Next Monthly Sketch Outing

Saturday, June 16: Anderson School
See Monthly Outing page for details.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Setting Up for Folklife

2018_05_26 Folklife

I did this quick sketch last month at Folklife with the Friday Ad Hoc sketchers (who were actually sketching on a Saturday). We were early, and the food vendors were still setting up their tents and tables, which made for an interesting shape-sketch.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Anderson School, This Time with Sunshine

6/16/18 Anderson School

More than two years ago, USk Seattle visited the then-brand-new Anderson School in Bothell, an historic property that had been renovated by the McMenamins into a unique hotel and brew pub venue. What I remember most about that sketch outing was that it was cold, wet and mostly miserable. With unique décor and the nicely renovated building, the location was worth visiting again – though on a warmer day, we all agreed. That day was yesterday, and though the morning began overcast, it didn’t take long for the sun to come out and bring the temperature up to 70!

Last time I didn’t have the courage to take on the whole Anderson School building, which was built in 1931 (Bothell’s first junior high). This time I was still a bit trepidation, but I marched across the street anyway so that I could see the whole thing.

With that one under my belt, I strolled around the rest of the property, which is made of a variety of smaller unique buildings, each housing a place to get a bite or a brew. I wandered for quite a while before I settled on a sunny seat outside the tiny brick Shed, whose main feature is a large chimney. As soon as I started sketching it, I remembered that I had sketched it last time, too. I guess those chess rooks atop the chimney called to me again.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Anderson School again.

The first time we met at the McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, it was relatively newly opened.  It was also cold and raining.  At the time, sketchers said they'd like to return when the weather was better.  We scheduled that return visit for today and the weather was perfect. 

About 25 sketchers joined us, including some new people and those who hadn't been in a while. 

So many sketches to share!

At least one sketcher is missing.

As I gave my carpool partners a tour around the grounds, I noticed this arch I don't remember seeing before.  I sketched it from the upper side as a private party was using the patio below.  I got the "McMenamins Passport" stamp from the hotel front desk. 

I was delighted my friend Judi joined us from Whidbey Island.  I sat next to her to sketch and chat so sketched what was in my view.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Special Order of Sunshine for Milan Visitor

6/15/18 Seattle skyline from Bell Harbor Pier

When Milan urban sketcher Riccardo Pastore contacted Urban Sketchers Seattle to say that he would be in town and wanted to sketch with us, we didn’t just organize a sketch outing for him – we also ordered up some summer weather!

Riccardo said he wanted to sketch the Space Needle (among many other things), so we met at the Olympic Sculpture Park, where I knew there’d be a great view of the Needle. Since I’ve sketched at the park numerous times, I decided to walk a few blocks south to Bell Harbor Pier, where I had sketched briefly last month on my way to an event. I’d made a mental note to go back someday when I had more time to sketch the fantastic view of the skyline and waterfront. That day was yesterday – 70 degrees and sunny! – and like last time, I had the pier nearly to myself. 

6/15/18 Needle (sans ugly hat) from Bell Harbor Pier
Although I had sketched the top of the Needle from the Pier last time, I couldn’t resist another sketch: It has finally ditched the ugly hat it wore for months! Renovation of the viewing deck is complete at last. 

After the outing at the Sculpture Park, AntonellaSue and I took Riccardo to the Pike Place Market to grab some lunch and so that he could do more iconic Seattle sketching. We’re all invited to sketch with him and USk Milano! I hope to take him up on that someday.

At the Sculpture Park with a visitor

Riccardo Pastore from USk Milan contacted us about sketching during his visit to Seattle. Tina quickly organized an impromptu outing to the Sculpture Park. Despite the short notice, there was a nice group of sketchers to meet him. This is one of the many great features of Urban Sketchers. We have the chance to sketch with people from around the world both as visitors and hosts!

Riccardo... he's a quick sketcher... completed 3 in under 2.5 hours

I've been to the Sculpture Park a few times. Today I thought I would sketch Wake from a different view point. But before I even got a few steps, I noticed the freighter in view of the Calder Eagle. I had to get that before it moved. That's Kathleen sketching in front of me.

Then on to Wake.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Anita Makes Expressive Marks in Georgetown

6/9/18 Vendors prepare for Georgetown's annual Carnival

Last week Sue scored the highest weather points for her USk 10x10 workshop. But this morning in Georgetown, Anita Lehmann got extra credit for both turning the rain prediction to sunshine and holding her workshop in the middle of Georgetown’s Carnival!

Anita's students at work while vendors set up around them.
The annual street fair made parking a bit more scarce than usual in the neighborhood, but her students all made it to class at All City Coffee for “Charcoal/Graphite: Expressive Mark Making.” With curious coffee patrons occasionally peeking over her shoulder, Anita demo’d a blind contour drawing of her hand as her students followed suit.

Eventually the class took to the streets, which were fortuitously closed to cars for the Carnival. More than once, Anita was warned that her demo spot would soon be taken over by a vendor’s tent, but we all know that having to move to accommodate other urbanites is part of urban sketching. Despite interruptions from low-flying jets (the usual “Georgetown pause”), she gave her demos and helped her students with aplomb.

The All City Coffee "classroom"
Showing blind contour exercises

Luckily, the streets are closed to traffic!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Twice the Gothic

We met outside the Frye Art Museum today. There were some options for sketching: St. James Catholic Cathedral, O'Dea Cathedral High School, historic Trinity Episcopal Church and, of course, the Frye.

Many sketchers chose St. James as the subject. It was open so a good place to shelter from chill and rain.

I really like Gothic and neo-Gothic architecture. My first sketch was a view of the towers of St. James seen from the street corner next to Frye. The parking lot across the street will become an 11 story apartment building. Once that is built, this view will no longer exist, at least from street level.

It had started to rain but I had been protected by a large tree as I sketched the towers. I moved down the street to sketch the facade of O'Dea Cathedral High School. I shelter under the entrance alcove of the school office building across the street.

Note the two birds.  Aircraft were flying over regularly so I had opportunity to do a composite shape.  Then a large crow landed on the cross at the peak of the building. 

First Hill Churches and a State Bird

6/8/18 One of St. James Cathedral's twin towers
6/8/18 Trinity Parish Episcopal

Despite the spitting that turned to drizzle and then full-on rain, USk Seattle made a strong turnout for a sketch outing in the First Hill neighborhood, which features two classic churches.

I wanted to sketch both of St. James Cathedral’s twin towers, which I last sketched several years ago from the Frye Museum’s parking lot. That former lot is now another high-rise construction site, so that view will soon be gone, but I didn’t see a spot where I could sketch from without getting drizzled on. Under cover of a small awning, I settled for just one of the tower pair.

The rain was getting worse, but I was determined to try for the second of the two churches – Trinity Parish Episcopal – only a couple of blocks away. I see its Gothic spire often from the freeway and have always wanted to sketch it. I found a fully leafed tree to duck under that gave me a view through the trolley wires.

Feeling damp, I went into the Frye’s café for coffee and cake (several other sketchers had the same idea). I grabbed a window table where I could see a bright yellow “Washington State bird” behind the Frye’s cylindrical building.

After a week of sunshine, our wet outing was a disappointment, but since I squeezed three slightly rain-speckled sketches out of it, I can’t complain.

6/8/18 Our state bird (no, not the pigeons)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

B-52 Arrival

My day started at 0330. It was delivery day for the fuselage of the B-52G Stratofortress "Midnight Express".  This is the end of the first stage of what will be almost a year long sketching and documentation project.  I first sketched the restored aircraft at the Museum of Flight's Everett Restoration center on February 28.  I visited four more times as it was dismantled for transport.  

The restoration of the B-52 is part of "Project Welcome Home" The Museum's end goal is to install this Viet Nam era aircraft in a commemorative park on the west campus.  "The restored Midnight Express will reside on the west side of the Museum’s Aviation Pavilion in a serene park-like setting where visitors can reflect upon the B-52 and the nearly 8,000 other U.S. military aircraft lost during Vietnam. "

First I drove past it in the opposite direction on I-5! Then I positioned myself to see it travel over the bridge near Airport Way. 

Next I met up with it as it arrived at 0530 (a half hour early!) to the staging area a few blocks south of the Museum of Flight. There was a nice crew of Museum staff, volunteers and members there to greet it.  Some of them had been up all night.

My sole sketch today was done at this staging spot on the street. The Museum's "PR Guy", Ted, posted a photo of me sketching.  I stayed until about 10 am to attend the welcome ceremony and then watch it move down E. Marginal Way to its parking spot behind the Aviation High School.

Many more photos are here.  A longer post on my personal blog is here

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Sue’s People From the Outside In

6/2/18 Sue through the donut hole

Sue Heston may have scored the highest weather points of the spring USk 10x10 workshop season this morning at the Seattle Center. Under blue skies and sunshine, her students worked hard practicing Sue’s concepts for “Sketching People From the Outside In.”

As Sue began the workshop outside the Armory, I sketched her through the “donut” sculpture. I hardly had time for this sketch, though, before she moved her students to different areas of the Seattle Center to demonstrate her techniques. In one demo, she got Jane to model for her. During another, I was in the middle of sketching her when she decided to sketch me. Apparently I was a good example as she showed how to determine which leg a standing model’s weight is on – an important element in drawing a convincing figure.

With another appointment to get to, I could observe and sketch Sue’s workshop only for a short time, but it was fun to eavesdrop on her lessons, especially in that sunshine.

Jane models for Sue
Sunshine and blue skies at the fountain!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Poor People's Campaign 2018

I went down to Capitol Campus today to catch the tail end of the Vietnam Vets / Legacy Vets Memorial Day Ride but I was too late. Instead I happened upon the beginning of the weekly rally for the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, a 50 year renewal of the campaign started by Martin Luther King before he was assassinated. Monday's rally is the third of six weekly demonstrations at the State Capitol. The theme was The War Economy: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence.

Veterans for Peace were out in full force, wearing peace dove helmets on t-shirts and flags. Representatives from several groups spoke including clergy from various faiths.  

People waited in the wings for their turn to speak or just to listen and support. The Raging Grannies sat waiting patiently for their turn to speak their minds in song. 


The Raging Grannies promoting social justice
Since I was prepared for a totally different scenario of veterans and motorcycles, I was surprised and intrigued at the demonstration. It was deja vu back to the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 60's when the campaign was first started.
This excerpt of one King's last Sunday sermon sums up the yet to be fulfilled cause: 
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But if a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists … We are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that is signed years ago. And we are coming to engage in dramatic non-violent action, to call attention to the gulf between promise and fulfillment; to make the invisible visible." - Martin Luther King
The Poor People's Campaign will continue for four more weeks with the following themes: 

Week 4 (June 3-9): The Right to Health and a Healthy Planet: Ecological Devastation and Health Care

Week 5 (June 10-16): Everybody’s Got the Right To Live: Education, Living Wages, Jobs, Income, Housing

Week 6 (June 17-23): A New and Unsettling Force: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative

Saturday, June 23, 10:00 a.m. EDT10am: Global Day of Solidarity and Sending Forth Call to Action Mass Rally in Washington, D.C.

Now that I know the rallies are happening I'll be watching more closely and hope to get down to a few more.