Monday, December 31, 2012

"Upcoming Events"

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Now is a good time to update particpaters, readers, interested parties, hangers-on, etc., as to what we are up to now that the new year is upon us; and to emphasize, once again, that anyone who has something to draw with and on is welcome to join us.  Age is not a factor, experience is not a factor.  We do this because it is fun and we enjoy each other's company. 

1.  We continue with our "during the week" sketchabouts, for those who can get away, on Wednesday mornings beginning on Jan 2nd, 2013, at 10am at the McDonalds on Road 68.  We will sketch there for a couple of hours, share our drawings and maybe have a bit of lunch. 

2.  The "Third Saturday Sketchabouts" will continue on each third Saturday of each month.  We will begin the series this year by joining up with other artists from around the world with the "38th World Wide Sketchcrawl" on January 19th.  We will meet at 9am in the Food Court at the Columbia Center Mall to sketch the people, things, places, and other items having to do with the Mall.  We'll share our work at 11:30 in the Food Court, and for the really hardcore folks, we'll continue on until about 3pm making this a Marathon sketch session, as the WWSk's are actually intended. 

3.  The "4th International Urban Sketchers Symposium" will be held this upcoming July in Barcelona, Spain.  Having been to the "3rd Int'l USkSymposium" in Santo Domingo last summer I highly recommend this event to anyone interested.  If you follow the Urban Sketchers online, you'll meet some of the real movers and shakers in this movement as well as pick up a lot of ideas, pointers, and fresh ideas on how you do your thing.

Don't forget to check us out on our FACEBOOK page for updates on the Weds and Third Saturday Sketchabouts ("friend" us if you haven't), and of course, this BLOG is our online base. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Warming Up with the Subordinate Hand"

Nathalie Ramierez made a suggestion last summer in Santo Domingo about a technique that will, "let you feel like what it feels like to be looser when you draw."  Since I struggled with "tightness" from when I first started doing art, I tried it. 

After returning home and posting more images, many contacts commented on how my art had changed since going to the symposium.  I felt it too. 

Here is a sketch I did a few days ago with my subordinate (left) hand:

And here is the one I did afterwards with my dominate (right) hand.  I still fight tightness, but I have learned that by ocassionally using my left it reminds my brain of what it feels like to be loose.  Here it is:

Monday, December 10, 2012

"6th Avenue Art Gallery at Mercery Winery Open House"

Carol Ashby of the "6th Street Art Gallery" in Prosser, WA., invited us to participate in the Gala Christmas Open House at Mercer Winery.  We took loads of pictures and did some sketching while there.  These are two of my contributions to the blog. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Santa at the Mall

I walked down towards Sears (walking, walking - looking for Jim) and ended up here where Santa is and the kids get their photos taken.  It's quite a set up and took me a bit to get everything in!

A gentleman did stop and chat with me about drawing his daughter's picture on a banjo (he custom builds banjos!) as she passed away 15 years ago.  Happy to do it and hope he likes it!  Sorry to miss Jim though - it's much more fun to draw in a group...


So Jim and I missed each other today at the mall but it looks like we both got some sketching in anyway!  I started by Barnes & Noble sketching the ATM machine and was kindly greeted by a security guard who asked me to check with the Mall Office before I started drawing - ESPECIALLY the ATM machine (maybe I was studying it closely to see how to get inside!).

After chatting with Barb, the manager of the mall and a friend in my Rotary club, she determined I was harmless and said go to it.  We just asked that we refrain from including any store names in our drawings as those are proprietary and she could get in trouble.

I wasn't particularly thinking of what was IN the ATM just that it stuck out below all that Christmas finery!

"Mall Peoples"

I arrived at the mall this morning at 9:30ish because I wanted to walk around a bit before meeting up with the others at 10 in the Food Court.  So at 10 I spotted this group of "older" folks sitting around three co-joined tables in the Food Court, drinking coffee and enjoying each other's company. 

I decided they needed to find their way into my sketchbook and it was a good way to spend time waiting for the others. 

Unfortunately, I didn't know one of us was in Oregon, and the other forgot where we were going to meet.  So here are two of us at the mall sketching, but in different places.  We never crossed paths. 

The other two sketches following this are a couple I did after leaving the mall at about 10:40. 

"Main Entrance to the Mall"

This is the main entrance to the Columbia Center Mall here in Kennewick, WA.  We were here today to capture something of a Christmas essence, but I just couldn't find it inside; but here, at the main entrance I spotted these huge Chrismas balls (which don't appear so huge here) and decided this would be my "essence" sketch today. 

"Office Building on Gage"

This has to be one of the most unattractive architectural sites in the Tri-Cities, if not the entire state, or region, or maybe even the entire western United States, or, well, you get the point.  The six of them tower above all the adjacent and distant buildings and remind one of huge outhouses rather than the office buildings they are.  Built about six years ago, few people I know ever mention them other than to say, "You know, those big outhouses on Gage."   
Unusual?  Yes.  Attractive?  Not so much. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Let's meet at the mall this Friday Morning at 10:00 and sketch the Christmas happenings!  Plan to stay and have a bite to eat in the Food Court and share your drawings!  FUN!!!  (RSPV here)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Not really an "urban sketch" as such, still I wanted to wish everyone who drops by once in a while a "Happy Thanksgiving" today. 
Don't overdo, but don't hold too far back either, I mean, heck, we only get to do this again next month.  And two times in the year is never enough. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


A little restraint here sketching Dalkey Island - this time the view of the ancient chapel on the island.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Takin' over here...

This is the same Dalkey Island that sits outside my daughter's window in the Irish Sea.  I am working on skies but then you can't just work on the skies because what you do there then reflects (eh eh) on the ground colors as well and you have to work on those too.  Sometimes the colors in the sky are muted so the colors have to reflect that on the ground.  I darkened the ground colors and it all seemed to 'go' a lot better.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


These 'apartments' (certainly more expensive and expansive than your normal apartment) are on a point overlooking Dalkey Island.  The building is called 'Sorrento Terrace' and has the most incredible views (not to mention lovely chandeliers...)!

I went back to my smaller sketchbook because I felt the larger one was making me draw too carefully.  I prefer the rough scribbling and rapid movements and no care attitude in my smaller sketchbook.  These Ireland drawings are sure giving me great opportunities to find some greens!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Third Saturday Sketchabout"

When you drive east on the main street in Kennewick, Washington, aka., "Kennewick Avenue," you come to a stop sign.  At that sign you must turn either left or right onto Washington Street because the building you see here is directly in front of you.  It was built in the early 1900's and placed here purposely so that anyone coming to this intersection would see it, and hopefully stop to purchase supplies. 

Today it sits mostly empty.  When I was a kid it was known at "Leon's Cafe," and at that time I thought it had always been "Leon's Cafe" and that it always would be known as such.

In 1969, a year post-college, for me, I went into "Leon's" one New Years Eve and ran into an old friend of mine, let's call him, Jerry.  When we were in high school Jerry and his girlfriend were pretty tight; but once our junior year I heard they had broken up so I asked her to go to Homecoming with me that year ('63).  Not long afterwards they were back together. 

So, in '69 when I see Jerry in "Leon's" I figure they have been married a while.  I asked him how she was doing and he told me wasn't sure because they had separated ways some time back.  I asked him where she lived, and few weeks later, called her. 

She and I have been married 42 years this month.  

The building here is also a trip down nostalgia lane.  We were in high school in the early to mid sixties, before "American Grafitte," and the term, "cruising" had been invented, at least that's how I remember it.
We had a circuit we drove though, probably close to 7 or 8 miles, round trip.  On the far east end of the circuit was Zip's, our favorite hamburger joint, and when I say "our" I'm talking about everybody who went to our school, about 7 or 800 kids then. 
On the far westerm end was a vacant lot in what was then known as "Angus Village." I think it was before we graduated ('64) some company came in and built this ugly round structure in our vacant lot.  Today it is Chase Bank, and I think it has always been a bank of some kind.
I was sitting in the vacant lot once, listening to the radio in my '53 Chev, to Kennewick High playing a football game in Wenatchee.  I was quite surprised to hear the announcer call my name as the player who scored a touchdown.  I had been injured and didn't make the trip.  Cool, huh?   

There were two USkTC Sketchers out today.  Boy, it is getting harder and harder to find anyone who wants to do this with me! 

Friday, November 16, 2012


This castle is just a block or so away from Rebekah's house on the water side of the road.  It's vacant, a bit run down and in foreclosure with the bank but heck - it's STILL a castle, right?  If I didn't already have a building project...


This is a view of Dalkey Island from the front of Rebekah's house.  There are some ancient ruins on the island - a round tower and a small chapel.  There's no way to get to it except by boat or kayak - some day (when it's warmer) I will go there!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

"University of Washington Huskies vs the Utes of Utah"

So, the first thing on the page was the far goal post.  Oops. 
The University of Washington Huskies took on the Utes of Utah State at Century Link Field last Saturday.

My son-in-law invited me to join him and my two grandsons, so we drove the 4 hours it takes to get there and had a great time. The Huskies won 34 - 15 amid great cheering, shouting, and encouragement from the 60,050 fans who were there.

6x9 Aquabee Sketcbook, ink, watercolor

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I plan on visiting a few of the artist on the open studio tour. l'm thinking of starting in richland/west richland and ending i downtown kennewick for a late lunch.
i will be at the richland hastings coffee shop on g-way at 10:45 and i have extra brochures. 460-8317

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall in the Tri-CIties

Here is a really great line of trees that had turned a bright yellow gold - Whoo Hoo!

 I threw on the paint first then drew some lines.  I wanted to be sure and get the shapes the colors made and not get lost in the lines...

This is a front entrance at WSU Tri-Cities.  I looked at it a while and found it very geometric so I pushed that a bit.  Those are not boats - they are trees with great orange foliage.

Beautiful, beautiful day with bright sunshine, gorgeous colors and just a hint of cool.  I'm afraid the leaves will be mostly dropped next Friday leaving the dark outlines against some white/gray skies. Winter is coming...

Friday, November 2, 2012

"Washington State University, Tri-City Campus"

Out looking for fall foliage today with Nancy, we came across these trees at the WSU Tri-Cities Campus.

Our weather, though not as unusual as that being experienced with Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, is still, quite unusual lately.  Today is November 2nd and it felt more like May 15th.  Nice, bright sunshine and coat-less, even warm, temperatures.

Too bad it won't last until next Friday because we agreed we really didn't get as much drawing in as we wanted. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Powerscourt Manor, Ireland

I spent a couple hours drawing and painting this view out an upper floor window from the Powerscourt Manor in Ireland.  I was all by myself so I could spend whatever time I wanted and only did this one little picture.  The colors were amazing, the view was amazing, it was heaven.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Columbia River from Howard Amon Park"

Though it is cold and rainy, there are still opportunities for sketching here in the Tri-Cities. Today, I drove over to Howard Amon Park in Richland, WA., parked my truck backwards in the turn-about so I could capture this scene through my window, and through the open window enjoyed the sketching. I did get a bit moist as the gently falling rain did find its way in, but it was worth it. Home now and getting ready to go see the movie, "Searching for Sugar Man." 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Turk and Market, San Francisco"

"Turk Street, San Francisco"

After purchasing a new car for my wife, we decided to take it on a roadtrip to California.  First we drove to San Francisco (after an overnight in Weed), then down to San Jose where we met up with my friend, Ney Wang, who I met in Santo Domingo last July.  With Ney we joined Connie Rizzuto for the 37th World Wide Sketchcrawl in Los Gatos.

From there we drove to Lincoln and spent a few days with friends, Terry and Elaine Banderas.  Terry and I spent the next three days sketching his hometown Auburn, then the town of Napa and Napa Valley.

This sketch is "Turk Street" in San Francisco.  I love these city canyons with the tall buildings and perspective.  I captured the building outlines and general perspective in about 5 minuts then added the details and color later in the hotel room. 

To see the other sketches, click on the picture. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"37th World Wide Sketchcrawl - Los Gatos, CA"

What a treat today to spend some time with my friend, Irene Wang, and new friend Connie Rizzuto in Los Gatos for this 37th WWSk!  Irene and I met last July when we were both in Santo Dolmingo at the the Urban Sketchers Symposium.  It was great to meet up with her and her friends Jack and Alice, who were also in Santo Domingo, for breakfast this morning; then to spend the day with Irene.

We started at the Old Grist Mill in Los Gatos this morning. You can
see Irene in this sketch.  She is in front of the car.
This old Cletrac tractor, rust and all, sits along the wall just outside
the museum in Los Gatos.  

The "Old Town" area of Los Gatos is made up of some of the
old buildings, but something tells me none of these are much like
the old buildings they used to be.  Bill Clinton visited here
when he was campaining way back when.

This was on the way back from Los Gatos to San Jose.  It is the Mission in Santa
Clara.  It sits on the beautiful campus at Santa Clara University. 


This morning I spent in Dalkey, Ireland at my grandson's soccer practice.  It was bright and sunny but windy and COLD!!!  I escaped after only half an hour to a building nearby to get out of the wind, sit down and sketch.  Ah - so Irish is the background!

This was at the same soccer field.  There is a wall that lies along one side of the field and these very typical homes peek out between the green.  Happy Sketchcrawl Day to all!

Friday, October 12, 2012

"37th World Wide Sketchcrawl - October 13th"

The 37th World Wide Sketchcrawl will be held across the entire earth tomorrow, Oct. 13th.  I am in San Jose, CA., this evening so will not be able to be with any of you who want to participate. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Pawn Shop on Columba Avenue, Kennewick"

This is exactly what I had in mind when I drove down to the old Avenue C in Kennewick this morning: this old building's storefront.  I don't know the age of the building, but it has that orginal look of early 1900's with that structure up above the signage (can you picture a hitching post out front?).   The avenue was one once heavily frequented by high school kids back in the 60's as their favorite hang-out is just off to the right, on this side of the street: "Zip's". 

I like old storefronts and have had a difficult time finding any that are suitable for sketching.  Most of our storefronts are too modern in appearance, or just plain and without character.  This may be the best one in the tri-cities. 

Had a ton of fun drawing it.  Sunday mornings are real quiet and I had the parking area across the street all to my self.  Oh, and since it was Sunday the shop was closed.  I had to make up some things to put out front, including an Open sign. 

"Kennewick's Sax Man"

The day was too beautiful to stay home and mow the lawn, so knowing that there are a few things down toward downtown Kennewick I've been wanting to draw, I headed that way this morning. 

This guy isn't one the things I had in mind.  He just happened to be there on the corner where he likes to hang out and I was able to find a good parking spot where I could draw in a clandestine fashion.

I think I'm a bit like him, I love to hear the echo affect he gets off the surrounding buildings.  I wonder if that is why he usually chooses this particular corner to work his wailin' sax?  I bet it is.  

Listening to him you often hear familiar tunes, but more often than not he's improvising and he's pretty good at it.

Shaynie's Drawing

Drawing bit my grandaughter and this is her painting of the NYC skyline while sitting in the glass dining room!


This is the view from Rebekah's glass enclosed dining room over the Irish Sea.  It is a place you can sit 24/7 as they say.  Everywhere I turn around this place is a fabulous water drenched view of green and blue.  I suppose, later in the year, when the sun shines rarely and the days are short, it may get a bit gloomy, however - NOW? - fabulous!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Fun Drawing at Kiona Winery"

I had a lot of fun drawing Kiona Winery because this is one of the wines I buy and drink most. I’ve been in love with Kiona’s wines for so many years. Oh my goodness, it could be more than twenty years! I even loved their Rose which was discontinued some years back.
 First some quick thumbnails;


Then a greeting card thumbnail;

Then a final drawing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

"Kiona Winery: Red Mountain"

We drove back out to Red Mountain at 8am this morning to find a winery we have yet to sketch.  We had one in mind, but it turned out to be private property with a "do not enter" sign; so we found Kiona Winery.  Kiona was one of the first and one of the premier wineries in this region of the state. The folks working there were very cordial and invited us to come inside to use the facilities, and to view their galleries.   

Here are a few of the images captured:

L to R:  Jim Bumgarner, Dave Lapoynte, Jean Fu.  John Werner
joined us today, but wasn't available for the group shot.

Jean and Dave discussing the fine points of landscape sketching.

Dave at work in the sagebrush. 
These storage tanks out behind the winery caught my eye. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Friday Morning Sketchabout"

More Wine-Country Sketching this Friday at 8am.  We will meet in the parking area behind the gas station between McD's and Freddy Meyers in Richland and head out at 8am.  Hope you can join us!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Early morning drawing with Urban Sketchers at the Mercer Winery in Prosser Washington, (near the landing zone for the Prosser Balloon Rally). This winery is the best: great people, great wine, great location, and they were playing Johnny Cash softly on the outside speakers!

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Tri City Urban Sketchers"

Sketching at Mercer Winey in Prosser, WA., Sept 28th, 2012.
LtoR:  Dave Poynter, Nancy Thurston, Jim Bumgarner

"Mercer Winery: Prosser, WA."

When I got home from our outing to Prosser's Mercer Winery, I redid my sketch on large 12 x 18 paper, and this is it.  I think the best part may be the birds. I forgot to add the supports for the overhangs over the doors, and I wanted to add the umbrellas they set up, just for us, toward the end of the draw and I completely forgot to add them.  And, the "border line" may be just a tad too DARK. 

This one is the original sketch done on the property.  It's a bit looser, I like that better, but I don't like what the "bordered line" did to the overall image.  That's one reason why I decided to use this as the guinea pig for a redo at a larger size.   

Interesting thing for me is the owner of the winery is Rob Mercer.  He was a student of mine at Prosser High the last year I was there.