One of the best things that happened this year was I joined forces with Paula, Cynthia, Martha, and Jill for regular sketch days. We meet religiously on Tuesdays and head out on a sketching adventure. In winter we sketched in coffee houses, shops and each other's homes. We spent most of summer outside, usually exploring parks and gardens. I love to sketch but seldom get around to it on my own. Having designated Tuesdays for it has been great discipline and ensures that I sketch at least once a week.
Besides the companionship and practice, I have really enjoyed exploring parts of the Portland area that I haven't seen. Here are a couple of my favorite jaunts this summer:
We went to the Clackamas Co. Fair. It's probably the smallest fair I'd ever been too with most of it devoted to 4-H projects. I had never sketched animals before, besides my bulldog who is a great model because he's not prone to move very often. The same is not true for chickens and rabbits.
After the fair, we stopped by Swan Island dahlia farm to see fields of rich color just coming into bloom.
Another favorite trip was to Luscher Farm, a local community garden. It seems that gardeners here try to out do one another. Each plot was filled with picture-perfect vegetables and flowers, garden art and scarecrows.
You can read my sketching article in the latest Cloth, Paper, Scissors (Sept/Oct 2008).