New bridge

I’m behind in posting. I’m behind in general…see below.

This sketch is from Tuesday, 18 September.  I met a couple former co-workers for lunch.  I had some time so I decided this would be a good day to sketch this new pedestrian bridge in Tukwila.  I’ve watched it being built over the Green River during the past several months.  Apparently it’s called the Tukwila Urban Center Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge

The weather this week has been perfect for sketching!  Bright, sunny, good shadows and just the right temperature (about 70’s [20’s c]).

I’m a little over committed at the moment.  I’ve enrolled in a new 6 week long “Watercolor Rules” Sketchbook Skool  class which started this week.  I’m resigned to getting behind.  Because Inktober will be starting in a couple weeks.  I’ve been watching Craftsy and YouTube videos on ink sketching as I want to improve my hatching technique.  I haven’t watched as many of those as I would like.

So, right in the midst of these projects, I decide to resurrect a weekly drawing group!  Sigh.  It’s the former “AFK Drink and Draw” where we gathered to sketch a cosplay (costumed) model.  I’ve already found a new venue and scheduled the weekly event.  The group as been dormant for about 3 years but the previous models have been messaging me about wanting to join in again. So I’ve got the first few weeks already planned.  It starts October 10.

Then there is sewing.  I’ve got 10 more RareBear kits and already cut out the 10 bear skins.  I’ve also promised a friend I’d make the Folkwear Cheese-maker’s shirt for him and I want to practice it by making one for myself first.  I haven’t used the pattern in decades.

How did I ever have time to be employed full time?

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Inkwell hack

As I often do, I went to the “Mixed Media Play Day” at the Daniel Smith Seattle store.  Janice Berkebile hosts them, usually two Monday mornings a month.  The October 2018 schedule is here.

With Inktober coming up, she demonstrated lots of ideas about using ink.  She generously brought many of her supplies for us to try.

The best idea I took away was her brilliant one to use a heavy glass candle holder as an inkwell!  I have just the right ones, in a set of four.  Fill it with an eye dropper.

In the email I received from John Neal, Bookseller, I saw these clever ink wells.  They’re not as elegant but they have a base for stability and a lid to keep the ink from evaporating. They are just $5 for a set of three, available here.  

While we’re at Daniel Smith…. do you need a lot of watercolor paper?  The box was nearly as tall as I am but the roll of paper was not quite that tall.

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I got the Stamp!

A week or so ago one of the sketchers in Urban Sketchers Seattle posted some sketches from figurehead exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) that had a stamp from the museum. I’ve been going to MOHAI for years and never knew, or thought to ask, about the stamp.

Yesterday, Saturday, I took a visiting friend to MOHAI to see the WWI exhibit. It was well done, including the social and political context of the times before, during and after the wear years. If you go, allow at least and hour to see it.  No sketches from that exhibit, though lost of photos.

While my friend did something else, I did a quick sketch of the figureheads from ships.

On another note, I was invited to be an Urban Sketchers Seattle blog correspondent on this date, September 16, in 2012. It’s been 6 years already.

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In the ID

Yesterday, Sunday, I had three objectives in the International District (ID). Since I was going in for a 1000 meet up, I decided to leave early enough to allow time for sketching before. I arrived about 0830.

Hing Hay Park was on my way to the meeting location. The name is figuratively translated to “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings”. There is a relatively new sculpture in the expansion portion of the park which I wanted to sketch.

It was a little chilly and I hadn’t worn a jacket so I sketched from the cafe across the street. As I explored the park more, I saw interesting views. And then these women doing a meditative practice.

The meetup was the Seattle Stationery Society. It’s mostly focused on the Hobonichi brand planners but all styles are welcome. I had some fun looking at all the supplies others have (but I don’t use) such as stickers and washi tape.  Their journals are so creative.

After the meeting, I took the street car to the newly opened Yesler Terrace Park to check it out for an Urban Sketching venue. Technically, this was in Central District not the ID but I started on the street car from the ID.  There is both interesting play equipment and good views of downtown Seattle.  The climbing tower with Seattle’s Smith Tower in the background:

I did the first sketch in the larger sketchbook modeled after the one Brenda Swenson makes.   Both sketches were done on location but it has a journal page design, with the ephemera (stickers) and more writing.

More photos:

Hing Hay

Yesler Park


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Kalakala Quest

While watching an episode of “Evening” on King 5 TV, I learned that the King Agriculture Museum (no relation to King 5) has pieces of the Kalakala ferry,.  So I hatched a plan to take another train trip to Centralia. Since I already have at least one sketch of Kalakala parts, I thought I’d start a sketch series.

Background: The Kalakala was a ferry that operated on Puget Sound from 1935 until 1967. It was notable for art deco styling and luxurious amenities and was voted second only to the Space Needle in popularity among visitors to Seattle during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. After retirement it had an unfortunate life, eventually beached and used as a fish processing plant. A succession of investors bought it in the late 1990’s and 2000’s. They were not able to raise money for restoration and the poor Kalakala was scraped in In January 2015. Larger pieces were sold as souvenirs.

I’ve been able to locate a few of them. Thus, this trip to see what was stored at the Agriculture Museum on Centralia. Only 3 others answered my invitation to take the trip with me. We agreed upon a day and the train schedule. I sketched Antonella and Tina on the train in the Field Notes sketchbook. It was a bumpy ride to my lines are squiggly.

We arrived in Centralia at about 0915.

Photo by Tina Koyama

We had a bit of a walk around as it was a perfect day for sketching outside. One of the first interesting sites is the “Hub City Art Park”. Centralia refers to itself as the “Hub City”. It is on the corner of North Tower Ave and Center Street. While I was sketching I met Rebecca Staebler, the owner! She told me the sculptor is Bill Wilson. This particular sculpture is called Orpheus and is made from a propane tank! The tall black one behind is Shatkona.

We split up, agreeing to meet at the McMenamins Olympic Club for lunch and sketch sharing at Noon.

I made my way to the Agriculture Museum and my quest was rewarded with a large door from the Kalakala. It was one of 8 doors below deck that isolated compartments in case of hull damage. This made the ferry unsinkable. Also in the collection was the huge crankshaft and piston. I sketched the door with a view of a tractor as the Museum houses a huge tractor collection.

Then it was time to meet at McMenamins. I did a little sketch in the Field Notes sketchbook during lunch. We shared our morning’s sketches.

Photo my Tina Koyama

In the afternoon I wandered around town. This WWI memorial is in front of the Carnegie Library.

Last sketch of the day was the exterior of McMenamins Olympic Club. Like many McMenamins properties it has several uses and houses a hotel, bar, restaurant and movie theater.

Our train arrived a little late and but I arrived back at Tukwila station nearly on time, at 1815.

Amtrak Cascades

More photos

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Quarter Chute Cafe

This morning I was almost back to my horse racing roots.

When I was very young, I hung around the horse barns associated with the half mile harness racing track in my home town. The town was the site of the county fair and thus had this race track. Now, I didn’t go there by myself. Very early every Saturday morning my father would take me there to see the horses and watch them train. This started when I was 4 or 5 years old and went until about high school. After that, I was too busy with music lessons on Saturdays.

When I was 7 years old my teacher’s husband owned horses and raced them there. So his horse(s) became our main visiting spot and we watched him train. I remember Ep Calvert even took me with him in the racing cart, called a “sulky”, for a trip around the half mile. The old trainers used to refer to me as “a natural” around horses. I calmed one of Ep’s fillies so much that he asked my parents to bring me all the way to Sandusky, MI (about 40 miles) so that I could be with the horse and keep her calm before her maiden race!

I don’t seem to have any photos of me with those race horses. But here I am riding my uncle’s part-Quarter horse, Bronzie. When I was older, I was allowed to ride him out on the country roads by myself.

However, today I couldn’t go into the barns. These days, the area with the horses is kept secure. I’d heard that the Quarter Chute Cafe had a good view of the horses going back and forth to the track. I went out early, arriving about 7:30 am.

Though the place has been listed as one of the best breakfasts, let’s just say I did not find it so.   But the view was as advertised. I watched many horses walk out. The path was marked as “one-way during training times”. The outbound horses walked within about 15 feet of the restaurant window. The returning ones walked past and down the lane to the barns.

I drew so many horses as a kid that I can still draw them from memory! These are a composite of several I saw going by.

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A Weiner-ful day

After the sketch outing yesterday, I scooted over to Burien to see the Weinermobile! Another sketcher had alerted us to the fact it is on a PNW tour. I do enjoy sketching oddities like this.

I might have preferred a more interesting three-quarter view but that would have put me in the middle of the busy parking lot street!

I showed the  crew my sketch and they had me pose for a photo. It might appear in the #weinermobile Instagram.

As I left, they called out “Have a Weiner-ful day!”


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Nature walk at Nisqually

The Urban Sketchers Tacoma met yesterday at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. We seemed a smaller group than usual but perhaps it was either the distance or the holiday weekend.

It’s a beautiful place for a long walk and for seeing lots of birds and other wildlife.  I rather regretting not bringing my real camera.  The cell phone camera just doesn’t do it for this sort of photography.

frog in pond scum

Great Blue heron

At the end of our time there, we met back at the visitor’s center for our throw down and group photo.

After walking around for about an hour, I walked back to sketch the barns.

Nearby, I saw this intriguing tree with two holes, one big and one small. It didn’t look like anyone was living in the larger one.

More photos.

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Queen Anne Neighborhood

Urban Sketchers Seattle gathered this morning outside the Queen Anne Library. It was closed for renovation but there were many interesting public buildings and private homes and gardens to sketch in the blocks around.

Before we started, Frank noticed the moon hanging just above the cross of the nearby church.

Our numbers grew by the time we had our throw down and group photo, though one or two sketchers had to leave early.  Thanks to Kathleen K. for investigating this area for us!

After we first gathered, I walked down to Top Pot Doughnuts with Tina to use the facilities. We got coffee and then sat at a cafe table to sketch this jumble of satellite dishes.

Stillman & Birn Alpha

I walked back up to our starting neighborhood and looked around. I went back to the scene I first noticed. Kathleen told us that this street lamp was part of the history of Queen Anne Boulevard. It has been transplanted to the front of a home owner’s yard. In the background is the Queen Anne Masonic Center next door.

I found an image and some information about the street lamp:

Stonehenge Aqua 140# watercolor paper

More photos. 

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Farming Letters

Yesterday was the sort of weather my mother, of Irish heritage, would have called “a nice, soft day”. Blue sky, puffy clouds, about 70 degrees. I thought it was a perfect day for being out and about to sketch.

My destination was The Letter Farmer truck in Occidental Square. I’ve written about last Saturday’s Puget Sound Correspondence Society meet up with The Letter Farmer. I wanted to enjoy writing letters with the Farmer at her more usual location, which was also quieter than that brew pub!  

Rachel is the Farmer.  In addition to parking the truck at various locations, she does programs for schools.  She teaches young children about writing letters.  She also does corporate events.  As I wrote in my blog about Saturday’s event, the 20-somethings don’t know how to write letters, either.  As of next week, the truck will be in Occidental Square on Thursdays for September.  I’m glad I went today as I have a regular Thursday commitment.

First, I missed the bus. That’s just an opportunity to sketch. The Urban Sketchers Flickr group’s weekly them is “street furniture”. That doesn’t just mean chairs as it is actually an architectural term for all the items one sees on the street: benches, light poles, garbage bins, etc. This is the Orca card reader for the bus and trains. It’s near-field-communication so it works by tapping the card.

Occidental Park is on the south end of Pioneer Square in Seattle. It has become a gathering place, with many trendy cafes, available outdoor tables, and even outdoor games provided by the city.  The Letter Farmer was parked in a shady spot on the square.   Of course, the first order of business was to sketch the scene.

After doing this sketch, I sat down to write a few letters.

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