What a difference!

What a difference another park & ride makes!  Normally on a weekday at Tukwila Light Rail station’s park & ride there are no parking spots if I’m not there between 0700-0730.  About a month ago the new Angle Lake station opened to the south of Sea Tac, making it the furthest south.  It includes 1,120 park-and-ride spaces.

Today I tested the effect of those additional spaces.  And. Wow!  At 0830, there were still more than a couple dozen spots at Tukwila!  Even when I returned at 0930, there were still nearly that many!  This will shorten my commute into Seattle for sketch outings and other activities as I won’t have to park further away and take a bus.

I rode down to Angle Lake to add another sketch in my series on the art at the light rail stations.  As I approached, I could see the massive multi story parking structure to the west of the tracks.  And I could see a few empty spaces there, too.

The main reason for my trip was to sketch the art at the station.  Each light rail station has at least one, and usually more, pieces of art installed.  I’m slowly working on a series to sketch them all.

The pictogram in the upper right corner is a bit of collage collected from the Metro website.  Each station has it’s own pictogram and I will be including them as I complete more sketches.

From the wiki:  “Laura Haddad’s ‘Cloud’ is the station’s most prominent feature and is suspended over the elevated platform as it crosses South 200th Street. The 48-foot-long (15 m), 26-foot-high (7.9 m) sculpture consists of 6,000 small colored acrylic disks that reflect sunlight in ways dependent on variations in light, weather or an approaching train; at night, the disks are illuminated with LED floodlights that fade from orange to blue as trains approach the station. Haddid describes her sculpture as a “community landmark” and “sculptural barometer of local weather”

I didn’t sketch the other art:  “Jill Anholt’s ‘Immerse’ is embedded in the plaza’s grand staircase and consists of four “delicate arcs” made of curved steel and tubing that connect the garage and station. Anholt’s piece uses the arcs to filter light onto the parking area and ‘celebrates the process of falling rain'”

Posted in Photography, Sketches | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windmill Gardens

Tacoma Urban Sketchers Wednesday outing was to the Windmill Gardens in Sumner, WA.  I’ve been there twice before to sketch but there are always interesting subjects.  I’d thought of some options for sketching out of the rain.  But we had warm sun instead!

I was amused by “Don Dirt,” the leafy sculpture that greets arriving customers, so I made him the subject of my first sketch.   He’s very cool with his shades.

There were several patio-like tableau around the garden center.  I picked this one for its pumpkin-colored chair.

A few people sketched the shed door.

We gathered in the gazebo to share sketches.

More photos:  https://redharp.smugmug.com/SketchOutings/2016-1019-Windmill-Gardens/

Posted in Sketch Crawl, Sketches, Urban Sketchers | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Silent Witness Project

WARNING:  This post about domestic violence could be a trigger for some.

Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, my local city hall has made a Silent Witness Project installation.




There are 7 red silhouettes stationed in the lobby of Renton City Hall.  Six are women and one is a man.  From the city Facebook page:   “October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Through the “Silent Witness Project” the City of Renton is featuring silhouettes, in the City Hall lobby, of those who lost their lives at the hand of domestic violence, many who were Renton residents. Throughout the rest of the month, we will be featuring the silhouettes”

“Get HELP” and keep talking until someone listens!”

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Sketching in the Rain

It’s not as much fun as singing in the rain!  But six hardy sketchers came out during the storm to sketch together around Columbia City’s Landmark District. The day was so dark, the street lights remained on the entire time we were there.

This is a neighborhood south of Seattle that has been gentrifying over the past several years.  It is just 30 min from where I live so I go there a couple times a year to sketch the interesting old buildings.

I found an overhang under which to shelter while I sketched the Columbia City movie theater across the street.  It was the neighborhood’s independent move theater but it closed in 2011.  After a lot of work to bring it back up to code, it reopened in December 2012.  It was formerly a Masonic Lodge

I finished the sketch just as the rain came down harder and started to slant in on my sheltered location.  I decamped for the library, where it was warm and dry.  It’s fairly small so  I sketched some details of the molding and window.

This branch of the Seattle Public Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is a Carnegie library, designed by Seattle architects W. Marbury Somervell and Harlan Thomas in the Beaux-Arts, Georgian Revival style. The Columbia Library opened Dec. 30, 1915.

We gathered back together at Geraldine’s cafe to share sketches and have lunch together.

Posted in Sketch Crawl, Sketches, Urban Sketchers | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sketch while the sun shines!

Yesterday it was another bright, sunny, moderate day.  I walked around my neighborhood looking for Halloween decorations to sketch.  Only one of my neighbors had anything up so far and that was rather sparse.   So I sketched a yard with some bright autumn decor.  The angel statues are always in this yard.

And then I sketched my own porch!  I have a concrete bunny statue on my porch all year.  I often decorate it for the season.  Right now, she is wearing her autumn outfit, which is similar to the wreath on the front door.

Today, it’s chilly and raining nearly constantly.  We’re bracing for what could be an epic-not-since-50-years-ago storm.  Cyclone-force winds are predicted.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Coulon Color

After a slow start to the day, I had some errands to do about noon.  Once home, I decided to go out again, this time with my sketch kit.  It was a beautiful day:  not a cloud in the sky and 65 degrees.  Perfect NW fall day.

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is well known locally for the vibrant maple trees that line the street.  That was my destination as I wanted to sketch the trees again.

There were so many people there, taking photos of the trees and also making family portraits with the trees as glorious background.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Kitsap barn

Today was Social Watercolor at the Daniel Smith mothership.   The first item(s) that jumped out at me inside the store were all the Urban Sketching books by Gabi and Stephanie, ready for the book signing that would have been this week.  It has been postponed to Dec 3.


During the meeting, I did a watercolor from one of my photos.  In 2015, I took a photo and the barn was still standing upright.  About a month ago, I photographed this barn on the way home from a trip to visit someone in Kitsap county.  My husband was in a hurry to get home so I wasn’t able to sketch it on location.

This view is as seen from “Egg and I Road”.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Days 8 & 9 homeward bound

Monday, 3 October, was our last day in Alberta.  After we checked out of the hotel, we went for a ride on the Lake Louise Gondola.  At first, I didn’t want to go as I thought it would be so cold at altitude.  It had been 27 degrees that morning!  But it was such a perfectly clear day, it seemed like we would have a fantastic view on the mountain.

It was so cold on the ride down, I kept only my shutter finer outside my mittens!

Lower red circle indicates the gondola station.  The top one is the Fairmont Lake Louise hotel.

Once we left town, it wasn’t very long before we hit a snag.  We were stopped for at least 30 minutes for construction.  I sketched the line and the mountains in view.

We drove the 5 hours back to Kamloops to stay one night to break the journey home.  That evening, we had our dinner at this fast food place next to our hotel.  I think it is unique to Canada, so we wanted to try it.  It’s the “Triple O White Spot”.    I liked the building, so I sketched the view from the parking lot.

The next day we drove 5 more hours home.

Photos: https://redharp.smugmug.com/MKB/2016-1002-Takakaw-Falls/

Posted in Photography, Sketches | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 7: Takakaw falls

Day 7: Day trip to Takakaw  falls. No sketches again today, just photos.

On the way, we stopped at the Spiral Tunnels view point.  “As trains snake their way up to the Kicking Horse Pass and the continental divide, they circle deep into the mountains on both sides of this valley.  The two giant underground loops they follow are the spiral Tunnels.

From assorted signs in the park…..  Takakkaw means “It is magnificent” in Cree.  At 254 meters, it is one of the highest in Canada.  The falls is fed by Daly Glacier, which is350 m from the brink.  The glacier, in turn, is fed by the Waputik Icefield.  Snow falling on the icefield becomes moving ice in the glacier, which melts to become the Falls.  On another sign, it said the total drop of the falls is 385 meters, which is more than 7 times the height of Niagara Falls.

It was an easy hike to a good view of the falls.

The “Red Chairs” are National Park photo spots. A fellow tourist took this for us.  Note how bundled up I am and how Himself is not!

On our way back to Lake Louise, we made a 3rd attempt to find “Morant’s Curve” since we now knew the name of the view point.  “Once the tracks of the Canadian Pacific Railway were completed in 1883, the company set out to entice the world to come explore the Canadian Alps.  Photographer Nicholas Morant was hired to tantalize the imagination of potential tourists.  This was one of his favorite scenic spots”

Many more photos here: https://redharp.smugmug.com/MKB/2016-1002-Takakaw-Falls/

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Day 6: Back to Banff

It’s 1 October.

Himself wasn’t interested in doing much that day.  He was happy to stay in the room to read and listen to podcasts.

I decided to go back to Banff to do some sketching.  First, I walked through town again
to choose my sketch subjects.  My first one was this church, which I’d noticed on our previous trip. I am very partial to Gothic! It is St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.  This building was constructed in 1930, designed by Calgary architect D.S. McIlroy in the “High Victorian Gothic Revival Style with Tudor details over stucco”.

As in Seattle, there are medallions indicating the street name.  I was quite partial to this one as Himself is known as “Wolf”.

As I moved on down the street, I was fortunate to encounter some First Nations dancers!  They were performing in the town square as part of Banff Buffalo Days.  I stopped to watch a while.  I sketched one of the women who sat still!  I didn’t get as much done as I’d planned as they finished and she stood up.  When we were invited to meet and take photos, I spoke with her.  She is Edna Bad Eagle.  I asked about the name of the troupe and she said there really wasn’t a formal troupe…”just call us Deerfoot Banff”.

Even thought the weather in Lake Louise was unpleasant all day – chilly and raining – in Banff it was sunny and warm.  So I had some ice cream at “Cows”.  I laughed at the tip jar:  “Cow Tipping”.

I next sketched a typical Banff street corner with views of mountains.

A few more photos are here:  https://redharp.smugmug.com/MKB/2016-1001-Back-to-Banff/

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments