barb Shirk, Heidi Sachet, Sandy Larkin, & Jane behind the camera.  Looked like serious sketching going on!

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Then we got a look at Sandy’s shirt! Cracked everybody up!

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Back to work – sitting in the middle of the room at the coffee shop gave everyone a view of people to draw in all directions.

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Jane chose Penelope’s view above, but did it at an angle on the page (her approach to keeping it simple); Sandy did the girl across from us.

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Heidi says the thing about your “model” leaving is that you get to finish it the way you want. She goes onto a design definition, and Penelope to adding color.

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Sandy tries a Betty Edward’s suggestion – draw the sketch upside down! Did it work? (Book courtesy of Barb Shirk, from an earlier visit to a fascinating show at the Schnitzer Museum.)

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Here’s a view of Barb’s “models” and here’s how she added values.

Let’s Talk About It!

New Day Bakery, Eugene, OR

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Barb Shirk always finds the most interesting things – this time, a watercolor calendar with a twist! There’s a sample, then a faint outline of the work with watercolor tips. What fun.

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Penelope falls back on the old trick of sketching your tools.

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Barb Shirk brought along a companion for Woodlo, which Jane enjoyed sketching – isn’t he a character?

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Erik did do some sketching, but mostly, let’s admit it, we talked!

People, people everywhere

New Day Bakery/World Cafe, Eugene, OR


Here we are again, Jane behind the camera, Barb Shirk, Sandy, Penelope, Barb Sommers & Erik. Happily surrounded by people.

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Jane and Barb Shirk get right down to it.

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At first it looked like Erik had figured out a way to focus on architecture and plants, but a person in a booth snuck in.

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Sandy went beyond the head to get the whole profile, but what’s that that Penelope is doing across the table?

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Aha! The classic sketch-it-before-you-eat-it ploy!

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Barb Shirk’s sketch just keeps getting more peopled!


And we even got to talk about Matisse, thanks to Erik.

And Here’s the Show!

“World Sketches” show at The Gallery at the Watershed, 321 Mill Street, December 16 – January 17, 2015.

1.sneakAll the participants who were in town & not under the weather came to a “sneak preview” – Front: Mike Maszk, Barb Shirk, Manda Severin; back: Jan Brown, Barb Aten, Jane Harrison, Ken O’Connell, Jo Palmer, Tricia Clark-McDowell, Erik Johnson, Satoko Motuoji.  We were all thrilled to see the show hung.

2.sneak    3.sneakErik, Jan & Barb A view one of the walls, while Trish samples the treats, and Mike, Amy & Ken take a look at another wall.

And then came the official opening & holiday party on Friday:

4.mob      5.mobIt was pretty much a happy mob scene all night!

Amy-announce    Lucy,Eirk,Ken,SatokoAmy stood up to give the welcome and introduce some of the players. Ken, surrounded by Lucy Hart (who first introduced him to LaRomita), Erik Johnson (a long time colleague & sketch friend), and Satoko Motouji (who introduced Ken to Italy) then spoke about the unique nature of sketchbooks and the quality of the giclée prints.

Vicki's skbk     Trisha, Robert, JaneKen even showed off a sample sketch book by one of his former students at LaRomita, Vicki Abbott, who came down for the show. Then the meet and greet and view (if you can) began in earnest. Here’s Tricia with (the) Robert Gamblin & Jane.

Lynn, Jim     Anneke,Fiona,SatokoLynn Pfeiffer & Jim Patterson.  Anneke (Ken’s daughter) with daughter Fiona, her husband, and Satoko.

Ann, Mike       Mike, BarbAMike and proud wife Ann Wein; Mike & Barb A share a chuckle. The discussions got pretty lively and intense as the evening went on.

Deborah,Nancy,?      Anneke, profs


Satoko & friend

I think it’s fair to say that everyone had a great time! (And some sketch art even got purchased! Hooray!)

Where’s Woodlo?

Starbucks on Willamette St., Eugene, OR

Jane just received the latest book by Urban Sketchers originator Gabriel Campanario – “People and Motion.” So she brought it to the sketch group today, along with a wooden mannequin:


And we immediately started to apply his suggestions, and sketch:


Here’s Barb Sommers, JoAnn Palmer and sister Barb Shirk, and Sandy, with Jane at the camera.

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Tricia joined us, too, and you can see that we were having fun.

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Jane had an unfortunate accident when she tried to arrange the little guy’s leg, and it popped right off.  But Barb Sommers took the opportunity to turn it into positive as she got a closer leg look! Jan joined us but went right into sketching real people.

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Jane started writing the story of the mannequin; when she read it to the group, saying “Will it become a poster child for folks with disabilities?” she was imagining a take off on “Where’s Waldo?” and said we needed a name for the little guy.  Barb Shirk promptly dubbed him “Woodlo,” and had him already incorporated in her sketch of the people at Starbucks this morning!

Where will he show up next???

Let’s Put on a Show!

Gallery at the Watershed, Eugene, Oregon

We’re getting ready for an exciting show of travel sketches at the Gallery at the Watershed, 321 Mill #6, from Dec. 16 through Jan. 17, 2015.  Our formal opening & holiday party is slated for Dec. 19, 6-8 p.m.  Today we were busy getting the show of 67 pieces of work from artists all over the world who have worked with Ken O’Connell. Here’s what the process looked like:

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First we unpacked containers and started laying out all the pieces.

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Amy Isler Gibson held the ladder steady while Daniel Odegaard adjusted hangers on the hanging wires; Ken O’Connell adjusted the levels of Mike Maszk’s art pieces.

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Robert Canaga had the layout vision, and Mike Maszk installed D rings for hanging on the gallery’s special hanging system.

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Daniel hangs Erik Johnson’s work. Here’s what the pics on the sofa from above look like on the wall.

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Robert and Mike confer about picture placement, then Mike does the high wire act to move the hanging wires so they’re straight.

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Ken confers with Amy about the website catalog while Robert takes a reviving drink of water. But it’s not over yet – Amy has to tuck the hanging wire “tails” behind pictures, put up labels, make sure the pictures are all level, remember to sweep the floor, and the list goes on!

Things That Hold Still

Full City Coffee/Palace Bakery, Eugene, OR

Well it wasn’t exactly the scene of a crime, but it was the scene of the first art show of our sketch work.  And today featured our great preference for sketching things that HOLD STILL.

IMG_5178Jane quickly did a sketch of the coffee bean poster outside the window, while Erik got serious about architecture lines.

IMG_5179    IMG_5180When a few more folks showed up, we moved to the other room.  Here are Sandy, Erik (with the view he started with – the trees outside the window frame), Heidi, & Barb Sommers.

IMG_5181     IMG_5183Sandy was able to get a whole sketch done of the guy having coffee in the window, while Heidi did a sketch of her – don’t move!

IMG_5184     IMG_5185Now you can see Erik’s trees through the window sketch as it has developed, as well as Jane’s tiny palette which she used to sketch this tasty pastry (which has mysteriously disappeared).

Pausing Prior to Holiday Frenzy

5th St. Market, Eugene, OR.

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Erik chats with Heidi’s husband, Paul, and then Penelope pops in.

3    4Sandy is excited to show a photo of her new great-grandson, then Barbara Sommers, Heidi, Barbara Shirk & Erik get started.

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Here’s what Heidi has been doing lately!

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Penelope’s progress, and Barbara Sommers’ (a yarn challenge!).

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WHAT are you drawing with, Barb?! Barbara Shirk discovered the Pininfarina, a tool that oxidizes paper!  Cool, except it doesn’t erase.

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Erik started with his usual Crayon d’Arche tools, then resorted to borrowing Penelope’s watercolor to get just the “right” green – Sap!

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Sandy sketches what’s in front of her (what restraint) – ta dah!

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Heidi sketches a pot outside, and Penelope her own palette.

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Jane picked up some new ornaments – OMG.  Got better with color.

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Barbara Sommers and Barbara Aten tried their hands at them, too.