I was invited to give an informal talk by the Palouse Watercolor Socius today, down in Clarkston, WA, which is about 45 minutes south of Moscow. It was a nice group of folks, and we had fun talking about my sketchbooks and my involvement with Urban Sketchers. After about an hour of discussion, we headed out to do a little sketching nearby. I took a stab at an ink drawing, but my fountain pen was running low (and I remembered that this was a group focused on watercolor!) so some quick washes saved this sketch of a pretty house on 7th Street.
After some more talk and a little critique, we said our goodbyes and I started heading back home. Driving along the Clearwater River, this rail bridge caught my eye, so I pulled over. There's something special about old steel bridges like this ... the rusty color, the stark values, the simple structure, the obvious mechanics of how these things work. And when they happen to be surrounded by green/golden hills like this one is, on a beautiful sunny day ... it makes for an irresistible sketching subject.
I teach architecture at the University of Idaho - design studios, architectural graphics courses, and a professional practice course. One of my passions outside of teaching ... and music, and plants, and mycology, and ... is observing and understanding the world through sketching with various media, such as pencil, pen, charcoal and watercolor. Passing along the same skill and interest to students is a goal I've pursued through my teaching here in Moscow, Idaho, and through an 8-week study-abroad program in Rome each summer.