Today at Pen Ink and Paint


Workshop, Mukilteo Sketchers, France

Looking forward to a workshop this afternoon, Yes! You can travelsketch and more! Some old friends and a few new sketchers, it should be a good time. We will working on using boxes and straightening lines for drawing curved objects, painting in three layers, and why some croissants are straight and some are curved, it actually is a law in France.

For those that missed this workshop, as a few have expressed regrets, I will try to get one in at the end of March or April. Let me know of your interest.

And then there is France. We will be heading to France for the first two weeks of March to check out a place we want to live, in Normandy. I will post sketches and updates.

Then of course I have been sketching and painting over the last few days:

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What’s happening at Pen Ink and Paint


The last couple of weeks have been busy, a weekend birthday party for Tricia, a weekend of friends and food, planning for France, and yes, a bit of sketching and painting along the way. Here are a few samples

A few Travelsketch style

An Acrylic, 9×14 on panel – it is for sale.

And of course a few Sumi-e style paintings to express the emotions of the day.

Posted in Acrylic, Birds, Flowers, Nature Sketching, Sumi-e | 1 Comment

Yes you can Travelsketch! and More! Workshop Feb 8, 2020


Time to start off the 2020 with a workshop. A few sketchers have requested, so I will gladly respond.

There is a chance that this may be the only workshop for 2020. As many of you know, there is a good chance we will be moving to France sometime in the first half of the year. We are spending the first two weeks of March in France checking out some details, and then we will be busy getting things ready to make the move, so I can not guarantee that I will be able to have more workshops.

Of course we could hold the next one in France, that would be fun.

Date: February 8, 2020
Time: 12.30-3.30pm
Location: Mukilteo area, details after registration
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We will be reviewing the basics of course, adding some new tips, and most importantly addressing your particular challenges.

To register go to the Workshop page. We have a limit of 10, and I already have three who have said they are coming so better to register early.

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Last week at Pen Ink and Paint


Actually this is for the last TWO weeks, thanks to Christmas and New Years. The holidays were enjoyable but as usual I am glad to move on into the new year.

An inquiry from Instagram reminded me that I don’t always make it clear that most everything I paint or sketch is available for sale. He wanted to buy an original that I did of him and friends sitting at Bits Cafe. So, yes, most everything is available.

For as long as I can remember I have been an early riser, mornings are my time to sip tea, get depressed by the news, then refresh and renew with meditation and prayer. Interpreting those thoughts in Sumi-e style paintings makes them much more meaningful. Adding a few words of French is good language practice as well.

Then of course a couple of quick sketches at family gatherings

Thinking of travel and other adventures for the coming year

Finished off the week with an acrylic on 5x7board, dreaming of rugged coastlines.

I hope one of your resolutions is to keep sketching your travels, be they near or far. Happy sketching,

Terry theTravelsketcher

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Last week at Pen Ink and Paint


The allure of Sumi-e style painting has not worn off. I like the delicate colors and scenes, as well as often finding the inspiration internally rather than painting from what is in front of me. The old Sumi-e painters said there were infinite shades of gray in the ink, they did, and many still do, use those shades to great effect. Yet using color is also a delightful part of the tradition.

Thinking ahead to the new year inspired this sketch of a road in Scotland. My Dad, stepmom and I drove down this over 10 years a go so it was easy to think of how many roads and turns the last decade has held, and then to ponder where the roads of life will take me in 2020.

A gray day in Mukilteo, wishing for a peaceful hideaway from the words turmoi, reflecting on Solstice and Advent, then a few flowers to remind of the renewal of spring rounded out the week.

Making a statement with art has never been my goal as it is for many, yet art can reflect the times and thoughts of life, an expression that is often simpler than words.

Keep sketching, and share them with us on Instagram, FB, or feel free to email me your most recent works, I enjoy seeing them

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A busy week in theTravelsketcher world


The highlight of the week was Saturday’s workshop, Yes! You can travelsketch! Thanks to Lori we had a great venue, her beautiful home, she even provided a full spread of appetizers and beverages, thank you so much. From the feedback so far it appears we will have another workshop in January, probably the end of the month. Watch here for details.

We went back to some basics, a few folks had little or no sketching experience, all came through brilliantly. We sketched San Gimignano in Italy from a distance, and then a pizza for a whole different challenge.

Early in the week I did a sketch of three men at Bits Grill, right next door to where I live. One of them saw the sketch on Instagram and contacted me to buy it, what a thrill that was.

My varied sketching techniques continued – an ink and watercolor of the produce department at PCC in Bothell for next weeks Mukilteo Beacon, more Sumi-e ink style sketches, and of course the three men. I find that learning new techniques helps with older techniques, art is all about learning.

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Travel and art – it’s all about the journey


When we travel the trip begins with the discussion of where to go, often a year before we board a plane. Searching maps, checking hotels and trains, rental cars and restaurants, are all part of the thrill of travel. A trip will go through many iterations before we are done, and it keeps evolving mid-journey. The idea of a tightly planned schedule or a tour group led by someone else holds little interest – unexpected events are the grist for memories and captivating stories.

Like travel, art is best when enjoyed for the moment. This last year has been quite an adventure. After many years of traveling the world with a sketchpad in my bag I took the risk of offering workshops to teach others how to capture their own times and places, thankfully it worked out and the new sketchers I met have become friends.

This year I kicked my acrylic painting up a lot, specifically plein air. I experimented with new techniques, and tools, enjoying sunny days both warm and cold, out in nature. When not outside, my studio was a place to experiment. Instead of just painting from real life or photos I began to paint from what was in my mind, a whole new thing. What I realized was that I was often frustrated “driving around looking for something to sketch or paint.”

All of this primed me for our trip to Japan and Korea. At art stores I had seen these marvelous brushes that they make in Asia, expensive here, so I hoped I could get one while there. My first morning in Seoul, as is usual for me, I rose early and walked. Within a block or two of our hotel i went past multiple shops with entire walls of brushes, every size and shape imaginable. The shops had paper such as I have never seen, shelves and shelves of handmade papers that I had no idea what to do with, but the artist in me just knew it was good.

The first visit to a shop I bought a brush, mostly from size and looks. Nice bamboo looking handle, pointed bristles that were lightly colored at the base, brown at the tip. Little did I know how much I had to learn. It was not a watercolor brush, it is a Combination Sumi-e brush for ink painting.

Thanks to internet and YouTube I started off on a new art adventure that has captivated me. The brushes bend and stay bent, brushstrokes are magic, the art is expressive. My travelsketching is often detailed, Sumi-e strives to capture a feeling with a few strokes, and gray tones of ink. I am hooked.

Two more brushes bought, some amazing papers, and now I am off on the challenge of learning and loving it. Art is not a business for me, art is like travel, and I get to take a trip every time I pick up a brush or a pen. New challenges are like new countries to travel too, both to be savored and enjoyed.

Here are a few of my Sumi-e style so far

This was one of my first, the Kanji symbol is slightly off, but i am learning that as well.

I did these four small paintings as thank you gifts

Here are some others

The lesson, never stop trying new things, you just might find something that you love.

Posted in ink, Japan, Sumi-e, Travel | 1 Comment