Friday, December 31, 2010

Copy of a Snow Scene

This evening I made a watercolor using as a teaching guide. Tried to get foreground, mid-ground and background well defined. A good learning experience.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Streamliner Cook

This week I'm taking some time off to recover from Christmas burnout. I had breakfast sitting at the counter at the Streamliner Diner this morning and sketched the cook in front of me. My breakfast was hot, steamy and delicious!

I've been mostly puttering around this week, slowing myself down and trying to think about what changes I want to make in the coming year. My goal is to simplify my life and do more of the things I enjoy and I'm good at.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Estuary at Lynwood

After my appointment this morning, I drove around beautiful Bainbridge Island until I found this estuary near Lynwood Center. It's a lovely peaceful place, and I spent a happy hour there making this watercolor.

Allan Futterman, Symphony Conductor

On Saturday as we rehearsed for the Bremerton Symphony Chorale Christmas concert, I sketched the conductor, Alan Futterman, as he led the Bremerton Symphony.

The Rev. Dr. Dennis Tierney

Yesterday I attended the funeral of the Rev. Webster Barnett at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bainbridge Island. As a member of the clergy, I entered with the procession and sat up in the chancel. From my seat in a nook beside the altar, I was able to sketch the Rector, Dennis Tierney, as he gave the sermon. I added watercolor later.

In the sermon, Dennis spoke eloquently about Webster's life, including his service with the Tenth Mountain Division in WWII.  Long after his retirement as a priest, Webster continued to provide pastoral care to parishioners, visiting the sick, bringing communion, faithful to the end.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The old Peterson farm

At the upper end of the meadows where Clear Creek Trail runs, there's an old farm with a beautifully sagging barn. Often I walk the trail near this old barn, and today I made this watercolor.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day at Margo's

We spent Thanksgiving with Katy's sister, Margo, who lives in the mountains above the Columbia River Gorge. Chad and Brittany joined us, as well as Guy and his friend, Cori. Here's a watercolor of Margo's house in the snow.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Diocesan House

From the ferry terminal, I walked through downtown Seattle on a beautiful clear autumn day. I felt so good  being in the pulse of the city. I grabbed bus #49 just as it was leaving Third and Pike, which got me to the Diocesan House about 15 minutes early (gasp). So I stood outside and made a pencil sketch of the lovely old building. After the meeting I stayed to add watercolor.

Seattle skyline

Yesterday I was again on the ferry to go to a meeting of the clergy association board (I love riding the ferry!). As we came in view of the Seattle skyline, I made a quick sketch.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

To get to Convention, I took the ferry and the light rail. While I was waiting for the ferry to arrive in Bremerton, I made this quick sketch of the steel yard for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard next to the ferry terminal.

Diocesan Convention

Last Friday and Saturday I attended the annual convention of the Diocese of Olympia. It involved a lot of sitting in meetings, so I made some sketches as I listened. Above is the convention hall; below are some interesting faces.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Old house on Darling Road

Today was a lovely autumn day, with cool breezy weather and bright fall colors. I explored the side roads off Tracyton Boulevard and found this old building on Darling Rd. While I was painting, I saw the neighbors eying me, so I cheerfully introduced myself and asked if it was OK to paint. Naturally they said yes, and the lady even brought me a bottle of water after I'd been painting a while.

It turns out that the man grew up in this house when it was located nearby on the beach, and he'd lived on the property most of his seventy years. His father (the original Mr. Darling) bought the property ages ago and operated a sawmill in the forties and fifties. The sawmill, in very dilapidated condition, is still there - the subject of another watercolor!

Starbucks grandma

I made a sketch of this elderly lady I often see in Starbucks. It's not true that Starbucks is just for young people!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Last night the Bremerton Chorale rehearsed with the Bremerton Symphony in preparation for our concert this Saturday evening. While we were listening to the symphony, I made this sketch of a 'cello player and the assistant director, Gary Dahl, as he conducted the Beethoven piece.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homeless in Seattle

Today I flew into Seattle from Denver and took the light rail to the ferry terminal. While I was waiting for the ferry, I met Mike under the Alaska Way viaduct. His face was dark, intense, moody. I put a few dollars in his cup and asked if I could sketch him. I sat on the ground on the other side of the tunnel and sketched as people walked between us. I hope he's OK tonight.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Field near La Junta, Colorado

I'm visiting my mother in La Junta, Colorado, in Southeastern Colorado. This morning was warm and clear, and I drove out south of town and painted this sketch of a field in front of some rocky hills. A very peaceful place.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Front Range

On the way to see my sister in Boulder, I pulled over to a viewpoint on Highway 36 and made this sketch of the Front Range of Colorado. I used both pages of the Moleskine notebook to get the panorama. What a beautiful and dramatic place.

On the plane to Denver

I'm on vacation this week, which hopefully means more time for watercolors. I flew to Denver on Monday and made this sketch of my fellow passenger. He slept soundly for a good protion of the flight which gave me plenty of time to sketch him and then add watercolors. The young Asian woman on my right was too polite to watch me watercolor, but she was delighted when I showed her the finished sketch.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ferry to Seattle

Today I took the ferry to Seattle for a meeting of the clergy association board. On the way over, the ferry wasn't very crowded so I got a cup of coffee and made a sketch of this guy. He was reading a book and stayed very still the whole time.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coupla guys in Starbucks

I sketched these guys in Starbucks today in pencil and then added an ink wash later.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Starbucks portraits

This morning I went to Starbucks to work on my sermon for tomorrow. It's a nice sunny day, and a group of motorcycle guys were outside at the table drinking coffee. So I looked through the window and made a watercolor of this guy. I love the street theater of Harley Davidson guys -- all that black leather and metal. I'm happy that I made this with the watercolor brush and no pen and ink.

This guy was across the room, and I sketched him loosely with pen, then added the watercolor wash. And I also got quite a lot done on my sermon.

Monday, September 13, 2010


After my appointment in Bainbridge Island today, I got a cup of coffee and wrote up my notes on our meeting. Then I sketched this guy on the patio outside Bainbridge Bakers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shipyard gate

The shipyard in Bremerton is a source of great fascination for me. It's heavily barricaded with a steel fence all around, and the entrances bristle with electronic barriers and imposing bars. But it has 10,000 workers, and you can see them at shift changes lugging their backpacks and briefcases as they come and go. It's a place of amazing energy and industry. Today I sat near an entrance and made this sketch.

Steve's Alley Espresso

I love to poke around in forgotten corners and discover hidden places. One of my favorite places is the alley next to one of the walk-in entrances of the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. This alley is jammed with cars and little houses. During shift changes, shipyard workers pour in and out of the barricaded entrance. Off to the side of the entrance is a brick building, and in the basement level there's a door with a small sign that says, "espresso".

Today I went there and found a tiny subterranean coffee shop with a petite barista and a hulking customer. I got a cup of coffee and started making a sketch. The barista asked me about my weekend; I said I was a pastor and would be preaching on Sunday. Before I know it we were talking about religion. The customer joined in and I hardly had time to sketch.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cavalon building

The Cavlon building is almost brand-new, one of those glass and cantilevered roof buildings they're building these days. It's quite attractive, and it sits part way up Bucklin Hill so that it looks out over the whole Silverdale valley...the silver dale, I guess. A cloudy day in Puget Sound.

Starbucks couple

I saw this couple in Starbucks in deep conversation. Wonder what they were talking about.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Camp sketch

I spent this week car camping with my two sons. For years we've spent summer vacations car camping, and we have a camping kit we throw in the car whenever we go. The kitchen box in the sketch above belonged to my parents when I was a kid. It must go back to the early fifties. The beat-up pots and pans are also old family relics still serving staunchly. I love these old things and they make me feel connected to my family and memories of camping with them when I was a boy.

Cape Disappointment lighthouse

My son Guy and I camped at Cape Disappointment State Park in southwest Washington. In the evening we drove out the north jetty road and came upon this view of the lighthouse. What a great watercolor subject! I grabbed my brushes and tried to capture the rugged beauty of this spot.

Oysterville, Washington

I just got back from a week of vacation on the Oregon and Washington coasts. My two sons and I camped and hiked and saw good friends. While we were in the Willapa Bay area, we stopped by this old oyster shack and made a watercolor. It was a lovely summer afternoon, warm with blue skies and a few clouds over the mainland. I spent a good hour making this watercolor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Playing around with color

I've been playing around with color to see what happens when you saturate the paper with color. I mixed up some rich solutions of prussian blue, cadmium yellow, and burnt sienna and sloshed them onto a piece of paper. Luscious!

I'd like to be able to paint more freely and loosely, laying in the colors without being fussy. This is my way of loosening up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vintage Apartments in Silverdale

Yesterday I led a Bible study at Vintage Apartments in Silverdale. Five elderly ladies and I explored "blessings" in the Bible. Afterward I made this sketch of the building.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pickup truck

It was a hot day today, and people were doing water sports along the Washington Narrows. After I finished a hospital visit, I stopped by the Lebo Park boat ramp and made this watercolor of a truck and boat trailer parked near the boat ramp.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Port Townsend

On Friday I bicycled 18 miles near Port Townsend, then had a big plate of Boatyard Hash at Hudson Point Cafe, then made a watercolor of downtown Port Townsend. What a great day.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Starbucks laptop user

I went to Starbucks today to work on my sermon. A young woman came in and sat down in front of me and worked intently on her computer. How could I resist using her as a model? She hardly moved an eyelash, except to take a drink every so often.

Today is sermon day. I'm so burned out from VBS this week I'm having difficulty focusing on the lessons. Out of gas. But Sunday's a-comin', so I'd better get inspired. And fast.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Seabold Farm

On the way home I found this lovely pastoral scene on Komedal Road on Bainbridge Island. Sheep were grazing in a meadow in front of an old barn with fir trees behind. I parked in the driveway to paint, and when I was halfway through the owner came up to the car window and apologetically asked if I could move so he could get in his driveway. He said, "Go problem painting." Wonderful!

Bainbridge Bakery patio

Today was the last day of Vacation Bible School. I'm exhausted. I drove to Bainbridge Island and had a roll and a cup of coffee at Bainbridge Bakery as a way of recovering. I made this sketch to relax.

Claremont Apartments

Yesterday afternoon after Vacation Bible School I made a visit to a parishioner at Claremont Apartments in Bremerton. Afterward I made a sketch of the sign in front of the apartment building as a way of relaxing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Streamliner Diner cooks

This morning I bicycled 16 miles on Bainbridge Island, then went to breakfast at the Streamliner Diner. I watched the cook make my "Morning Saute"...tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions and spinach over two poached eggs and toast. Scrumptious. He threw the vegies in a black frying pan and swished and flipped them over a high flame till they were steamy and soft, then he carefully dredged two eggs out of the hot water. Mmmm.

After I ate my breakfast, I sketched the cooks at work.

Bremerton shipyard

Made this quick sketch of the Bremerton Naval shipyard from the ferry yesterday as we left the Bremrton ferry terminal.

Beach log at Point White

This morning I took a 16-mile ride around the south end of Bainbridge Island. Afterward I drove back to Point White and made a watercolor of this drift log on the beach. The colors are light, so it didn't scan very well.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hi-Lo Cafe

This morning I rode my bicycle up Central Valley Road almost to Poulsbo and back, and went out to breakfast at Hi-Lo's Fifteenth St. Cafe in Bremerton afterward. Sketched these guys at the booth in the back.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tracyton Public House

Katy's away on a visit to her sisters, so after an 18-mile bicycle ride, I had a burger and beer at the Tracyton Pub down the street.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Homeless portrait

I was struck by this photo of a homeless man by stoneth (Tom Stone) and thought I would sketch his strong face.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Bainbridge sidewalk

Today Guy and I went to Bainbridge Island for an errand and stopped at Blackbird Bakery for a cup of coffee. We sat outside on the sidewalk benches and I made this sketch of Guy.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Copy of a portrait

Today in the Poulsbo Artist League meeting I painted this copy of a portrait by Anne Watkins. The original is here.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Streamliner Diner

The Streamliner Diner in Bainbridge Island has excellent food, great atmosphere, and usually a long line of people waiting to get in.