Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Back to Fort Nisqually

This time I'm there as an Urban Sketcher, not as a volunteer interpreter! 

Roy, Carolyn and Feather carpooled with me to Fort Nisqually. While we were still on the freeway, Carolyn asked, "are we headed to those clouds?".  As we arrived, the Pt Defiance park was covered with clouds and chilly. It didn't take long, though, for those to blow away and the sun to shine on us.

Fort staff (Tracy B) was so kind to let us in early so we could start our sketch outing at the usual time. Everyone quickly spread out around the grounds.

I'm an occasional volunteer there and in that role I've done so many sketches of the buildings and grounds. So I thought about what I could do differently. I climbed to the top of the "gallery" and saw a view of one of the Bastions I'd not sketched before. I needed my trusty tool to get the perspective line correct along the fence.

"A bastion is a projecting part of the fortification offering a safe haven in danger. It was a precautionary policy of the Hudson's Bay Company to build stockades and bastions around their posts to protect property primarily from theft and, if necessary, for defense."   Fort Nisqually was not a military installation but an outpost of the Hudson's Bay Company.

With about an hour left, I went over to the bright red poppies I'd noticed upon arrival. They stand in front of one of the (un-used) outhouses!

We shared our sketches in the shade of the Factor's House porch, then had our group photo.

More photos here:

Monday, July 17, 2017

August sketch outings

First Saturday Sketch Outing, August 5:  Point Defiance Park Visitor Center

5715 Roberts Garden Rd, Tacoma, WA 98407                               

The Visitor Center entrance is off North Waterfront Dr. (a continuation of N. Pearl St. once you’re in the Park).     

We’ll meet at 10:00 AM on the porch of the Visitor Center.  Free parking is available on the street.

There are multiple areas of interest to sketch, the Visitor Center itself was built in 1898 and  sets between the Pagoda building and the Rose Garden.  A little closer to the Park entrance from the Rose Garden is the Duck Pond (restrooms are located there).

At 12:30 PM we’ll regroup at the Visitor Center for sketch sharing and photos, followed by lunch at the Antique Sandwich Shop, 5102 N. Pearl St. Tacoma.
Second Thursday August 10:  
Home and gardens of local artist, Pat Rush

Gig Harbor WA 98335

We will be meeting at the home of notable local artist, Pat Rush on at 10am.  She is offering her property and gardens on Henderson Bay (which includes several unusual buildings and a view of Cutts Island) to both Urban Sketchers and Plein Air painters.  Bring a lunch to enjoy in her beautiful gardens overlooking the water.  Carpooling is highly recommended. 

Directions (from Tacoma):

Cross Tacoma Narrows Bridge on Hwy 16 toward Gig Harbor
Exit to City Center/Wollochet
Cross straight through intersection to Stinson, go down hill
Left at Rosedale (four way stop)
Proceed 2.9 miles
Left on Ray Nash
Just past Island View Market, Ray Nash goes to the left
Stay to the Right to cross bridge , road becomes Kopachuck Dr.
Pass Paul Dr.
Watch for green and white house number sign on a pole by mailboxes
Turn Right (Henderson Bayview Dr)
Right at the 3-way fork
Right at the 2-way fork
(If you come to Kopachuck State Park you have gone too far south)

Directions from north of Gig Harbor:
South on Hwy 16
Exit to City Center/Wollochet
Left at exit, cross over freeway
Left at next light (Stinson), go down hill
Proceed as above
 Third Wednesday, Aug 16:  Point Defiance Boathouse and Marina
5912 N. Waterfront Dr.,Tacoma, 98407

Plenty of free parking in front of the marina and between the ferry terminal and Anthony's Home Port.

Great water view sketching from this location. A very active recreational and fishing community. Nice shady spots to sketch from as well as handy tables and benches.

Coffee and snacks at the bate shop on the pier. Anthony's Homeport restaurant is also on the pier (a little spendy but good food and atmosphere)  the Antique Sandwich Shop is a short drive up Pearl st. and a fun place to gather with great sandwich menu.

Meet in front of the bate shop at 10 AM

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fort Flagler, Marestone Island

Fort Flagler State Park on Marestone Island is one of my favorite places to camp in the Northwest and a great place to sketch as well. The weather was on the chilly side and most of the time overcast affording me an opportunity to try and capture the essence of the ever changing cloud patterns. Pentalic's 140# watercolor journal pages are perfect for working wet-in-wet which is how using Derwent watercolor pencils the sky in these sketches were done. I wet the page first then with my waterbrush pull pigment off the pencil onto the page allowing the pigment to be manipulated just like regular watercolors. Derwent french gray, blue gray, deep indigo and ultramarine blue were the primary colors used for the sky.

For a brief period in the early part of the 20th century Fort Flagler along with Fort Worden in Port Townsend and Fort Casey on Whidbey Island protected the entrance to Puget Sound from potential enemy ships. The three forts were part of what was known at the time as the triangle of death. Now all three forts are part of Washington State Parks and wonderful places to explore and experience part of the military history of the Northwest.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4th Parade in Bothell

Scenes from a July 4th celebration -

I sat down with a bunch of moms and their kids who liked waiting for candies thrown by paraders. It was a parade showcasing diversity. Muslim community, Mexicans on horses (sketch #1), Irish with their bagpipes, the senior community, kids of all shapes and colors. Everyone was enjoying America's 241st birthday.

I looked for lunch and had a burrito from a food truck and met Edgar and Crispin. When I looked for a place to sit, I saw an area in the shade where a black dad was humming and swaying her little baby girl to sleep (sketch #2). I asked if I can share the shade. He smiled as he nodded.

Then I went to a coffee shop for some brew and I sketched (#3) the outside scene with the inside scene.

I didn't see hatred, bigotry, racism. They're there. But today I didn't look for them. I looked for goodness, beauty, generosity, kindness. And I was richly rewarded.

The name of the food truck was Ambakity Cocina Mexicana. Ambakity is a Native American word for "best of the best."

Just like the USA of my heart.
Happy Birthday, USA.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Chilly beach outing

After yesterday's scorching (for Western WA) heat, it was a surprise to be so chilly on the beach at Brown's Point on Commencement Bay in Tacoma.  Peter D. opened the gate to the park for USk Tacoma to have convenient parking to sketch.  Thanks, Peter!

There was a brisk breeze and cloudy sky so it was really quite cold as one sat still to sketch.  Tom had the right idea to stay warm:

We look a little cold as we're sharing sketches

A couple people are missing from the group photo.  The simple lighthouse is just visible between the tree branches behind us.

I'd sketched the lighthouse the last time we were there, a couple years ago.  This time I chose the Light House Keeper's cottage.  Many others sketched it, too.  There is no longer a keeper and the cottage is now a vacation rental.  It dates from 1903.

I walked down to the beach to view this massive stump.  There was a small boy playing there, supervised by an older man.  The boy threw stones into the water.

More photos:

--Kate Buike

Friday, June 30, 2017

Now and Then

Almost a year to the day separates these two sketches.The top of the Foss water way in Tacoma and below looking south from Beach Drive in West Seattle of the ferry crossing between Vashon Island and Fauntleroy. After yesterdays sketch I looked back through my journals to see where I was close to the same day a year ago. No surprise, my inspiration was a water view. This view along Beach Drive is one of those I've driven by a hundred times and thought I should stop and sketch and finally yesterday morning with time to spare before a dental appointment the opportunity materialized.

In the mid fifties our family home was on the beach just south of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. The sights and sounds of the ferry boats, freighters and slow moving tug boats became an integral part of my life then and impetus for my sketches now.

Both sketches are Derwent watercolor pencil and a bit of pigment watercolor added to the sky and water. Last years sketch was done in my Moleskine watercolor journal and sketched with a micron 0.8 pen. I have since switched to Pentalic journals for the quality of their 140# paper and to Copic multiliner 0.5 which seems more reliable then the oft leaking micron.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Return to Lakewold Gardens

When our group visited Lakewold Gardens in Lakewood for a sketch out, I found that there just hadn't been enough time for drawing as much as I would have, I decided to go back. This stone cherub caught my attention with all the plants surrounding it. Time to get into the zen-zone!
Happy Sketching....