Otter faces

Sea otters are my favorite wild animal.  A couple local zoos have them and I can spend an hour watching them.  As a result, I subscribe to a blog called The Daily Otter.  It gives me a moment of happiness to see a photo every day.  This is sketched from the one a couple days ago.  It was captioned “Otters Are Curious to See Who’s at the Door”.

BTW, I also subscribe to The Daily Bunny for the same reasons.  I used to keep pet rats, which are actually fun and cute.  I would really like to have a house bunny.

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Tree & BBQ

It was reasonably nice weather yesterday.  After an appointment and some errands, I drove down to the “historic” downtown Kent (WA) yesterday afternoon.  I’d hoped to see some nice holiday decorations.  All that was there was the tree in the central plaza.

I brought my little Packed Rat with me.  She sits in a pocket in my sketch bag.

While at the local grocery, I saw this Seahawk fan’s truck.  Are the lights for Christmas or part of the fan decor?

Then went out to dinner as it was a birthday celebration.  Himself wanted to go to the BBQ rib place.  While there, I did this sketch in my pocket Moleskine.

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When I went to the dentist last week,  I left my Nexus at home by mistake so didn’t have a book with me (all my fiction reading is on apps on my Nexus 5).  So I picked up a magazine.

And I saw this:   (Link back to the image on flickr)

I thought it looked like the work of an Urban Sketcher I follow on flickr.  But I couldn’t find a credit line on the page.   Then Paul Wang posted it to his flickr account today.  I was right!  I did recognize the style!

Congratulations to Paul on the publication!  It’s his first time working with an international magazine.

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I edited my two fauxdori.  I took the large charm off the bookmark and put it on the closure elastic.  In using it, I realized a smaller charm on the bookmark is better.  Having these large ones hanging in the middle of the book shows them better.

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Klass reunion

The Pacific Northwest Sketchbook Skool Klassmates had another reunion.  A few of us met at the historic Panama Hotel and tearoom in the International District of Seattle.

The Panama Hotel dates from 1910 and is associated with the immigration of Japanese.  The Hashidate-Yu Sento, located in the basement, is one of only two surviving Japanese public bathhouses in the USA.  More of it’s history can be found here  The basement also holds belongings, never reclaimed, of Japanese citizens sent to internment camps during WWII. Some are visible through glass bricks in the floor of the tea room.

Judi reminded me:  The book, The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, takes place in Seattle during WWII and tells the story of the Chinese and Japanese resident communities whose lives in the International district were impacted by it. It is the story of the Panama hotel and the cache of belongings that were found there in the basement belonging to 39 displaced families.

We’ve been planning this gathering for a few weeks. At first, we thought we’d like to meet in an English tea room.  But none in the area could accomodate a group of 10-12 people at once who also wanted to stay a couple hours to sketch and talk.  There was plenty of room at the Panama, though.

My new little companion, purchased at a nearby shop in the ID: I’m calling her my “Packed Rat” but otherwise haven’t come up with a name. She helped me greet the Klassmates as they arrived and pass out name tags.

I hate finding parking in Seattle, so I took the lightrail into town.  On my walk up to the meeting spot, I noticed this interesting juxtaposition of the China Gate and the Smith Tower.

My first sketch at the Panama was of the window, looking out.  I wanted to do something new for this week’s Urban Sketchers theme, “windows”

Before people started to leave, we got a group photo.

After the group left, I stayed behind to sketch this little scene.

A few more photos.

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Roger & Co.

We hit the jackpot tonight for Drink and Draw at the AFK!  Four models, all from Roger Rabbit.  They were  James as Roger Rabbit, Honda as Jessica Rabbit, Patrick as Eddie Valant, and Doc H Missery as Judge Doom.  They were an excellent troupe with imaginative and fun poses.

As usual, we started with 1-5 minute poses.  These I normally do in pencil but two are ink.

Then a couple 10 minute poses and I broke out the watercolors.


A few more photos are here.

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Writing cards

It’s a warm but very rainy day.  After an appointment, I got organized to work on the holiday cards.

I’m using a dip pen and inks to write notes on the cards.  Goulet ink samples decanted into tiny jars make it more stable for dipping.  The inks are Private Reserve Sherwood Green and Sheaffer Red.

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Scenes of Christmas

Clam Lights is a holiday tradition in the town in which I live.  It is a display of Christmas lights along a path in Coulon Park, next to Lake Washington.  My favorite display is the dancing Clams, made famous by Ivar’s, a local seafood restaurant.  This video shows them in action!  It was sunny and 58 degrees so I sat on my stool in the park to sketch the Clams during the day.  It’s fitting that there is an Ivar’s fish & chips shop within view.

They are a version of  “Clem the dancing clam”, who first appeared in 1985.  “Keep Clam!”

I got an early start to the day.  I thought it would be safe to make a trip to the mall just as it opened and before it got too crazy.  Monday morning early is a good time after the world has been shopping over the weekend.  The Santa stage was facing the opposite direction from previous years, making it easy to sketch from the floor above.  Santa didn’t have any children visiting yet.

And, yes, I had Ivar’s for lunch in the mall!

I noticed this lounge area in the mall.  It’s a nice table with a spot to plug in one’s device (laptop, tablet, etc) and a beverage machine behind.  It’s the perfect place for the non-shopper to wait for the shoppers.  There were also comfy chairs off to the right.

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Drawing Jam

The Drawing Jam at the Gage Academy of Art happens once per year.  I’ve never been but I was warned that it gets very crowded. So I got there about 0830 and encountered Tina who’d parked near me!  We talked for a while before joining the line at 0845, waiting for opening at 0900.

It was such a forest of easels that I wondered how anyone could see the models.  But the artists were used to this and shifted about so everyone had a view.

I chose the costumed model room.  There was also a room with nude models.  The first model was former Marine CPL Chris Sharpe.   There were 1 and 5 minutes poses and then a long 30 minute one.  I did two watercolor sketches during the long pose.

The auditorium held a stage with 3 or 4 models in gym tights doing short poses.

I was ready to leave about 1300.  I made a brief visit to the beautiful St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral and the Cathedral shop.  Gage is in a building formerly occupied by the Cathedral.

All the photos from the day are here.

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Gingerbread Village

This was the 2nd anniversary for Friday Sketchers.  We first met on Friday in December 2012 and sketched here at the Sheraton Hotel’s Gingerbread Village.  The theme this year is “Jingle All the Way”

Each year the Sheraton’s culinary team partners with top local architecture firms to design, bake and delight you with larger-than-life Gingerbread creations. The event is free to the public, with donations benefitting the JDRF Northwest Chapter.  It takes months and hundreds of hours to build these amazing Gingerbread structures.

It became quite crowded, so I only managed one sketch. I can never resist the Space Needle.  This is a portion of “I’ll be Home for Christmas”/”Santa Clause is Coming to Town”/”Christmas in the Northwest” Created by 4D Architects, Inc; Chef Jay Sardeson

Gordon and Nilda were photographed by Anthony Bolante of the Puget Sound Business Journal.  He was there to photograph the Village.  Look for the story next week in that publication!

The group with Chef David Mestl who created the Gingerbread sculpture behind us, “Oh Christmas Tree”; (Architects were Skanska).  At least 4 sketchers had already left.  (Photo by Julie, who was a volunteer with the sponsor of the Village).

More photos are here.

On the way home on the lightrail, I did a page of “floating heads”,  small portraits in pencil of people on the train.


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