“Chipping the Block, Painting on Silk: Norma Bassett Hall”

Chipping the Block, Painting the Silk:The Color Block Prints and Serigraphs of Norma Bassett Hall

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art presents the work of Oregon-born Norma Bassett Hall’s 25 year career as a printmaker from August 23 to October 12, 2014.  As the first solo exhibition of Hall’s work since her death in 1957, Chipping the Block, Painting the Silk: The Color Block Prints and Serigraphs of Norma Bassett Hall is the first opportunity to see more than sixty of her prints in Oregon since just five were shown in a 1930 group retrospective at the Portland Art Association.

Guest curator Joby Patterson, a researcher and teacher, has been involved with fine prints for more than thirty years.  Her upcoming book, Norma Bassett Hall: Catalogue Raisonné of the Block Prints and Serigraphs, traces the creative life of Hall and her spouse.  Patterson will share her adventures in uncovering Hall’s life and work and lead a tour of the exhibition on Saturday, August 23, at 2 p.m.  A reception and book signing will follow.



Cool (& dry) Undercover – Lone Pine Farm, Junction City, OR

Here we are (can you tell it’s chilly? what a change!)



Barb A, Sandy, Erik, Hugh, Anne (Barb Shirk is off taking pictures of the goats, Jane’s behind the camera).  And here’s the view:


What you don’t see is how the rain came thundering in, but you can see it in Erik’s sketch at the bottom of this post.

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Barb Shirk got up close to those goats – how to make them NOT look like her dog was her challenge, she said! Love those ears.


Anne shows her flowers from a sketching class she just finished at Yellowstone (our friend Suzie Garner was the teacher!).  Below she shares her landscape paintings with Sandy, Barb A, & Hugh.



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Sandy is continuing to work with her black toned paper – here with her Mondeluz colored pencils from Koh-i-noor (without water) – what a great effect!

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Hugh finishes up a sketch of the view across the road, then adds watercolor to bring it to life.

IMG_3412     IMG_3437Erik keeps an eye out for the effect of the rain, and here’s the nearly final version of his sketch – I’d say he got it!

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Jane could’t resist the aromatic strawberries (see her quick sketch above), and then Barb A. added two luscious apricots to the scene.

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Barb stroked her water brush across the colored pencil sketch enriching the colors, while Sandy tried layers of color on hers. Hard to believe the little kid in the background was having ice cream – we were all grateful for sweaters, coats, & blankets!  And being together sketching, of course.






You Show Me Yours…Farmers’ Market, Eugene, OR

Barb Shirk started out the conversation – what’s a “finished” sketchbook? Here are two pages she added after the fact from her last trip to Italy – the first from Assisi, the 2nd from memories of Stroncone (all cats & staircases!).



Then Barb Sommers shared her complete sketches from our visit last week to Cortesia:




Barb Sommers shows Hugh some of her work, and here’s Hugh, showing off:


I mean, here’s Hugh, showing his work completed following a trip to Europe.

Then we got down to work.


Hanna on the bench, Barb Shirk sitting on the rock wall, Sandy, Erik, & Alexander (Jane’s grandson) on the bench, then Hugh on the next portion of the rock wall talking to Barb Sommers. Jane behind the camera (although she really did do some sketching, too).

Farm-Mark, reg paint    Farm-Mark, Qor paintJane’s sketches of flowers at the Market – on the left versions using ink and her regular watercolors (WN? DS?). Then after she got home, she tried the same subject in her new Qor watercolors. Hmm.


Alexander shows his new Pilot Parallel pen to Erik.


Erik shows Alexander how to use his felt tip calligraphy pen to write his name.


Sandy sketches Barb Shirk’s back view, using white gel pen on black toned paper.  Then she tried adding colored pencil to sketches:


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Hanna came with her previous sketch done in b&w so she could add color; Barb Shirk did quick brush pen sketches of vignettes.


Here’s proof that Hugh CAN sketch what’s in front of him, too.

Keep comin’ back!

Beating the Heat in Style

Talk about timing! We’d been invited back to Cortesia for a longer day today for sketching, having a potluck lunch, and trying out some of the exercises in the book The Tao of Sketching. And it is typically 10 degrees cooler up there in the woods than it is down in town, where the temperature was slated to be in the upper 90s.  Whew.

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Forest shows Barb Sommers his newly completed deck – Erik gives serious thought to just staying there!

Stargazer lilies    Jane & lilies

Jane picks the front deck again, surrounded by Stargazer Lilies.

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Erik & Barb Sommers succumb to the front deck’s charms, too. Here’s Barb So’s sketch of the same lily from her own backyard.

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Barb Aten finds a different lily variety – look at those lush colors!

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Jan’s on the new studio deck, intent on capturing the scene.

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Tricia, our hostess, is there, too – lovely spot, lovely sketch!

And then it’s time for lunch!





A yummy lunch on the new deck, a quick overview of lessons and suggestions from The Tao of Sketching, and we were back at it.


What are we doing? Hard to concentrate after that wonderful lunch (followed by dark chocolate with raspberries – thanks, Tricia!).


Tricia suggests we try one of two techniques in the book: 1) doing a simple contour sketch and adding a wash of color; 2) doing an ink sketch & adding color to only a specific part of the sketch for focus.


Here’s Jane’s quick sketch of Penelope & Barb A.

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Here’s Barb So’s of the same two, & Jan’s sketch of Erik.

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Tricia sketched Jane, Hanna Yoshimura & Barb So., while Penelope did the same from a different perspective.

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Speaking of perspective, here’s Erik, and then his sketch of Barb So.

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Barb A was determined to capture the fruit juice in her glass goblet!

IMG_3234     IMG_3239Hanna joined us in time to sketch her long time friend Tricia.

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Here’s Hanna’s sketch done at the Famers’ Market last week, and Penelope’s sketch of some of us and the labyrinth at Cortesia. What a wonderful (& cool)  time together.  We are deeply appreciative!


Sketching in the Rain

We’d planned to meet at the Farmers’ Market in the Park Blocks in downtown Eugene, but the rain changed some minds!

Our friend Hanna Yoshimura took this picture of her friend Cathy – the two of them did brave the rain to sketch in the Park Blocks.

wall of Officina de Peregrino

Meanwhile, Hugh stayed home to revisit a photo he’d taken of a wall outside the Officino de Peregrino on his trip to Spain – sketch below:

Hugh'sOfficina de Peregrino


The rest of the group who planned to meet, hurriedly changed plans and hied themselves off to the Palace Bakery, where this chocolate brioche became an object of focus:

Our teacher always told us: sketch first before eating – a challenge!

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t was Barb’s brioche, but she dutifully sketched first!

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Penelope shows her preliminary sketch, to which she added color.

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Erik sketched both Barb and the brioche!

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an ignored the brioche and sketched a nearby table & chair.

Makes you want to take up sketching.  Or a chocolate brioche!

Catching Up @Friendly St. Market, 7/15/14

We loved being at the newly renovated Friendly St. Market – open sheltered deck, pleasant surroundings, goodies nearby to sustain us.


The early birds busy at the table: Barb Sommers, Heidi Sachet and her friend Renata, Barb Shirk, Erik Johnson (& Jane with camera).

As always, we began by looking at what people have been doing:

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Barbara Shirk brought the invitation she did for the celebration of the shelter at the small dog park – her dog & Jane’s are featured!

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Heidi Sachet & Jane Harrison found sketching as a way to manage being at parties and gatherings – even ceiling lights were fair game!


Barb Shirk did it, too, sketching participants at the Groom’s Dinner.

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Barbara Sommers had sketches from her back yard – so delightful!


Erik’s latest sketch in his unmistakeable color rich  style.


Then Hugh & Sandy Larkin showed up, and Penelope Youngfeather (who got to see Hugh’s sketchbook from the Camino walk).

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Hugh with a Camino sketch, and Sandy doing on a vineyard sketch.


Jane brought sample of the cards she makes from her sketches, which Barbara Sommers looks through, with Jo Bogue-Hoffman.


Barb Shirk shows Erik the folding blocks trick she developed to do changing vignettes from her last trip to Italy – we want a lesson!


Then the stalwart folks got down to business.

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Sandy put finishing touches on her vineyard, and Erik showed off his finished sketch of Sandy, sitting across from him.

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Jane captured the deli wagon across the street, and Penelope captured all of us!


But Hugh topped it all off with a symbolic sketch of the group – whose artifact is whose? What a fun sketch.

Cool Sanctuary at Cortesia, 7/8/14

We were so pleased to retreat up into the woods at Cortesia last week in the hot weather,  eager to repeat the visit, and happy to be welcomed back:


IMG_2932 IMG_2938Anne joined us & was delighted to find a poppy to match her shirt. Meanwhile, Forest tells Hugh & Sandy about the property.

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Erick starts sketching a tree, while Tricia and Hugh get set up, and Jane does a watercolor sketch of the glass assemblage on the table.
(You can see Anne on the other side of the table – knitting!)

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Sandy and Tricia took on the glass assemblage challenge, too.

Here’s Sandy’s sketch, white gel pen on black paper.

Tricia added some background detail to her watercolor.

IMG_2953 IMG_2955Hugh’s trees quickly took shape, & life with color added.

IMG_2950 IMG_2959Erik’s tree outline begins to have depth & shading.

Meanwhile, someone asked Hugh & Sandy how their trip was, trekking the Camino in Spain, and out came their sketchbooks:


Here’s Sandy’s first page with an equipment sketch.


Tricia & Anne are entranced by the sketchbooks and tales of the trip.

Hugh enjoys giving Erik some highlights. Fabulous trip, fabulous stories – we’re so glad they’re back to share!



At Cortesia Sanctuary, Eugene, OR

When Tricia invited us out to sketch at her place outside Eugene, few of us realized what a treat was in store!  Of course, it did make deciding what to sketch a bit of a challenge. We may have to come back…

Entering the garden


Hi! What did Jan & Barb A find?

Erik checks out a rentable cabin – just right!

Penelope & Tricia know just where they want to go.

Penelope gets right at it, while Jan, Barb A & Trish chat.

Erik choses to do a wooded scene in graphite.

Forrest, Tricia’s husband, tells Erik about the history of the place.

Below is Erik’s developed piece.

Meanwhile, Tricia, Penelope, & Barb A get busy sketching, too. Can you see whose work is whose, and how it develops?


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Back on the porch with Erik, Jan begins to capture the little birdhouse vignette.
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Jane moves from the birdhouse to the pot of gaillardia: IMG_4261IMG_2881

And in the mail, not to be left out, come Hugh’s & Sandy’s sketches from far away.


Vero Coffee Shop, Eugene, OR – 6/24/14

As usual, we start our sketch meetings by catching up on what people have been doing since our last meeting – here’s Barb Shirk’s sketch from her trip to Ashland to see the plays:


And here’s Heidi’s completed sketch of flowers & shells on her deck:


Barb Shirk shared her sketch of some of us sketching  last week:



And one of Penelope’s sketches of us, viewed by Barb A & Heidi (yep, that looks just like Joby!):



Here’s most of the happy crew from today (Penelope, Tricia, Heidi, Erik, Jan, Barb A, Barb Shirk – Jane behind the camera):



Jan and Barb A. adding water to pigment (Jan with markers, Barb A. with watercolor pencils):





Barb Shirk did a sketch of her dog Armando from a photo on her phone:





Jane did a sketch of the clivia in her front room (from a photo, too):


Erik’s sketch was from a sweet remembered scene in the medical clinic:


Tricia & Heidi sketched directly from observation today, as did Penelope (& Jan & Barb A, seen above):






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