Monthly Sketch Outing

Next Sketch Outing Sunday April 27, 2014
See Adhoc Outings for additional sketch events during the month.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sketcher in Residence @ MOHAI

I completed a second opportunity as Sketcher-in-Residence at the Museum of History & Industry yesterday afternoon.  It is a honor to participate in Gabi's exhibition and be a representative of Seattle Urban Sketchers while having a great time sketching.
Yesterday I had a sketcher waiting for me as I arrived and soon had a second, with both wanting to participate in a sketch outing with other sketchers.   The weather was so perfect this weekend that it was quickly decided to go outside and enjoy the opportunity to be in the sunshine.  We sat at the water's edge in front of the armory and looked south toward all the South Lake Union construction sites.  We all enjoyed the conversation, the warm sun and I also passed on helpful tips to the two new enthusiasts of urban sketching.

As our time was nearing the end, I slipped in one more sketch of the front of the Navel Armory Building.  By the time I finished, I was half blinded by the light reflecting off the white of the paper in my sketch-pad.

Thanks again to The MOHAI and Meris for coordinating the volunteer sketchers!
If you haven't had a chance to see Gabi's exhibition, please go and see it before it is finished at the end of May.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Up Close and Personal

4/12/14 Maple Leaf neighborhood
When the “no parking” signboards started going up on our block a week or two ago, we knew something was up. Sure enough, a couple days ago the heavy equipment, noise and dust arrived. The next day the letter from Seattle Public Utilities finally came: A sewer line repair would be taking place during the next four weeks.

I waited until today, Saturday, when I knew they wouldn’t be working so I could get up close and personal with the bright yellow digger. Cars, planes, boats, construction machinery – sketching vehicles of any kind intimidates me. But I have been looking at and thinking about all the delightful vintage cars in Lapin’s book and how he makes them come alive. I have also been thinking about Inma Serrano’s Urban Sketching workshop in Barcelona last year, during which she urged us to sketch buildings as living, breathing monsters instead of inanimate architecture.

It doesn’t take much imagination to view a crawler excavator as a monster, so I pulled up my little stool a few feet away from the big guy and channeled my inner Lapin and inner Inma.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday ad hoc outing

Seattle Urban Sketchers met at the Panama Hotel tea room in the International District.  However, the weather was so beautiful, most of us sketched in the Danny Woo Community Garden across the street.

It was a perfect spring day.  I dressed for the 40 degrees it was when I left home to take the light rail into town.  On the top of the hill in the garden in full sun, I took off two layers and was enjoying the warmth in just my t shirt.

The views between the trees from the hill were spectacular.  I sketched a bit of the pea patch with the clock tower of King St. Station in the distance.

Then just a quick sketch of a stone lantern found further up the hill, outside the pea patch area.

There were 10 of us today, sharing sketches after.  All photos of sketchers are here

Sharing our sketches in the Panama Hotel lobby

A TREASURE in the International District!!!

The Ad Hoc Friday Sketchers met at thew Panama Hotel in the International District today,  But before I went inside, I crossed the street, and discovered the Danny Woo Community Gardens of the I.D.  It was amazing!!  Many terraced levels full of quaint and funky gardens, stairs, bluebells, and many old cherry and apple trees, full of blossoms.  Up and up and up I trekked, marveling at the uniqueness of these gardens.  Near the top, where it levels out a bit, was a great chicken coop (pictured above), and then so much more in the "P-Patch" area of this garden.  Panoramic views over to King Street Station, as well as the Smith Tower were tempting, but, first I checked in with everyone, and told them about my "discovery" outside in the partly sunny no-rain day!!
I guess the Panama Hotel Tea Room will have to wait for another day - and I WILL go there, because it is ALSO full of character and coziness.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Remembering Bob Hull

I find I can barely type these words.  As many of you already know, Architect Bob Hull, founding member of the Miller Hull Partnership, passed away from a catastrophic stroke in South Africa on April 7.  He and his wife and true soulmate, my dear friend Beanne, were there for three months visiting Beanne's family. The loss of Bob is enormous on so many levels--the community of family, friends, colleagues that he impacted is as deep as it is vast. His intelligence, talent, humility, charm, and fearless enthusiasm for everything that life had to offer endeared him to all.

Bob was also a very good sketcher, as is Beanne (we often sketch together), and I gave him a set of watercolor graphite pencils to use in South Africa just before they left.  Today as I struggle with this loss, I am compelled to post a sketch made in August of 2012 -- a sketch of Bob, Beanne, and my husband Rich in front of the cabin we shared in Tieton, WA. If I remember correctly, Bob slept outside under the stars, of course.

The act of sketching imbeds memories so I look at this sketch, I can feel the crisp sun, the dry Tieton air, the bright morning as we sat outside sipping coffee in the sun, looking over maps and planning out our day...and laughing, always laughing.  Bob was so curious about everything.  When a total stranger walked within 30 feet of us, he called out with a robust "Good Morning" and engaged the fellow in conversation.  He was always much more interested in learning about others than ever talking about himself, even though he was so very, very accomplished. Later that afternoon, we would float in a raft down an icy river, sip cocktails and sketch and swim along the riverbank, explore an amazing abandoned barn, and join a large group of their friends for an amazing candlelit dinner outdoors.  Bob had friends everywhere, really good friends.

Bob Hull will be missed by so very, very, very many.  His was a life well-lived, and I am so grateful to have known him and loved him. This sketch is my small way of honoring him today. Rest in peace, dear friend.

Tieton Cabin with Bob and Beanne Hull, and Rich.  August 12, 2012

Monday, April 7, 2014

At the Beach!

This was the best Spring day yet in the Seattle area!  It was a perfect day to go to the beach.  Lots of other people thought so too as it was rather crowded.

I did two sketches from the same spot but looking in opposite directions.  The first one is a relaxing view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains in the distance. 

In the other direction is the city, with the Space Needle and houses in the distance.  The beach is full of people and there is a paddle boarder on the water.

While sketching, I met the authors of Seattle Stairway Walks.  Cathy & Jake Jaramillo stopped to ask, "are you one of the Sketchers?".  They had seen Gabi's exhibit at MOHAI.  Twice.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Registration for 5th International Urban Sketching Symposium in Paraty, Brazil

Registration for 5th International Urban Sketching Symposium in Paraty, Brazil

You can still register to attend the 5th International Urban Sketching Symposium taking place in Paraty, Brazil, August 27-30, 2014. Spaces are available for this wonderful opportunity to travel, learn to sketch and meet some wonderful sketchers! Don't miss the opportunity of a lifetime!

This year we will accommodate more sketchers than ever by providing several passes for different levels of participation. More information about the passes can be found on the Symposium website, along with the full Symposium schedule.

For more information, contact

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Capitol Hill

Thursday morning I read a post on the Capitol Hill Blog that this big ole leaning tree at Broadway and Mercer was scheduled for removal this weekend! Apparently it's lean has become too much of a threat and has to come down. I went out on Friday morning for a sketch goodbye, while I was drawing a fellow walked up to me and thanked me for preserving his tree on paper and then proceeded to ask if I could come out on Saturday morning and chain myself to the tree. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oldest grocery store?

The Carleton Ave Grocery Store is one of the oldest in Seattle and one of only a few neighborhood corner stores left.   I've been by several times and it seems to be a neighborhood hub.  People stop by for a chat and sit outside on the bench when the weather is nice.  It is far more than a convenience store as it stocks nutritious food and fresh vegetables. 

When the Urban Sketchers flickr group announced the weekly theme of  "The most ___ house in your neighborhood" I thought I'd go over to sketch it as I've been meaning to for about a year.  My neighborhood is boringly monoculture and bland, so I have to go somewhere else for interesting houses.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dark St. James with Cornish Students

Last Friday was a dark and rainy day, and only a small portion of my Cornish class actually showed up! I sat in the dark before and after class to do this sketch, could barely see my linework at the back of the Cathedral.  Listened to someone snoring nearby.  I am totally hooked on doing these 180 degree views, this is in the Pentalic 5"x8" watercolor journal.

St. James Cathedral--click on the image to see a larger view.

Urban Sketchers Gathering International District - Seattle

It was cold and wet, hell all of March was wet. The green awning is the Fortune Garden Restaurant I believe. Pen and ink with watercolor.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

April Sketch Outing - Sunday, April 27

Join us for the April Sketch Outing 

Sunday, April 27th: Tacoma Antique District
10:00 am to 12:30 pm
Meet at Tullly's Coffee
9th and Broadway
Tacoma, Wa

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Small Sketch Outing in California with Suhita

What is nice about the Urban Sketchers group is that you make friends with people from other places.  And this is so with the correspondent Shuhita Shirodkar from San Jose California.  Before I left for California I contacted her to see if she had time to sketch since San Jose is near Fremont where I was staying.  Luckily timing worked out and we set up a sketch outing at the Niles Historic Train Depot in Niles, California.  I met Suhita and her niece Mohini who is a sketcher and is studying at UC Berkeley. You can see Suhita's post from that day "a-mini-sketchcrawl". For more photos of that day and links.

Here are my sketches from that day.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lunchtime Sketches

I have challenged myself to do a sketch a day and to walk no more than a block.  Oh and it had to have power lines in it.

MOHAI "Drawn to Seattle ~ Sketcher in Residence" 3-22-14

Sketches and pics from today's MOHAI "Sketcher in Residence" session for Gabi's "Drawn to Seattle" Exhibit. Great group of talented and enthusiastic new urban sketchers who I hope will join at a future Seattle Urban Sketchers outing!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Historic Panama Hotel - Since 1910

Made internationally famous from Jamie Ford's novel "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" , the Panama Hotel has a funky charm--nondescript on the outside but full of history and intrigue. Jan Johnson, a fashion designer who grew up in West Seattle purchased the hotel in 1985 and has renovated it and opened the tea house on the first floor. The shop is fringed with memorabilia and historic photos. They've even cut a window in the floor that provides a view of the basement where artifacts left behind by Japanese as they were forced to leave during the internment.

There were five of us there Sunday drawing in the tea room, escaping from the rain and cold. Disappointingly I only got one drawing done. And just as we were about to leave a woman came out and started straightening things. It was the owner, Jan Johnson. She was delighted to see our sketches and told us stories of some of the artwork in the glass cases. It was really a perfect sketching spot for a wet March Sunday morning. I definitely want to go back.