Art, Landscape, Painting, Plein Air, Portland, Sketching, Urban Landscape, watercolor

Foggy Sunday Morning Sketchcrawl and Tagged



The Steel Bridge

5″ x 8″ ink and watercolor in Sketchbook

Click here to visit this site on Google Maps

I went on another solo sketchcrawl today in foggy Old Town Portland. This is the top of the Steel Bridge, (the same bridge I painted from below, a couple of posts ago).

I started the morning with breakfast at one of my favorite spots, the Bijou Cafe, where I did the sketch below.


Inside the Bijou Cafe

3 1/2″ x 10″ ink and watercolor

Click here to see this site on Google Maps

I usually get down there pretty early in the morning and sketch as the vendors setup for Saturday Market for a while then head across the river to SE Main near Water Ave for one more sketch from my truck (it’s a little cold sitting outside).


I5, the Hawthorne Bridge and KOIN Tower

5″ x 8″ ink and watercolor

Click here to visit this site on Google maps



I was tagged recently by Celeste Bergin, check out her blog at Celeste Paints. Celeste is a founder and one of the primary organizers of the Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters. Unfortunately for me, their paint outs are on weekdays when I’m working.


The rules are:

1. Link to person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules
3. List 6 or 7 unusual things about yourself or quirky but boring, unspectacular details about yourself
4. Tag 6 or 7 other bloggers at the end of your post and comment on their blogs to let them know they’ve been tagged


The 7 unusual things I’ll list here are jobs I’ve had over the years:

1. For 2 summers, while in college, I worked as a drawbridge tender on 2 railroad bridges. It was pretty spooky leaving there at 11 PM at the end of my shift.

2. I completed the first year of a 2 year Machinist Apprenticeship.

3. I worked for several years as a cook in restaurants in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Eastern Long Island, NY

4. I apprenticed as a Handmade Papermaker with Douglass Morse Howell, who made paper for lots of famous artists.

5. I worked for oil paint manufacturer Robert Gamblin of Gamblin Artist Colors.

6. I had a landscape contracting business for 16 years.

7. I once worked for a day tuning waterfalls at a convent in the Columbia River Gorge.

OK, at Frank Gardner’s urging, I lied about one of the jobs I had. See if you can catch my lie.

I really don’t think anyone is left untagged at this point so I’ll just list 7 artist blogs that I find especially enjoyable and inspiring.

Juilan Merrow Smith

Steven Goodman

Frank Edwards

Eric Jacobsen

Donald Yatomi

Lli Wliburn

Nico Muhly (composer)

Scott Conary

OK, that’s eight, I can’t help myself. Here’re some more artists whose work I love:

Timothy Horn

Alex Kanevsky

Jennifer Balkan

Heather Horton

Marc Bohne

Kate Lehman

David Shelvino

Christine Lefuente

Connie Hayes

16 thoughts on “Foggy Sunday Morning Sketchcrawl and Tagged”

  1. Your urban sketches are amazing. There are never enough of them for me. And I really hope you were a waterfall tuner at a convent. But if not, it’s a great idea.


  2. These are great sketches! I love Portland and the Oregon area….wish I could get back out there and really do some art. Last time I was with non-artist people, who kept me moving most of the time!

    I also would LOVE to get with some other plein air artists, but, as the same with you…they hold their plein air adventures during the week…I don’t know why this is so common,….I wish many people would appreciate the plights of working artists. I hope you find a group that meets during the weekend..I wish the same for me! Keep painting!


  3. Your sketchbooks are my encouragement to aim for doing more of these. They’re so well seen and just beautiful.
    I’m going to have a gander down your list Bill- lots of new names. ( new potential tagess- we’re running out of people!! )


  4. Hi Kristin, Thanks for your continued encouragement. I really enjoy your photos of Portland and often find inspiration for places to paint. I did indeed spend time tuning waterfalls at the convent in Bridal Veil.

    Hi Bill, It was comfortable in the cafe but the waiting line was stacking up and I would have been evicted sooner or later. Mosquitos are not really a problem in Portland. I wonder if it has anything to do with air quality 😦

    Hi Ronell, thanks for stopping by


  5. Frank,
    not much interest in playing the game here but you are correct. It was, however, kind of a white lie. I did actually work for Robert Gamblin when he was still making paint in his garage. As a landscaper, I pruned a large hedge for him in return for paint and spent another day labeling tubes but I was never officially employed by him. I did have a small landscaping business for 16 years. I mostly did ornamental pruning at upscale gardens.


  6. Nancy, welcome to my blog and thanks for taking the time to write. Actually there is another plein air group here who paint on weekends and I do occasionally go with them. I find that my taste in subject matter is not necessarily shared by all so I often paint on my own. I hope you find someone to paint with in your area.

    Hi Bonnie. I thought maybe the tagging virus was over for a while. I’m glad you stopped by.

    Thanks Casey. I sometimes think how nice it would be to sketch with you and Ronell along the Loire.


  7. Hi Bill,
    I enjoyed your answers…and thanks for being such a good sport! Is the lie #6? Your new sketches are great as always..I love the steel bridge. There is something deliciously creepy about it! I guess because it is black!


  8. Celeste, The Steele Bridge is my favorite of Portland’s bridges. I’ve never though of it as creepy but I know what you mean, and there was that couple who hung themselves on it a few years back.

    #6 is not the lie, it was #5. I was never employed by Robert Gamblin at Gamblin Colors. I did do some landscaping for him at his home in trade for paint and helped him label some paint tubes when he was working out of his garage, also for trade, however.


  9. lovely sketches and thanks for the all the links – quite a few that are not on my list and I enjoyed seeing their work. i’d assumed that no. 7 was the one but from your comments i realised that I’d guessed incorrectly 😀


  10. Great sketches! I guess it’s warmed up in Portland? I like how your oil and watercolor paintings have a similar style. I haven’t yet found a way to bring my fun sketching style in watercolor into my oils.


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