|St. James Cathedral, June 2012|
While the concept of Urban Sketching is new to me, I've painted watercolors since my high school years, largely because I grew up in a family of artists. Charles Burchfield is one of America's foremost watercolorists, and I am his grand-daughter! All painting was always done plein air, in Western New York's countryside. When I was a kid and my Mom went out painting, my brothers and I explored the deserted barn she was sketching or played in the fields.
Even though I have painted landscapes for the last almost 50 years, it was often a love-hate thing. But about 8-9 years ago as my partner and I traveled around the U.S. in our RV, I began doing "botanicals" with my own twist, because I included journaling and calligraphy. It was the beginning of Nature Journaling for me, and it's definitely something I enjoy doing - a "love" thing, no hate. When I volunteered for 2 years at a retreat center in the remote North Cascades, I created a "portfolio" of fifty 11x14 nature journal pages, mostly in ink and colored pencil. I depicted the seasonally changing birds, flowers, and nature of where I lived. You can view the complete set by going to my flickr site at www.flickr.com/photos/peggyhaug?
After a bit more traveling, we returned to Seattle to work (we are both R.N.s) and save for retirement. Enchanted with having a yard in which to garden, plus a normal-sized kitchen (after many years in our RV) plus working full-time, I mentally set aside my art, as I've done in the past when I was raising my children, or taking additional classes at the UW (earning a Bachelors in English with creative writing emphasis.) I didn't even set up my art supplies.
|Georgetown's Old City Hall - Aug, 2012|
One of the best things about joining Urban Sketchers is being able to discover all these unique places IN Seattle! Many I've heard of, but had no compelling reason to visit. Others are complete surprises - a gift! I am really enjoying the challenge of sketching these urban scenes, and it delights me to no end to "see" so many great scenes I WANT to sketch.