Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Sunny 4th on Queen Anne

7/4/14 Kerry Park

Everyone in Seattle knows that summer doesn’t begin until July 5, and the weather forecast all week called for clouds today (but thankfully, no rain). Looking out the window this morning was a shock – could it be? Sunshine and blue skies on the 4th of July? What a delightful surprise, especially since the Friday sketchers were meeting at Queen Anne neighborhood’s Parsons Garden.

7/4/14 Parsons Garden
Before the meet-up, I sketched the skyline view from Kerry Park just a few blocks east, a scene I had also sketched in April. The difference this time was that Rainier was out, so I made sure that the composition included our majestic mountain. I had to check Mt. Rainier’s proportions three times before committing it to paper. It always seems so huge when I look at it, yet next to Seattle’s skyscrapers, it’s relatively small on the horizon. I was hoping the flag atop the Space Needle would unfurl, but the still air kept it down. Oh, I know I could have sketched it in anyway – Kate suggested as much – but then I spotted a flag on a house in the foreground that was easier, since I didn’t have to fake it. (Sometimes I forget my artistic license at home.)

Once the meet-up began, I did an obligatory sketch inside the garden, and it was fun to catch so many sketchers in my sketch (I found my artistic license after all – no one’s cap was actually red!). But since I had just sketched there a few weeks ago, I didn’t have my heart in it, and I wasn’t in a garden mood. The wide skyline view had put me in the mood to tackle “the wall” again.

7/4/14 8th Ave. West and West Lee Street
More than a year ago, I had somehow managed to muster enough courage to take on that formidable, curved view (below) – one that had cowed me the previous year. Although it was no less challenging today, I hardly hemmed and hawed at all before putting pen to paper. (Now that I’ve been sketching for nearly three years, I’ve learned this: Sketching doesn’t get easier; it just takes less time to grow my balls.)

After a sunny picnic on a park bench with a few other sketchers, I decided to take on one more quintessential Queen Anne neighborhood scene that has intimidated me in the past: again the same wall as the previous sketch, but this time from underneath it (at left). A long staircase leads from that curved upper path down to Eighth Avenue West and West Lee Street, where I stood to make this sketch. The wall has an interesting quilt-like pattern that I tried to indicate with crosshatching, but I liked the pattern enough to call it out in a detail.

It’s now late afternoon, and right on schedule, the sky is clouding up, so by fireworks time, it should be completely overcast. All is right with the world after all. Happy Independence Day!

7/4/14 Highland Drive

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