Monday, September 18, 2017

October 2017 Outings

Here they are, all in one place.  Remember, if you want to check again at any time, they are also on the Monthly Outings page:

First Saturday October 7th, 2017: Wright Park Conservatory

316 South G Street, Tacoma, WA 98405

We’ll meet in front of the Conservatory at 10:00 AM.  Limited parking is available on the circle in front of the conservatory, otherwise there is ample parking on the streets surrounding the park.

Wright Park is 27 acres of arboretum, ponds, play/spray grounds and botanical gardens surrounded by some fine old neighborhood architecture… plenty of interesting sketch sites.  In case of rain, we will be able to sketch in the Conservatory where there are lots of strange plants. 

At 12:30 PM we’ll regroup for sketch sharing and photos, followed by lunch at the Hob Nob Restaurant across from the white lions’ entrance to the park at 716 S. 6th Avenue for those who wish to stay for lunch.


Second Thursday, October 12:  Cathie Johnson’s home in Gig Harbor

Cathie Johnson has graciously opened her home to us to sketch on Thursday October 12, at 10 a.m., rain or shine.  Harbor, water, and garden views are waiting to be sketched from inside or out of her lovely home. 

Bring a packed lunch or enjoy one of the many restaurants in Gig Harbor.

Directions on Hwy 16 W from Tacoma:
Cross the Narrows Bridge
Exit to Gig Harbor City Center/Wollochet Dr.
Go straight through intersection and down hill on Stinson
*At the bottom of the hill turn left onto Harborview
Continue around the harbor past Anthony’s
Turn right at the T (Vernhardsen/96th NW)
Turn right on Randall (2nd R)
Fifth house on the right
Directions on Hwy 16 E from north:
Exit to Gig Harbor City Center/Wollochet Dr.
Turn left at exit/cross over freeway
Turn left on Stinson at light; go down hill
*Proceed as above


Third Wednesday, October 18:  Watson's Nursery

6211 Pioneer Way East, Puyallup, WA 98371

This is an indoors-outdoors sketch outing, depending on the weather.   

We will meet at 10 a.m. in the covered area outside the front doors to the store. 

For early birds: Watson’s opens at 9 am.

Anton’s Café, inside Watson’s, is an option for lunch.  Details to follow.     


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Parlking Day

Yesterday, Urban Sketchers Tacoma participated in the Tacoma Park(ing) Day.  It was just one of many locations participating in International Park(ing) Day.

"Park(ing) Day is an international event in which artists, citizens, and businesses will temporarily transform a metered parking spot into temporary public space. Park(ing) Day’s mission is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, generate discussion and debate around how public space is utilized, and to improve the quality of urban habitat."

I was joined by Frances, Feather and AJ.  Only got a photo of Frances and me:

We met several people who were very interested in joining us for outings in the future.  I hope we see them soon.

During the 4 hours, I managed to do one sketch of the corner of the Children's Museum across the street.  I stopped many times to talk to visitors to our park!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A pleasant campus

For our First Saturday (Sept 2) outing, we gathered at University of Puget Sound. It is a beautiful, "red brick" campus with manicured lawns and tall trees. I found the architecture very appealing.

 It is a 4 year liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It was  founded in 1888. They are the "Loggers".

As usual, we (Feather & Carolyn carpooled with me) arrived early and had some time to explore the campus. I decided during this walk through that this spire and the fountain would be my sketch subjects.

Sharing sketches and the group photo

We had planned for lunch in a cafe off campus but, when called, they thought they might be too full to accommodate a group. Fortunately, during our walk around, we found the university cafeteria. It was a good place for lunch with many choices and lots of room for our group to sit together.

After lunch, a few of us went into the library to see the exhibit "Mare Made", featuring a retrospective of the art books by local artist Mare Blocker.  We also encountered a small exhibit of a group of Chandler O'Leary's prints.

Only as we were leaving did I see the observatory. I hope we'll sketch there again next year and will remember that I want to sketch this next.

Monday, August 28, 2017


At the beginning of August, several sketchers from Urban Sketchers Tacoma took part in a 2 day workshop held in Mount Vernon, WA, that was lead by UK sketcher, Pat Southern-Pearce. She is a very talented and well followed artist as well as an excellent instructor. We were fortunate to have been among the few who were able to secure spots for her first ever Pacific NW visit.

Following each demonstration, we were encouraged to go out and utilize what we had learned in sketches done in 3 various garden settings. Each garden had so many interesting vantage points and we all spread out to find what caught our attention the most for drawing. Easily, I could've spent a week sketching in the final garden with its wide array of garden 'rooms', fanciful chicken coops, greenhouses and iron sculptures. It was a little slice of heaven.

I was able to utilize my Sailor bent nib fountain pen, Prismacolor colored pencils and white gel pens on toned paper and get pleasing results. I'm interested in seeing how some of the techniques Pat shared with us will influence the way I already sketch. Future drawings will show!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Point Defiance Marina

We met this morning to sketch around the Pt. Defiance Marina. There were so many scenes that interested me I decided to do a two page montage.  The sketch on the far left I didn't like, so I did another one and made it a patch. 

More Photos:

September Sketch Outings

September will be a month with more opportunities as we have our regularly scheduled outings plus two Ad Hoc outings (so far)!  

First Saturday, September 2nd:   University of Puget Sound


We’ll meet at 10:00 AM at the low brick circle just to the right of Thompson Hall
Options for a campus map:

Parking lot (P4) is adjacent to the building off N. Union Ave at 14th Street (nearest GPS address is 1451 N. Union, Tacoma).

At 12:30 PM we’ll regroup at the brick circle for sketch sharing and photos. 

Lunch is at the Rosewood Café, 3323 N. 26th St. (just ½ mile away between N. Union & N. Alder).


Second Thursday, September 14th: Skansie Brothers Park

3211 Harborview Dr, Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Meet at 10am at the pavilion in Skansie Brothers Park. Sketching in Gig Harbor choices include waterfront, historical and retail sites.

Take route 16 to Gig Harbor City Center/Wollochet Drive

From South:
At top of ramp turn right onto Pioneer Way, continue to T intersection at water, turn left, park is on right in about 200 feet.  Park your car in marked spots, but avoid ones marked 30 minute limit.

From North:
At top of ramp turn left, cross over 16, Wollochet becomes Pioneer Way, follow above directions 


Third Wednesday, September 20: Breakwater Marina

 5603 N Waterfront Dr, Tacoma, WA 98407

This is a private marina to the right of the Vashon Ferry dock (as you enter toward the dock) at the entrance of Point Defiance Park.  There are many boats to sketch, some construction, views of the sound and the Vashon ferry.  

Meet at 10 am at the Kiosk next to the entry/parking for the Marina.   

Directions:  Do not enter the ferry line.  Take the "through traffic" street to the left of the ferry lane.  At the bottom of the hill, turn right to enter the Marina area.  However, there might be no parking there and it is restricted (see below).  Thus, turn left to park in the ferry parking lot. 

Staff at the Marina said that if there are spaces, we may go to the office (far end of the parking lot) to request a parking pass. If you park in the Marina lot you must get a pass or be towed.  If there isn't enough space for their customers, we'll have to park further away in the ferry lot.


 Parking Day - September 15th  (Ad Hoc outing)

Park(ing) Day is an international event in which artists, citizens, and businesses will temporarily transform a metered parking spot into temporary public space. Park(ing) Day’s mission is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, generate discussion and debate around how public space is utilized, and to improve the quality of urban habitat.

We'll set up between 9 and 10 am.  Our park will be open from 10 am to  2pm.  Location has not yet been assigned so watch this space for an update.  

We'll have tables, as above in the photo.  Bring chairs and your sketching kits.  We'll be talking about Urban Sketching with the people who visit our park.  

 September 23  Van Lierop Garden Market Ad Hoc Outing

1020 Ryan Ave, Sumner, WA 98390

We've been invited to sketch during an event at the Garden Market in conjunction with the wine walk. It is a delightful space where we've sketched before. The event is 3pm to 7pm. 



Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Back when the annual west coast urban sketcher event was going to be held in Vancouver my sketch buddy and long time friend Ken Fulton and I made plans to attend the event along with our wives. We reserved rooms at the University of BC Gage Towers and when the event was canceled we decided to make a weekend out of it anyway. As it turns out, at the last minute the Vancouver Urban Sketchers group put together sketch outings for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ken and I attended the Saturday outing at the Olympic Park on the Vancouver waterfront while our wives enjoyed a shopping tour of nearby Granville Island.

The ships anchored in English sketched at dusk with a think layer of forest fire smoke. Also enjoyed sketching at the Asian and the Anthropology museum.