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Sept. 22: Columbia City

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Northwest School and Our Newest Urban Sketchers

Every time I sketch in Seattle with the urban sketchers Seattle group I learn something new about our city. Today was an enhancement of that experience because Tina Koyama and I were privileged to share a morning of sketching with Matt Fujimoto and his summer camp students from the Northwest School.
Tina and Matt walking down Pike Street with Northwest School sketchers.
We allowed a peek into our sketch kits while in the classroom. After sharing some more tips ("It doesn't have to be perfect!") and some reminders about the difference between plein air painting and urban sketching ("50 lbs. lighter equipment to carry") we all walked down Pike Street to the corner of Boren and Pike.

Our destination was Plymouth Pillars Park, a lovely little dog friendly green space that gave us all quite enough room to spread out and choose our individual subjects.(Cat friendly, too! There was a tuxedo cat on a leash taking a nice stroll in the park this morning.)

Matt helping his students with their sketches.
Tina (in foreground) getting an overview with Kathryn (seated) of our fellow sketchers at the park this morning.
The newest Seattle Urban Sketchers share their work.
I truly enjoyed seeing our little corner of the city through the eyes of these 11-15 year old sketchers. They drew everything from people to animals to buildings, trash cans, signage and more!
My sketch of the Wintonia Hotel, overlayed by decades of city "furniture".
I chose this view of the old Wintonia Hotel, quite an impressive building, even now. It appeared to be loosely basted into the fabric of today's city with power lines, street car lines and signage. The pair of sneakers strung together by their laces and tossed over a power line seemed to put us firmly into the present.
The hotel currently serves as low income housing. See how it looked in its heyday in this detailed illustration with horse drawn carriages, "new" touring cars, pedestrians and a street car in front. You might even say that we have always had urban sketchers in Seattle. With this new small group from Northwest School I hope we always will.


  1. Thanks for doing this with me today, Michele! We make an awesome team!

    - Tina

    1. Thanks to you for setting this all up, Tina. I agree! We make an awesome team!