Monthly Sketch Outing

Next Sketch Outing Sunday September 21 Olympic Sculpture park
See Adhoc Outings for additional sketch events during the month.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ad Hoc group visits the UW's Medicinal Herb Garden

Overcast skies, and even a few raindrops did not dampen the views, nor the enthusiasm for this very unique part of the campus of the University of Washington.  I did the sketch on location in pen and ink, then added watercolor at home.  Sometimes I enjoy drawing more than adding watercolor...and I did happen to photograph the sketch before doing so.  So you be the judge...which do you prefer?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Paraty Pity Party

The group of Friday ad hoc sketchers from Urban Sketchers Seattle met in the UW Medicinal Herb Garden.  It was a cool, gray day with flat light.  It even sprinkled rain a bit, near the end.

The International Urban Sketchers symposium is going on this weekend in Paraty, Brazil. There are 4 Seattle sketchers there as far as I know.   So I called this outing the "Paraty Pity Party" and made badges to wear and/or stick on a sketchbook!

We spread out around the several acres of garden.  I was thinking of the USk weekly theme "doors and gates" when I chose this spot.  It is the entry to the garden, guarded by crazy monkey sculptures.  I could not find anything on the internet about them.  The phone guide indicated they are copies of Italian sculptures which graced the 1st medicinal garden.  They are thought to protect the garden.

We gathered in the garden/bus shelter out of the rain to share sketches.

Then we had a group photo.
Linda, Frances, Michele, Linda, Kate, Peggy H (seated), Gloria, Logan

Soap Box Derby Seattle 2014

 This last weekend I was part of a team that participated in the annual Red Bull Soapbox Derby.
It is held in one city in the world and this year it was in Seattle.
Last May we submitted a design and were selected to be one of 36 teams to compete.
The vehicles must be gravity propelled (no motor or other propulsion).  There is also a theatrical aspect to the race.  The goofier the better.  Winning the race is important but if you don't at least lose with style.
Our entry which I have been documenting from the beginning started with buying two matching 20" girls bikes on Craigslist for $30.00.  After a month we had our Geoduck (Pronounced Gooey Duck)  Racer.
For those of you who don't know what a Geoduck is, it is a large Clam found in the Pacific Northwest.
It also happens to be the mascot of Evergreen College in Olympia.
We did some test runs and got it up to 40 mph.  The day of the race came around and we were next to the last run.   We got off to a good start but the craft became unstable after the first of two jumps and it crashed with style.  By the way no one was injured.  It was a great way to cap off the summer and we're already thinking about the next race.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ciao Tutti!

Ciao Seattle Sketchers da Roma...actually, my two month NIAUSI fellowship in Civita di Bagnoregio has ended, and I leave for the Rome airport in about 20 minutes...heading to the Urban Sketchers Symposium in BRAZIL!!!

Italy has been an amazing experience and Civita an amazing place.  The workshop here in July was wonderful, and my project to create an illustrated walking guide to the architeture of the town proved to be extremely interesting.  Civita has become a popular tourist destination (which is both good and bad), and the people who cross the bridge into town have no idea they are walking a 3000 year old Etruscan road or are looking at medieval buildings and Renaissance palazzi...or that there are Etruscan caves that honeycomb underneath the houses!!  I got to explore many caves. I hope to finish the guide this fall and get it posted as a free download online.

I've missed sketching with all of you this summer and have followed your work.  If you are curious to see some of what I've done the past two months, here are a few images, more on my blog: 
and on my flickr page:

Ciao for now... Brazil, here I come!  See you all in September...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gasworks Park

When the group met at Gasworks last week, Donna and I arrived early and set up before the rain started. I had the basic lines drawn before the rain drove us away. Props to those sketchers who stuck it out. I went back this week to finish the drawing in the sun.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday ad hoc at Magnuson Park

The Friday Ad Hoc group of Urban Sketchers Seattle went to Magnuson  Park today. It covers a point that extends into Lake Washington.  Some people sketched the climbing wall at the Mountaineer Club.  I was inspired by Mark Ryan's sketch of the Fin Project, done the last time USk Seattle was here in May 2012.   I was determined to find my way to this sculpture installation.  "Made from submarine fins, this sculptural installation is arranged to represent a pod of whales. Dedicated in 1998, this art work was created by John T. Young."  More about Fin Art can be found here.
I had time for 2 sketches. 

Fins and Kite Hill

We gathered again to share our sketches.

Since I'd battle the traffic through Seattle to get there, I decided to find Sound Garden.  It is on the grounds of the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration).  Brochure
This installation features pipes that generate muted tones, with the pitch dependent on the direction and velocity of the wind..... made in 1983 by Douglas R. Hollis"

I sat in the middle of the installation to do this sketch.  As the wind increased, so did the sounds, which were quite pleasant. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Seeing Double

I drew the first sketch of my cousin's campsite while seated next to a smoking fire at our family reunion on Green River. Then yesterday I painted the view from in front of Herkimer Coffee on Phinney Ridge. After posting them, I was struck by how, as tiny thumbnail images on my phone, similar in composition and color they are: the heavy right side; the white left side; the tree and the telephone pole; the trike and the bike; the blue cubes. I guess my mind was kind of stuck on this particular layout.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Flags at Shilshole

It took me a  long time to find a view I wanted to sketch.  Maybe there were just too many options or maybe it was the fact that when you sat down the guard rail aligned with  your eye level.  I ended up standing to sketch the view I liked.  What drew me to this view were the colorful big flags on a couple of sail boats and the fog that had settled in, creating interesting atmospheric perspective.  Of course by the time I finished the sketch the fog had lifted so when painting the sketch I could add the color of the sky and a lot more masts seem to fill the background.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Shilshole Shores

I concur with Frank. The variety of sketches yesterday was impressive. I'd hoped to get in two sketches, but only managed this of Leif Ericson. He appears to have been a sturdy soul, planted firmly an terra firma. Beautiful day.

Welcome to our guest from Israel Urban Sketchers, Orna and her daughter!

Shilshole Bay Marina

My contribution to the many wonderful sketches we saw yesterday at Shilshole Bay Marina. The boats, large and small, their masts and equipment, and their reflections in the water, especially on a foggy but clearing morning, always attracted me.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Monthly outing at a Marina

We met for our monthly sketch outing at Shilshoal Marina.  I was one of several sketchers for whom Leif was a subject today.  I included the flag post to give it a sense of place, near the marina.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for my next sketch.  I knew I didn't want to sketch the forest of boat masts.  Eventually, I found a bit of garden with a part of an old fog light.

Orna is a  visitor from Urban Sketchers Israel today! 

As is usual, we met to share sketches.

Shilshole Marina

8/17/14 Shilshole Marina with Harris sketching.

Thick and white with fog, the sky over Shilshole Marina felt a bit chilly this morning for mid-August, but a strong showing of Seattle Urban Sketchers was undaunted. Sure enough, the sun came out within the hour, giving everyone good shadows and warmth.

8/17/14 Statue of Leif Erikson.
Before the fog lifted, I started with a sketch of “Son of Iceland, Grandson of Norway” Leif Erikson. The original statue was a gift to Seattle from the Norwegian American community during the 1962 World’s Fair. A new base and tribute were unveiled in 2007. His helmet looked a bit Pope-ish until I corrected its tilt.

By the time the sky cleared, I had procrastinated long enough: It was time to take on the formidable marina with its gazillions of masts. I propped my stool up on top of a picnic table to get a better line of sight. Putting Harris (sketching in the foreground) in first helped to ground me. Then I put in the trawler, and then all the other masts behind it. Piece o’ cake! (Ha-ha.)

I had 10 minutes to kill before the sketchbook sharing, so I sketched Peggy sketching between her bike and a food truck.

8/17/14 Peggy sketching next to the food truck.

Carmelita's Coffee Trailer

Met the Seattle Urban Sketchers at Shilshole Marina, Seattle and set up my stool at Carmelita's Coffee and Desserts, next door to Surf Ballard. The owner of this little coffee trailer gave me a latté after seeing the drawing. Thanks, Maria!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Soggy Morning at Gas Works Park

8/15/14 Gas Works Marina sketched in steady rain.

After all those consecutive days of beautiful sunshine, I had deluded myself into thinking it was the new normal. I woke to drizzle, but had predicted that the rain would stop by mid-morning, when the ad hoc Friday sketchers were meeting at Gas Works Park.

Perched on my stool under a tree for my first sketch of some of the gas works, I was still in denial as increasingly frequent raindrops blurred my Platinum Carbon Black lines. By 11 it was barely spitting, so a few of us walked over to the marina on the east side of the park to sketch the houseboats, and I insisted that the rain would be stopping soon. I looked out over Lake Union and immediately saw a challenging Shari Blaukopf assignment for myself: the reflections of the moored houseboats and dappled water. The rain did let up as I was drawing the houseboat on the right, but within minutes I had to pull my hood on again, and my sketch was starting to take on that dreamy look (or perhaps nightmare, depending on your perspective). The wet-on-wet-on-wet approach isn’t one of my favorite watercolor techniques.

8/15/14 Sketched under the dubious umbrella of a tree.


I had to dig deep into my Seattle roots to make myself get out and sketch at Gasworks on Friday. The shower at 9:30 did not bode well for the day. But I must have learned something over the years because I found with a good stool to sit on and a board to paint against, I was able to sketch and hold an umbrella at the same time. It helps to have kindred spirits to enjoy the outing with.
I liked this view of the play barn and picnic shelter because they reminded me of real barns. I'd never noticed that before.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday at Gas Works Park

Urban Sketchers Seattle Friday ad hoc sketch outing was at Gas Works Park.

It rained steadily for most of the almost 1.5 hours drive it took me to reach Gas Works Park.  But it seemed to let up once there.  I decided to chance it and sketch the gas works.  I no sooner got most of the ink drawing done when it started to rain.  I later finished the color at home.

I moved inside to the shelter to sketch some of the colorful machinery.

At the end of sharing sketches, we had our usual group photo (one person, Zak, is missing as he had to leave early).  Thanks to Madeleine for taking this photo.