Next Sketch Outing

Outings cancelled until further notice

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Blogversary

 It was on this day in 2012 I was invited to be a USk Seattle blog correspondent. I thought it would be good to do a post to commemorate my 8th anniversary.

I miss everyone! I miss sketching together! I've continued to sketch, mostly from my car. I'm also sketching almost daily, but some of it isn't Urban Sketching.  

I've just completed a series on the local fires stations. I sketched each on location from my car.  We have so many reasons to be thankful for fire fighters, even more so now! 

It started at the end of April when I was driving around the main section of my suburb looking for something to catch my eye. It was Fire station #11. It's one of the more uninteresting buildings. But that's the challenge, isn't it?

At right of this sketch is a depiction of the enameled metal mural, "Untitled" by Harold Balazs.

It wasn't until July that I decided to make the series. Next was Station 17 and also King County Fire Department 40. It’s another boring building so I parked off to the side to at least get an interesting angle.

On to Station # 12, in the “Highlands” neighborhood. It was a more interesting building and there was even a fire engine outside, but too far from the building to fit into the composition normally. I sat in the shade of a tree this time. I had my mask ready in case I was approached, but I wasn't.

The next day I went out earlier in the morning  to avoid the heat. This is Station Number 14. It’s over near Wizards of the Coast. It's also the "M.G. 'Scotty' Walls Training Center". I found very little about him, even on the Fire Department's website.

I'm on a roll. The next day, it was Station #16 with a more interesting design. There is the tall hose drying tower. A small shelter in front covers a memorial bench with the inscription, “In recognition of volunteer firefighters. King County Fire District 25. 1945-2003"

After this, it was a waiting game.  I sometimes see the fire engine parked in front of my closest station, #13.  Every time I was out over those weeks, I drove by the station to check whether the engine was out. And that morning of September 5th, it finally was!  Of course, it drove off very soon after I'd begun the sketch. But I followed my axiom, “draw first what’s most likely to move”.

The tall tower is for drying hoses. I’ve actually been inside this station when they had an open house just after construction finished a few years ago. I remember they told us the massive gas kitchen stove was made to automatically shut off when the fire alarm went off! No one wants the fire station to burn down because they left food cooking on the stove as they rushed off to fight a fire! 

The fire truck drove back in just as I was finishing. The driver called out, “did you put me in it?”. When I mentioned that to Himself, he said, “you should have said: ‘No, you drove off!'” I never think of clever come backs.

I'm looking forward to when we can meet as a large group to sketch.  Until then, "stay safe and carry on sketching"! 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pink Disc, Yellow Sky

9/12/20 Maple Leaf neighborhood, early afternoon

Although we have our own deadly fires here in Washington State, the Seattle area has been covered by a blanket of smoke since Wednesday that originated with Oregon’s equally devastating wildfires. The smoke here is not nearly as thick as it has been in Oregon and California; photos and sketches of those areas show the sky as dark orangey-brown. Here in the Puget Sound area, the sky is more yellow than orange.

On Friday when I tried to look at the sun, it was still too bright to see with bare eyes, so I knew the smoke wasn’t too bad yet. I recalled the thick smoke we had two years ago from fires to the north, when the sun was an orange ball that was easy to look at with unprotected eyes.

Today the expected “super-massive plume” fully arrived. I kept looking for the sun, but behind the smoke, the sky must have been partly cloudy, because it was nowhere to be seen most of the day. I stood at our bedroom window in the early afternoon to capture the weird yellow light and low visibility. The “unhealthy” Air Quality Index was 185 (under 50 is considered “good”).

9/12/20 the sun is finally visible around 2:40 p.m.
By mid-afternoon, the clouds behind the smoke must have parted because I suddenly spotted the sun – a coral pink disc that, by contrast, gave the yellow sky a bluish-gray cast. Under any other circumstance, I would have called that pink “pretty.” It’s not often that I can sketch the sun by viewing it with unprotected eyes: Other than the smoke two years ago, the only other time was the moment of totality during the 2017 solar eclipse.

This smoke is terrible, but it’s not nearly as terrible as fleeing for my life as so many are from fires engulfing parts of the West Coast. I’m grateful to be safe. I’m grateful for all the firefighters working day and night to put the flames out.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Afternoon and Morning

8/22/20 across the street (Maple Leaf neighborhood)


Sketch the same view at different times of the day: That was the USk Talks Challenge that Shari Blaukopf had offered sketchers when she gave a USk Talk way back in May. I liked the idea and kept it in the back of my mind all summer, but I kept forgetting to do the same scene at a different time. Then yesterday, I looked across the street at the shadows cast by our neighbors’ planters on the lawn, and I suddenly remembered that I had sketched the same view in the afternoon a few weeks ago. It was an ideal opportunity to finally respond to the challenge.


Above is the scene in the afternoon, and below is the one I did yesterday morning. The afternoon sketch was leisurely on a lovely sunny day, but the morning one was quick: The air was still hazy with smoke from wildfires in distant parts of Washington State. I used violet and yellow to capture light and shadow as well as to evoke the strange color of the sky.


9/9/20

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Of the Post Office and Dinos

 I drove out this morning for another session of windshield sketching.  I needed to drop something at the Post Office so checked around back for any mail trucks.  They did keep coming and going so I sketched these quickly.  I also found a sign on the fence. That and the PO logos on the trucks are bits of collage. 

The sign says, "the Eagle always faces forward". 

Then I drove to the central part of Renton with the plan to sketch more houses but I happened upon an event that was perfect for the USk Flickr group's weekly theme:  "masks".  The Chamber of Commerce was giving away PPE to small businesses.  They had some people in dino costumes to attract attention!  However, they moved a lot and then packed up and left before I was finished.  So my sketches of them were very quick.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Another one closed

The Jules Maes Saloon in the Georgetown neighborhood closed in March after 132 years.  It was one of the oldest bars in Seattle.  I only learned of the permanent closure this week so went to sketch it before the exterior changed. 

I sketched in the shade on the sidewalk across the street. This is one of only a couple times I've sketched outside my car since March. I wore a mask for the longest period yet, about an hour.

It closed during the WA Phase 1 shut down. Per a PI report, it closed permanently last week, in part due to a 27% increase in rent. The Georgetown neighborhood used to be industrial funky but has started to gentrify a bit. The owner said he might try to relocate to White Center.

There are murals on the south side, including a Henry. The white mural in my sketch is by @overallcreative


Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Jaisalmer Sketchbook

In November 2017, I returned from a two-week Rajasthan trip happy, grinning ear to ear and with two sketchbooks brimming cover to cover. I was so productive with my sketching that it only took me the four days I spent in the frontier town of Jaisalmer, amidst the majestic twelfth-century World Heritage fort, to fill my second sketchbook.

Sonar Killa – the Golden Fort – is set in the Thar desert in northwestern India, less than two-hundred miles from the India-Pakistan international border.  The glitter of the yellow sandstone walls in the early morning sun is dull and metallic, reminiscent of the precious metal that the fort is named after. It is as much a breathtaking sight today for a modern traveler as it must have been to a merchant plying the silk route when the Mughals ruled India in the fifteenth century.  


We had found ourselves a room with a jharokha – an overhanging enclosed balcony situated on top of the bulwarks, with a sweeping view of the surrounding town and the landscape. A young scion of the family that has owned the eight-hundred-year-old haveli – a traditional Indian mansion – for several generations was responsible for its conversion to a tastefully decorated boutique hotel. Many such families still own apartments and mansions on the fort, passed as an inheritance from generation to generation. The fort has been continuously lived-in since olden times, the narrow streets buzzing with the sounds and smell of day-to-day life, adding lively charm to the ancient walls.

 

I took every opportunity I could find to slip out of our room and situate me in one of the many nooks and crannies of the fort to sketch. One such early morning sojourn led to the discovery of a portal hidden behind a carpet-sellers display. The opening led me along a narrow ledge behind a succession of gun-turrets, to a gun-slot where I squeezed beneath the barrel of a tremendous gun, one that had stood poised to protect the fort for many centuries.

In Nov 2017, I was deep into the preparation of my Middle East adventure to travel in the footsteps of probably the original urban sketcher of them all. The Scottish artist David Roberts had traveled through Egypt and the Holy Land in 1838-39, to sketch through direct observation, the landscape mentioned in the Bible, the first time such an ambitious project was being undertaken. Looking back at my sketches of Jaisalmer, I notice I had already started experimenting with David Roberts’ inimitable style – juxtaposing locals in colorful garb against monumental architecture. Fortunately, psychedelic colors and majestic architecture are both to be found in abundance in Rajasthan.

My wife Monica and I bivouacked on the sand dunes of Thar under a star-studded sky. Our guide, a local villager with mustache thicker than my thumb, had cooked a hardy meal for us over ambers plucked from the roaring campfire. After serving us the piping hot daal-baati – crisp wheat balls baked and then mixed with spicy lentils, doused with dollops of ghee, the guide used an empty five-gallon plastic water jug as a banjo to provide beats to the folk songs he sang for us. On our way back, our jeep got stuck in the sand. Leaving the driver to wrestle with it, Monica and I hiked a dune to arrive at an ancient cemetery with the fort gleaming on the horizon.

 

My goal for the trip was plenty of line-and-wash - “wash where there are no lines and lines where no wash is needed”.  As I sat down for sketching, I found myself drawn to the strong architectural lines and the squiggly curves of the Devanagari script (and Rajput mustaches.)  I felt like I had barely scratched the surface of Jaisalmer in the four days I was there. It is only a matter of time, I am sure before I go back to Jaisalmer, which I already consider in my favorite top 5 walled cities of the world.

 

Sunil Shinde lives in Seattle with his wife, two daughters, and his golden retriever, Oscar. He has been an ardent urban sketcher since 2013. When he is not traveling, he is building an AI-based population health product in stealth mode. You can see his sketches here.



Sunday, July 12, 2020

Celebrate USk Seattle's 11th Anniversary!




Hello, sketchers! We hope you are doing well and staying creative during these difficult times. Since it will still be a while before USk Seattle is able to organize sketch outings (we follow King County’s restrictions for “social and recreational gatherings”), we wanted to offer some ideas and resources to stay inspired, engaged and sketching:

To celebrate USk Seattle’s 11th anniversary, we’re having a party on Zoom on Sunday, July 19, 12:30 p.m.!


Share one urban sketch (following our Manifesto, please) that you’ve made during the pandemic, and tell a brief story about it. The invitation link will be sent out on the Google group mailing list and in the Facebook group. You do not need your own Zoom account to attend. To learn how to use this popular videoconferencing app, please see Zoom’s helpful tutorials.

Here are more ideas:



  • The current Phase 2 restrictions allow five or fewer individuals to gather outdoors. Call a few friends and meet somewhere to sketch together (socially distanced, of course)! For those who feel safe in large public areas, this is the easiest way to get back into the social spirit of urban sketching. And please share your sketches online so that everyone can enjoy them! Our Facebook group continues to grow daily. On Instagram, use the hashtag #uskseattle.
  • Keep sketching on your own and share online. See our location suggestions below.
  • Get inspired by the many online resources for classes, tutorials, interviews, presentations and more on urban sketching and other types of art (see below). Some instructors who normally offer in-person workshops worldwide have taken their workshops online, which means that even non-locals can enjoy the same benefits as locals. Take advantage of these great opportunities to improve your skills while staying in the safety of your home.


Sketch Location Suggestions


See this list for dozens and dozens of exciting locations where we have sketched previously. If you’re unfamiliar with a place, use the blog’s search tool to see what others have sketched there. Here are some of our favorite large, outdoor spaces:

Alki Beach
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Fishermen’s Terminal
Gas Works Park
Jack Block Park
Kubota Gardens
Lake Union Park
Leschi Park and Marina
Magnuson Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Volunteer Park

Online Resources


USk Talks are live on USk Instagram Saturdays at 9 p.m. PDT. Rob Sketcherman in Hong Kong interviews two urban sketchers (usually symposium instructors) from around the world. Each interview ends with an urban sketching challenge, and participants are invited to share their results on social media with the #USkTalksChallenge hashtag. The programs are available for later viewing on the USk YouTube Channel.

Sketching Play Lab with USk instructors Suhita Shirodkar and Paul Wang: 90-minute Zoom sessions focus on exploring elements of design.

USk Portland 10x10: Rita Sabler offers workshops with a choice of in-person attendance (maintaining physical distancing) or on Zoom. (Kate participated in a Zoom workshop and found it well done.)

Studio 56: Free offerings and interviews on Zoom with urban sketchers who teach for Studio 56. Some online workshops are available for a fee.

Sketchbook Skool: Many online classes offered, some of which are related to urban sketching.

Several urban sketching instructors are now offering workshops online, including Michele Cooper and Shari Blaukopf.

"The Mind of Watercolor" by Steve Mitchell is Kate’s favorite watercolor YouTube channel. Many free tutorials available.

Urban sketcher Teoh Yi Chie, better known as Parka, offers hundreds of product reviews and demos on YouTube. Some online courses are also offered for a small fee.

Daniel Smith owner John Cogley offers frequent presentations and artist interviews on YouTube. (The Seattle Daniel Smith store is closed but plans to reopen Sept. 8. All in-person events remain cancelled through the end of 2020.)

Thursday, July 9, 2020

sketching black owned businesses


Your Family Auto repair shop & Cafe Selam Ethiopian Restaurant on E Cherry St.


In the wake of the recent wave of BLM movements, my friend Alexander and I have been meeting up in the Central District to make a point of sketching, patronizing, and learning about Black-owned businesses in our area. To be sure it's a small gesture, but it feels good at this moment to connect my sketching practice and what's been going on in the country for the last month or so. It's also been fun to meet some of the neighborhood characters & some of the shop owners. 

I'm now making myself show people what I drew before I leave the spot. Trying to make connections in the community and spread positive energy! Everyone likes feeling appreciated, and drawing their stuff is one way to do it.


Ezell's Famous Chicken on 23rd. I had never eaten there before, and spending like $11 on a combo meal made me full for the entire day. They even accidentally (?) gave me an extra piece! Ezell's claim to fame is that Oprah apparently flew in some of their fried chicken to Chicago because she was craving it so hard. 



Fat's Chicken on E. Cherry & MLK. This was the most fun sketch we did. Not only is this corner building really wonky and neat details, the owner (who I unknowingly put in the sketch, sitting outside the orange door) was so psyched about our drawings they gave us free to-go cocktails. I also ate some more chicken here, which was super tender and crispy. That might be enough fried chicken for me for the rest of the summer, but it was worth it. 


Finally, here is Tana Market just down the way on E Cherry. I had become familiar with this Ethiopian bodega from buying canned beers from its well stocked fridges for our other nearby sketch outings. If you want fresh baked injera, this is the place! Alexander drew the juice bar across the street, while I was more attracted to Tana's awning and simple storefront. When I showed the drawing to the guy at the register, he did not react at all. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Shade Trees

7/8/20 Roosevelt neighborhood

The temperature was 72 and sunny. With an errand to run, I took the top down on the Miata for what seemed like the first time in years. Taking the long way through neighborhoods on my way to the pharmacy, I pulled off near Ravenna Boulevard on a street where huge trees offered handy shade. I took longer than I needed to finish this sketch, just to prolong the joy.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sign of the Primes

Dozens, maybe a hundred, parked Amazon vans may be a sign of this Quarantime.

This is another spot where I've wanted to sketch for a while now. I first noticed all these Amazon Prime vans a few months ago. They are in a large, otherwise empty, lot on the edge of the center of my suburban city. There must be at least a hundred of them! With more people not going into stores, we're buying on line for delivery. Amazon is obviously a big part of that. In addition to the gray Prime vans, there are dozens of white Herz rental vans.


On my way back from an errand, I decided to stop to get this sketch done. I found a nice shady spot to park the car with a view of this line of vans. From there I did a "windshield" sketch (tm Steve Reddy). I didn't get a hero shot as the vans all got driven away before I'd quite finished. As I often do, I didn't think about doing an in-progress photo when I saw the drivers gathering. It was a good thing I didn't plan on putting a lot of detail into the further vans as I'd only just gotten the first wash laid on when they all drove away!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Houses of Maple Leaf

6/13/20 Maple Leaf neighborhood

A couple of years ago I began a series of sketches to document the architectural styles of my Maple Leaf neighborhood. Most were “portraits” of individual houses I found especially charming or that exemplified the various styles I see around here. I usually stood directly across the street, and on warm, sunny mornings, it was sheer delight (and extremely challenging, I might add) to spend close to an hour trying to capture these homes.

I continued the series last year, and my intention was to keep going this summer. But now I don’t feel I should stand on the sidewalk for an hour while pedestrians may be trying to get past me safely. Stepping 6 feet away each time I see someone coming is difficult to do while sketching.

I’m undeterred, however. I am taking notes on houses that face in directions that I can find safe spots to stand for a while. And I have also changed my approach to this series. The sketches do not all have to be color portraits as I have made in the past. Quick, small sketches also tell a story, especially when shown together.

Above are three small sketches I made while standing on the corner of Northeast 80th Street and Fourth Avenue Northeast. Eightieth is a busy, noisy arterial that leads to the freeway entrance, so pedestrians rarely walk where I stood. Within 15 minutes, I simply pivoted to make each sketch. I’ll let you decide which one is not like the others, but they all tell the story of Maple Leaf architectural styles.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Long Live C.H.A.Z.




Welcome to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, established June 8, 2020. 


A couple days ago, the police vacated the east precinct here in Capitol Hill, Seattle. Protests have been raging outside it basically nonstop for the last week. Tear gas and flash grenades were deployed against protestors for minor “infractions” which only stoked more anger over police brutality. I joined the protests a few times and trying to do reportage sketching felt absurd in the middle of what was essentially a war zone.

leftover barricades from the protests mark the porous threshold of the CHAZ.



In light of that, it was really amazing to go to the Hill last night and experience the new "Free Capitol Hill" that has emerged in the wake of the conflict. The difference on Wednesday night compared to Sunday night is extreme: with no police presence, people are peacefully watching films in the street, spraying pro-BLM graffiti, dancing in the streets, discussing social justice. There's a co-op where you can get free food and water. Everything is donation only. 95% of people are wearing masks, both for health and to conceal identity.


the Rancho Bravo patio was an outdoor medic station last week; now it's more of a place to convene and hydrate.


Now that the violence has left with the police, it feels good and correct to document what’s happening. I tried to sketch for clarity, and drawings don't run the risk of accidentally exposing people's identities if they don't want to be seen here. I think it’s important to share as truthfully I can what is happening in our city, especially small moments, like this one: 

A black man got on top of a parked truck and shouted out "Black Lives Matter" to the crowd. More and more people responded back to him. When he was done leading the chant, he shouted "I love you", to which the crowd responded "I love you too". It was really tender.




It was shocking at first to see how much graffiti is getting put up right out in the open, but after reflecting for a few minutes I decided that it's our city; we get to express ourselves how we want. 



The POTUS has been tweeting about the C.H.A.Z., unsurprisingly he feels very threatened by what it represents. “these ugly anarchists must be stooped [sic] immediately.” No one can know what is going to happen next (I've just read that the police want to take the precinct back) but being in CHAZ last night felt really important. If you're local, hopefully you can visit to see what "ugly anarchy" really looks like. And to be clear, I don't think this should be the end of the protests here; the demands have not been met. But it is definitely an interesting development I don't think anyone could have imagined a couple weeks ago. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Theme of the Week: Thumbnails!

I use thumbnails is several different ways.

Most often I use them to help me figure out exactly what I want to focus on in a scene. So often in urban sketching we are confronted with a busy urban scene and it can be hard to hone in on something specific. So I like to play around with different aspects of the location to determine what would make a good larger sketch as in this series of thumbnails I did while in Oaxaca Mexico. I did the smaller thumbnails first then the larger drawing of the church.





Another situation where I use thumbnails is to understand value in a scene. Often I see color before I see value. If I do a black and white thumbnail, especially if I use pencil or gray marker to fill in value, I can end up with a stronger sketch.





A third, and less common, way I use thumbnails is just to understand the layers of a scene – foreground, middle ground, background. Where do things in the scene fall? What is closer? What is farther away? This gives me a pathway as I set up a sketch or painting so I’m familiar with what goes where. I use this more in planting a larger painting.



Sometimes I use thumbnails to try out different color combinations.


The four situations above are ways to familiarize myself with the scene. They warm me up and help me find my bearings on the page.

The fifth way is thumbnails as minis, finished sketches, just small.



Try it out! It's easy, quick and low risk. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

We’re All Still Together


Maple Leaf water tower sketched from my car on my way home
from an errand.
By far, the best part about Urban Sketchers is that it brings together people who share a common passion. Those of us who attend outings regularly have come to rely on the ongoing infusion of camaraderie, creativity and fun. It’s been very hard the past 12 weeks since our last sketch outing.

Missing my tribe, I was thinking about how our founder Gabi first began what eventually became the global Urban Sketchers organization. Long before there were sketch outings, this blog or the international symposium, Gabi had noticed that people around the world were doing something he enjoyed doing himself: sketching their surroundings from life. He knew this because he had seen them posting sketches on Flickr, the image-sharing website. Initially, Gabi created the Urban Sketchers Flickr group so that sketchers could easily find and view the work of like-minded people. That’s how it all began – individuals sketching in their own parts of the world and sharing online. That’s why sharing online became an important part of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto.

It’s going to be a while yet before we can meet again. Until then, Kate, Jane and I encourage you to keep sketching your surroundings from life and share your sketches online. We waited all winter and spring for the best sketching weather that’s just ahead! Let’s not waste it. Take a walk, stop wherever you feel safe, and sketch whatever you see. Go out in your car and sketch through the windshield. Step out into your own backyard, or simply look out your window. Show us your part of the world. We’re all still together, even if it’s only virtually.

Share your work and participate by viewing the work of others:
  • On Facebook in the USk Seattle group
  • On Instagram by using the hashtag #uskseattle
  • On Flickr in the USk Seattle group

These thumbnails took less than 5 minutes each to make while on one of my daily walks through my neighborhood. Try it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Weekly Theme

Are you looking for a source of drawing prompts? While we can't yet meet up for a sketch outing, we can still draw together. Gabi Campanario started Urban Sketchers on Flickr and there still is a global USk group there. Each Monday a weekly theme is posted. I've done this, on and off, since 2012. It is found in the discussions section of the group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/urbansketches/discuss/ 

Even if you aren't on Flickr, you can share your sketch of the weekly theme on our Instagram at #uskseattle or Facebook groups.  There's also no reason why you can't explore past weekly themes and post your sketches. 

Here is my very first weekly theme sketch, which was boats.  I hadn't done any drawing in about 40 years at that point! (Throw back to Stephanie Bower's challenge from USk Talks!)



This week's theme is "your nearest public transport stop ". I did a dashboard sketch (thank you, @steve_reddy for the term) from the safety of my car.  The parking lot behind the bus stop is for a gas station, coffee stand, and a food truck.  It was just a little too busy for me to want to sit outside to draw.  


Monday, May 25, 2020

Urban Sketchers are Alive and Well!



How do you arrange a meeting that can accommodate people from all over the world? You do your best. And that's how I "attended" the second ever Urban Sketcher's admin meeting at 6:00 AM on Sunday May 24 on Zoom. I did my best.

Once I got into the meeting, I could see there were a lot of folks online. I scrolled through the five screens of participants—that’s five screens with 20 participants each screen—and saw many I knew. There were sketchers from Brazil, Spain, Indonesia, Hong Kong, England, New York, Florida, and everywhere in between. It felt like a family reunion!

The goal was to share ideas and challenges and to inspire chapters to stay active during the pandemic. Several admins shared activities and ideas they have done in their groups.

USk Singapore, for example organized a “Circuit Sketch Break” for 28 days from April 7 through May 4. They posted 28 prompts for sketching from home, had sketchers submit their work and had a drawing for a prize at the end. They have since extended the submission deadline so people can continue to be inspired to sketch.

USk Dubai launched a “sketch at home campaign” with weekly prompts and submission instructions. They plan to publish the sketches in a journal. Here is a sample of their prompts:
Week one: Food
Week two: Through the window
Week three: My partner in lockdown

Several others shared what their group has been doing or not doing. They shared their successes and frustrations, asked questions of others and basically just hung out sopping in the vibe of being among so many active sketchers again.

At the end we had the traditional throw-down, or in this case a hold-up, where sketchers held their work up to their camera so we could see. Many had sketched the meeting; some just held up a sketch they had done recently. It was all quite fun and made me realize how much I miss the USk family.  

I have felt pretty sluggish about sketching during this lockdown period. The USk Talks have been fun. (Thank you Stephanie Bower, for your talk and challenge last month). And the USkTalk challenges have been interesting, although I’ve only done a few of them. But this meeting was like a good cup of coffee. Time to wake up! In Thurston County where I live we will be able to gather in groups up to 5 people beginning in June. Hopefully King County will be able to do the same pretty soon. Until then, I hope you are all safe. And keep sketching!

Hold-up of our zoom call sketches.