Next Sketch Outing

Oct. 13: Seattle Center

Monday, July 27, 2015

Relics and Rain at Salty's on Alki Beach

This has been a very busy weekend for Seattle Urban Sketchers as well as those attending the Singapore Symposium. I finally have time to scan and post a few sketches.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Seattle Urban Sketchers' Ad Hoc outing started out with an overcast sky at Salty's on the Alki shoreline. Built over the water on its own pier, the restaurant is known for exceptional views of the Seattle skyline. Bronze salmon sculptures swim among relics of the old West Seattle Bridge in the aquatic-looking landscape at the entrance to the parking lot. The idea of recycle, repurpose and reuse has come to a whole new level. Owner, Gerald Robert Kingen calls it his "urban reef" in this video tour.

I barely noticed when the rain began as I stood halfway up the covered entry steps looking down at the giant lobster, a bronze sculpture by Lee Emmons. A pipe full of recycled water occasionally creates a "bubbler", splashing on the rocks nearby. More pieces of the old bridge form a habitat for the lobster as well as for the giant bronze crabs on the other side of the steps.
Sometimes your subject just stares right back at you.
Sketchers in Singapore enjoy famous chilli crab as I sketch a bronze lobster at Alki Beach. Thanks for the badges, Kate!
We all got badges, expressing solidarity (and a little bit of envy) for fellow sketchers attending the Singapore Symposium this weekend. Just for the occasion, I cracked open a new Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook and used my DYI Altoids travel kit.

Kate and I decided to wait out the rain and warm up inside the cafe. We got a table at the window and Marvin joined us as we sketched the misty atmosphere from our elevated view.
It seemed unfair that the rusty pilot house of the Kalakala was beached at the edge of the parking lot, forced to gaze through empty portholes as a tourist excursion sailed out toward two massive cruise ships on the opposite shore.

Once the #1 tourist attraction in Seattle, the Kalakala remained an icon to many of us who grew up in the area. I remember seeing her underway in Lake Union and moored there at the north end. Gabi wrote an article and sketched from a kayak when it was moored in Commencement Bay. The Urbanist documented the last ride of the Kalakala in January of 2015.
Much like the skeletal remains of a prehistoric bird, the pilot house, piston and drive shaft of the Kalakala are strung out along the edge of Salty's Restaurant parking lot.


  1. Wonderful sketches and excellent commentary.

  2. Thanks so much, Kate and Tina. High praise indeed, coming from such great writers and sketchers!

  3. I'm glad you all had a chance to have a pity-party. Looks like it was a fun day. Lovely sketches and commentary Michele. Love that lobster.