Friday, January 29, 2016

Sketching these might literally end up in a "Crawl"

I am still shaking my head at those meals loaded on top of Bloody Marys that we saw at Lake Forest Bar & Grill. While participating in the World Wide Sketch Crawl on Saturday, I glanced over at an adjacent table and saw this! (My SD card went wacky, so more great photos are missing) But, really! Can this even be called a garnish?!

Turns out that there is a similar thing on Queen Ann at a bar called Sport.

Queen Anne
Every Sunday (at least during football season), this Seattle
Center-adjacent sports bar opens up a build-your-own
Bloody Bar stocked with 70 different ingredients designed
for AM alcohol consumption, including 32 different hot sauces. 
I still think we stumbled upon the ultimate, though. Well, except
for a place in Milwaukee that has one
loaded with a whole fried chicken!
What kind of phenomenon IS this, anyway!
What's next? A whole suckling pig or a side of beef?
Here's a surprising list of Seattle places, including a petition for the day after Super Bowl to be National Hangover Day! Ha!
Now wouldn't THAT be an idea for a sketch crawl! Literally! (Tina thought of it first) I like it! There is a way to avoid actually crawling your way home: Nobody says you have to put alcohol in your drink. You can still pile an unseemly load of high sodium fried snacks on top of it and then sketch and munch, sketch and munch.

Poor, Liz Steel. I can just imagine her cringing about this as she tightens her grip on one of her tastefully elegant teacups and reaches for another cucumber sandwich.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

USK Seattle in the Melrose Neighborhood, Take 2

Click here for closeup

1/24/16 Sunday's sketches from USKSeattle Sketchcrawl -- I sketched here with USKSeattle in February, 2015
Last time, I spent the day outdoors. This time, I decided to come inside more often.

I started out on the corner across the street from Starbucks Roastery, drawing the logo sign on the roof corner, (if you zoom in,  top right,you can see Gail siting her sketch) then I followed the bronze coffee beans embedded in the sidewalk in front of Starbucks' front door.
A trail of bronze coffee beans and a rain-soaked leaf pointed the way downhill to Melrose Market
I ended up half a block down the street at the Melrose Market. What a wonderful place! From the main corridor, you can get an overview of the entire marketplace, but it was fascinating to watch the busy chefs at work in the kitchen at Sitka & Spruce. A beautiful tray of fresh baked scones loomed tantalizingly on the butcher block counter, tiny flowers were placed at the chef's table.

A pair of sketchers, a red door, pussy willows in a vase atop an old oak barrel.
Harris was kind enough to let me get this shot with her cell phone camera. Thanks, H!

I counted 36 sketchers on the sidewalk outside the Melrose Market sharing their "catch of the day", but I know several who were not able to stay the entire session. I'm sure Jane will soon post up one of the group photos she got in front of Starbucks.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

World Wide Sketch Crawl Day #50

A leisurely breakfast to start the sketch crawl at home.
It was another rainy downpour of a day as I packed up my sketch kit and hopped in the car to meet with Tina for World Wide Sketch Crawl Day #50. Once I navigated the soggy, wet freeway to Lake Forest Park, I arrived at Third Place Commons and soon Tina found me working my way around the tables, looking for her.

We decided to have lunch at the nearby Lake Forest Bar & Grill while catching up on all the news since the last time we had seen each other. Lunch turned into "second breakfast" once we saw the menu.

It was still pouring down rain, so we went back to the Commons, a large indoor space with a bookstore, restaurants, empty stage and plenty of large tables and chairs just right for a long sketch session. I was fascinated by the automated fresh squeezed orange juice machine and the woman on her smart phone who leaned her crutches on it.
My two page spread after WWSCD at Third Place Commons (Tap here for closeup)
I would have liked to sketch the workers at Kitto, but they proved too elusive at first. Naturally, as we prepared to leave, three of them came to the front and presented such a nice group to sketch! Oh, well, another time. I thought the two of us did pretty well for only having one day of advance planning. See Tina's blog for a photo she took of us with our sketches today.
Driving south on I-5 to meet Tina this morning

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tanning your octopi

So, we're driving along Oneawa Street, going back home from Sunday brunch at the crepe place and.......Whaaaaat!?
Screech! We slowed way down, then had to drive round the block, and drop me off to take a few shots of this batch of octopi drying in the sun. I could have sketched this, I guess, but sometimes it's just better to take a photo.
Tanning a batch of octopi
Closer, closer, closer! Sorry, but I just can't stop looking at it! It's so typical of Hawaii, yet to a mainlander like me these look so alien hanging there on the line, securely attached with clothes pins!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Makapu Lighthouse and Beach

My "South Pacific studio" for the day at Makapu
Progress shot of the lighthouse watercolor sketch

I brought back two sketches and a postcard for the day at Makapu. Some color added at home in Kailua.
For close ups of these two sketches see my Flickr Photostream.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Nu'Uanu Lookout at the Pali

On Oahu’s Windward (or east) Coast, Nu'Uanu Pali Lookout stands sentinel over the 1,200-foot (360 m) cliffs of the Ko'Olau mountains. As the mist plays across the Ko'Olau ridge line, Cook Island Pines can be seen growing on the hillside and a beautiful old street lamp rusting at the edge of the parking lot.
Two page sketchbook spread: Left, from the parking lot and right, from the lower railing
One of the best viewpoints on Oahu, the lookout provides panoramic vistas across the island. You can also see Chinaman’s Hat and Kaneohe Bay.
In 1795 the lookout was the site of a massacre, when King Kamehameha defeated the island’s warriors by forcing them off the treacherous cliff top to their deaths.
My sketch at the railing of the old road at Nu'Uanu Pali Lookout with a view of the Windward coastline. 
I stood to sketch on the path just to the right of the lookout where a sign warns “Road Closed". This had been the old road constructed in the 1800s, once the only feasible land route from Honolulu to the Windward side. Horse drawn carriages once traveled across it. I sketched a portion of the Ko'Olau mountains, the valley below and the opening to one of the tunnels which finally replaced the old highway in 1961.
Closeup of my sketch with Pali tunnel 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Foster Botanical Garden Reunion

Sketching in the oldest botanical garden in Hawaii
It was so nice to reunite with painting and sketching friends at Foster Botanical Gardens this morning. After missing a season or two during our regular annual family visits here, I was able to take an hour or so to sketch at the gardens and catch up on the news with old friends and meet a few new ones. (Photo: top left, Barbara and I had our own personal benches near the butterfly garden-top right, flowers near the restrooms-lower photo, the Japanese Memorial, sketched using my DIY mini Altoids Kit).

I stood in the shade of the Foster Gardens office building to sketch the Hiroshima Memorial with the butterfly garden behind me and a glimpse of the city of Honolulu above the trees. I got a quick drawing of the pink flowers near the restrooms before I left. The petroglyph of green sea turtles, known in Hawaii as honu, is said to symbolize good luck, endurance and long life. It is often used to represent family.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Plein Air at Waimanalo

Are all beaches the same? Although a few things were different, like the 77 degree weather, the surfers, the ironwood trees and the soft, deep, caramel colored sand; the beach in Waimanalo reminded me a bit of home in the Pacific NW. People walked along the shore, passing the impromptu structures hand built on beaches the world over. I sketched a similar one of these structures at home recently for my Inktober series. Most familiar, however, was the wonderful experience of spending the morning painting with some local friends.
"Captain Howie" performs a beach wedding. Website
I interrupted my initial sketch to follow a wedding couple down the beach and to sketch them at a distance as they conferred with a local officiant known as Capt. Howie. See my last photo below to view his home, known locally as "the Hobbit House". Another couple were having their wedding photos taken on the other end of the beach. See photo collage below.
After a morning of painting and sketching, watercolorists and oil painters shared a delicious lunch in perfect compatibility. Great conversation, hospitality and a serenade on the ukulele rounded out the day. Many thanks for everything, Adrienne and Lawrence. It was lovely. 
Happy painters after a morning on the beach and delicious lunch with our hosts, Adrienne and Lawrence. Photo: (left to right) Me, Adrienne, Mark Brown, John Dixon and (in front) Spencer Chang.
See a brief news clip about the "Hobbit House".
We walked past it on our way to go painting at the beach.