Friday, December 31, 2010

Say goodbye to 2010!

Last sketches of 2010.  We went to Crystal Mountain for a ski day.  At least my husband and kids did their skiing.  I stayed in the lodge, had lunch...met some interesting people and sketched.Here are my last sketches of the year.
Waiting at the Lodge, Crystal Mountain

Bullwheel Bar at Crystal Mountain

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NW Boychoir Concert at St. Mark's

One of my son's best friend sings with the NW Boychoir in Seattle.  He has been singing with the group probably since he was 7 years old.  We heard the group sing on Monday.  It was a wonderful concert and so inspiring.  The music was breathtaking and filled the space.  A great chance to get into the holiday spirit.
NW Boychoir @ St. Marks'

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eventful Week

Haven't posted in a while but the last two weeks have been eventful... filled with concerts, art exhibits and December Sketchcrawl.
Pacific Place Atrium
This sketch is of Pacific Place where we met for the December Urban Sketchers' Sketchcrawl.  Good thing we set it up inside because it was pouring outside. 

We also went to the Picasso exhibit which was simply astounding.  That exhibit really takes more than an evening to enjoy.  I was exhausted after going through it.  I would suggest breaking it up to two sessons. The sketch below is of Harborsteps while waiting for our time to get in to see the Picasso exhibit.
Post Alley and Harborsteps

Two concerts that we went to in the last couple of weeks were the Garfield High School Musical Revue and City Cantabile Choir Magnificat. The Musical Revue was great entertainment, music dance, comedy....the Garfield Vocal Jazz and Concert Choir did an outstanding job putting this all together under the direction of Choir Director Carol Burton. The second concert  was the City Cantabile Choir singing two Magnificats. The Bach Magnificat was under the direction of Fred West and in collaboration with music director Kent Stevenson and the Elemental Ensemble, a Gospel Magnificat by Kent Stevenson was sung in the second half of the concert. Classical Bach and Contemporary Gospel. Absolutely breathtaking, inspiring, handclapping, foot tapping music all in one concert! 

City Cantabile Choir Bach Magnificat.
Garfield High School Musical Revue 2010

The "Q" Lobby

Monday, December 6, 2010

Drawing Jam At the Gage Art Academy

Saturday morning, I went to the Gage Art Academy on Capitol Hill in Seattle for their yearly Drawing Jam.  It is an all day event of sketching, painting, other types of art with live musicians playing all day.
This is the first time I have gone and it was a great event.  With admission you even got food tickets to use and different art stores were handing out gift bags with sketchbooks in them.
Here are my sketches from that event.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Passing on Traditions

Twenty six years of thanksgivings with dear friends and  our thanksgiving holiday has grown from a gathering of graduate students away from home to include extended families, our kids and their significant others.  One of the many traditions that has developed over the years is a table full of home made pies.  The kids are now becoming contributors to this practicing their favorite pie recipes during the year so they can share it at our feast.  We almost end up with a pie per person,  not quite... but close.  Pie for breakfast the next day is always something to look forward to.  This is definitely one tradition that will be passed on to the next generation!
Thanksgiving Pies!

Finger Citron from Town and Country

Morning after Thanksgiving. Pie for breakfast!

Ferry home from Bainbridge to Seattle

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day in Seattle

Japanese Tea Garden Gate on a Snowy Day in Seattle
It is frigidly cold, snowy but bright.  Of course when we get snow in Seattle,  everything basically shuts down.  With all the hills around here very few attempt their normal routine.  So this was my snow day...I took a walk to the Arboreteum Japanese Tea Garden thinking it would be open to see it in snow...but of course it was closed!  I decided to paint the entry anyway.  Tricky painting snow.  Basically you leave it white and paint the blue shadows...but you have to have the right blue.  I wasn't too happy with the blue I chose.  What was interesting was doing water color when the temperature is below freezing.  The watercolor would ice up as soon as I laid it down on the paper.  So I literally had a glaze.  When I tried to lay it down a second time without dipping the brush in water, the brush would get stiff. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pike Place Decked Out for the Holidays!

Yesterday the urban sketchers met at the Pike Place Market for the November sketchcrawl.  We had about 12-15 people show up.  Every one was bundled up with their fingerless gloves and jackets.  It was very cold.  I almost packed it in on my first sketch for a warmer location.  But decided to get initial color on before going inside.  The Market is under going renovation for seismic up grades. Despite some areas being screened out for work it really was the same market and most places were still open.  The market is just getting started in hanging Holiday greenery as you can see from the sketch below.
Pike Place Market All Decked out for the Holidays!
I did two sketches.  One in front of the main entry information kiosk looking toward the Public Market Center sign and clock.  The second was in the market at the entry to Lowell's Cafe.  Lowell's is an historic cafe in the market.  It was where Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner ate lunch in a scene from the movie Sleepless in Seattle.  I didn't get a chance to put water color on the sketch.  I will have to go back another time and splash on some color.

Entry to Lowell's Cafe

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Garfield H.S. Music Program

The Seattle School District has a history of great music programs happening at the middle school and high school levels.  Each year our local school bands, orchestras and vocal choirs come home with national trophies which is a testament to how successful these music programs are.

Last night I was thrilled to hear the Garfield Orchestras play in the new Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center at Garfield High School.  All three orchestras were impressive.  I am amazed at how much Mr. Tsutakawa is able to accomplish with these students in a matter of  two months.  The orchestras are playing at a very high level.  Each parent should be proud of what their child can do as part of these groups.

Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 @ 7:30 p.m. the Garfield Orchestra will be playing selected pieces from  Handel's Messiah at Seattle First Baptist on Capitol Hill. $12 for adults and $6 for students. Check out the Garfield Orchestra website for more information about upcoming events @ 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Canton Alley

I just discovered this alley in the ID district.  It is located next to the Wing Luke Museum and looks to be part of the museum with old storefronts fronting the alley.  It is great to find an historic alley that has maintained its original character.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Power Outage

No electricity today.  Seattle City Light was working on replacing a telephone pole in our neighborhood so I was without power for 4 hours.  Couldn't work so I went to the Japanese Tea Garden to sketch and paint.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Starting to Show at Japanese Tea Garden

This time of year, if you have a nice clear sunny day take advantage of it.  Who knows when the next sunny day will be in Seattle.  Sunday, I took the opportunity to go to the Japanese Tea Garden.  To my surprise so did a lot of other people.  There was a special drumming exhibition, bonsai exhibit and Ikebana exhibit as well as a traveling photography exhibit.  The trees are just starting to change colors.  So in the next few weeks, as it gets colder, we will really start seeing a change.  The Arboreteum and Japanese Tea Garden will be beautiful in all its Fall Glory!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This morning Seattle Urban Sketchers met in the International District for the 29th WW Sketchcrawl.
We had about 15-18 people show up to sketch.  Great day for it!  Crisp, sunny, fall day.  I drew one of the oldest storefront buildings in the ID district and the Standard Cafe Noodle Bowl sign (a favorite of mine).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

League of Education Voter Lecture Series

Thursday night I went to a lecture at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  The guest speaker was the Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson  who in his past life was a NBA player for the Phoenix Suns.  After the NBA he established a charitable foundation St. Hope,  which focuses on education reform and charter schools to help inner city kids. For more information on Voices from the Education Revolution Speaker series see

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friends of Garfield Orchestra

Monday night the Garfield High School Orchestra had a rehearsal and a parent group supporting the orchestra had the first meeting of the year in the Commons.  I took the opportunity to sketch while listening to the plans for the year.  Garfield High School Orchestra is under the direction of Marcus Tsutakawa and has grown from 10 students in 1985 to 160 with three levels of orchestra and smaller chamber groups.  See for concert listings this year.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Essential Baking Company Bakery

I went to Essential Baking Company Bakery this morning for coffee and a muffin.  It is located near Gas Works Park in Wallingford in an old historic Bakery.  It has great ambiance and a wonderful place to enjoy your morning jo.

Drawing people

I have a hard time drawing people. In fact I tend to avoid them when I sketch.  So I tried practicing by looking at a photo of these Chinese Opera actors.  The photo was taken by Tia an urban sketcher from Singapore.  Check out her flickr site for the real thing.
Here is my sketch rendition of the photo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rainy Day at the Ballard Farmers' Market

Wasn't too sure how this day would work out, (since it was raining cats and dogs) but we had one of our largest groups.  Probably around 18 people showed up for sketching at the Farmer's Market.  We even had a visitor from Washington D.C.  join us and some new people joined us after seeing us at the market sketching.  Hard to miss 18 people sketching and painting in a down pour!

It was Urban Splashing Northwest style.  You didn't need to pre-splash your water color paper, the rain did it for you!  Despite the challenge we had a great day and the sun finally showed up at the end of our session.  I was actually able to get a quick sketch of a veggie stand before we regrouped.

The Veraci Pizza stand was an interesting experience. This is the authentic way to bake pizza in a wood burning stove.  It is the real Neopolitan Style Pizza...thin crust.  While I was sketching it started to rain on me and the watercolors ran.    I ducked under the canopy and had to pat down my sketch with napkin.  Came back later to add more color to the sketch.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sundodger Invitational

Saturday, September the 18th was University of Washington's Sundodger Invitational Cross Country Meet.  Both of my sons ran in the meet, which was located at Lincoln Park in West Seattle.  It turned out to be a gorgeous day.  Despite showers the night before.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Last night I went to a gallery show at Gasworks Gallery and saw the work of fellow urban sketcher Beth.
I was so inspired by all her work that I just had to come home and paint something.  Lychee look a little dull from the outside by once you open them the inside of the shell has a rich irridescent magenta plum color and the flesh of the fruit is a translucent white. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Japanese Tea Garden

Second attempt at drawing inside the Japanese Tea Garden.  Getting depth and reflection, drawing the landscape with out having a mish-mosh is hard to do.  Practice, practice and you learn something new.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dentist's Office Tropical Fish Tank

Went to our dentist's office this morning with my son and while waiting for him to finish, sketched some colorful fish that were in the tropical fish tank.

Bainbridge Island

Sunday Seattle Urban Sketchers took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island for some sketching, painting, eating and some did a little wine tasting.  All in all a good day for it though it always takes longer than you think when you are on Ferry Schedule.
View from outside of Grace and Co. Paperie (Card Shop) on Madison Ave. Bainbridge Island, WA.

Eagle Harbor Inn:  Quaint little Hotel on the Island.

Ferry to Bainbridge Island  with Seattle Space Needle in the background and fellow sketcher Frank Bettancourt in the foreground.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Windy day at Pioneer Square

This afternoon I met with a couple of Students from UW to go sketch at Pioneer Square.  I got to use my new urban sketchers moleskine sketchbook, the accordian style sketchbook.  The wind was so fierce that it grabbed the edge of one of the pages and blew it totally open almost to the street and partially ripped the page I was working on.  Luckily we were able to pull it all back in. Here is the sketch.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Interlaken Bridge over 26th Ave. East

I love how bridges create these framed views.  I have been wanting to paint this bridge for a long time.
It is located where Interlaken Blvd. crosses over 26th Ave. East which is along the bike trail through Montlake.  This is an old bridge that creates a gate way into Montlake on the bike path.  The yellow decidous trees on the other side of the bridge sparkle on a sunny day as you are looking through the bridge.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Montlake Bridge

This sketch was started in April and was never finished because it started to rain.  So it took a few months for me to finally get back to finish the drawing and put some watercolor on it.  It was a great day for it.  It is 90 degrees outside...of course I seek out the shade.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Japanese Tea Garden

Thursday some students from the UW and I went to the Japanese Tea Garden to sketch.
It was a challenge to sketch landscape instead of building and urban spaces. I will have to try that more.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Under Construction

This blog is under construction. Come back soon when we are up and running.