I haven't gone to any Seattle Urban Sketcher outings for a while, because the locations were not attractive or I had other commitments. Sometimes Tina likes to go to the Tacoma Urban Sketcher outings and convinces me to join in the fun, though -- and this past Saturday there was an outing at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, to a festival celebrating their blue poppies.
They had food trucks, art booths, and musicians, plus they had plants for sale. It rained off and on throughout, so I spent the next couple of hours scurrying about -- to the outdoor gardens during the rain breaks, and back to the sheltered areas during the sprinkles.
The first rain-break stop was to the poppy field:
I knew I wouldn't have much time before the rain returned, so instead of trying to capture a large scene, I narrowed my focus to just a few blooms.
During a sprinkle, I hiked up to a gazebo for a sheltered rest stop.
Most of the rhododendrons have already bloomed and faded, but there were some by the gazebo still going strong.
Then I tried to draw the gazebo, but ran out of room on the page.
So I returned to the festival area, where I tried to draw a band -- guitar, accordion, and tuba -- and got down a quick sketch which I hoped to improve upon until the rain returned in a vigorous fashion and I gave up.
The group found a relatively dry spot to share sketches:
Before leaving, we checked out a bonsai display:
It would be fabulous to go there earlier in Spring when the rhodies are all in full bloom -- many of them were at least ten feet tall. They had other gardens as well, so still worth a visit any time of the year.