Sunday, February 22, 2015

Urban Sketchers Outing

Today was the February outing for the Seattle Urban Sketchers, and they met at 11am at the Starbucks Roastery on Capitol Hill.  This is a huge building full of coffee roasting equipment and an enormous retail space, and boy howdy, was it packed.  I found several of the folks I'd met last month, including the group's co-leader, and settled in to await the opening introductions and announcements.  Well, it got increasingly more crowded (and those who know me well know how much I dislike crowds), and then more and more sketchers arrived, and by 11am there must have been at least 40 of them.

In January there'd been only 12 sketchers, and intros were easy, but this was madness.  We couldn't hear anyone over the noise of the coffee house.  The co-leader gave up midway through the intros, and just said to disperse, sketch, and return at 1:30 to share.

I immediately escaped to the outside, where I found a restaurant sign that I liked a lot:

Then I wandered farther afield, and found a dog park with benches outside it, where I ate my lunch.  The view on the other side of the dog park (which itself was nothing to write home about) was of several apartment buildings and a tattoo parlor that had intriguing angles, with a nicely positioned tree in front.

I rather suspect a big attraction of both views was the absence of people.

It was nowhere near as warm as predicted, and I noticed my hands were turning unfamiliar colors.  When I checked my watch, it was only 12:30 -- a whole more hour until the meet-up!  I didn't want to go back inside (too crowded), it was too cold to keep sketching outside, and I'd taken the bus, which made for a long trip home.  There was a bus stop right down the street -- so I bailed on the post-sketching get-together and left.  My feeling was that it would be too packed anyway. [UPDATE: the blog report from the co-leader reported 40 attendees, and it was too crowded inside Starbucks to share sketches so they lined them up outside against the building. See:]

This was quite a contrast to the January outing, which was small and pleasant (and warmer!).  And of course, as you can tell from these blog posts, one doesn't need a group to go urban sketching -- I've been doing it on my own in all sorts of places.  And I'm enjoying it a lot.  So I shall keep doing it, and also see where the March outing will be, and if it doesn't sound so overwhelmingly populated, I'll give it another try.


  1. I don't like crowds either . . . except at Safeco Field. I refuse to go Xmas shopping at the mall or anywhere else and avoid Black Friday like the plague. We must be related. I like that sketch of the tattoo parlor a lot. Cool building.

    1. Yeah, I wonder if we could be related? Safeco is different -- one expects the crowd there, and it's also big enough with very wide concourses that people are pretty spread out most of the time. And once you're in your seat, it's fine. And when something good happens, it's fun to yell and cheer with a large group. Though there was one game I went to that was too crowded -- it was the Red Sox and the place was sold out. That was a bit much, hard to get through to the food stands/rest rooms at times. I now avoid the more popular games!