Friday, August 31, 2012

"Hedges Winery"

We drove back to Hedges Winery this morning a little after 8am.  It's a beautiful winery, the landscaping is breathtaking, and the wine is superb. 
This was supposed to be my warm-up.  It's 6x9.

Looking straight on from the lawn, the light hitting the edges of the fountain caught my eye. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Come sketch with the Urban Sketchers tomorrow morning (Friday) at 8:00!  We'll meet in Richland near McDonalds in the Fred Meyer's parking lot and head towards the beautiful wineries in Benton City and Prosser.  See you there!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Sunday I sat in my back yard and drew a few of my favorite views.  In the first one, I remembered how important it is to relate the vertical lines to the edges of the page - so many of my drawings are crooked on the page (tho easy to remedy with the computer).  I left out all the leafy shade on the patio choosing not to mess up the cleanness of the foreground.  The second one was tricky in not getting lost in all the zig zagging lines back to the horizon.  Darker in the front and moving back to light light in the back helps things in front move forward.  The last one is done on gray paper with a new white Sharpie pen that is pretty worthless.  It melts into the page!  That may be better than dominating the scene however...

The Pasco Mercantile



Jim and I met up at 8 Saturday morning and headed north on 395 to Preston Cellars but it's not the most interesting building and the front of it is in the shade that time of day so we headed further north to the Merchantile (not sure the whole name here...).  We started outside where I got the colors too bright on the corn field/windmill but enjoyed the loosey goosey lines of the wagon.  Drawing that way is a challenge to just let things run into the next then into the next and oops - you end up in the wrong spot, so you just change it!  That one is my favorite.

Then we moved inside, had a sandwich and sampled all kinds of chocolate (what a way to spend the day!) and then settled in to draw the interior of the place.  What a challenge!!!  Not only are there people MOVING everywhere there are boxes and boxes of fruit, salsa, chocolate, enchiladas PLUS a green and white checkered floor.  I started out sketching people as fast as I could and did a few thumbnails then settle in on the second floor eating area with a balcony overlooking the giant counter.  No checkered floor in sight...

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Old Pasco Air Field"

After a bit of a snafu on my part this morning regarding starting time (I was half an hour late), Nancy waited and must have left for home about 5 minutes before I come pulling into the parking lot.  I called and she was out walking FIVE dogs and off to another chapter of her day. 
So, with nothing better to do for a while, I drove over to what used to be called "old Pasco" looking for something to sketch.  I couldn't keep my eye off that old airport tower that was recently refurbished thanks to the efforts of the Bergsma Air, and the city's repsonse to those efforts.  Anyway, the old tower served in the '40's as the airport tower for the thousands of naval air pilots who trained here for the war.   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"California Adventure"

The "gang" I was hanging with at "California Adventure" last month was on the move to catch the tram back to our room, so I had only a minute, or less, to capture the essence of this view. Quick lines of the skyline, the outline of the building on the right and some semblance of the perpsective in the bottom lines of the far buildings as they face the boulvard.  All while they walk around a far corner and I can hear my wife asking, "Jim, are you coming?"   
Almost a month later, while waiting for my wife to do some shopping, I laid a few more lines down and it began to look like what I had in mind.  Then today, Aug. 22nd, I added a bit of watercolor and "wa-la" it nudges me closer yet to the idea that it is the line and the color of a sketch rather than the accurate depiction of the thing being sketched that lends it "life." 
Yeah, I like this one.

"California Adventure" is located in the old parking lot at Disnyland in Anaheim. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Lampson Crane Tracks and Base"

"Lampson Cranes," worldwide in distribution, are manufactured here in the Tri-Cities. This is the base of what appears would/will be a gigantic crane. To get the size, note the two men, one on each side of the drawing.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

L'Ecole Winery, Lowden Wa, Lapoynte

A few sketches of the wonderful winery.

The Inaugural: "Third Saturday Sketchcrawl"

We have had lots of outings, sketchcrawls, if you will, most of them on Saturdays.  For each we have had everwhere from a dozen people to one person participate.  Today was a one person day so not a great inauguration for our first ever, "Third Saturday Sketchcrawl," but hey, it's
off the ground anyway.  

We decided to go with just one Saturday a month for those who can't join us on the "Casual Friday Sketchcrawls."  We still have hope that one day we will have droves of Tri-City folks interested in drawing, sketching, painting, art will join us because the sketchcrawls, whether Friday or Saturday, are fun; we all have new friends because of it; our skills continue to improve; and we belong to the world-wide phenomenon of Urban Sketchers. 

Here are two sketches done today by Jim Bumgarner.  

While waiting to see if anyone else would participate, I sketched
some of the cars in the parking lot at the 509 Artspace.

After leaving the Artspace, I drove over to the Starbucks near Gold's Gym and found
a couple of ladies having a nice lattee.  My plan here was to
capture them as my mentor, Jim Richards would. 

L'Ecole 41 Winery

These are my sketches of L'Ecole Winery near Walla Walla.  I started out with the blue ink in my new Lamy pen and did the 4 tiny thumbnails (the third picture above).  Not liking the blue so much, I switched out the ink and went to my larger watercolor journal and THEN switched to a pencil to come up with the third drawing shown here.  You can see some residual of the blue ink.  The pencil drawing was nice but there were so many details and angles on those roofs and windows, etc. - it was tough to capture.  I flipped the page and did the best one (I think) which is the first drawing shown here.  It seems to highlight the front door and the 3 level tiered entry.  The last drawing shown was back to my little sketchbook.

I am wondering if the extra fine tipped Lamy pen lends itself better to the smaller drawings - I tend to get lost in the details with that tiny tip on a big piece of paper!  (The third drawing was really crazy and free - sometimes, I just gotta do that...)

Friday, August 17, 2012

"L'Ecole Winery: near Walla Walla"

Dave Pointer, Jim Bumgarner, Nancy Thurston at L'Ecole Winery on Aug. 17, 2012

The Urban Sketchers: Tri-Cities, WA group traveled down the Walla Walla highway this morning to the L'Ecole Winery in Lowden, WA.  It was a beautiful morning with low, yet bright light and cool, crisp air.  We had another great time and just have the hardest time trying to understand why so many Tri City artists, who know we do this, stay home. 

Oh well...

Here are some of the sketches we created.  Enjoy. 
L to R, Top to Botton:  Jim, Dave, Nancy and Nancy

L to R, top to botton:  Jim, Dave, Nancy and Nancy

Unfortunately this is the only photo of the old school house turned into winery we came home with.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"The Blue Bridge on a Hot Day"

With the thermometer creeping toward 100 degrees today I stopped in the park to sketch the old Blue Bridge which spans the Columbia river between Kennewick and Pasco, WA. 

Standing almost 60 years now, it still looks good.  I'm amazed that for these three cities having a total of about 25 - 30,000 people in the early fifties, they had the foresight to make it a four-laner. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


What would everyone say about meeting in the Pasco Red Lion parking lot (in the NW corner by Roasters Coffee) at 7:00 am and driving to L'Ecole 41 on the way to WW this Friday?  It's about 20 minutes or so in the opposite direction of where we've been going...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

6th Street Coffee, Prosser WA, Lapoynte

Stopped in here for an iced coffee on a very hot day!


Here is a link to the New York Studio Schools annual drawing marathon.  It is 2 grueling weeks of drawing for 8 hours a day!  Imagine your skill level at the end of this (I can't)!

This is the school I attended for the Fall quarter a couple years ago and highly recommend it.  I did not plan this year, but I plan to attend next year for sure.  Granted, it is not for the weak of heart or the semi-committed, but I wanted to share...

Sunday, August 12, 2012


You've heard the story...


One thing Jim brought back with him from the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Santa Domingo was the art of the thumbnail.  I started with a small page of thumbnails - no more than 2" square - of the Desert Wind Winery building.  It's a cool exercise and proves to loosen you up, gets you to notice light and shadow and more importantly I think - composition.

I am using my new Lamy fountain pen (another Jim suggestion from his trip) even though it came with blue ink (the black is still enroute).  When I tried washing over the lower drawing, I determined the blue ink is not permanent and a simple wet brush did a really great job of getting shadows.  I went back over the washed out drawing with more line drawing.  

These early morning sessions are lovely!!!

"Calle El Conde": Part Two

Sketching isn't everyone's "cup of tea."  Many of the "finer" artists view it as something below their level of expertise; but the more I do, the more I watch, listen, discuss, think, compare and contrast, and research it, the more it pulls on me.

When I first started messing about with art I tried to create watercolors that were as close to the "real thing" as possible ("fine art?".

It has taken me about ten years to realize that the thing that brings life and energy to a drawing is not the inherent accuracy of the thing being drawn, but rather the emotion and expression of the lines and the colors applied.

This is the "Calle El Conde," a sweet, upscale, vehicle-less boulevard in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The drawing feels like the one that is taking me into a whole new place with my art. Thanks to Urban Sketchers in general and Veronica Lawlor in particular for the journey.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hinzerling Winery, Vintner's Inn, Prosser WA, Lapoynte

First winery in Prosser and maybe the first winery in Eastern Washington.
The winery building is not really this narrow, -Artistic license.

Desert Wind Winery, Prosser WA, Lapoynte

"Desert Wind and Hinzerling Wineries"

We met at 7am this morning and drove back up into the wine country in and around Prosser, WA., to sketch more winery 'things.' Our first stop was at the Desert Wind Winery which overlooks I-82 as it winds its way across the Yakima river and heads eastward toward the Tri-Cities.  The winery was built sometime in the late 80's/early 90's as we moved from Prosser in 1984 and it wasn't there at that time. 

L to R top to bottom:  Nancy using her new Lamy pen, Jim,
Jan with graphite, and Dave.
Our second stop was down close to the heart of Prosser proper at the Hinzerling Winery.  Hinzerling, originally owned by Mike Wallace, was the very first winery in Prosser, 1976.  I remember it being quite the 'hit' as few people living there at the time had ever been to a winery and suddenly we had one of our own. Established in an old garage, and still there, rustic and original, their wines are as well produced as any of the others on the market today.  

L to R, top to bottom:  Nancy, Jim, Jan and Dave.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"36th World Wide Sketchcrawl - Musicians in Parque Colon, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic"

July 14, 2012, the last day of the Santo Domingo USk symposium, and the 36th WWSketchcrawl. Earlier I noticed the guy in the turban sitting on this bench. He wasn't part of the symposium, but he had his sketchbook out and he was sketching. I sat down beside him and started asking questions. His name is Harry and he is from NYC. He told me he was with a group and they would be performing later in one of the clubs here at the Parque Colon. I quickly learned the group he was with was the group of musicians I had watched the night before in the Calle Pedro Bellini Plaza. Fabulous, these guys. We talked a bit more and I moved on. Not long afterwards I hear some music, turn, and see a small group of the musicians creating some of their Caribben style music and they are surrounded by the USKers in the park. I was late arriving to the scene so was only able to capture these two, the guitar player, and Harry.

See the vid I took of them the night before, here:

Thanks to Jim Richards for the idea to toss in some color to hopefully enhance the energy and fun these guys were having.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Nancy at Chandler Reach Winery

So I'm not sure why Dave didn't put this one up on the blog.  It is me drawing them.  I don't remember wearing a dress, sitting on a bucket or having an admiral's cap on my head but the sunglasses I DO remember...

Chandler Reach Winery

Friday morning was PERFECT for drawing outside of Benton City last week.  The weather was beautiful, the shadows were long and deep and the company was terrific!  Here are Jim and Dave sketching away...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chandler Reach Winery, Benton City WA, Lapoynte

Chandler Reach Winery is Beautiful. It sets above the Yakima River and looks out over the farmland on the South slope of rattlesnake Mountain.

Second "Casual Friday Sketchcrawl"

Four USkTCWA sketchers met this morning at 7am and drove about 10 miles west to the Chandler Reach Winery to do some sketching.  7am? We wanted to escape the heat of the day and see if we could capture some of that pure morning light.  Four?  Jan Watson, Nancy Thurston, Jim Bumgarner, and Dave Pointer.

Chandler Reach Winery
L to R, top to bottom: Jan, Dave, Jim, Nancy, Nancy
L to R, top to bottom: Jan, Dave, Jim, Nancy
Jim's thumbnails in the style of "The Decisive Moment" workshop presented by
Melanie Rheims and Nathalie Ramieriz, Santo Domingo.
Jim's quick sketch, no pencil, just the adventure of ink.
Jim's sketch with winery in background.

We have decided to make the "Casual Friday Sketchcrawl" a weekly event, check the upper left margin for updates regarding times, where to meet and where we will be going.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Please note the addition of a new blog, Urban Sketchers Chicago, to our blogroll of USk Communities in the left margin.  They are bran-new to the community and have a great looking blog.  You can check them out at this link as well.

Also:  We will be heading out on a casual weekday outing at 7am this Friday, the 3rd.  Meet us at 7am at the gas station between Fred Meyers and McDonalds in Richland for another fun trip into the Wine Country.  Everyone is invited!  

Also please note, we will re-instituting a monthly outing on the Third Saturday of each month beginning this month, August.  These outings will run from 10am to 1 pm with a get together planned at 1 for sharing and commenting.  Hope you can join us!!