Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Meet the Correspondent: Feather

 "Eye" 5x7
scrachboard 2015
    I began my creative endeavors as a photographer in my teens. I went on to spend the majority of my career in photojournalism, advertising, publication and fine art. It built good habits of laborious rigor and studious devotion to carrying a camera where ever I went. Once the world went digital it was like asking an architect to become a landscaper so after 25 years I retired from being a photographer. It was then that I made a severe shift from a collector of "shots" to what felt like more of an engaged participant in life. As famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said. "Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation."
Typical example of the many "working" sketchbooks I
I use simultaneously from day to day. 
Much like the "carry a camera wherever you go" motto of a photojournalist, I kept sketchbooks in abundance. I carried one wherever I went and drew everything I saw. Working only from life I was convinced that learning to draw would lead  me to advance in my art technique. While most of my friends thought me odd to draw all the time, I felt it was a necessity that I was not willing to sacrifice if I hoped to become a better artist. More importantly I was strengthening the relationship between eye, mind, heart and hand.
Burnesque Castle Germany
 5x7 graphite 2005
   As objects became easier to draw, my sketches began to morph more into scenes, like memories, to collect. When traveling, to sit and sketch something  was the most comprehensive way to absorb the environment's sights, smells, sounds and often meet the locals. For me, I would rather spend an after drawing at a cafe then seeing how many tourist destinations that I could check off a hitlist resulting in a handful of images that I would have no substance to support for any experience in visiting these places. This mindset carried over into my everyday life.
 1st sketch with Central
Park Sketch Group
Ballpoint pen 2009

 In 2009, when I lived in NYC, if I wasn't painting in the park with my pup then I was out with co-artists doing plein air,,, just to get out of the studio on the weekends. Spending so much time in the studio, working outdoors was like a vacation. I did short studies on the bus, during my lunch break... any down time I could before I finally joined my 1st "on site" drawing group, Central Park Sketchers.. A few years later when I left New York I got connected with my local plein air group but it wasn't quite the same as- sketching for half an hour, sharing your sketches, sketching another hour, sharing sketches... maybe it was the sharing but I missed my sketch group. I chatted with the local artists about going sketching together and was lucky to get one or two of them to join me every few weeks. For the most part, I went back to sketching alone.
1st USK Tacoma Sketch
Asian Pacific Cener
Watercolor 2013
   Before the Urban Sketchers Tacoma group even began, I met with the founder Frances Buckmaster. We swapped art ideas about community groups, made suggestions to one another about local sites and soon after she launched the group. Co facilitating the Penesula Art League's plein air group, I could not attend yet by fall I had become fascinated with enjoying the variety of other artists sketchbooks online. So when I finished my plein air group responsibilities in October, I went to my 1st outing in Nov. 2013. After sharing sketchbbooks, I learned that  this group was much like my NYC group and again I was able to enjoy the benefits of sharing sketchbooks- USK was a natural fit and I became an enthusiastic regular attendee. As time flew by, I was invited to share my passion for drawing with it's members as a writing correspondent on the blog. Being no stranger to sharing my support for the artist's sketchbook and the importance of drawing, I agreed... and the rest is history.
 Nissan Car interior 2014
4x5 shellac plate etching
    Although I am a retired photographer and don't work in the medium any longer, I do find the magic of image making through printmaking, painting and sketching. Like most artists much of my finished work has been made in the solidarity of a studio, Working outside the "4 walls" has been something that has led me to groups like Urban Sketching and Plein air. My on site sketch work includes pen &ink, graphite, charcoal, shellac plate etching, conte, ballpoint pen, scratchboard, oil paint, watercolor,,, to name a few. I enjoy experimenting with different mediums and playing with mixed media in my artwork. You may enjoy more of my sketches and artwork by visiting my personal blogs:


  1. Wonderful introduction! I had no idea about the variety of your career. Thanks for sharing this introduction.

  2. Thank you for your kind remark Kate. It was much more varied (wood sculpture, metalsmith, living in 4 corners directions of the US and overseas ect) but I tried to stick with honing "the mess" down to sketch related tidbits... probably too much information.