Together again, almost

The weather has turned cloudy and chilly but I still felt warmed by the happiness of sketching again with friends, Tina and Roy. We met at a new place to check it out as a possible group sketching location. It is St. Edward State Park with the newly renovated and now open “Lodge” a former Catholic seminary from the 1930’s.

The park includes a wonderful playground. It has castle turrets, slides, and climbing walls.

We walked all around and even through the Lodge. I liked this view the best, though in future I might sketch a section of the front entrance.

We went back to our cars to warm up before going back out to picnic tables to have the lunches we’d packed. I drew Tina, sketching in her car, as I sat in my car next to her.

We’ve decided that next month our Urban Sketchers chapters will resume in-person sketch outings. Everyone has been eligible for the vaccines for a few weeks now and we’re hoping that the local situation will continue to improve.

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New Point Ruston

It’s been over a year since I last explored the development at Point Ruston. A lot has changed. There are new apartment buildings and new businesses. The hill above even has an entirely new shopping section, The Point Ruston Market.

I met AJ there to sketch outside around the area.

First, I sketched a view of a ship just off the plaza. It was quite hazy in the distance.

I filled part of a larger page with a Gaia statue, thinking I might find the statue of an Octopus but I never did.

Since the Mountain was out, I just had to sketch a view of that! I can never pass up Mt. Rainier.

All in all it was a very good day. The weather was perfect. There weren’t too many people and most were wearing masks. It was really good to visit and sketch with a friend in person, finally.

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I had somewhere to be by about 9:30 am but took my route to the center of town, hoping to catch the Town Clock being moved and sketch it before getting to my event.

Oh, well, it had already been moved. That gives me the information to be there extra early in the morning when they move it back to it’s usual location. There was certainly a nice big crane.

After my “drive-by” volunteer recognition event, I drove back to see whether the crane was still there. Of course not. But I noticed this quite but charming scene. It’s simple and ordinary but I liked the combination of flag, mailbox and Irises.

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It’s such a perfect day…sunny and just under 70 degrees. One of the prompts for this month’s Urban Sketchers Seattle Zoom meeting this weekend is “Statues, statuary and memorials”. I would normally sketch at the VA National Cemetery at Tahoma but it’s too early for the Memorial Day display.

Greenwood Memorial Park is the location of Jimi Hendrix’s burial and a large memorial. That I’ve sketched before. Today I wanted to sketch other memorial structures there.

The large structure was surrounded by many Asian graves. Inside was an inscription of a bench, “Garden of Eternal Peace. Dedicated April 1st, 2006”

Just down the road was the “Vietnamese National Feature Columbarium”.

The website for Greenwood had no information about either of these.

It also seems to be an area that people enjoy as a park. One woman sat in a lawn chair in the shade of a large tree. Two other older women seemed to be getting in their walk.

Of course, there were many visitors to the Hendrix memorial. One older man sat quietly (no amp) playing his guitar. There was a lot of stuff left as remembrances.


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Garden sketching

Since we are all fully vaccinated and “percolated”, I’ve finally started to meet with, or plan to meet with, other sketcher(s). Today I went to Frances’ home to sketch in the wonderful garden there.

Though there was some light rain, she has a couple canopy shelters. Once it stopped, I sketched in the front, near the road, where there were some colorful tulips. I was amused by the tennis ball protecting the sharp tip of the stake.

Then in the back I focused on the wheel barrow and the huge artichoke plants.

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Press Freedom

This is the Sketchbook Skool weekly “Draw This” challenge as May 3 was World Press Freedom Day. Image of a newsboy by Lewis Hine, from the collection of the Library of Congress.

Even in this country, freedom of the press is threatened. Remember “fake news” and “enemy of the people”? It often doesn’t even exist in other countries. It is one of the foundations of our democracy.

It didn’t occur to me until too late to draw this on tan toned paper. I put a light wash over it and finished in monochrome.

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New Hybrid

Sketched while waiting for our 2002 (yes…19 y/o and First Generation model) Prius to be serviced. It needed nothing more than oil and filter changes. Since the 2006 Matrix was totaled 1/2020, we’ll eventually be buying a new car. Since it seems like we might want to travel further from home sometime this year, it’s time to start looking. Since last May we’ve wanted the new-ish Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

They have one on the lot and it is the subject of my sketch. We rented one in Germany in December 2018 and liked it well enough.

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At the ball field

It is another beautiful spring day to sketch outside in the sunshine. Today was the first day I used sunscreen, though there have been a couple others when it was needed.

My subjects today had significant contrasts: one the all American pastime and the other something quite unfamiliar to me (despite my undergrad major in Comparative Religion!).

I headed out to rural Kent to sketch this sculpture at a public park with ball fields. The field were locked up but the interesting playground was open. I like these kinds of odd sculptures and road side attractions. I didn’t find out anything about it, though, as there was no information plaque and it’s not listed on the Kent Public Arts page. The park is a 29 acre preserve that also includes picnic shelter(s) and trails.

I’ve passed this construction site several times and today I stopped to sketch it. It is the new Sikh temple or Gurdwara for “Gurdwara Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji of Kent” (that’s what was on the sign of the original building). It will be far grander than the unassuming building that is there now.

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Dough Zone

A few months ago I was happy to learn there is a new Dough Zone outlet at The Landing shopping center in the south part of Renton. Now that I feel comfortable sitting out in public to sketch, I went out to get it, along with the sculpture in the center of the round about. It’s a chain of Chinese dumpling restaurants that began here in Seattle. I’ve been unable to find out anything about the sculpture.

Then I went in to order some takeaway. While waiting, I sketched one of the servers and, a la Roy, gave the sketch to her. It’s a lot easier to draw people with the lower part of their face covered in a mask!

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The Loop

This is a relatively new sculpture placed in central, downtown Renton. I’ve been waiting to sketch it as there just was no good place to view it from the car. So now that we’re both “fully vaccinated and percolated” I feel comfortable sitting on my stool on the street to sketch.

I chose today as the area is still an active construction site but on a Sunday morning it is much quieter and I could find close by parking. I might return after construction is over to sketch another view.

Here is what the Arts Council wrote: “This piece entitled The Loop is located on 2nd and Main in Downtown Renton. The Arts Commission’s original concept was to pay homage to “driving the Renton loop,” a pastime that many Renton citizens have participated in, and is evident in the location and spherical nature of the piece. The concept was pushed a step further by Artist @dylanneuwirth who wanted to also incorporate the cycle of Renton’s past, present, and future industries through his use of materials. The thoughtfulness and intentionality he brought to both concepts provides a welcome elevation of the project.”

Here is what the artist, Dylan Neuwirth, wrote in a Nov 29, 2020 post on Instagram: “this 13’ diameter monument visually tells the story of @cityofrenton from its industrial roots (steel) into Boeing + Paccar (aluminum/stainless steel) and influx of future pointing healthcare/software (blue LED backed light box) as a cohesive object atop the igneous lands leading toward Mt. Rainier.” He installed 3500 pounds of lava rock at the base!

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