Friday, March 24, 2017

New Sketch Friends

 Today, the Whidbey Island Sketchers came to my town and descended on McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell. We met at the Tiki Bar before noon and sat there, and ate there, and sketched each other, shared sketchbooks and tips and techniques, and chatted with one another.

Then at around 2, most of them left to catch the ferry back. A few stayed back and sketched more. I even connected with someone who stays in Kenmore part of the week. She does murals for a couple of schools and looks like we might sketch out together or maybe even get to help her work on one of her murals.

So here are my sketches today. The one sketching on the staircase was done on my iPad.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

April 2017 Sketch Outings

First Saturday, April 1st (no joke!)

Tacoma Antique Center at Fife Square

1414 54th Ave, Fife WA 98424

Meet inside the Antique Center at 10:00 AM

Directions:  Interstate 5 exit 137 (54th Ave E) in Fife.  The Antique Center is in the far corner of the Poodle Dog block on left side of 54th Ave (just past Pacific Hwy E 99).  Ample parking in the lot between the restaurant and the Antique Center.

Lunch will be at the Poodle Dog restaurant for those staying after our 12:30 sketch share and photo.  It is next door.  

Second Thursday April 13 : Ace Hardware

4816 Point Fosdick NW, Gig Harbor

In the mall with Main & Vine.  They have a heated greenhouse area.  There are many opportunities for lunch in walking distance.

From the Narrows bridge, second exit, about 1.5 miles, turn left at light, onto Olympic cross over 16 and turn left onto Point Fosdick, in mall on your right.

Third Wednesday April 19 : UW Library 

1900 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402 (Official address but you can't really drive down Commerce St. at that point).  It's kitty corner, up the hill and  behind the Bookstore.

Meet at 10 am in the foyer inside the front door:

The library includes a building that was once an industrial building.  Some of the equipment has been incorporated into the renovation and makes for interesting sketch subjects.  Just be aware that room is designated as SILENT. 

 There is also a second floor glass bridge which offers views of campus. 

Parking:   In the lot next to the library which is entered of S. 21st St..  It is $1/hour with 3 hour limit.   Or park in the garage near Freighthouse Square and take the trolly.

Lunch could be at The Swiss, further up the hill.  It has it's own parking lot across the street.  

The Swiss Restaurant & Pub
1904 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402


Fourth Thursday April 27 - cancelled

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Jewel Box Cafe

Today we met at the Jewel Box Cafe in the Point Ruston complex, near Tacoma. It was aptly named as it was a real jewel with beautiful furnishings and carved wood fixtures. There is even a balcony.  

Since it was pouring rain, most of us settled in with our favorite hot beverage to sketch around the cafe. Sketchers in the comfy chairs.

I liked the column with the clock.  Fortunately, Tom sat down to sketch a different view so he gave the scene some life.

There were two of these carved booths at either end of the cafe.  Each had a set of stained glass windows.

We met back up in the balcony, where we shared our sketches and had a group photo.  There are at least 2 missing.

More photos here:

by Kate Buike

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hand Held Portable Palette

At the 2016 USk Manchester Symposium Mark Leibowitz presented a number of unique products and ideas geared to enhance our sketching experience. I am please Mark chose to include the Field Easel Art Bag in his presentation but it was a version of the hand held portable palette that caught my eye. The one Mark demonstrated was similar to what you see above except it did not have a thumb hold but instead had Velcro on the back that adhered to a wrist band the artist was wearing.

As many of you know I stand using my field easel art bags platform to hold my journal while I sketch. There is a flex band at the front of the bags platform which will hold a small watercolor kit like the ones above. It works but I will be the first to admit it has its limitations - it crowds the platform making it somewhat challenging to effectively paint. When I saw Marks wrist band mounted palette the light came on! I thought, I can make one of those, only I will make it so I can hold it in my hand. What you see in the images above is the product in use. Having the watercolor kit affixed to the foam-core and the water container in place allows more freedom of movement and makes painting under any circumstance a whole lot easier. The neat thing is it really works and it's easy and inexpensive to make.

Windsor & Newton's portable watercolor box and Maria Coryell Martins unique pocket palette are ideally suited for this application.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Dancing Lines Workshop

Dancing Lines:  Ink Drawing on Location, People, Places and Things


 Well know Urban Sketchers Kiah Kiean Ch'ng ("KK") and Melanie Reim will be teaching a workshop in Seattle July 14-16

All the details are here: 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dolce Si'

Yesterday Urban Sketchers Tacoma met at Dolce Si' Sicilian Bakery & Café for our regular outing.  The owner was very gracious and even offered to let us join a private monthly Italian get-together with live Italian music.  As a result, there were a lot of Italian speakers coming in and out of the cafe.  It was a delight to witness the exuberance with which they greeted each other.

The very first thing I noticed when I entered the cafe was an amazingly crafted swan pastry.  I bought one just to sketch it. Frances called referred to Roy as the "Cream Puff Monster"  Roy called it "Puff the Magic Dragon's apprentice".  It sat in the middle of the table I shared with 4 other sketchers and at least a couple of us drew it.  It went home with another sketcher so we didn't eat it!  I did still eat one of the bakery's wonderful European creations, less whipped cream, more fruit!
Roy is ready to help eat it after we've sketched it.
Roy is ready to help eat it after we've sketched it.
I again channeled a Michele Cooper-like montage (or Gabi's small, medium, large spread across the double page from his 10x10 workshop).  The medium section was the counter top with flowers and a plush pup.  Since the day was still sunny, I wandered around outside this large Point Ruston complex and found a view out on Commencement Bay.

I next used my pocket sketchbook to draw one of the otter sculptures near the cafe.  It started to rain, of course.  So I positioned my drawing board at an angle over the book in order to keep sketching so I could at least finish the drawing.  I do very much like otters so was happy to discover four such sculptures!  I forgot to take note of the maker.

We shared sketches at the outside tables under an overhang, though it had stopped raining.  The group photo has 22 people but there are at least a few missing.

More photos here:

by Kate Buike

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Change in Location for March 4th

First Saturday, March 4th Dolce Si' Sicilian Bakery & Café

2/26/17:  Notice of Location change
5005 Main St #105, Tacoma, WA 98407
Point Ruston Complex off Ruston Way, Tacoma WA

Meet inside the café at 10:00 AM.  We have the opportunity to stay and sketch at Dolce Si', or be part of a monthly Italian get-together in the Complex lounge next door (10:00am to 2:00 pm / free) if you'd like to listen to live Italian music while you sketch.

Take I-705N from I-5 to Schuster Parkway (exit ramp is LEFT) onto Ruston Way.  Dolce Si' is approx. 5 1/2 miles from I-5.

Some parking may be available on the street by the café, if not, continue to the (free) parking garage at the far-end of the complex.

They are still adding on to the complex, so there are many areas fenced off for construction.  There are 7 eating places there already, a cinema, etc.  Also a park with benches on the water side if the weather clears up.