Saturday, July 22, 2017

Summer colors

Day 22 - summer colors 
Nothing says summer like an ice cold slice of watermelon! That red, juicy color is so much fun to paint in watercolor!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Day 21, Wind in the Trees

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Wind in the trees, Day 21 for #worldwatercolormonth I just wanted you to hear them whispering in the wind. 
Wind in the Trees

These are the trees I planted 40 years ago with our children. Squirrels scamper up and down the trunks and a hawk uses the tallest ones as a lookout. Hummingbirds rest on the twigs, looking over my garden for something to sip. Here's a link to my 11 second video.

As usual, I am playing fast and loose with the "daily" prompts for WorldWatercolorMonth. I acutally just finished painting this today! 7/23/2017"Getting Wet"--I see there's still time, so I might find a way to add that one in as well. :)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Skies

Front seat sketching, on location and out of the wind. 
We are so used to dramatic skies here in the Pacific NW that it's been a challenge to be inspired with plain old boring blue skies for the past month. Even though I painted this watercolor to fulfill the Day 5 challenge for World Watercolor Month, I actually had to wait for day 20 before being inspired.
It finally did rain a little today. I drove about 5 minutes from home to park at a soccer field where a perfectly inspirational summer sky was waiting to be painted. Without any preliminary drawing I used my #10 Escoda travel brush and Prima watercolor set on 140lb Fabriano Artistico CP watercolor paper.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Piggybacking on a Piggybank

We made a quick exit from lazing around at home to join our son and his family at Pike Place Market yesterday. I had a handmade DIY sketchbook in my bag just in case!

However, I never really count on having enough time to do any sketching when out and about with family and friends who don't draw.
To me, family time is so valuable, I wouldn't want to isolate myself for any long period of time while everyone else is visiting. So here's a couple of rough (really rough!)10 minute sketches from our afternoon at the new Market Front at Pike Place Market.
It's amusing to see how determined kids are, trying to get on Billie the Piggybank. They usually end up clinging onto the slippery bronze statue piggyback style. One of the best views of the Seattle skyline looking south can be seen from the outdoor area near the Desimone Bridge. I did manage to rough in the Great Wheel, the stadiums, the viaduct and even Mt. Rainier!

It really was a beautiful summer day to be out in Seattle.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Family afternoon at Pike Place Market

We have out of town family here for an extended visit so when they asked if we wanted to go to Pike Place Market this afternoon, we agreed. We hadn't yet had an opportunity to see the new MarketFront in person. We parked on the north end of the market. As we walked down the street towards the market, I had to get a shot of this!
A passerby stood for a long time at the front end of the car looking at the false eyelashes on the headlights and reading something."Excessories" was spelled out in a mosaic of beads on the rear passenger door.  Compared to the handbags, rows of sunglasses, boots, beads, and shoes plastered all over the car I was struck by the little Smart car in all its minimal simplicity nearby. 
I guess the leash law includes tourist pigs who come to see "Billie the Piggybank" as she sits in a new spot at the Market Front. A large group of Seattle urban sketchers were just around the corner, participants in a workshop with Kia Keane and Melanie Reim. See #uskseattle for photos of the event.
The new terrace gives us a great view and the afternoon sun casts a glow on our son and his family.
What would a trip to the market be without sensory input from the flower stalls? 
Easy traffic on Old Hwy 99 got us here in time to watch the sunset at Gardner Bay.
I love this spot for viewing the sunset. I am amazed at how many beautiful paintings there are in a single sunset. There's a new one about every 20 minutes. I'm counting this for Day 12 of World Watercolor Month-Golden Evenings. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Day 13 - Popsicles

These are all my favorite flavors. It was a special treat to buy Popsicles when we were little. With 6 children in the family and very hot summers in Eastern Washington, you would have had to own  a franchise to keep up with the rate of consumption we would have achieved. 

My Mom kept the sticks from store bought Popsicles, washed them in hot soapy water, then used them in homemade "popsicles". No fancy popsicle freezer forms for us! We made them in squares from Kool Aid in aluminum ice cube trays. At the time, my favorite flavor was grape.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Northwest School and our Newest Urban Sketchers

Every time I sketch in Seattle with the urban sketchers Seattle group I learn something new about our city. Today was an enhancement of that experience because Tina Koyama and I were privileged to share a morning of sketching with Matt Fujimoto and his summer camp students from the Northwest School.
Tina and Matt walking down Pike Street with Northwest School sketchers.
We allowed a peek into our sketch kits while in the classroom. After sharing some more tips ("It doesn't have to be perfect!") and some reminders about the difference between plein air painting and urban sketching ("50 lbs. lighter equipment to carry") we all walked down Pike Street to the corner of Boren and Pike.

Our destination was Plymouth Pillars Park, a lovely little dog friendly green space that gave us all quite enough room to spread out and choose our individual subjects.(Cat friendly, too! There was a tuxedo cat on a leash taking a nice stroll in the park this morning.)
Matt helping his students with their sketches.
Tina (in foreground) getting an overview of our fellow sketchers at the park this morning.
The newest Seattle Urban Sketchers share their work.
I truly enjoyed seeing our little corner of the city through the eyes of these 11-15 year old sketchers. They drew everything from people to animals to buildings, signage and more!
My sketch of the Wintonia Hotel, overlayed by decades of city "furniture".
I chose this view of the old Wintonia Hotel, quite an impressive building, even now. It appeared to be loosely basted into the fabric of today's city with power lines, street car lines and signage. The pair of sneakers strung together by their laces and tossed over a power line seemed to put us firmly into the present.
The hotel currently serves as low income housing. See how it looked in its heyday in this detailed illustration with horse drawn carriages, "new" touring cars and street cars in front. You might even say that we have always had urban sketchers in Seattle. With this new small group from Northwest School I hope we always will.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Views

Here's a fresh watercolor for Day 11, Summer Views, for the World Watercolor Month challenge.

I feel incredibly fortunate that my husband and I can take a day off and spend it meandering around some of our favorite places. This is the summer view at Bay View State Park, where the tide is exceptionally low right now. The little weather beaten float has its own pedestal of mud and seaweed for a view all the way across the Bay. There's a brisk breeze but the air isn't too cold with a windbreaker on....and it smells so fresh! 7-10-17

I decided to try out my new 6x12 handbook Field Watercolor Journal. It was a generous gift from a student in my spring classes. Skies wet in wet and drybrush techniques are a bit tricky with this paper but watercolor pigment lifts beautifully for highlights.

We are not too far from the Breazeale Interpetive Center, where an art auction will feature one of my watercolors. Proceeds benefit the Padilla Bay

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Blast from the Past in Georgetown

Seattle Urban Sketchers met in the Georgetown neighborhood this morning at the Bank of America (Georgetown branch) parking lot for July's monthly outing. It was the occasion of the 22nd Annual Georgetown Garden Walk.
On my drive towards the sketchers' meet up, I was looking forward to seeing the historical homes and luxurious gardens that the neighborhood had to offer. It was the first time I had been here with USk. Upon arrival, I received a map of the Garden Walk which listed 59 officially numbered options. Where to start?
As a group of us started walking down Carleton Ave S. towards the only known restroom provided, we saw unusual buildings (one with a question mark worked into the pattern of roofing shingles), a plein air painter working in oils, and lots of invitingly shady gardens.
We reached Oxbow Park and I realized I had found my subject, albeit not a garden. The largest cowboy hat in the world and a matching pair of gigantic boots stood proudly at the end of the park, remnants of the 50's. These unique buildings have been lovingly restored and moved here from the gas station they previously occupied. The boots were originally used as the gas station restrooms.

I found a shady spot at the west end of the park where Kathleen was also intrigued by the unusual shaped buildings. As I sketched, Joseph sang Native American songs, played the flute and accompanied himself on the hand drum. Across the street another relic of the '40's and '50's, a classic teardrop trailer, was all set up as a cupcake stand.
At 12:30 we shared our sketches. It was another beautiful summer day spent sketching in Seattle with the urban sketchers.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Summer Tunes, Hummingbird

Day 9 - Summer Tunes
My Agapanthus are starting to open up and we are getting hummingbirds every afternoon! Warm summer days make me think of B.B. King somehow. Did you know he wrote a song called 
Hummingbird by BB King