Sunday, March 27, 2022
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Twelve years ago, in November 2009, my sister mentioned something she'd seen in the newspaper. This guy, the Seattle Sketcher, was inviting people to sketch at Volunteer Park the following weekend. Was I interested?
I went and I fell in love with sketching. And I keep falling in love again and again and again -- every time I hit the streets to sketch what I see.
|My very first sketch with Seattle Urban Sketchers - 11-21-2009|
In some ways, my first sketch outing was the re-kindling of an old flame -- like meeting up with a former beau and starting up where were left off. I'd been drawing since I was a kid. I studied art in college -- drawing, painting, printmaking -- but not being confident enough to believe I could earn a living at it, I expanded my interests enough to get an unfocused degree from a local liberal arts college. I continued to draw quietly. I was a closeted sketcher.
|Hainan Island - Save to Living the Station|
Then came 2009 and the sketch outing at Volunteer Park. I didn't know what to expect, but I was excited. That day I met other folks who I knew what it was like to be taken aback at what they saw, put a pen to paper, and record it. And better yet, there was no need for a studio, easels, or special lighting. The world was my studio and there was a reason to sketch -- to share other sketchers. The practice was simple--meet up, sketch, share, post. That's it.
|Group Photo at the Water Tower Observation Deck - Nov. 21, 2009|
"To find the essence, the artist needs the grace to obey the reflex with ever increasing sensitivity, coordination, and freedom. The reflex begins in identification. I have to become the apple, then draw the apple, yet remain myself. What applies to the apple, of course, applies to a figure or a crowd. Where identification is missing, I stumble, and find I cannot draw a line."
- My Eye is in Love, by Frederick Franck.
I find if I slow down enough to connect with what I'm drawing as I'm drawing it, my hand records what I'm seeing/feeling. That is the reward of drawing from life.
|2019 - A friend's 50th Birthday Party - Sunny's Bar, Red Hook Brooklyn. It was dark and I couldn't see what I was drawing. One of the most fun times I've had drawing at a restaurant/bar.|
Monday, June 8, 2020
The Olympia Farmer's Market has a long history. Ever since women gathered with the produce from their local victory gardens. In 1983 when I returned to Olympia after a 10 year absence, the farmers' market was a muddy path next to the local Shakey's Pizza on Plum Street in Olympia. From there it made it's way to the Yardbirds Parking lot. Some miraculous turn of events occurred and voila, the market stands in it's current location the westernmost end of Capitol Way--our own Lincoln Memorial.
I had been to the market a couple of previous weekends but this was the first time there was a line to enter. So I drew the line of masked visitors first, then joined it.
I had a muffled chat with my line neighbors, a couple whose children went to elementary school with mine. Two young men monitored the entrance and exits relaying how many were exiting so the other could allow an equal number to enter. There was a traffic pattern, clockwise only, entrances to the stalls from either end only, not the middle. Handwashing station at the entrance.
One vendor had built a mountain of early Walla Walla Onions- bulbous and begging to be drawn.
Since I had stood drawing them I felt compelled to buy a bunch as well that I later drew at home.
There were flowers, seeds, bread, tomato plants with flowers no less, cookies, baby apple trees, sausages and ribs and so much more. People did a decent job of keeping distant; most wore masks. The hardest part was staying alert to those who stopped mid-stream to contemplate a purchase.
For better or worse Olympians want to shop the market and I'm glad the city has found a way to accommodate both shoppers and vendors. Long live the market!
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
|Detail of above. This is what I love about oil. All the layers you can do.|
|Kind of cheesy subject matter but I wanted some darks agains lights.|
|Detail of Above.|
|Detail of Above. Loving pushing paint around.|
|Value and composition.|
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Friday, November 8, 2019
“Pacem in Terris is a trans-religious space created along the Wawayanda River in Warwick, NY by Frederick and Claske Franck. It is "One man's work of art that aspires to be an oasis of quiet, of sanity, where spirit and nature may reconnect. It is dedicated to what is Human in every human being"
I had to wait until summer to visit since it’s only open on weekends from May through October, but it was definitely worth the wait.
The site is inconspicuous from the road—no signage or grand entrance. Once inside it becomes an extension of Franck’s drawings—intimate and rich with meaning. It sits on the Waywayanda River (more like a creek at that point) and has three separate entrances – one on either side of the river and another across the road. I first entered where the former Franck dwelling and some outbuildings sit on the east side of the creek. I was delighted to find some of Franck’s actual drawings on display. There’s also a small building with his stained glass of the Stations of the Cross and a video room where you can watch Franck highlight his life story including the Pacem in Terris project.
Several sculptures and a labyrinth wind in and out of trees allowing you to meander along the riverbank and contemplate the words of wisdom scattered in and amidst the sculptures.
On the other side of the creek sits the main building – a stone sanctuary completely dark inside save one candle and a bit of natural light. And across the road another sculpture garden and smaller meeting room are open for people to walk around.
|"I am the living center of the heart"|
|One of the sculptures in the garden|
Pacem In Terris - Warwick, NY
Thursday, November 7, 2019
A lot of onion farmers lost a lot of money. Congress stepped in to pass a law that prohibits purchasing onion futures, protecting onion farmers from then till now. So onion farming is now still strong In Pine island. They just had their annual Onion Festival complete with an onion eating contest – a timed event to see which contestant can chomp their way through a raw onion the fastest.