adventures in the real world

Seattle Plein Air = artists who enjoy painting and sketching in the real world. Here we share the adventure!

Monday, February 28, 2011

pub crawl

out that window, copyright 2011, ink and gouache, 11" x 3.5"
Urban Sketchers Seattle met at Hale's Ales pub and brewery yesterday for monthly sketching. Lots of wonderful sketches of the workings, both social and mechanical, can be seen on their blog (in list at right). Delorse and I opted to sit in the warm pub itself and sketch out the window. I even indulged in the ultimate comfort of hot tea while enjoying this view.
Give me a telephone pole and some wires and I am happy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend in Leavenworth, WA

We spent President's Weekend at a time share in Leavenworth, WA. It's a touristy place that has decked itself out as a Bavarian transplant since the 60's. Beautiful weather and scenery made it hard to leave so soon. This is a great destination for painting.

Am closing in on the end of the Marty Sketchbook - This was straight watercolor a rarity for me, looking out our back deck at the Leavenworth Golf Course and Cascade Mountains.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

secret dock

secret comfort, plein air sketch, copyright 2011, ink/gouache
Leigh led Jan and me down to a marvellous secret park. Its dock squeezes between all that gorgeous private waterfront property at the top of Lake Washington. This wonderful dock with potbelly stove and Adirondack chairs seems like the height of luxury. Didn't get too far with this sketch but it was a gorgeously cold, bright day to be out there! Miraculously Susan found us there so we met a new painting buddy! Sorry Myk did not find us though. Hope to get out there with oil paints next time.

Friday, February 18, 2011


A semi-blind contour drawing while enjoying lunch with my husband at the Antique Sandwich Shop in Tacoma, near Port Defiance Park. This restaurant has a great old antique bar, with the big mirror, the columns and the huge crown with Victorian scrollings. Using my pigma pen, I make a very quick drawing, then use watercolors to quickly fill in some color and shading. Ten minutes, tops.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This is a blind-contour drawing I did and then watercolored between the time we settle into our seats, the waiter took our order and then delivered the food (you have to stop when the food arrives!).
This man was so fidgety, I'm surprised I captured him at all.
Terry Peart, West Seattle

Sunday, February 13, 2011

pd's watercolor of Foss tugs

Washington "En Plein Air"

Just want to post this link to review and/or purchase a book put out by Plein Air Washington, featuring wonderful work by local artists. This makes a great gift -- even for oneself! I admit, I got myself one for Christmas. It is inspiring and ravishingly beautiful.
Washington "En Plein Air" book

Saturday, February 12, 2011


 This painting got a bit muddy in the background.    Should have been bolder in laying down color and density of color.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Magnuson Park

Beth and I went to Magnuson Park for a couple of hours today. This is my result. The photo does not do it any justice. Someday I'll learn how to take good photos of oil works.

proof positive

Here is Leigh with her work, alongside her trusty new rolling cart. I like the paint that slops over one's taped edges so I feel a need to preserve this sort of shot! This truly does not do the painting justice though.

East Over Lake Washington, oil on 12 x 16 panel en plein air, copyright 2011 BVF Betker
And here is my effort from today --if painting on the beach can truly be called effort. Not getting the best color values in my photos lately but you get the idea. Truly the way to spend a gorgeous day.

Rainier Club Interiors

Rainier Club Interiors, Charles F. Gould, 1929

Marin Art & Garden Center

Rain was in the forecast so I decided to take some shelter.... in front of an owl shelter at the Marin Art & Garden Center in the town of Ross, Ca.

Many chances to explore but limited to wet grass and slightly damp & muddy trails....then I came across this humongous tree covered in moss!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Here's a mix of wet and dry landscapes, Pescadero, BCS, Mexico, Meadowbrook in Seattle and Alger, WA.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My First Upload

Capital Hill From Gasworks Oil on Canvas Paper
My first contribution. Beth and I went to Gasworks one noon time in early November (I think, or it was late October) 2010 and caught a nice bright day.


This sketch was done in Summer of 2009 while I was visiting my sister. We had just opened up a pomegranet and I thought it was a great opportunity to sketch and watercolor it.
Pomegranet, Fremont, CA

Sunday, February 6, 2011

same old drizzle and damp

Precipitation, copyright BVF Betker 1997, oil on canvas, 20 x 36? I don't remember
I'm just going to keep posting and hope the rest of you will jump in. I would love to see more of your work!
Here I'm reaching into the dark recesses of the past. This was painted from inside my former studio on North Lake Union in 1997, the view from my front door. This was a wonderful place accessed by a floating dock. Whenever the Corps of Engineers raised the water level the lake would be at the doorsill and even in the door a little. But so what? Heaven has its price.

Friday, February 4, 2011

over dad's garage

Dad's Garage, copyright 2008 BVF Betker, oil on 8 x 6 panel
This is a little oil sketch of trees above my late father's garage. My sister has this hanging in her home! She remembers the place as I do.


Growing Plumeria in my kitchen.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Along the Canal

This is a lovely blog! Thank you for including me. This is a sketch from late summer on one of those warm and distant sunny days.

Plein Air Indoors

I take any opportunity to sketch, outside or inside. These are the lastest sketches I did but indoors at Benaroya Hall. Thanks to Beth for inviting me to share on this blog!

duck island

Duck Island, copyright 2008 BVF Betker, oil on 8 x 10 panel
Want to get this started right. Thought our meetup group could use a blog to post our wonderful adventures, both together and solo. Hope there will be input from many friends and fellow travelers!
This little painting was made on a dock at north Green Lake a couple summers ago.