Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Toast to Gage Academy's Drawing Jam!

I had a blast today at Gage Academy's Annual Drawing Jam. Thank you, Gage and sponsors for the free art supplies, models and music! Here's a photo Tina took of our ad hoc group of Seattle Urban Sketchers.

Although I was aware of the event before, this was the first time I actually attended. Each year, the Academy opens up its doors to the community to provide models, live music, open studios and art activities for the whole family – plus, there were two gourmet food-trucks today, courtesy of Off the Rez and Wicked Pies!

I brought my Aquash water brush and Lamy fountain pen, with water soluble Lamy ink. I had a new Fabriano soft cover notebook that I was anxious to try while working on figures or character studies.  I ended up drawing my fellow artists, all unaware, as they focused on the live models. There were Disney characters, pirates, medieval tableaux, Hawaiian dancers, and more! (I am not posting any sketches of posed models here, since that is not part of the Urban Sketchers' manifesto.)
My sketches. I also sketched "Princess Leia" and "Thor" (not shown)
According to Gage's website: 
Drawing Jam features a cast of over 50 models throughout the building – including dancers, musicians and costumed performers serving as gesture models, as well as nude figure models available for traditional sessions.
Costumed models include The SeaFair Pirates, Fox ChalkerComic Book Characters for Causes, Nikita Breznikov, Noah Duffy, The Goddess Kring and more!
On the first floor of the main building, you walk straight ahead down the hall and turn in at the last room on the right. It's a room packed FULL of kids, with instructors and volunteers making sure they had sticks, clay and whatever else was needed to sculpt their small masterpieces!

So much to see! So much from which to choose! The dilemma is not what to draw, but what to sacrifice because of the time allotted. The Academy was open from 9am to 6pm. I lasted until a bit after 3pm. Tina posted a picture of me waiting in line at 8:30am.

What to do? Draw from the plaster casts, sketch medieval characters while listening to music, watch John Rizzotto demo a still life?
After rising at 6:30 am, driving for an hour, traipsing up and down three double flights of stairs and sloshing back and forth in the rain between the main building and Skinner Auditorium, I had to say "Enough!". (Anyone who knows me can tell you that I seldom sit while sketching, so I only got a total of about 20 minutes chair time during lunch. It really felt good to have a seat while driving the hour back home!)

I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Pizza, Ceasar Salad, Tacos, Burgers and Indian Fry Bread--Yummy and Hot!
They were out there, playing a rousing rendition of hava nagila in the rain.


  1. Fantastic sketches and photos, Michele! What a jammin' day!

    - Tina

    1. Thank you, Tina. Thanks for showing me around. It was definitely a jammin' day! :)