Friday, May 23, 2014

Two Gardens and a Lunch Break

5/21/14 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Canson XL 140 lb. paper
(Lan Su Chinese Garden)
We spent our second day in Portland exploring two immaculate gardens: the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Chinatown and the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park. With a similar esthetic of quiet serenity, they are both different and beautiful in their own way.

The Lan Su Garden is a tiny oasis in the middle of downtown, highlighted by ornate pavilions where you can stop to gaze at the large central pond. The ground is paved with intricately patterned stonework.

The Japanese Garden is more than 5 acres – a serene, multi-layered space filled with streams, koi ponds, Zen gardens, bumpy footpaths and bridges. There’s even a spectacular viewpoint of Mt. Hood, which was clearly visible that day.

5/21/14 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor (Koi pond at Japanese Garden)
Between visiting the gardens, we stopped for lunch at Portland’s famed food trucks – a full square city block of every kind of food you can imagine. I opted for a grilled cheese sandwich; Greg chose Thai. I started to sketch The Grilled Cheese Grill trailer while waiting for my sandwich, but the wait was only a few minutes, so my sketch was, too. We scarfed it all down seated on a bench outside the public library in the warm sunshine.

5/21/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Zig markers 
Before I end my series of posts about our trip to Oregon, I have to include a plug for Waze, the free navigational smartphone app (no, I dont work there  Im just a very happy user!). Receiving real-time traffic updates from users, it not only navigates flawlessly – it also gives warnings of traffic snarls, disabled vehicles and even speed traps. Although we’ve been to Portland a few times, we aren’t familiar with its maze of freeways and bridges, and Waze got us to where we were going every time, without fail, avoiding every traffic jam by offering alternate, less-congested routes. Greg and I both own traditional standalone GPS devices, but Waze is far more useful – it’s worth the price of my smartphone!

(See my Flickr album of photos and more sketches from our week in Cannon Beach and Portland, Oregon.)

Lan Su Chinese Garden
Lan Su Chinese Garden

Mt. Hood seen from Portland Japanese Garden.


  1. Wonderful sketches and great photos! I've been to the Chinese Garden but not the Japanese one.

  2. Wow! That chinese garden was a great sketching opportunity. Love the picture of you and the chinese lion.


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