Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last sketches of 2014

Fireworks, dim sum, and Lily in the laundry. 
New Year's Eve in Hawaii is a whole different experience than in the Seattle area. The day started out ordinarily enough. We met for lunch at Jade Dynasty Seafood for Dim Sum. The majestic bronze horses at the entry doors wore festive wreaths with red bows. We tried some new dishes and enjoyed our favorite Char Siu Bao. Then we shopped a bit, since the restaurant is located at Ala Moana in Honolulu.

At home in Kailua, the after dinner firecracker and booming explosions start in earnest. Our ears are ringing. By the time dusk arrives, the air is foggy with smoke and it smells like gunpowder. We've put Lily the family pug in the bathroom to lessen the noise for her, but she still shakes and tries to hide in the laundry basket.

Then the neighborhood show begins. All around us there is a constant display of cascading, starlike clustering, bursting fireworks. It builds to a crashing, booming, blinding crescendo at midnight and finally peters out with only an occasional blast for the next few hours. Lily and I finally can go to sleep.

Update: On Jan 2, #klsketchnation featured this sketch as one of their sketch inspirations #mysketchinspiration on Instagram. They wrote these very nice comments:
"Get out, travel and make a journal out of it. You are your own story. So why not have your own storybook."

KLsketchnation is an online community of sketching enthusiasts out and about in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My DYI Sketchcrawl Along the King Kam Hwy-Part 2

Continued from yesterday's post.........

After finishing our sketches at Fumi's Shrimp Stand, my son and I kept driving toward the famous beaches on the North Shore route of King Kamehameha Hwy. We weren't quite ready for lunch yet so we followed the slow line of traffic, with passing views of Shark's Cove, Sunset, Pipeline and Waimea Bay. NOW we were hungry. We had lunch in Haleiwa, a charming town famous for Matsumoto's Shave Ice. The line out the door at Matsumoto's was two and three people wide all the way around the building and along one side of the parking lot. Too long! No dessert for us! The light was perfect for sketching so we headed back the way we came toward Turtle Bay.

We literally drove to the end of the road and found a wonderfully secluded beach. Two men were reef fishing.  They allowed us to see their catch, two unicorn fish or "kala" in Hawaiian. I got a quick glance in the bottom of the bucket and drew this fish from memory. Sorry, no sketch of the orangey pink one.
As the light began to fade, an unusual optical illusion made the figures on the distant reefs seem comparatively much larger than you would expect.

We needed to get home before dark, so reluctantly returned to the car with the sound of the surf in our ears and a little salt spray on our skin.
Matt's photo of the surf at our hidden beach. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

My DYI Sketchcrawl Along the King Kam Hwy-Part 1

With two little granddaughters to enjoy and lots of shopping trips the past week or two, my correspondence with painting friends at home near Seattle and here on Oahu has been sadly neglected. Aloha, guys, I know the holidays are a busy time for you as well. Hope we get a chance to sketch together in Hawaii before I return to the freezing weather back home.

Meanwhile, my son who does not claim to be an artist, took me on our own independent South Pacific Sketchcrawl yesterday. ( Is it a crawl if you drive from spot to spot?) I'll post more pages tomorrow, but for now:
I sketched in my Stillman and Birn Beta while Matt used a stylus and an app on his smart phone. 
The wind farms and shrimp farm aquaculture exist along the same stretch of the King Kamehameha Highway along the North Shore of Oahu. The wind farms are on hilltops and the shrimp stands sell their garlicky, buttery wares on the right hand roadside on your way to the famous North Shore surfing beaches. 

We caught our first sketch at Kahuku Wind Farm. A wide turnout with an unused approach to another facility provided us with plenty of parking room to get the right angle and sketch from the cool air conditioned leather seats in the car. Luxury! Zoom to read more notes on my journal page

We have always pulled over at Giovanni's, unable to resist the promise of the intense flavor of fresh hot shrimp swimming in garlic and butter, piled on top of "two scoop rice". This time we parked on the shoulder about 500 yards ahead of the parking lot at Fumi's. Their shrimp are cooked whole, heads and all and don't seem to have as much garlic as other stands. Each stand has a covered area with picnic tables where customers can enjoy their hot, fresh shrimp. We were there for the sketching this time, however. The scene was a colorist's dream, with a powder blue shack next to a bright yellow van, overlapping an orange tour bus. Then cosmic forces somehow took over and the two vehicles drove off before I could sketch them. Whyyyyyyy! It never fails.....look at something long enough and it will move! Just for that I recorded the flat tire on the pickup/road sign.

Part Two coming up tomorrow!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

How I became a Correspondent for Seattle Urban Sketchers

Looking across Livingston Bay toward Marysville. 
Drawing, painting and anything to do with art has always been my passion. I love sharing my discoveries and have taught adult watercolor classes from Bellingham and Anacortes to Kirkland, Camano Island and Seattle since 1979. I am a contributing author to two publications printed by Northlight Books, "The Ultimate Guide to Painting from Photographs" and Gary Greene's "Artists' Photo Reference". Funny, eh?, for a person who prefers sketching on location!
Cap Sante with Anacores Sketchers

Last summer I decided to take a break from teaching classes and workshops to recharge my creative batteries. I met with the Anacortes Sketchers on Mondays. I wandered alone at will, sketching and painting in and out of the studio.

Little did I know how the summer would change on June 28 by treating myself to an urban sketchers workshop cosponsored by USk Seattle and SAM.

Busy Market Day on Broadway, Capital Hill, Seattle. 
 was looking for sketching companions and found so much more. It was great to be a student for once, letting Frank, Gail and Gabi guide me through my old familiar haunts at Pike Place Market, seeing their ways of interpreting the sights, sounds and action. Ever since then I have met weekly with  the Friday sketchers as well as on a Sunday or two with the Seattle urban sketchers.

I am honored to have been invited to be a correspondent for the Urban Sketchers Seattle blog. They put the right words to my journey, "seeing the world, one drawing at a time". I look forward to sharing my stories with you and the sketches that illustrate them.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter in Kailua

These two pages describe winter in Kailua this past week.
A glass float with light coming in through a window while it rained outside, a sunset walk on the beach and a marshmallow snowman who sat in a big cup of hot chocolate. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Marshmallow Snowmen

Since it got down to a chilly 63 degrees at night, we warmed up with hot chocolate and marshmallow snowmen. I made them by stacking three large marshmallows onto a straw. Then I used tiny gold pearls for the eyes, a sliver of orange Starburst candy shaped as a carrot nose, black frosting for the smile, and pretzel sticks for arms. His cozy scarf was a sour belt wrapped around and tied.

It was such fun to make these while everyone slept and surprise them in the morning! Seems all ages love snowmen, real or marshmallow ones!

(I don't have a scanner here, so sometimes the exposure on the photos isn't the best)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

After the rain

Micron pen line drawing and watercolor. 
This is the view of the Koolau Mountains from the South Pacific Studio today. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Glass Fishing Float

Tropical downpour is keeping us indoors today. As I look around the house, I see something that reminds me of the beautiful ocean not too far from here.
Blown glass fishing float

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sketching, Snacking and Chasing Birds in the Park

Three days of activities with Leila. 
There are lots of things to do at the South Pacific Studio with two sweet little girls to keep up with. This two page spread is about Leila, our five year old granddaughter.  Trust me when I say that we are both sketching nearly every day. There is barely enough time to post our adventures before we are off on another one. These sketches are from Dec 14, 17 and 19. 

We don't have a scanner here so pardon the perspective and focus of handheld iPhone photos. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Too windy for the beach

The life guard stand sits on the highest point overlooking Kailua Beach. 
There was too much sand blowing around on the windy beach this afternoon, so Leila and I chose a picnic table in the grassy part of the park for our sketching session. Quite a few people came over the dunes with their beach towels flapping like flags, wrapped around their sand blasted heads and torsos. 

Leila's hair streamed behind her as she took a break to chase a few doves across the lawn. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tea and sketching

Having flower tea and sketching with my 5 year old and 1 year old granddaughters.  Obviously, my sketch is nowhere near as comprehensive of the experience as Leila's. 
Leila's sketch with self portrait. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12/13/14 at Ala Moana

We spent a day shopping at Ala Moana in Waikiki. The Marina Tower Waikiki is an award-winning architectural landmark with glass elevators soaring 40 stories high, providing spectacular panoramic ocean views from Magic Island to Waikiki Beach to Diamond Head. 
A day at Ala Moana shopping center. It means "path to the sea" in Hawaiian. 
We could see the unusual cantilevered roof from the parking lot at the Ala Moana Mall. I couldn't find info on the design, but to me it looks like an ocean wave as it crests.
A bronze fountain in the koi ponds. 
Several koi ponds lined with lava rock walls and garden landscaping run the length of the open air main floor level of the mall.

Every day during the holiday season there is a free hula show at Centerstage in the Mall. It only lasted for 20 minutes, during which they presented 5 different dances. We missed the first two. I had to sketch quickly while the dancers turned and moved in every direction! I finally resorted to getting what I could of their costumes. 

BTW, this will be the last consecutive calendar date for the next 20 years! 12/13/14

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Chicks in the Median

    Here's a perfect combination of urban and rural sketching. We crossed the street on our way to Macy's and there in the median was a hen, digging for a little snack for her chicks.
    She was a very diligent digger, so between the far flung leaves coming our way and the temptation of Macy's One Day Sale right there across the street, this was a very quick rough sketch indeed. 

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Quick breakfast

    Busy week. Barely enough time to have breakfast. It's hard to resist our daughter's homemade strawberry jam, though.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Meanwhile, outside the cosy tasting room...

    A very cold day in Anacortes
    I stayed a little longer on Monday to finish the color on the copper still. The sun goes down early here and I wanted to run some errands on the way home, so I finished up at the distillery around 4:20-ish. I posted that spread yesterday.

    On the way home, there were tempting views I hadn't seen before of the Cascade Mountains and Mt. Baker. (I'll be back!) Nevertheless, this time I went to a spot where I know I can safely park and sketch. It simply proved too hard to resist! Today I finished it with watercolor while sipping my latte at home. Ahhhhh! Fulfillment!

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Deception Distillery in Anacortes

    Today I joined the Anacortes sketchers at the Deception Distillery in Anacortes. We got a tour of the distillery and adjoining barrel room as well as the warehouse full of beautiful marble slabs.
    These barrels are empty, waiting for a new batch of moonshine. The mystery object was discovered to be Roy's missing jet ski.
    Although it was an icy cold day and the warehouse wasn't much warmer, I just had to stay out there and  sketch the barrels above me in the attic.
    Empty barrels in the attic
    Unaged whiskey is called moonshine
    The hammered copper kettle with its pear shaped helmet and two steam columns looked like a beautiful polished musical instrument. The staff nicknamed the still Jeannie, since it reminds them of the bottle from which a Genie appeared in fables.

    Paul, our host and guide, offered a taste of the Apple Pie and Blueberry Apple Pie spirits or the gin. Needless to say, we all stayed cozy and warm while sketching in the elegant tasting room!