Monthly Sketch Outing

Next Monthly Sketch Outing
Sunday, June 26
Ballard Fisherman's Terminal
meet in front of Chinooks (parking lot side)
1900 W Nickerson St

Lots to sketch here, boats, docs, shops, people

Meet at 10:00 AM
End meet-up at 12:30 pm
This is also the location of the first ever Seattle Urban Sketchers group outing - 7 years ago in July 2009!
See more info on the Monthly Outings tab.

See Adhoc Outings for additional sketch events during the month.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fisherman's Terminal - Seattle UsK 7th Anniversary

It was a perfect day for an outing; sunshine, cool breeze, and about 30+ of fellow sketchers met up at Fisherman's Terminal in Ballard to commemorate 7-year anniversary of Seattle Urban Sketchers.
I wandered around and decided to spend sometime on Dock 8. There's so much detail and interesting angles. I sketched an overall perspective looking south with boats moored on both sides of the docks.
View south down Dock 8
The textures of rust on the metal, the countless masts, the intricate fishing equipment, they were feast for the eyes. I sat on the edge of the dock and sketched one of the fishing boats, attempting to capture as much detail as possible.
A fishing boat
Towards the end of the session, I decided to sketch a salmon vessel moored right across the main terminal building. This vessel, Darla R, was a popular object for the day, for lots of other fellow sketchers decided to capture the same vessel.
Salmon Vessel Darla R
At the end of the outing, we shared our sketches in what's called a "throw down" session. It marked the end of one of the best outings I've been to and I am already excited for the next one. Happy Anniversary, UsK Seattle!

Seeing Things at Fishermen's Terminal on USK 7th Anniversary

Sunday was a day of abundance for USK Seattle at the Ballard Fishermen's Terminal! We had sunshine, blue skies, subject material at every turn and scads of sketchers from all points north, south, east and west! At one point there were approximately 38 sketchers who shared their sketchbooks, celebrating the 7th anniversary of urban sketchers. Scroll down to see the day's previous blogposts by my fellow correspondents.
There's a cement deer on top of those blue sheds! My sketch of the yellow Beach Gang shed under the bridge..
The bluest skies in Seattle
With such an exciting profusion of subject material available, it's almost like trying to read a 30 page menu-what should I paint? and where do I even start?

It helps to have been there before. This will be the third time that I have visited Fishermen's Terminal in Ballard with the Seattle Urban Sketchers. My first decision today was to eliminate repeating any subjects I've sketched before, such as the Fishermen's Monument and the Qingdao Eagle. See previous sketches here and here

When you're out there sketching, you start really noticing things, including a bright yellow Corvette, seaplanes flying overhead, ladders everywhere and a cement deer. Although I asked one of the men standing under the Ballard bridge nearby, I couldn't get the story on it. Even though it was apparent that the fellow was also seeing it for the first time, he acted like a cement deer on top of a shed wasn't that much out of the ordinary. I only discovered it myself as I was sketching the "Beach Gang" shed nearby.  This time it truly was "seeing my world one drawing at a time."


It was very quiet where we sat at the far north end of the terminal. Normally I listen to my earbuds while drawing but I left them at home this time. Donna, usually preferring to work in silence, allowed herself to be pulled into my chatter. We didn't realize how well our voices carried, and as we drew Donna and I got into a pretty heavy and far-ranging conversation. A fisherman working on his boat called out to us, joking, "No serious discussions while on the docks!"

Fishermen's Terminal

It was wonderful to see such a large turnout yesterday at Fishermen's Terminal to commemorate our 7-year anniversary.  As we were trying to remember exactly how the Seattle group got its start, we agreed we had to ask Gabi to refresh our memories, which are getting a little fuzzy with age.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Serendipity in Seattle

All week I found myself in the right place at the right time. 

Sunday morning a convivial group of Urban Sketchers met at Fishermen’s Terminal.   It’s a great place to wander for privileged views of nautical vessels.  The boats are like people each with a name and a tale to tell.  The light green Ballard Bridge can be seen in the distance to the north. Queen Anne Hill and Magnolia Hill rise up to the south.
Fishing Boat at Fishermen's Terminal
At Bakery Nouveau on the corner of 15th Ave E and E John Ct I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a scone while observing the activity in Williams Place Park.  The green and yellow bus pavilion was a magnet for one bus after another during the 5 o’clock rush.  The door to the bakery opened and shut to the rhythm and sound of the traffic along 15th Ave.
Capitol Hill, Bakery Nouveau

During a hike through Discovery Park in Magnolia, I retreated from the hot sun on the rugged beach to cool off in the dense shade along one of the park’s roads. The difference in temperature revived my energy levels enough to sketch the vista through the thickly forested hiking grounds to the water, landfall, and clouds beyond, and for the return hike to the car.
Discovery Park
To pre-empt crosstown traffic, I arrived so early for a meeting I had time to visit Seward Park.  Within the park, a commanding row of two-toned trees edge Lake Washington.  Mercer Island floats in the distance as ducks frolic close to shore in the chilly water.

Seward Park

Four out of Seven

Though the actual day is in July, Urban Sketchers Seattle celebrated our 7th anniversary at Fishermen's Terminal, the location of the first sketch outing.  I've been involved for a few months over 4 of those years and it's been a wonderful experience!

We had a very large group today.  There were several new people but only 2 who had been at that first sketch outing: Frances Buckmaster and Frank Ching (unless someone came later who was also there).

I had arrived early in my attempt to beat the traffic from all the events happening around Seattle today.  I found this dramatic commemorative sculpture.

On the stone base, it says:  "In Commemoration of the Establishment of Sister-Port Relationship between Port of Seattle, USA and Port of Qingdao, China on May 12, 1995.  Chang Dechuan, Director Qingdao Port Authority, China December 1, 1999"  And, presumably, the same in Chinese.

After a bit of wandering around, I chose a portion of the Darla A.  I liked the anchor on her bow.  She is out of Wrangell, Alaska.  She was a popular little boat as many sketched her.

The "throw down" of sketchbooks; seems that's what we're calling the sharing of sketches now?

Our large group:

More photos here:

Fishermen's Terminal (on Father's Day)

I actually drew this last week when I showed up unaware that the date had been pushed back a week. That said, i
t was moving to read and sketch the memorial on Father's Day, as I imagine many of the men whose names are engraved on the memorial were fathers who were trying to make a living for their families; on more than one occasion, I could overhear families who appeared to be visiting the memorial in remembrance of their lost family members. On the memorial:
"This towering sculpture and the bronze name plaques at its base have become a place of reverence, recognition and healing for the families of more than 675 local commercial fishermen and women who have lost their lives pursuing their livelihood since the turn of the century."
On a brighter note, happy 7th anniversary to the Seattle Urban Sketchers! It's been a privilege (and a lot of fun) sketching with the group for the past couple of years. Here's to many more years of sketching! Cheers.

Fisherman's Terminal on the Seattle Urban Sketcher's 7th Anniversary

Today was a special sketch outing at the original site of the 1st Seattle Urban Sketcher's outing 7 years ago. Happy anniversary sketchers! I zoned in on this boat because I have been fantasizing for some time about living on a houseboat. I think this one officially classifies as a boat, but it has that houseboat aesthetic and everything I think about when I dream of my someday floating home. While I was sketching a little duck swam under my feet and I didn't even notice until after I took her picture that she had a couple of little babies following. The person who lives on this boat... a long-haired guy who I would have loved to talk to but was too far away, threw open the back door and I was happy to see it was purple inside which inspired me to make the water purple.

Happy 7th Anniversary, USk Seattle!

6/26/16 Fishermen's Terminal
Just a couple of weeks shy of our seventh anniversary, Urban Sketchers Seattle met this morning at Fishermen’s Terminal, the site of the group’s very first sketch outing in 2009. I, myself, would not join USk for another three years, but in many ways I feel like I’ve been part of it all along, watching it grow in both members and enthusiasm.

Starting up shortly after Gabi Campanario founded our international parent group Urban Sketchers, USk Seattle was one of the first regional chapters to form. We’ve been meeting on monthly Sundays ever since, and in 2012 we began meeting additionally twice a month on Fridays.

Last year at the terminal, I focused on the boats, but it had been a couple of years since I sketched the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial, a tribute to the people who have died at sea as part of the region’s fishing industry (below). With that in mind, I remembered to bring along my Field Notes Byline reporter’s notebook, whose long, skinny format is just right for tall, skinny memorials. In the small red Field Notes is a detail of one of the many fish at the foot of the sculpture.
6/26/16 Seattle Fishermen's Memorial

6/26/16 detail of the Memorial

As I walked along the pier, thinking I would sketch one of the gazillions of boats, what should I find? One of my favorite subjects, a bright yellow crane! And just beneath it was Frank Ching, whom I knew wouldn’t be there for too long, so I sketched him first (top of page).

On this sunny morning when it felt like summer had finally returned again (after three weeks of a wet and chilly June-uary), we were out at Fishermen’s Terminal in nearly record-breaking numbers – someone counted 38! (I think our record is nearly 50 on an equally beautiful day at Pike Place Market a couple of summers ago.) Happy seventh anniversary, USk Seattle! Im proud and honored to be a member!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Happy Anniversary Urban Sketchers Seattle!

June Sketch outing (moved to this weekend due to Father's Day last weekend)

Sunday June 26
Fisherman's Terminal 
1900 W Nickerson
Ballard, Seattle
meet in front of Chinooks (parking lot side) 
10 am - 12:30

* This is the location of the very first Seattle Urban Sketchers sketch crawl, 7 years ago in July of 2009. We're celebrating a few weeks early. Come sketch the boats, docks, restaurants and people. 

Also, it's a busy weekend in Seattle Traffic-wise. Kate Buike found this information: 
Traveler Notice

Presidential motorcade and special events traffic this weekend
Commuters should plan ahead for major traffic and transit delays with President Barack Obama in the Puget Sound area and several large special events this weekend, June 24-26. The public is encouraged to actively monitor traffic conditions via local media, calling 5-1-1 or by visiting the WSDOT Traffic Twitter page. For information on all of today's closures, check out our Seattle Area Construction page.  "
The annual Seattle Pride Parade and March will close the Southbound I-5 Exit 165B off-ramp to Union Street on Sunday, June 26, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. to approximately 3:30 p.m".

DOT Traffic drew a picture for Twitter: 

Beacon Hill Station

As we met at the Beacon Hill light rail station this morning it was chilly and raining.  Some went straight over to The Station coffee house nearby.  I was intent to sketch another item in my project on  the art at all the stations.  So I went down into the tunnel.  This is "Space Forms" by Dan Corson.

By the time I came up, it was sunny and warmer!  Others were sketching outside. 

We welcomed two new sketchers to the group!  This was Dave's first sketch outing with us.

and Pam's, too. 

More photos are here:

Beacon Hill

6/24/16 Seattle Public Library's Beacon Hill branch
Unlike so many Seattle neighborhoods, Beacon Hill hasn’t changed much since I hung out there as a teenager (I didn’t live there, but many of my friends did). The biggest change was the opening of the Link Light Rail Station in 2009, which now brings a lot more foot traffic to the ‘hood. 

Knowing that, I was a bit surprised this morning that the immediate area around the station didn’t have more coffee shops and caf├ęs for chilly Seattle Urban Sketchers to retreat to when the day starts out too cold for comfort. At least that was my thought after I did a very quick “test sketch” of a station sign post to see if I could stand being outdoors all morning.

I couldn’t, so I crowded my way into The Station coffee shop, which Michele had told us about. With great funky street cred, The Station is tiny but makes a mean Mexican mocha that definitely took the chill off. After sketching Natalie’s bacon-wrapped biscuit and sampling Gloria’s cinnamon roll, I was sufficiently warmed and fortified to head outdoors again. Just outside the door was the shop’s pug, which kept my pen moving.
6/24/16 Link Light Rail Beacon Hill Station

The sun came out, so I gladly took a short walk to check out the ‘hood with Anne and John, who pointed out the Seattle Public Library’s Beacon Hill branch. The modern building is topped by The Dream Ship, a sculpture by Miles Pepper that appears to be part boat, part plane. After the challenge of the constantly moving pug, I thought I’d give myself a break by sketching a nice, stationery object. No sooner did I put pen to paper, however, did I realize that the sculpture is actually kinetic, rotating with the wind!

Afterwards at the Baja Bistro, I started sketching Ching and Marvin (who was sketching me and not as surreptitiously as he thought he was) and would have kept going around the table. Fortunately for the others, my burrito came, so that sketch was done.

6/24/16 pug

6/24/16 Marvin and Ching