The back of a billboard isn't glamorous, but it did seem to frame the station tower.... Caffe Vita can be found in the Tashiro Kaplan Artists Lofts building just East of Pioneer Square. With an abundance of picture windows and a second story loft, it's a great place to sit and sketch. This was done on (what is now way too common) a dark and gloomy Saturday morning after I caught the bus into town early. There is a calm about Seattle this time of the week, without the rush to work and most of it's residents still in their robes - or in this part of Pioneer Square, sleeping bags. There but for the grace of good fortune, go I.
Merchants Cafe is Seattle's longest running continually open restaurant, there is a grand wooden bar and the typical grub and brews on tap. A trip to the restroom is a treacherous adventure downstairs and I would also consider this a sobriety test, if they don't make it back from the john, it wasn't meant to be......The happy hour menu offers up a pleasant surprise - for $3 you seem to get a full sized entree, not a Mini-Me version of your favorite burger.This image is of the backdoor and just a glimpse of the bar. Not sure where this door goes, an alley maybe? Does the stained glass at the top suggest that it had a grander purpose in the past?
There is nothing fancy about Jules Maes, in fact it probably resembles what a real saloon might have been like in Seattle's infancy. They do have a big screen TV but you have to go find it in one of the back rooms, which is always an adventure because the floors rise and fall to different levels depending on what part of the building your trying to navigate. Consider it a sobriety test.......The food's darn good, a step up from pub grub and the friendly staff serves up a healthy pint of 9lb. Porter from the Georgetown Brewing Co. (my new favorite dark brew).
This sketch was done looking West from Jet City Espresso (Renton) and incorporates the plant life that is coming into bloom as well as the vegetation that is flourishing in the old time washing machine. The wrought iron gates wired to the old gas station island makes an interesting pattern and challenge to draw. This was one of the few sunny days this spring in the Seattle area, fear not, by late afternoon it was pouring again.
The Irish pub in Renton known as 'A Terrible Beauty' (from 'Easter' a William Butler Yeats poem) has gone through a number of names and owners until getting it right this time. Though the outside of the building is one of the ugliest things ever designed, the inside takes you straight to Limerick and you won't go wrong ordering from the kitchen - both Irish and NW fare done well. The staff is friendly and it is not unusual to find a musician or two playing next to the fireplace on a Sunday afternoon.I called this sketch a 'Family Portrait' for the way they are all lined up together. This was a multi-visit effort (or just an excuse to go back)
I've been going to the Folklife Festival for almost 30 years and over time it really hasn't changed much (a good thing I think). It has a tendency to get very crowded mid-afternoon even when it's raining. It's a celebration of music, cultures and many different lifestyles and has yet to disappoint when it comes to people watching and sketching.
Beyond family, I'd say that art, sports and the quest to cook a great meal are the big priorities in my life.
I am 56 years old, and live in the Seattle area with my wife of 29 years. I have a beautiful daughter who shines as an EMT in Pierce County and I live in the suburbs, but truth be told, would rather be a city or country boy.
I love a good game of hoops and nothing makes me happier than the opportunity to draw and paint.....Time stops.
I like my brew dark, that goes for coffee and beer.
Artist For Hire
I am an illustrator and designer available for hire. Please feel free to send me a note or call 206.227.8430 if you are interested in my work. Other samples of work can be found at: