Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chilly Lunar New Year

1/29/17 Hing Hay Park

In my experience with Urban Sketchers Seattle, we always get the highest sketch outing participation on warm summer days (surprise, surprise). Looking at the turnout today, you would have thought it was July instead of Lunar New Year! It’s obvious that a little cold and wind don’t damper the enthusiasm of sketchers, especially on the Chinatown-International District’s most festive weekend of the year. (It was especially cool that several new sketchers showed up after hearing about the outing at the “10x10” event yesterday.)

1/29/17 Chinatown Gate and King Street Station
Shortly before the scheduled lion dance, I tried to get close enough to Hing Hay Park’s pavilion to catch the action, but I couldn’t see a thing through the throngs of people who had gotten there before me. Giving up, I walked across the street to sketch the pavilion. Although I couldn’t see the traditional lion dancers, I could hear the drums and firecrackers, so it still felt festive. Halfway through the sketch, two decorative lions on poles and a burst of confetti suddenly appeared high above the crowd, so I quickly put them in. Meanwhile, a parked car in the foreground that I had roughed in got towed away (the street was closed for the festival, so it must have been parked there overnight)! Things come and go quickly when you’re urban sketching.

Frozen to the bone, I ducked inside Wing Luke Museum for a few minutes to warm up, but I wanted one more sketch for the morning. Working my way slowly back upstream through the crowd, I spotted a great view from the street of the historic Chinatown Gate with the King Street Station tower behind it. It was a rare sketching opportunity from the closed street where I normally wouldn’t be able to stand.

I’ve been warming up at home for a couple of hours now, but I still feel chilled. So “Happy Lunar New Year” and all that, but bah-humbug – I’m sketching indoors until spring!

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