Hello Fellow Sketchers--
This is me on the Broadway Bridge, which is the one closest to PNCA where the Symposium will be held. You may find yourself drawn to this sketching site soon, too, or to one of our other bridges. I think you're really going to like Portland, even though we actually do have mosquitos. (I have five current bites at the moment. I'll share my bug spray and anti-itch ointment.)
I've lived in Portland since I came here to go to college 40 years ago. I love how it's turned from a big town into a city full of well-read, pretty open-minded, friendly, creative types who love their fresh produce, microbrews and local wines. You're going to find lots of drawing opportunities here, from bookstores to bars (if it's dark) or fountains and food carts when it's sunny.
All my life I've enjoyed drawing, but I've never really done it consistently over time. Like many others, reading Danny Gregory's books caused me to be more deliberate about it. I took Kurt Holloman's wonderful Urban Sketching class and got up my courage to draw in public. Until retiring a year ago, I was teaching elementary school, so drawing was reserved for time carved out of weekends or vacations. I believe that children should have lots of opportunities to draw, so I also gave my students as many drawing lessons as I could get away with. Now I draw pretty often; sometimes with the Portland Urban Sketchers or another group of mostly-retired people and I also sketch alone--even in public! Since I saw the Symposium notice on the Urban Sketchers site, I've been excited about learning from all the sketching masters whose works I've been following.
If you need any help (not with drawing--but with other things) while in Portland, just find me. I'll have the anti-itch ointment, too.