Next Sketch Outing

Sunday, 12 noon, Dec. 16: Downtown Library

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday at the Fairmont

11/23/18 Fairmont Olympic Hotel lobby
The other admins and I were a bit nervous about scheduling a sketch outing on Black Friday in the downtown retail corridor, but we thought we’d give it a shot. We chose the venerable Fairmont Olympic Hotel, where the 41st annual Festival of Trees was certain to make its grand lobby ornate and colorful. Then we heard that Macy’s holiday parade was scheduled for the same time – right in front of the Fairmont! Commuting downtown could be a worse problem than usual.

With some trepidation, I hopped on the bus downtown, but traffic was fine and didn’t cause delays. When I arrived at the Fairmont in the pouring rain, the parade was in full swing. Leisurely viewing all the beautiful holiday trees, the other sketchers and I had the lobby nearly to ourselves. Then a few minutes later, the parade ended, and hundreds of wet, cold parade viewers poured into the Fairmont!

That was my cue. I dashed up the staircase to the upper floor, where I could look over the railing at the terrific view of the activities below. Families ducking into the hotel to get warm and pose for selfies negotiated floor space with hotel guests who were trying to check out. It was a lively, festive beginning to the holiday season.

After two sketches inside the hotel, I walked across the street to Starbucks. Scoring a window seat, my plan was to sketch a hotel entrance. Directly in front of me on the sidewalk, though, was a “homeless grand pa” and his rolling cart of belongings. I knew he could see me through the window, so I felt a bit intrusive sketching him, yet I also wanted to document what is probably a black day every day for so many Seattle residents. (Although I don’t think he caught me sketching him, to assuage my guilt, I gave him money afterwards the same way I always tip buskers that I sketch. I look at is as a model’s fee.)

11/23/18 a resident of 4th and University

A small but enthusiastic group of sketchers who braved Black Friday!

A soggy parade.

We had the lobby nearly to ourselves for a short time . . .

. . . .and then this happened!