Catching up

We’ve had friends visiting since Thursday morning (23 April).  I’ve done some sketching and I’m going to just put them all here, rather than writing a separate post for each event.

First, I finished one from Port Gamble that I didn’t get around to coloring for almost a week!

On Friday, I took my friends to the Pompeii exhibit at the Pacific Science Center.  It was fairly crowded, so I took a few photos and did tiny thumbnail sketches in my pocket sketchbook.  This is the last stop for this traveling exhibit before it returns to Italy.

For Saturday, I got them on the crew compartment tour of the Space Shuttle Trainer at the Museum of Flight.  Since I’ve already done it, I watched their coats and belongings.  Sitting on the floor in a corner, I did this sketch of the newly repositioned Soyuz descent module.   The tail of the Space Shuttle trainer is above it.

This is also my contribution to the Worldwide Sketchcrawl Day # 47.  There was nothing organized locally.

It holds 3 people but it is very cramped:   6ft, 2 in (2.1 meters)long and only 7 ft 2 in (2.2 meters) in diameter.  It was this in which Charles Simonyi came back to earth from his tourist trip to the International Space Station with the Russians.  He bought it and donated it to the Museum.

Friends back on the train to home this afternoon.

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New sketchbook method

Now that I have so many sheets of Strathmore Series 500 Mixed Media paper, it’s time to make sketchbooks.  I just finished making a second leather bound one for Fort Nisqually’s shop.  While making it, I had the thought to use the same technique but with a heavy cardstock cover.

That is what I did today.  I bound a signature in which I’d already painted and added 3 more of the Strathmore paper.  The cover stock came from Artists and Craftsmen Supply in Seattle’s University district.  It is Daler-Rowney Canford Card Canford Imperial.  It’s at least 140 pounds.

The end paper is one of the new ones now available at Daniel Smith, Seattle.  They have converted a main floor office to a new room for papers.  It has wildflowers in it!

Folded closed.  I made it with the overlapping cover, just as the leather ones are.  I added an elastic band, threaded through the center of the spine, as I did with my faux-dori.

The long stitch.

Thanks to Janice Berkebile at Daniel Smith, Seattle, for the original instruction in her bookbinding workshops!

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Perfect day in the Seattle Chinese Garden

Urban Sketchers Seattle were graced with a perfect spring day to enjoy the Chinese Garden.  I was looking forward to this sketch outing as I knew the weather would be good and I had never been to this garden.

It did not disappoint.  I arrived a bit early and simply stopped at the first view.

After finishing this first sketch, I wandered around, enjoying the garden and looking for a second scene to sketch.  The huge carp sculpture was, perhaps, my second favorite place in the garden!

A carp becomes a dragon…. this is the “Dragon Seeker” sculpture.  According to traditional Chinese tale, a carp that could leap the high falls of the Yellow River at Dragon Gate (near Longmen, Zhejiang) would be transformed into a dragon.  This Dragon Seeker was made in Thailand over 100 years ago. More recently, a Seattle couple had it in their garding in Kuala Lumpur.  When they returned to Seattle, they donated him to the Chinese Garden.

As I was lingering in the Knowing the Spring Courtyard, I started to hear music.  I gravitated in its direction and found Michael playing the traditional Erhu.  Such beautiful music was a perfect end to a perfect sketch outing in this lovely Garden!  He allowed me to make a couple photos.  I also did a very fast sketch.

Group photo in the Knowing the Spring Courtyard

More photos here

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Port Gamble

It was a beautiful day for a Sketchers’ outing to Port Gamble.  What started out as the Pacific NW Sketchbook Skool group has evolved into simply PNW Sketchers.  We came together from all around Puget Sound.  We first met on line and now we’ve met in person.

The group first gathered at the Port Gamble General Store.

Then Judi and I went across the street for a lovely morning tea with scones at The Tea Room.

Thus fortified, I sketched the classic town icon.

Then it was time to meet up again at the General Store for lunch and sketchbook sharing.

After I just wandered the small main street but didn’t sketch anymore.

All the photos are here.

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It’s still National Volunteer Week.  I used my badge for free admission to the Woodland Park Zoo.  The weather was perfect for a zoo outing.  There were multiple bus loads of elementary school children but the park was big enough that it wasn’t too bad.  At least no one shoved me out of their way as happened at the aquarium (done by a parent!).  There was still a lot of screaming and I pity the animals having to endure that day in and day out.

Otters are my favorite wild animal.  The river otter area was my objective and I went straight there.  I was disappointed as there were no otters to be seen.  Staff were working in the enclosure so it seemed the otters had been removed.

I went back to the eagle’s nest, where they posed quite nicely for me.

This is as close as I got to otters.

River Otter sculpture (didn’t see a sign but might also be the work of Tony Angell)

More photos here.

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Tonight’s AFK Drink & Draw featured Torah as a “very different” Alice.  Great costume, excellent modeling!  I’ll put a couple of my favorites from the evening here.  The rest are in my flickr “people” album and scroll to the bottom..

Always listen to your flamingo.


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Tacoma Conservatory

The Urban Sketchers Tacoma met at the WW Seymour Botanical Conservatory today.  I was early and it was a nice day, so I started with a sketch outside the building.

Then inside to get warmer.  Neither sculpture of this figure with the tongue was labelled, so I don’t know its significance.

Back outside for one last sketch.  The tree had lots of pinkish white blooms.

The group:

More photos here:


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Indoors at Outdoor World

Today’s solo sketch outing started out as a “Duh!”.  It’s National Volunteer Week.  There is a large list of museums offering reciprocal entry to each other’s volunteers.  So with my Museum of Flight badge, I can go to a lot of museums for free this week.  I sat down yesterday and made a plan to visit some I’ve never been to before.

I’d planned to go to the Washington State History Museum after Wednesday’s Tacoma Sketch outing.  But then I thought I might not have enough time and decided to go today, since it is supposed to rain.  I drove all the way there to then realize I’d failed to check the hours….. and it is closed today!  Sigh.

As I drove down, I noted the sign for Bass Pro shops.  I’d thought I might eventually scope it out as a possible sketching venue.  I decided today is that day.

Wow.  There’s a lot of dead animals there!  For those who are anti-hunting, it might not be a place to sketch.  However, there are lots of other things to sketch besides the mounts!  It’s huge.  It’s an impressive environment.  I felt like I’d stepped into “Outdoor Man” the fictional store in “Last Man Standing” with Tim Allen.

All photos here.

As I entered, I just stopped in the huge lobby. There were chairs so I sat to sketch the opposite wall.  As I wrote in my book, within the range of vision as I moved my head side to side and up and down, there were 62 trophies mounted on the walls.

Stillman & Birn Zeta hardbound (5.25×8.5) 180#/270gsm; Platinum Carbon Black in a Platinum Cool Pen; Daniel Smith Watercolors


Once inside, this is looking down the main aisle to the huge tank of live fish.

These models don’t move!

I almost bought Duck Butts!  There is a very funny story by Dave Berry involving these duck lures in a punch bowl!

There is an amazing bowling alley

Between all the scenes, the mounts, the merchandise displays and the building itself, I think it could be a good sketch outing.  It’s only about 10 min past the Tacoma Dome on I-5.

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Sketching in Fremont again

The previous time Urban Sketchers met in Fremont my priority was seeing the Troll.  This time, I sketched another Fremont icon….Lenin.  The statue had been defaced.  A passerby commented on the defacement, “don’t they know the statue is ironic?”.  My thought was that perhaps the person(s) defacing it had been or had family who had been, victims.  I can almost always see two sides.  Written on the back of the statue was: “Bloodthirsty tyrant;
Murdered 50 million souls; Repudiate him!”   From the webpage, linked above, “This sculpture is placed here in the Artist’s Republic of Fremont, as a symbol of an artistic spirit that outlasts regimes and ideologies, and as tangible proof that art does outlive politics.”

Opposite the corner where Lenin stood was the “Space in Fremont” set of sculptures.  They looked like planets hanging from poles.  I sketched the group of them, all on one page.

with photo collage of the plaque

Even the sidewalk was decorated with a space-y theme.

By the time I finished sketching the final blue one, I was quite chilled. It was not as nice a day as Wednesday or Thursday!   So back to our meeting place, Fremont Coffee, for a hot

Then we shared our sketches.

All photos here.

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Red Sonja!

Back to AFK for Drink and Draw tonight.  I missed last week’s session due to Norwescon.  Tonight we enjoyed Alicia, costumed as Red Sonja.  She’s an excellent model with a fabulous costume.  She’s at Horse & Hound Creations.

I’ll start with my favorite of the evening.  It was about a 10 minute sketch but I needed extra time for color.

Stillman & Birn Zeta hardbound (5.25×8.5) 180#/270gsm; Platinum Carbon Black in a Platinum Cool Pen; Daniel Smith Watercolors

Back to the beginning with the 2 minute pencil sketches.

Bee Super Deluxe  9×2 spiral (93#/150gsm); pencil

Then time for more color.

Bee Super Deluxe  9×2 spiral (93#/150gsm); Platinum Carbon Black in a Platinum Cool Pen; Daniel Smith Watercolors

4 weapons!

Stillman & Birn Zeta hardbound (5.25×8.5) 180#/270gsm; Platinum Carbon Black in a Platinum Cool Pen; Daniel Smith Watercolors

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