Stonehouse show

This afternoon was my “end of show” reception, hosted by Patrick, owner of the Stonehouse Bakery.   A few people came but I wasn’t expecting many as end of show isn’t really a thing.

Since there weren’t a lot of people, I had a chance to do a sketch.  This is the view from the outside patio of the bakery, looking across Lake Washington.  It’s one of the “10 Best View Restaurants in Seattle”.

Sadly, I learned that Patrick is going to have to move by the end of the year.  He already has a line on one new place.  However, it would be hard to find a place as charming as this old field stone building.

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First Pumpkins of the season

Last night was a USk Tacoma ad hoc outing to Van Lierop Garden Market in Sumner.  We were there as part of a Wine Walk event in the town.  The Garden Market hosted several artists in addition to providing wine tasting.

I gravitated straight to the orange squashes, though I guess they’re not really pumpkins.

These sculptural planters were labeled “Pot Heads”.   Lots of people stopped to look at them and have a laugh.

This time I did try the wine as I could ask for just a sip to get the taste.  The “sweet white” was Late Harvest Washington Hills 2015 Washington State Riesling.  It was very good and I’m going to look for it.

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Winery Sketching

The Friday group of Urban Sketches Seattle met further afield then usual today. We went out to the Chateau Ste Michelle winery northeast of Seattle. It is a beautiful grounds… from the vines in the fields to beautiful lawns, garden alcoves, waterfalls with pools. This is the winery’s 50th Anniversary.

My carpool of 4 arrived early. I walked back out to the gate to meet sketchers and tell them to drive further in to park. So, of course, I sketched the gate in my tiny 4×6 in book while I waited.

My primary subject today was the Chateau.  The winery occupies the site of Hollywood Farm, a 206 acre dairy farm built between 1910 and 1911 by a wealthy industrialist, Frederick S. Stimson, for an agricultural demonstration project and country estate.

After finishing, I still had a bit of time, so I walked back out to the fields to do a small sketch of the vines and grapes, again in the 4×6 book.  These are Campbells Early Grapes which is an old variety. It is not as prone to mildew in our cool climate. The wines are not of the quality of the European varieties so these are not production vines. “These are our oldest vines and were planted before the Chateau was built”.

We shared our sketches and had our group phone in the usual tourist location.

Feather is missing from the photo.

And I didn’t even try any wine!

More photos:

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The intrepid four

When we planned the Urban Sketchers Tacoma sketch outing for today at the Pt. Defiance Marina, it was at the height of the long, hot, dry, summer. We forgot that it would one day rain again. The venue had no rain cover and, of course, it was pouring rain at the time the sketch outing was to start.

Only four intrepid sketchers came. We agreed to disperse to our shelter of choice. Roy and Dennis went to the Boat House, where we’d sketched last month. Frances and I preferred warmer shelter and went to the Antique Sandwich shop.

The statue, Colombo, was carved for the 1893 Columbia Exhibition in Chicago using Italian Carrara marble, which is the same used by Michelangelo. The owner of the sandwich shop bought it at auction.  I searched but couldn’t find any information about the statue under that name.

(World’s Columbian Exposition [the official shortened name for the World’s Fair: Columbian Exposition] also known as the Chicago World’s Fair and Chicago Columbian Exposition)

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Time change for closing reception

Talked with Patrick at Stonehouse Bakery today.  Time for the closing reception has changed to an hour earlier so will be from 1 to 3 pm on Sunday, September 24.

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Ballard Locks

Though rain was finally predicted, it held off until our sketch outing was finished. A larger group than usual showed up to the Ballard Locks sketch outing today.  There were some first time sketchers and even a couple new sketchers moving here… one from Boston and one from NYC! And there was a visitor from Spokane.  Welcome all!

Here’s what the locks are all about:

It is the centennial of the locks this year.

I did quite a bit of wandering around before I sat down to do my only sketch of the day. I decided to go big… or at least larger than usual. My sketchbook today was 9×12 inches. This is the second time I’ve sketched the railway bridge open.

“The Salmon Bay Bridge, also known as Bridge No. 4, is a single-leaf bascule bridge spanning across Salmon Bay and connecting Magnolia/Interbay to Ballard in Seattle, Washington. … Built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railway, it has an opening span of 61 meters (200 feet) and has two tracks.”

While starting to work on my large sketch, a crow flew in near me. So I grabbed my tiny sketchbook to do a quick gesture drawing of it!  I later added it into my color sketch.

I asked for the stamps at the Corps of Engineers visitor center.

There are several sketchers not in the group photo as they had to leave early!  I think we were at least 30 today.

Thanks to Dan’s son, Colin, for taking the group photo!

More photos here 

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Closing Reception

My show of prints hung at the Stonehouse Bakery will close next weekend.  Patrick, the baker and owner, is sponsoring a closing reception.  He’ll be making the delicious treats again, as he did for the opening!

EDIT:  September 24  Time Change:  It’s from 1 to 3 pm.

Stonehouse Bakery
9701 Rainier Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98118

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Park(ing) Day

Urban Sketchers Tacoma participated in the Tacoma Park(ing) Day.  It was just one of many locations participating in International Park(ing) Day.

“Park(ing) Day is an international event in which artists, citizens, and businesses will temporarily transform a metered parking spot into temporary public space. Park(ing) Day’s mission is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, generate discussion and debate around how public space is utilized, and to improve the quality of urban habitat.”

I was joined by Frances, Feather and AJ.  Only got a photo of Frances and me:

We met several people who were very interested in joining us for outings in the future.  I hope we see them soon.

During the 4 hours, I managed to do one sketch of the corner of the Children’s Museum across the street.  I stopped many times to talk to visitors to our park!


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Day 3 of Abbey Sketch Trip

Right after breakfast I headed out to the viewpoint which overlooks the Fraser river. I again used Marc Taro Holms’ wet in wet “charging in” technique (see previous, Day 2, post about the sunset).

Walking back from the viewpoint, I looked for a view that one of the sketchers had painted yesterday. The Abbey’s bell tower peaks over the hill top.

After lunch was the time to sketch the front view of the guest house, Abbey Bell tower and a bit of the church. The architectural element on the right is exactly over the baptismal pool (with waterfalls!).  This is my favorite sketch of the entire trip. Roy, one of the sketchers on the trip, is in the foreground.

Late in the afternoon I returned to the interior of the church.  I’d wanted to capture the reflected glow from the windows on the statue.

Brother Meinrad stayed after dinner to view our sketch sharing.

As we do on an Urban Sketchers outing, we took a group photo.  Brother Meinrad holds a sketch that Roy gave to him.

Day 3 photos

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Day 2 of Abbey sketch retreat

Day 1 Monday, Sept 11, 2017; travel to the Abbey

Day 2, Tuesday, Sept 12, 2017; first full day at Abbey

A group of 4 sketchers made a “sketching retreat” to Westminster Abbey in Mission, BC, Canada. That’s a little over an hour east of Vancouver, BC. It is a very quiet place with no internet, no TV, no radio and no newspapers. I had cell coverage but I didn’t use it much. Some of our group participated in the worship life of the abbey as well.

We arrived late afternoon on Monday so I didn’t get any sketching in that day. I got settled into my simple room and then we walked the grounds a bit together. The Monastery has 200 acres, not all of which is available to us but there is an extensive system of trails. We were warned against going out to the farm as “there is a guard dog”.

The morning on Tuesday was quite foggy. I’d thought to go to the viewpoint but thought better of it, given the fog. So I walked down to the stone cross I’d noticed in a field and discovered it to be the Abbey cemetery.

Since it was still very misty, I next explored the church and sketched there. Even on such a cloudy day, the stained glass windows glowed.

After lunch the weather cleared and became a bit too hot to sit in the sun. One of the sketchers told me of a shrine in the woods so I went in search of it.

Another shady spot had a view of these intricate red gates. They do not border a fence so I don’t know their purpose, other than, perhaps, to keep vehicles off the internal road. It leads to a large shed where the tractor and trailer are stored.  I later discovered 3 of us had all sketched these gates!

One of the monks sat with us at table for all of our meals. Breakfast was the younger Brother Maximus. Lunch was the guestmaster, Father Mark. Dinner was the genial Brother Meinrad. Since he knew we were artists, he took us into some of the private areas of the monastery to see the art. There are murals done by one of the monks.

In the evening, after dinner, I watched Marc Taro Holms’ Craftsy class on Travel sketching (I had downloaded it to my tablet so I could watch without access to internet).  I tried his wet on wet, “charging in” technique to sketch the sunset out my 2nd story window.

Day 1 photos

Day 2 photos


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