Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Much Better Than Staring Out the Window

This past Saturday, Tina and Nicole and I managed to get to Suzzallo Library on the UW campus when it was actually open -- and there was plenty of parking.  Whew!

The architecture is Neo-Gothic, and I knew from past experience to avoid trying to draw a big-picture scene.  So I focused on small subjects and details instead.

I put these three sketches on one page:  a globe hanging in the reading room, a section of the top decorative carving on a bookcase, and the stained glass decor over a doorway.

Then I found this clock displayed in the cafe -- it once adorned Denny Hall, and was removed to the library during the hall's remodeling:

On Sunday morning I went to the Montlake Fill to check on the wintering-over waterfowl on the lake (there was a Trumpeter Swan there!).  When I got back to the car, I had about 15 minutes before I needed to head out for another outing, so I sketched the view from my parking spot.  These are the Youth Farm buildings:

More sketching happened on Monday -- a holiday for Tina, who took me and Nicole to the Diva Espresso coffee shop on 145th and Greenwood.  It was packed, with only one open table, and from that viewpoint, there was nothing for me to draw except people.  Argh!

So I forced myself to sketch people:

After about an hour, a different table opened up, so we scurried over to it so we could get different views.   I was very happy, because from the new vantage point, I could see this coffee grinder:

And also the old-fashioned sideboard for the condiments:

What a banner three-day weekend full of fun and art!

And it didn't stop on Tuesday -- on Tuesday I decided to try a more finished watercolor.  I'd taken a photo of a fallen tree while at the Magnuson Park dog walk area that I found particularly attractive, and wanted to paint it.  So I worked on better-quality paper at home from the photo, and am quite happy with the result.

I tried to paint more loosely than I normally do, and wanted to be a bit more expressive as well.  Now I'm wondering if I should try plein air painting sometime -- that is, painting finished pieces in the field, not just quick sketches.  Maybe when Spring rolls around.  Can that be soon, please?

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