Monthly Sketch Outing

Next Sketch Outing Sunday, January 18 - Pike Street Market Atrium

See Adhoc Outings for additional sketch events during the month.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

While Jody saw Measure for Measure downstairs at Seattle Shakespeare I sketched upstairs in the Food Court at Seattle Center. Another enjoyable outing. I added watercolor pencil as an experiment later. Frank B.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seahawks Blue and Green

One of the wonderful things about being retired is I can change the day's plans on a dime!  I heard on the news this morning that workers were going to hang 12th Man flags from the Old Rainier Brewery and then also change the bulbs in the big "R" atop the building to Seahawks blue and green.  The team left for the Superbowl yesterday.

So, of course, I had to go sketch that!  Even more so because we're having Spring in January.  It was bright sun, clear blue sky and 62 degrees F!!  

I did 3 sketches of the activity, two from the south side and one from the north side after they were finished.

The sketch below has a bit of photo collage for the Old Rainier Brewery sign.

On this last one I used my new favorite product. It's  the new Molotow masking liquid pen I got at Daniel Smith.  It dries quite quickly, unlike other masking products I've tried.  I used the 2mm pen to preserve the white dots in the "R" so I could later color them with blue and green.  It worked perfectly!


In between the south and the north side, I sketched the view across the street.  It's the Sounder rail yard at Airport Way & Hanford.  A plane flew overhead, on approach to Boeing field, and I sketched the outline really quickly. 

Now I need to drive by the "R" at night to see the change of colors better!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Answer

1/25/15 Mt. Rainier from Maple Leaf Park

Sometimes people who live in other parts of the country ask how we can stand to live in a climate that is rainy, drizzly, cloudy or overcast for much of the year.

Today, Jan. 25, the temperature is 63 degrees, and the only clouds I see are as thin as a whisper.

Today, this is the answer.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sketching and Samples at Fran's in Georgetown

The Ad-Hoc sketchers were meeting in Georgetown, to explore Fran's, makers of fine chocolates , who had recently relocated there.  And I needed to kill 2 birds with one stone:  I've been following the daily drawing challenge on the FB group, Artist's Journals Workshop, and my current challenge was to sketch a historical building.  Perfect! I thought, knowing that the old Rainier Brewing plant was still standing in Georgetown.  So I drove down early and did my sketch.

Then I went inside to Fran's where I was greeted with a piece of chocolate: a raspberry truffle!  I'm sure it made for better sketching!!  Fran's has done a great job of utilizing the huge, open space of the old brewery.  The original windows, and wrought iron staircases (one is spiraling ) remain.  Also, the rather unique walls, where areas of brick peek through the plaster, which of course, caught my eye.

Chocolate. Georgetown.

What's better than chocolate on a dark, drizzly Seattle day?  The Ad Hoc Friday group spent the morning at the Fran's Chocolate shop in Georgetown.  It is a beautiful location which has modernized an old brick brewery but kept many of the interesting architectural bits.

Several of all of us sketched the spiral staircase!   I would probably not have attempted this a year ago.  But constant practice led me to feel I could attempt it now and I'm satisfied with the result.

Sketchers sketching.  There was this long table and several cafe tables on the other side.

Ann's husband, John, took the group photo.

Before joining the group at 10, I did a quick sketch from the car of the view of old brick and  telephone pole across the street.

After our outing, four of us went across the street to La Catrina for lunch.  Couldn't resist a very quick sketch.... including one of the sketchers and a rope of chiles.

Fran’s Chocolates!

1/23/15 making truffles
Under any circumstance, it doesn’t take much to get me to go to Fran’s Chocolates. And with my sketchbook? Meeting the Friday ad hoc sketchers at Fran’s new Georgetown location this morning was my idea of heaven: Sipping a mocha so rich I could have eaten it with a spoon, the scent of chocolate wafting gently from the kitchen, I sketched the workers handcrafting jewel-like creations through a huge window.

As I sketched, Fran’s daughter Andrina came by to chat, and I told her that I have fond memories of shopping at Fran’s back in the ‘80s when she had a small storefront in Madison Valley. Fran’s newest location is in a building that started out as the Rainier Brewery’s ice house in 1902, Andrina said. It’s now a sparkling-white kitchen and spacious coffee and confection shop for the family-run business.

1/23/15 making molded chocolate bars
Although it was fun to tour Theo Chocolates a couple of years ago, it wasn’t conducive to sketching because we had to stay with the group and couldn’t linger where the action was. At Fran’s, I could sketch by the window at my leisure with a perfect view of all the activity. 

Afterwards I joined the other sketchers in the café and retail area, where an employee helped a customer pick out chocolates like they were precious gemstones. (Yes, they are pricey, but worth it.)

A heavenly sketch outing, indeed!

1/23/15 Putting tiny flowers onto individual chocolates.

1/23/15 Retail and cafe area

Pike Place Market

It was great to see so many new people at this month's urban sketch outing. It was definitely a tough sell this weekend with the Seahawks playing Greenbay for a chance to go to the Super Bowl.
It is easy to think you have seen everything at Pike Place Market. Every time I go back though I find something new.

I got in a quick sketch of the Sasquatch sculpture. I had always meant to sketch this market classic but never got the chance. 

I also captured this scene of the Pike Brewery grist case sticking out of the walk way to the market's south end. I cheated and added the red to the case afterwards in Photoshop. The grist case was too distinctive to leave out and I did not have a red pen or marker on me at the time.

Finally, I captured this quick view inside of DeLaurenti's wine room, kitchen and seating area. I particularly enjoyed capturing the dense feel of the wine bottles stacked from floor to ceiling in this tiny room.  

All in all another great winter time sketch outing to the Pike Place Market. I hope to do it again next year as well. It will be great to start comparing each year against the last.

Monday, January 19, 2015

NFC Championship Game

 I watched the game on a TV and recorded the game in my sketchbook.
I didn't have a whole lot of highlights for 3 1/2 quarters so I just worked on Carroll and Rodgers. At one point Carroll was wondering where his team was.  The game had a decidedly queasy tone 
but brightened up nicely. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Market Morning Sketch

Today was going to be full and I hoped satisfying with all the activities I had planned.  Some times it just pours with good things to do (and the rain did at times too!).  Being a soccer/Sounders fanatic, I have to find an outlet in the winter as I wait for the new MLS season to start.  So I follow Arsenal of the English Premier League during their season.  This morning before the sketch outing I watched their game getting a win over Man City 2-0. Nice job Gunners!   I headed downtown quickly to beat the Seahawk rush and got going early on a sketch of one of the Market's mascots; the Sasquatch that sits in the Atrium (the market area south of Pike Street).  There are places on the carved wooden creature that are stained dark from the oils of people's hands as they touch the statue.

After our meet and greet I headed to the concourse that houses the brewing tanks and equipment for the Pike Brewing Company. The floor in the center is open to the pub below with the pipes and tanks extending through the openings.   During my sketch time, the pub was filling up with Seahawk fans waiting for the game to start on the TV's.  Every once and awhile I would hear a "SEA--Hawks!"  chant as the crowd was getting psyched for the game to start.

I finished the sketch at 11:30 and headed to my Seahawk viewing party.  I wanted to see all the other's sketches too, but the game was calling (along with good food, drink and the company of my churche's great Seahawk fans. The game ended fantastically, but we were made to suffer for 3 quarters.  It was all worth it today to enjoy three things that I love to do.  I ended up taking a nap late in the afternoon to recovery from all the emotion of the day.

In the Bowels of Pike Place Market

Thanks goodness we had an indoor venue for this Sunday's sketch crawl!  The rain and wind was rather wild!!   I explored some of the unusual areas just around the corner from The Atrium.   By sitting on a stack of newspapers, I was able to sketch the entrance to an "herbal apothecary."  I think it was the store's name that caught my eye -ha!

Game vs Sketching

Sketching, every time!  I'm not much of a sports fan, but I did Tivo the game and watched it after I got home. 

Today was the Big Game (Seahawks won the NFC Championship in a home game!).  First, I arrived at the Park and Ride for the light rail station early so as to get a spot.  I learned from previous experience that it fills up early with fans.

As a result, I was at Pike Market far earlier than I needed to be for the Urban Sketchers Seattle monthly outing.  I had breakfast with a view of the Great Wheel, lit up in Seahawks colors.

I wasn't sure how many people would attend due to said Big Game.  But we had a goodly number.  We took a "before" group photo as a few were leaving early to watch the game.  You might note everyone is showing a blank sketchbook.

My intention from the beginning was to sketch the Giant Squid sculpture hanging from the 2 story atrium.

After that, I wandered around looking for another sketch.  At one point, it was raining so hard I wondered what all the racket was... it was the rain on the Atrium roof!  So no going outside around the Market.  I finally settled on one of the iconic Market neon signs.

Sketchers had gradually gathered back in the Atrium, where we shared out sketches and had a final group photo.  Several new people joined us today.  I'm sorry we didn't do another round of introductions at the end.

Five-Day Challenge

Uninspired at the Pike Place Market

If there hadn’t been an Urban Sketchers outing this morning, I probably would have stayed in bed listening to the torrential rain and wind battering our windows and skylights. As much as I enjoy sketching at the Pike Place Market, doing so on a blustery, stormy day does nothing for me. Everything I like to sketch there is either outdoors or too close to the elements for me to be happy on a day like this.

Despite the ridiculous weather, the Market crowds were already getting thick, maybe because many people were coming through on their way to the noon Seahawks game. Before the crowds became daunting, I sketched a busker who was barely sheltered from the downpour just behind him.

After that, chilled and uninspired, I wandered around in the Market’s deep lower bowels trying to warm up. Looking down from a railing toward the stairwell that leads to Western Avenue, I finally sketched another busker and got chilled all over again. Eventually I wandered back to the Atrium for our final sketchbook sharing and killed the last few minutes with twig and ink. (I think that last hasty sketch was my favorite of the day!)

I might have been crabby about the weather, but it certainly didn’t keep others away: We had a terrific turnout, including several first-timers! Only Urban Sketchers (OK, and maybe the Seahawks) can get people out on a day like this.


Old Carnegie Free Public Library, Seattle

Although there is brick everywhere in Ballard, I think this old library (1904) is probably the true color for local brick.  I love the idea of communities and Carnegie creating these wonderful libraries. We even saw one of the originals in Sterling, Scotland.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Don't pet the Dragon

Today I saw the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on exhibit at the Museum of Flight!  This is a temporary exhibit as the Dragon will only be there through Monday. I found it interesting and exciting as I've followed the "career" of the Dragon for several years. 

I did manage to do a sketch by exercising what is for me, unusual, patience.  I could only draw when the crowd parted.  This particular spacecraft is the first one to have made a deliver to the International Space Station!

Of course, I had to have the stickers the SpaceX representatives were passing out!

The title of this post comes from SpaceX's amusing version of the "don't touch" sign:

Sketching in Columbia City

 The first place I remember drawing outside was Columbia City. I attended elementary school at the building between Rainier and MLK. As part of an art class, we went out to the historic section of Columbia City to sketch.

I wish I could find the drawing I did back then. The sketch above is of the same building though from a different perspective. I took shelter in the Starbucks on the corner of Rainier and Edmunds. The coffee shop offers great views up Columbia City's historic business district and over to the former Orca building.

It is amazing how much Columbia City has changed. When I was in elementary school, Columbia City was mostly filled with nail salons and little else. Since then, the business district has really come to life with a variety of restaurants, bars, cafes and boutique shops. I was also amazed to see the huge apartment building they are building next to the Columbia City Library.

Despite the big changes some things have remained the same. The funky 1960s bank building is still standing and the beautiful library retains its stately presence in Columbia Park. In addition, it is great to see the care taken to maintain the brick buildings on Rainier Avenue.