What is a true eclectic to do when her passions lead her in different directions?
This is a blog for the unfocused, the round pegs in the square holes, the short-attention span types, and all those who just can't bring themselves to join the ranks and adhere to a single category of activities or interests...whether sketches, drawings and comics, fixing an old farmhouse in Oregon, or whatever else strikes my fancy.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Matthew Brehm Workshop (03-27-11)

Matthew Brehm was an instructor at the Urban Sketchers Symposium last year. He came back to Portland to teach a workshop for the benefit of the Portland Urban Sketchers group and others who were interested in learning Sketching techniques from an architectural standpoint.

The workshop was held in the community room at People's Coop, in our old neighborhood. I was running a few minutes late, as always, but first had made a stop at St Jack's, the new bakery/restaurant on Clinton and 21st to pick up a hot chocolate and a (superb) ham and cheese croissant.

It was pretty interesting! I usually have difficulties sitting for long periods of time without getting distracted, but this was an excellent presentation, with photos, examples, suggestions... Where the presenter focuses on buildings foremost, and sees people as incidental to the setting, I favor people vs. surroundings. It's just a different approach to the same problems.

We had some time for lunch (I took the opportunity to pay a visit to I've Been Framed; they have great prices on art supplies), then we met downtown at Pioneer Courthouse Square (and I was late again...) to work on some sketches.
Pioneer Courthouse

While I was drawing Pioneer Courthouse, I was thinking of the days when the first floor was a charmingly old-fashioned post office, austere and cavernous, and when the decision was made, against the wishes of many and despite the heroic efforts of a few, to close the post office and, in effect, to turn the old courthouse into a quasi-private legal bastion, retrofitted with parking spaces under the building for the benefit of some federal judges. Alas, it has happened...

In rain and in cold...
The weather was wretched and cold, so it was quite startling to see a wedding group taking photos on the square. The bride was pretty, but, wearing a bare-shouldered dress in pouring rain, I can't imagine she was comfortable. The bridesmaids also wearing bare-shouldered, short satin dresses almost looked blue from the cold... It started raining pretty hard, and a few drops of rain fell on my sketchbook.

We then went to Central Library, and spent some time sketching inside.

An interesting collection of old papers and photographs from one of the early prominent families was displayed in the glass cases on the third floor, with some nice editorial sketches, all done in a quill pen dipped in ink...

Then, when we were done, we met again and looked at each other's sketchbook.

It was a fine day.

All the sketchbooks...


  1. Thanks for telling us about this workshop. I would love to attend something like this someday. Loved all the different sketches you showed.
    Aloha, Kate