Steam Ariel

Last night I finally returned to AFK Drink & Draw after an absence of about 6 weeks.  Between having a lingering cold and other commitments I didn’t realize it had been that long!

It was a great session for a return.  Amber as Steam Ariel was wonderful!  Her costume was so imaginative and colorful, which I like as I use watercolors during the longer poses.  Her accessories were very clever!  I really liked that trident made of brass plumbing parts.

Good pose!


Save the Date: On July 23rd, the group is going to have a one night, “live” show.  Come to AFK in Renton.  We’ll have our sketchbooks on display in the bar area.   There will also be models to sketch.

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Astronaut aboard ship

This morning I made a dash to Bremerton to sketch the astronaut on the Viet Nam era destroyer, USS Turner Joy.  JoAnn, the shop manager, was very helpful, showing me where the astronaut was stationed.

It was a cramped space so I composed the page with just half the sculpture as I wanted to also include the hatch so that the environment of the ship would be a part of it.

This is “From the Archives” by Patrick Sexton.  It’s covered in collage pieces.  So my sketch has a couple of them, too.

A few more photos are here.

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Narrows Bridge

This is the bridge that replaced “galloping Gertie“, the bridge across the Tacoma Narrows that swayed, bucked and then collapsed in the famous 1940 film.  Actually, it’s now two bridges as another entire bridge was built recently so now there are more lanes across.  It connects the Tacoma area with the Kitsap Peninsula.

I had a short shift at Fort Nisqually today.  I did all the sewing there was pending.  I had already decided I didn’t want to brave the heat in period clothing. So I left early and took a drive around the somewhat cooler Pt. Defiance Park’s 5 mile Drive.  There are so many trees that it was about 10 degrees cooler than the freeway had been earlier.  It is from one of the viewpoints that I made this sketch.

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Astronaut in Auburn

Since I was already south, having had a meeting in Tacoma, I stopped at the Outlet Collection in Auburn to sketch the Astronaut stationed there.

Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known by Brandy Tomlin.  The poster next to it is a bit of photo collage.

I took a little more notice of the contest information that was on the poster.  I don’t care so much about the Alaska tickets but…… oooo, a T shirt!  I want an Astronauts on the Town T shirt!  So a passerby helped me with my selfie (I guess it’s technically not a selfie, then, eh?).

However, after I got home, I read the contest rules and realized I can’t enter because I’m a volunteer there.  I suspected as much, hence I read the details on the rules. Oh, well.  I didn’t want to join Instagram anyway.  And maybe I can still wrangle a t shirt!

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Three more Astronauts

Early Sunday morning, I watched the (unmanned) SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule blow up 2 minutes after launch.  NASA TV broadcast live.  I saw the explosion and thought, “is that a stage separation?”.  When the voice of mission control didn’t say anything for about 30 seconds, I knew it wasn’t “nominal”.  It was very disheartening.  But no one died and it was only stuff that was lost.  Expensive stuff, but replaceable.

So I’m cheering myself up by finding more Astronauts on the Town!    I’ve grouped the astronauts by location.  Today was my Tukwila day.  First was the one at Southcenter Mall:  Ambassador for Amity by Elise Koncsek .  “One small step for a human; One giant leap for Community”.

These first two of the three have bits of photo collage.

Next up the road was the Starfire Sports complex.  It is huge, with many indoor and outdoor soccer fields and it’s where the Sounders train.

In the main lobby area I found Joni Mitchell by Christine Federhart.

By 1400, it was almost 90 degrees outside.  I was glad I didn’t have to be outside in the sun to sketch these astronauts.  The next one was at Tukwila Community Center.   Blast Off by P. Calavera

The total is now 7 our of 25.

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Four down, 21 to go

After today’s sketch outing I continued on to Georgetown, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Seattle.  In the cool of Fran’s chocolates, I sketched this latest astronaut of the “Astronauts on the Town” installation.

This is Star Stuff by Abigail Kinney Maxey. It is inspired by a quote from Carl Sagan: “The Earth and every living thing are made of star stuff.”

Oh, yes.  I did buy a small amount of chocolate!  And one of the staff recognized me from when I was there with the group of Urban Sketchers earlier this year.   We had a nice chat about the Museum of Flight events.

A couple patrons looked at my work and tried to convince me to take a commission to sketch a building they are buying.  I declined, but said I knew a few others who might be interested in the commission (Steve Reddy)!

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Dry Stone Wall

Last year, the Seattle Urban Sketchers Friday ad-hoc group visited Kubota Garden  to see stone masons Junji and Suminori Awata and Tetsuro Tanabe, a master stone splitter.  They came from Japan to build the 8-foot tall ishigaki or dry stone stacked rampart base for the new Terrace Overlook.

We returned today to see the result of the stonemasons’ work.  The timber pavilion was built by local carpenters.  It overlooks the koi pond.

Despite meeting at 9 am, it was still quite hot by 11 when I finally found the Heart Bridge.

I’d gotten rather lost even though I had a map.   I didn’t stay to sketch it as I was too hot and tired.  I never did find my goal, the Moon bridge. It took a while to find my way back to the meeting place where we shared sketches and had a group photo.

I was delighted to meet Jennie, a visitor from Michigan via Australia!  She is living in Michigan not very far from where I grew up.  The Midwest Urban Sketchers group is quite spread out, so she sketches with the Melbourne Sketchers when she goes back to visit her home town!  We also welcomed Martha, a new local sketcher to join us.

More photos here

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What’s Cooking?

Yesterday was one of Fort Nisqually’s now annual events.  “What’s Cooking” is a period cooking contest.  Prizes are awarded for the greatest effort toward historical authenticity, most creative story, and the best use of the Fort’s garden produce. Grand prizes are the “Golden Skillet” (best savory dish) and the new “Golden Mold” (best sweet/dessert dish). The celebrity guest judge was Amanda Westbrooke, host of TV Tacoma’s CityLine, a weekly economic and cultural affairs program.  The other two judges were past winners.

My first sketch was started before the Fort opened.  I sat in the shade to sketch the ingrediants fresh from the Fort’s garden.  They were for the cooks participating in the contest.

I moved to another patch of shade near the Factor’s house to sketch one of the interpreters spinning.

Finally and foolishly, I sat in the direct afternoon sun to sketch one of the outdoor kitchens.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes on all the winners.  Other prizes were awarded, such as “Best use from the Fort garden” and “Judges Favorite”.

The grand prize awards

I did make sure I later got a taste on the grand prize winning Jagerschnitzel.  It was as good as any I had in Germany (and over 5 years there, I ate a lot of Jagerschnitzel!).

The winning teams.

More photos here.

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Bagged 2 more Astronauts

A lunch date with former co-workers took me to Ballard.  I took the opportunity to sketch 2 more of the Astronauts On The Town.

First, the Aboriginaut, found inside the Ballard Locks Visitors Center.

The design is based on cave drawings of astronomy by Aboriginal cultures of Australia. The symbols on the suit depict the sun, the stars and the moon along with symbols representing travel. The technique is done with acrylic paint and a dotted pattern.

Then on the the lunch venue.  My friends graciously conceded to alter the venue so I could sketch the Astronaut at Ray’s Boat House.  We had a delicious lunch on the 2nd story patio with a gorgeous view of the Puget Sound.


That top patio is where we had lunch.

More photos here.

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Gig Harbor

Urban Sketchers Tacoma went out to Gig Harbor to meet at the Skansie Net Shed.  One of our number arranged to gain entrance so we had the run of the shed all morning.  My first sketch was from the deck, looking back into the shed.

It was a perfect day… sunny, warm enough but with a nice breeze.  I sat on the dock of the marina and sketched the view of the shed from the beach.

While sitting on the doc, I met Sherlene, who stopped to look at my sketch.  She was a Fine Arts major and now does photography.  We had a nice chat about all that.   She and her husband, Kevin, and their dog, Taco, live on their boat.  They made an interesting life:  6 months they are a truck driving team.  The rest of the time they live on their boat.

They blog about their life on the boat:

There was about 15 minutes left.  So I splashed together a sketch of the Fisherman’s Memorial.

Then we met to share sketches and a group photo.

More Photos

A few of us brought a bag lunch and sat under the pavilion to eat and chat.  I finally saw a crow use the concrete to break an oyster shell.  It flew up and dropped the shell a couple times.  Then hopped to the grass and ate the oyster.  I’d read they do that but this is the first time I’ve seen it!

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