Friday morning was so chilly I decided to bring an extra coat to the Northwest Folklife Festival Urban Sketch meet-up. I was glad for my decision because even with a brisk walk to the Seattle Center I still felt cold under protective layers. On my walk I paused to check out proportions of a sketch completed the previous night at Taylor Ave N and Aloha St. As in many parts of Seattle, the changing skyline in lower Queen Anne is fluid. Notices of demolitions and proposed construction signs line the streets. The new building (yellow cladding) and crane behind Cycle Gear is on 5th Ave just north of the Space Needle.
|Lower Queen Anne Construction|
Arriving at Seattle Center Armory, the Folklife Festival was in its early stages. The food trucks and clothing vendors were ready to go but I didn’t hear any music yet.
I quickly discovered Betsy and the Balloon Man sitting in front of Key Arena making a balloon hat for himself. His bright yellow pants contrasted nicely with his rainbow striped jacket and Peruvian wool arm warmers. He needed them today! He told me it was ok to draw him as long as I didn’t try to sell his image for profit. After a while, he asked me if I would watch his balloons so he could use the rest room. He was concerned about an unnamed balloon vendor stealing his balloons. I agreed and waited for his return. I would have defended his turf but thankfully there were very few people around and he came back soon enough. Tina met the same balloon man at University Street Fair and had nearly the same experience as balloon guard! It's a small balloon world.
|Betsy and the Balloon Man|
After Betsy and the Balloon Man, I was on the lookout for musicians. Tuning up on the Fisher Stage were two violin players from Portland, Oregon. Called Varda, they played European and Scandinavian folk tunes. Playing long enough for 3 sketches, both musicians had beautiful hair and good posture. I wish you could hear their music with my sequence of sketches from prep to finale.
After Varda, a band called Jim Marcotte and the Breakthrough played on the Fisher Stage. By that time, my fingers were getting numb from cold and it was time for the throw-down. The band sounded good so I stayed long enough to get a very quick sketch of the two guitar players.
|Jim Marcotte and Breakthrough|