Thursday, September 29, 2016

Truman tries to thwart more sketches

Whenever I get out the leash, Truman gets very excited, yet I believe his little doggie brain is conflicted -- the leash means "Mom's leaving our happy home!  Must go with her!  But wait--that means I have to leave the happy home.  Oh no!"

Here is what he does:

As soon I approach with the leash, he rolls onto his back and tries to keep me from attaching it to his harness.

His tail is wagging the whole time, though, so I don't think he's trying all that hard to avoid going out.

Once the leash is successfully attached, he is resigned to whatever adventure I will force him to endure.

Yesterday's adventure was pretty simple--we went to Magnuson Park with our friend Nicole to get in a little sketching at the P-Patch community garden there.

Because there are so many wonderful views and things to draw there, I decided to do little vignettes instead of trying to capture everything in one bigger picture.

Truman got out of his stroller for a short walk before we left.

Lastly for today, here are two sketches I did in the past week that I haven't been able to fit into other blog posts.

This is a small section of the garden decor in my back yard:

And this is the vending machine in the car service waiting room which I drew while Winnie the Wienermobile got her muffler repaired:

Don't know if I'll get out and about today for sketching or birding or whatever, as it is starting to turn a little cooler these days.  So there may not be a post on Friday.  And the posts might get more infrequent as the autumn weather arrives and I can't get out as much.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Retirees Can Be Flexible

One of the many benefits of being retired is being able to change plans at a moment's notice much of the time, because I generally have no schedule.  Yesterday, for example, I had a fairly lazy morning and didn't get out the door until 10am. My plan was to go sketching at the UW's small boat dock, on the last day before Fall quarter begins (and the place gets crowded).

I figured I'd be out about two hours.  I brought along the sketch supplies, some lunch, and the hound. Part way to the UW, however, the traffic started backing up.  I hate being stuck in traffic so I turned off and headed away from it, thinking to take another route, but then realized I was on the street that leads directly to Green Lake park, where I haven't been in ages.  So I abandoned the UW plan just like that.

Truman seemed to approve this change of plans.

He managed to find something stinky to roll in.

He did not go wading -- I suspect the water may be too cold now.

I thought I might find something to sketch at Green Lake, but it was a bit breezy, and it isn't much fun trying to draw when it's windy.  We had a nice long walk/stroll and then back at the car I decided on a whim to head over to Carkeek Park.  I was hungry by then, so I ate lunch there while Truman gave me suspicious looks --  his typical "why aren't we going home?" expression.

I annoyed him further by driving to the park's education center, which has a demonstration garden.  It was nicely sheltered by trees there, and I was finally able to sit down and sketch.

Then we headed home.  We were out and about for three hours and it didn't matter than I'd changed my plans one bit, because there was nowhere I had to be and I had no obligations whatsoever.  Hoorah for retirement!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last weekend's sketch outings: Edmonds marina and Magnuson Park

We've been having an Indian Summer here, which will probably end soon, but in the meantime, as long as it's not raining and not chilly, it's sketching weather.  There is no point staying indoors when it's 70 and sunny -- get outside while you can!

On Saturday the Northend Sketchers (Tina, Nicole and I) headed up even farther north to Edmonds for more boat sketching at the marina.  I'm not that fond of drawing boats, and I remembered there was a sculpture of seals on the beach, so I started off there instead.

Then I joined my friends at the marina, where I tried drawing a boat:

You may have noticed a distinct lack of Truman in these photos.  Dogs are not allowed on the beach at Edmonds, so he had to stay home to guard it against incursions by squirrels and juncos (he really has it in for the juncos).

On Sunday, however, I wanted to go somewhere he could come.  We wound up at Magnuson Park wetlands.

See -- here is Truman enjoying the sunshine at the park:

And here he is persistently ignoring Tina's dog Ginger:

I was happy with the sketches I did over the weekend, except for that last one -- I added too much watercolor and I think it looks messy.  Oh, well.  I'll just have to try sketching that same spot again on another warm sunny autumn day.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bloedel Garden, part 2

Last Thursday Tina and I visited the Bloedel garden on Bainbridge Island, and we brought our sketch books.  After viewing the entire grounds (150 acres), we wound up drawing back at the same place where we sketched on our previous visit -- the lovely Japanese garden.

While working on the second sketch, I kept getting distracted by all the dragonflies around, including this pair of Striped Meadowhawks engaged in a reproductive act.  You just never know what you'll see when you're out on a sketching expedition.

We slowly worked our way back to the entrance gate house, which I did a quick drawing of:

After three hours of walking the grounds and drawing, we headed back to the ferry, where we had about a half hour wait. I was entertained by the Black Turnstones that were feeding on the piers.

Here is the view from the ferry on its return to Seattle:

As you can see, we had great weather for our outing.  Soon the Autumn weather will arrive, and we'll have to find indoor sketching spots -- not my favorite thing, but it can't be summer all the time.  Sigh.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Return to Bloedel Gardens, part 1

Earlier this summer Tina and I explored Bloedel Gardens on Bainbridge Island but due to lack of time, we missed about half of it, so yesterday we ventured out again to see the rest and to do more drawing there.

This is the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  It is not the ferry we got on.  It is the ferry that we missed by precisely one minute.  Thank you, Seattle traffic.

We had an hour to wait until the next one (we were second in line for that!).  So of course we got out our sketch pads.  This was the view from the dock:

And here is my sketch of it:

Finally we got on board the ferry, which takes 35 minutes.  I spent some time admiring the views, and then spent some more time collecting a bunch of the free tourist brochures and magazines the ferry service offers up, and then I spent some time drawing the only thing of interest from my seat.

We arrived on Bainbridge and drove out to the gardens, arriving around 11:30am.  We spent about half an hour walking around the section we had missed on our previous visit.  It included this lovely duck pond:

Which included this lovely duck (American Widgeon):

There were trails and boardwalks through a mossy, ferny woods.

And it was also full of mushrooms:

When we emerged from the woods, we came upon a bench in front of this reflecting pool. I ate my lunch there while reflecting.

At this point Tina and I split up to go sketching our separate ways.  First I explored the area around the old Bloedel mansion and its pond.

There I found some Water Striders:

Here is a video of a Water Strider -- true to its name, striding along the surface.

Part 2 will appear on Monday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Out and About in Two Parks

Magnuson Park is one of our favorite spots for a stroll (and sometimes even for birds, though mostly I go to the Fill for that).  We can get a good three-mile walk in just by going from one end to the other (whereas at the Fill, we'd have to go three times around the Loop Trail).

Truman got to go to Magnuson on both Sunday and Monday.  Here he is on Sunday at the end of the walk, wanting to know if he can drive home.

On Monday we returnred -- it was a blustery day, and Truman decided not to go into the water due to the waves.

Despite the wind, we spotted this group of plein air painters at work.

I wanted to do a quick drawing, and chose the more sheltered area of the P-Patch garden, where this autumn-colored sunflower caught my attention:

I decided to do something simpler, though, as I didn't want to torment Truman with a long stay. You can see that he was already looking at me as if to say, "Why are we stopping here?"

I stopped there to do a quick study of the nasturium.

On Tuesday we did go to the Fill, mainly for birding, but other than one lone juvenile Osprey still hanging around the nest platform, we didn't see many birds.  So we strolled over to the urban horticulture center, where I did another quick sketch.

No post tomorrow -- I'll be out at Bloedel garden on Bainbridge Island.