Next Sketch Outing

Oct. 13: Seattle Center

Friday, February 22, 2019

Still Drawin’ and Jammin’ at Wintergrass

2/22/19 Young musicians rehearsing at Wintergrass
I probably say this every year, but it’s difficult to sketch while your toes are tapping to bluegrass! For the sixth year, USk Seattle sketched at Wintergrass, the Seattle area’s annual bluegrass music festival at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency. It’s an annual favorite for good reason: Lively music is fun to sketch by, and all the jammers seem to be enjoying themselves. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

Guitar vendor
Friday morning seemed quieter than usual this year, and jammers hadn’t gathered yet. Hearing music from an auditorium, I slipped in to see what was going on (sketch at top of post). (Ticketed events are ongoing throughout the festival, but we never attend the scheduled events because so much free, spontaneous music is happening in the hotel’s public areas.) Several musical youth groups were rehearsing for later performances, all at the same time, so the music was . . . cacophonous. Still, it was fun to see fiddles and other instruments of all sizes to fit their owners.

I found a man selling guitars (he had a lot more for sale than I show in my sketch) in the vendor area. Some vendors had beautiful handcrafted mandolins, violins and banjos that were works of art themselves.

By the time I finished those sketches, jammers were starting to form small groups wherever they could fit a few chairs together. This is what I come to Wintergrass for: to sketch and listen to people making music spontaneously. It’s like the musical version of urban sketching!


I wish I'd asked what this instrument was called. . .
maybe a type of steel guitar?


  1. really dig the sketch at the top, the spot colors, and your confident black lines throughout!

  2. Nice people sketches. I like the second group - the guy with the blue top.