Reser Stadium, Oregon State University

Reser Stadium is the home of the Oregon State University (OSU) Beavers football team. It is also the center of the OSU sports complex and a convenient meeting place to explore campus.


Reser Stadium sits on the southern edge of the OSU campus. While not centrally located it is close to several sights off the beaten track on campus.

  • Beaver Store
    • The Beaver Store is located across the road from Reser’s main entrance. It offers Beaver Merchandise, food, and a variety of goods to OSU students.
  • OSU Sports Fields & Recreation Center
    • Past the Beaver Store and over the train tacks is the OSU Sports Fields and Recreation Center. This area offers plenty of people watching as people play on the fields and use the running track. The Recreation Center also has a cafe that is open to the public.
  • Veterinary School
    • On the other side of Reser’s parking lot is OSU’s veterinary school. It is fun to visit as the fields next to it often have horses, cows and other animals the school is using in its teaching activities.


Originally called Parker Stadium, Reser Stadium opened in 1953. It was originally named for Charles Parker, who served as the head of the fundraising campaign. It was renamed Reser Stadium in 1999 to honor Al and Pat Reser who had made major donations to the Beaver football program.

The stadium has gone through several renovations over its history. This has included adding roofs to the grandstands and the construction of a football center as part of the stadium. Most recently the western grandstand was imploded to make way for a new grandstand that will be completed in 2023.

Reser Stadium is also used for a variety of non-athletic events. During the COVID pandemic it served as a testing and vaccination site. In this sketch you can see the sign for TRACE, which was OSU’s community COVID testing program in Corvallis.


Reser Stadium has an industrial look to due to its exposed scaffolding and plain concrete. The eastern grandstand and the proposed western grandstand do bring in some neomodern elements with their use of brick for decoration and geometric forms.

These are nice touches that give the grandstands more character. You cannot see them in this sketch, but the massive brick columns on the stadium’s eastern side provide a distinctive landmark visible across campus. They also serve as a visual queue on where to enter the stadium.

Sketchy Traveler Fall 2021 Sketching Expeditions in Seattle and Portland

In December, I went to Seattle and did some drawing along the way in Portland. This gave me a chance to visit some of my favorite spots in Seattle and explore some new sights in Portland. I also picked up a great book exploring the Portland landmarks featured in Beverley Clearly’s Ramona stories.

Clinton Cinema, Portland 11-22-21

A fun feature of Portland, Oregon is all of the old movie theaters in the city. The most prominent are the Bagdad Theater and the Hollywood Theater. Yet there are many small movie theaters that still host movies and performance arts. Their unique store fronts provide a nice break from the usual cityscape and offer some unique experiences.

In this sketch we see the Clinton Cinema, named for the street it is on. What I like about this theater is how it anchors this small business district at SE Clinton and SE 26th Avenue. I could imagine people coming out of the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and going to the bar across the street.

I did this drawing from an outside table at the coffee shop across from the theater. I had to be quick with this drawing as it was a cold morning and I was sitting in the shade. Another spot I would like to come back to.

CP Coffee, Seattle 12-29-21

One of my favorite coffee shops in Seattle is CP Coffee. I try to visit them whenever I am in Seattle. It is a true neighborhood living room where people come to conduct business, catch up with friends and enjoy the various events the shop hosts.

I did a quick sketch of CP Coffee’s new outdoor seating area. They have always had outdoor seating, but it was not covered. For COVID times they added this covered deck on the north side of their building to protect guests from the elements.

I only did a quick drawing as it as very cold that day and the space heaters could only do so much. The space was very empty too as it was a weekday and heavy snow in Seattle had snarled traffic. Hope to make it back soon for a more detailed drawing.

Mt. Baker from West Seattle 1-2-22

A great feature of Seattle is that it is surrounded by mountains. In this view we look north to Mt. Baker on the edge of the North Cascades National Park. While Mt. Rainer is more famous Mt. Baker is usually the star of views from West Seattle like this drawing.

I have always appreciated this view from the edge of the Mt. St. Vicente Nursing Home lot. The steep hill provides a dramatic foreground while the many layers leading up to the mountain create a great sense of perspective. This view also includes several Seattle landmarks including the Space Needle, Queen Anne radio towers and Elliot Bay.

I actually drew this view from a photo. Seattle was in the middle of a cold snap and deep snow that made extended drawing outside unreasonable. Drawing from a photo allowed me to capture a lot more detail than 10 rush minutes to beat the cold.

Would love to come back to this view using watercolors in the summertime. The trick is finding a time when Mt. Baker is not hidden in clouds.

Walking with Ramona: Exploring Beverly Clearly’s Portland by Laura O. Foster

While visiting Powell’s Books I came across this fun book (Walking with Ramona) on Beverly Clearly. Clearly was a childrens author who grew up in Portland. She set most of her stories in Portland and many places in Portland play an important part in her stories.

The book provides a unique perspective on Portland through stories Clearly wrote. Most of this is about the history of the city. An interesting historical fact was that all the buildings in Portland were renumbered in the early 1930s.

The book also provides a look into the culture of Portland in the 1920s and 1930s though. Clearly’s mother for example thought that people who living in apartments were untrustworthy. The author points out the irony given the large rents people now pay to live in Portland’s apartments and that a recently built apartment building in the Hollywood neighborhood is named for Clearly.

The one drawback to this book is that it has one walk through the Hollywood neighborhood. While this was the main setting for Clearly’s books other areas of the city are visited. A section on riding Portland’s light rail like the characters ride the trolley in Clearly’s books could have been a fun addition.

COVID-19 Walking View: The End?

In February of 2020 I made a drawing trip to the Hollywood District in Portland, Oregon. News of a new virus outbreak in China was spreading, but at the time it seemed like past outbreaks. Little did I know my next trip to Portland would involve face masks, carrying hand sanitizer and wondering where I would find an open bathroom.

The State of COVID in October 2021

Hollywood District, Portland, Oregon February 2020

Twenty-two months after my last drawing before COVID lock downs things seem to be gradually improving. As of this writing cases are dropping from the fourth COVID wave in the United States of America. It remains to be seen how holiday travel will impact the case rate. Meanwhile, vaccination rates remain low, but are rising, and life is slowly opening up.

The general sense of a period ending fills the moment and it seemed appropriate to revisit the place where it all began for me. Plus I wanted to explore the Hollywood District further and take some time to reflect on my experience doing these COVID Walking views.

COVID Hollywood District

I was happy to see that the area I had visited seemed to have made it through. The businesses that had been at this location in February 2020 where still there when I drew this in October 2021. A group of people celebrating a birthday even came out of the Wiggle Room.

Yet the area remained oddly empty. The main foot traffic was people scurrying in and out of the library I drew in front of. Gone where the retirees chattering about selling their homes over a post-yoga coffee.

Walking from the main Hollywood District to Fremont Street showed other changes. More people out walking in the residential neighborhood between Sandy Boulevard and Fremont Street. On Fremont a newly covered patio hosted a band and singer performing Embraceable You.

The New Urban Landscape

As COVID over took the world in the spring and summer of 2020 many people predicted the end of the city. Yet the impact in the Hollywood district and elsewhere has been far more complex than a simple ending.

Towns have been overrun by urbanites fleeing the pandemic, looking to escape the city life and seeking more affordable housing. Meanwhile cities find their streets emptied of cars, but full of people.

This has resulted in a rapid re-thinking of the urban landscape. Cities find their public spaces repurposed for people, but face increasing social unrest. Towns find themselves filled with investment, but that it comes with escalating housing costs.

The true impact of these changes remains to be seen. The urban landscape as we knew it is gone along with so much in the pandemic. As with all loss though this is an opportunity to leave behind what was not working and find new ways of living and healing together in the places we love.

Portland International Rose Garden, Gold Medal Garden

The Portland Rose Garden offers a beautiful break from the city. It also has some great views over Portland and is close to several other sights in Washington Park. This and its fee free admission make it a great place to start exploring Washington Park


The Portland Rose Garden is in Washington Park above downtown Portland. The parking lot is small, so arrive early or park along the road from the garden to Portland. The TriMet light rail red and blue lines stop in Washington Park and are a good way to avoid parking.

Some interesting sights close to the Portland Rose Garden in Washington Park include:

  • Portland Japanese Garden
    • The Portland Japanese Garden has really great views of Mt. Hood on clear days. The garden has examples of landscape, strolling and rock gardening styles from Japan.
  • Oregon Zoo
    • The major zoo for Oregon with animals from around the world. It also features many animals native to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Hoyt Arboretum
    • A large collection on conifers though some deciduous trees are included too. The arboretum also has 12 miles of hiking trails if you want to get in a long walk.


The Portland Rose Garden was started in 1917 to save roses during World War 1. It was feared that bombings could destroy hybrid roses that only existed in Europe. English rose breeders sent many samples of their roses to Portland for safe keeping. This lad to Portland being chosen as an international rose test site.

The garden grounds were completed in 1924 and opened to the public. The garden was designed by the city landscape architect Florence Holmes Gerke.

The garden has severed as an international test site for rose hybrids since 1919. This week’s view is of the Gold Medal Garden. It features the rose breeds that have won the rose hybrid gold medal in Portland since 1919.


The Portland Rose Garden was designed by Florence Holmes Gerke. She was charged with the design of the garden in 1921. In designing the garden she used a formal design.

French Formal Gardens became popular in the 1600s and 1700s in France. They used geometric plans to show order and reason. The most famous French formal garden is the Gardens of Versailles.

Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR

Autzen Stadium sits on the grounds of Alton Baker Parker. This makes it a good place to start a walk in the park. Alton Baker also makes going to Ducks games fun.

Activities Near Autzen Stadium

Alton Baker Park houses many attractions besides Autzen Stadium. These include:

  • Cuthbert Amphitheater
    • Hosts local and national musicians in an outdoor amphitheater. Also has food booths and a beer garden.
  • Eugene Science Center
    • Has exhibits and classes on science and technology. Also has a planetarium.
  • Disc Golf Course
    • Enjoy a round of disc golf on an 18-hole course through the park.
  • Pre’s Trail
    • The University of Oregon has one of the top track and field programs in the United States of America. This soft surface running trail was designed by Prefontaine, one of the program’s legends
  • McMenamins North Bank
    • Enjoy a cold drink and burger with a view of the Willamette River. Take the bike path to the other side of the bridge on Alton Baker’s north edge.

History of Autzen Stadium

Autzen Stadium was completed in 1967. It replaced Hayward Field as the place where University of Oregon football was played. The stadium was named for lumberman Thomas Autzen.

Autzen Stadium has grown since then in both seating and facilities. Today the stadium can seat 54,000 people. The stadium is famous for being very loud from its sunken design.

Design of Autzen Stadium

Autzen Stadium is special as it uses several design methods:

  • The original bleachers use an industrial design. They are practical with concrete seating held up by a steel support structure.
  • The sunken playing field also makes use of landscape architecture as part of the design. This gives the stadium its famous noise levels and a unique approach.
  • A 2002 change gave the stadium a neomodern facade seen in the sketch. This new facade used clean lines and repeating geometric shapes to give the stadium a friendlier face.

Kerr Admin Building, Oregon State University

The Kerr Admin Building is a modernist building in the middle of the Oregon State University (OSU) grounds. The building’s public space, parking and main location make it the perfect place to begin exploring the OSU grounds.


The Oregon State University grounds include several interesting buildings and sights, including:

  • Memorial Union
    • The Memorial Union is the historical heart of the OSU grounds. Its grand main hall is a perfect place to socialize. The coffee shop and cafeteria in the building provide plenty of food and drink too.
  • Reser Stadium
    • Reser Stadium is the home of OSU’s football team, the Beavers. The football statue outside the main gate is a common place to meet people. You can also see many of OSU’s NCAA teams training on the nearby fields.
  • Beaver Store
    • Be sure to get your Beaver memorabilia at the Beaver Store after visiting Reser Stadium. The Beaver store also has a variety of home goods and snacks available.


The Kerr Admin Building first opened as the Administrative Services Building in 1972. It has been the main administrative building on campus since with the President’s office on the 6th floor. Before this the President’s office and administration was in many locations, including an old army barracks.

The building was renamed to the Kerr Admin Building in 1996. The name is from Jasper Kerr who was the 6th president of OSU. He is best known for expanding the university grounds and many construction projects.


The Kerr Admin Building uses a modernist architecture style. This can be seen in its use of clean lines and symmetry. Modernism developed in the late 19th and early 20th century as a reaction to traditional culture.

Modernism was also interest in technology and modular construction. This is present in the Kerr Admin building as it was built using a lift slab technique. Each floor was poured on the ground and lifted into place. Two extra slabs were put on top for future expansion.

Musqueam Post at the University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is located on the unceded land of the Musqueam people. The totem pole in this image tells the story of how the Musqueam got their name. It was raised in 2016 as part of the UBC centennial celebrations at the University Boulevard entrance to the UBC grounds.


The Musqueam Post sits at one of the main gateways to the UBC grounds. This makes it the perfect landmark to start exploring the UBC grounds from. Some nearby sights include:

  • The Nest at the Student Union Building
    • The Nest houses the UBC student government, clubs and dinning. It is a good place to get some food or drink.
  • UBC Bookstore
    • This is the place to buy UBC swag such as sweatshirts or stickers. It also has a variety of local crafts and a wide selection of books.
  • UBC Alumni Center
    • Explore the history of UBC with the interactive displays at the Alumni Center. The Alumni Center also has a coffee shop and plenty of indoor seating.


The University of British Columbia sits on the unceded territory of the Musqueam People. The Musqueam are the native group that has lived on Point Grey since ancient times. The Musqueam continue to live on reservation lands on Point Grey and work closely with the University of British Columbia.

The Musqueam Post was installed in 2016 to celebrate the University of British Columbia’s 100 anniversary. The pole was carved by Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow Jr. The pole shows the two headed serpent that the land and the Musqueam take their name from.


Totem poles are an art form used by the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast. They use a variety of symbols to share legends, historical events and remember people.

Portland’s Brooklyn Rail Yard Cement Plant

This image is from Portland’s Brooklyn Rail Yard. The rail yard offers several interesting examples of industrial architecture and is a good place to watch trains from. It is also close to an artistic community and Reed College.


Several interesting sights and activities in south Portland’s industrial area include:

  • Union Pacific Brooklyn Intermodal Rail Yard
    • This large yard is a good place to watch trains. It has mostly freight, but Amtrak runs some trains through the yard too.
  • Artist and Craftsman Supply
    • Pick up the supplies you need to do some urban drawing. Also visit the other arts and craft supply stores on the same street.
  • Fred Meyers Regional Headquarters
    • Fred Meyers is a general store chain on the west coast of the United States of America. Their regional headquarters are across the street from this week’s drawing.
  • Reed College
    • The forested college campus is a contrast with the industrial rail yard next to it. This includes a gully and rhododendron garden.


The Brooklyn Rail Yard has been operating since the 1860s. Today it is run by the Union Pacific Railroad. It is an important place for goods leaving Oregon such as lumber and Christmas trees.

The yard takes its name from the neighborhood between it and the Willamette River. To the south and east is Reed College and its neighborhood. The yard ends in the north at Powell Boulevard.


The Lehigh Cement Plant in this week’s image is a nice example of industrial architecture. Cement plants are fun to draw because of all the detail in them. They have lots of conveyor belts to move around materials.

The rail yard is another good example of industrial architecture. The rail lines crossing and joining together in interesting patterns. The movement of the trains then gives an ever-shifting view to enjoy.

The Up House

The Up House became famous when its owner refused to sell the house to developers. The developers were forced to build around the small house. Then in 2009 Disney paid for balloons to be tied to the top of the house for the release of Up, which has a house in a similar position.

Activities Near the Up House

The Up House is in Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood. The area is known for its fishing boat harbor and Scandinavian culture:

  • Ballard Locks
    • The Ballard Locks connect the Puget Sound to the channel leading to Lake Washington. They are open to the public and allow you to watch boats being raised and lowered. The Ballard Locks also have a salmon ladder and a botanical garden.
  • Nordic Museum
    • The Nordic Museum shares the history of Nordic immigrants in the United States. It also brings in contemporary exhibits from Nordic countries to share their culture.
  • Golden Gardens Park
    • Golden Gardens Park offers one of the few sand beaches in Seattle. It also provides great views of the Olympic Mountains over Puget Sound.

History of the Up House

The Up House was the home of Edith Macefield until her death in 2008. In 2005 she was offered $1 million dollars for her home from a developer, but she refused. The 80-year-old said she did not need the money and she did not want to leave her home of 50+ years.

The developer built around Macefield’s house as a result. When Up came out in 2009 Disney paid to tie balloons to the top of the house to mimic the house in the film.

Many people have bought and sold the house since Macefield’s death in 2008. They have tried to remodel, demolish and move the house. The Up house has refused to change, much like its former owner. It is still between the modern apartment buildings in Ballard at 1438 N.W. 46th St., Seattle, WA.

Style of the Up House

The Up House is a modest Craftsman Bungalow. Many examples of craftsman homes today are ornate, but most were plain. Craftsman homes were popular as a cheap building style for laborers and the middle class.

The Up House was built in 1900. Ballard at the time was the center of fishing in Seattle. It was also home to many shipyards. This explains why the plain craftsman style was used.

This is in contrast to homes built around the same time on Queen Anne and Capitol Hill. These homes used more decorative styles like Queen Anne and Classical.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse looks over the mouth of the Yaquina River. It provides a fun weekend get away with history and a surrounding park. The town of Newport on Yaquina Bay also provides a number of fun activities and sights.

Activities in Newport, Oregon

A number of outdoor opportunities, natural sights and cultural activities are near to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse:

  • Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site
    • The lighthouse is part of this recreation site. Activities include hiking, fishing and picnicking.
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium
    • This aquarium shows the unique animals that are native to the Oregon coast. Some favorites include Otters and a Giant Octopus.
  • Rogue Brewery
    • Brewery and pub for Newport’s local Rogue Brewing. Brewery tours are usually available but have stopped for COVID.
  • Yaquina Bay South Jetty
    • Take it easy on the beach from this jetty at the Newport harbor mouth. The miles of beach are also a good place to walk.

History of Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Yaquina Bay and river is named for the Yaquina peoples that lived in the area before European colonization. The first Europeans arrived in 1856. The size of Yaquina Bay made Newport the busiest harbor on the Oregon coast.

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse opened in 1871 and stopped operations in 1874. A larger light house was built 3 miles north. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was used for housing for government workers after 1874.

The state of Oregon bought the land around the lighthouse in 1934 to create a park. The lighthouse was scheduled to be demolished in the 1960s, but it was saved. Today it is preserved as a historical landmark.

Design of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Lighthouses are a type of marine architecture. Marine architecture is used for structures on coastlines. Other types of marine architecture include houseboats, piers and jetties. Marine architecture is also a type of industrial architecture.

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is the only lighthouse in Oregon that makes the light part of the main house. Most lighthouse keep their light in a separate tower.