Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Color and Dance at Diwali Festival

10/20/18 Dancers at Diwali festival
Although I had heard of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, I didn’t know that Seattle held a festival for it until last year, when I saw correspondent Ujjwal Mahajan’s sketches of the event. As soon as I did, I put the festival on USk Seattle’s calendar so we wouldn’t miss it this year. Held at the Seattle Center’s Armory last Saturday, Diwali was full of color, music, dancers, food and everything else I enjoy about festivals.

I spent most of my time near the main stage, where small groups of women performed traditional dances wearing vibrant, colorful costumes. Capturing their fast, flowing movements was a fun challenge.

When I needed a break, I went upstairs, where quieter activities were taking place, like a cooking demo. I missed the names of the dishes that were being prepared, but they involved simmering onions, beans, other vegetables and lots of spices. It was difficult to concentrate on sketching with the delicious smells coming from the demonstrator’s pots. “Whatever you eat should have lots of colors,” she advised, and every dish “should have six tastes.”

10/20/18 Cooking demo

10/20/18 Applying henna
With a few minutes left before the throwdown, I stopped to sketch a young woman applying henna in intricate patterns to the hands and wrists of other women and girls. The henna came out of a small tube like the kind used in cake decorating. The patterns were so beautiful that I was tempted to have my hand done too, but she had a huge line of people waiting.

This festival was so much fun to sketch that I would love to see it become an annual fall event for USk Seattle!

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