We had Tamra's family over for Christmas eve lunch/dinner. Served up home made Chowder (extra bacon and clams) and baked some rustic artisan bread courtesy of cook book from Sherri Sutton. Baked up at least six loaves and sent some home with family. Nothing better than fresh bread just out of the oven..... I will post the recipe here shortly.
Drawn from the warm confines of Tully's in the Stadium district of Tacoma. On the left is Stadium High School which has a very 'Hogwarts School of Wizardry' feel to it. Yesterday was beautiful day for sketching (probably good for yard work too but we're not going there....). Pen and ink with watercolor in a watercolor Moleskine (and in case Santa is reading this, that is my favorite sketchbook).
Kiersten plays for the Tacoma Young Artist Orchestra and one of their obligations is to participate in a series of concerts performed at Tacoma Public Schools - It's a recruiting thing.....Tamra and I chaperoned, which was not a tough job. Lunch time was spent at a nearby park where the kids had to compete with hungry gulls for the pizza served up.
This hike is tough on old bones and bad knees. It's four miles up with an elevation gain of 3150 feet and I obviously forgot how difficult it was coming down because of the grade. It was beautiful and windy at the top. I packed my sketching stuff but to be honest with you I was so gassed I just took pictures with the phone....
The dirt path to the deck and front door is gone, replaced by a new walkway Tamra and I built using reclaimed brick. Our original walkway and concrete steps sunk down and destroyed the sewer line - yes, it was a mess......Now I can get back to doing some sketching.
Drove down some of the backroads between Kent and Auburn and ended up at this grain hopper (?). I find the mish mash of buildings appealing to draw. This was a two page sketch that didn't scan well, loses something in the translation......
Went to Georgetown (Seattle) and stumbled across the landmark Hat and Boots. Once a gas station and part of a western themed shopping complex called Frontier Village in the 1950's, the hat (not shown) was the cashier stand and the boots were the men and ladies restrooms. They were rescued from a dilapidated state by volunteers and relocated to Oxbow Park.
When I first arrived a family of four were having a picnic on the toe of the first boot. The hat is place quite a ways from the boots and will have to be a separate sketch another day.
6400 block between Carleton Ave. S. and Corson Ave. S.
A sketching trip back to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. One of my favorite sites in town is the Troll that lives under the Aurora Bridge. Amazing how many people stopped by here while we were sketching. It's also amazing how stupid people get while climbing around and on top of this 20'-25' sculpture. I watched a dad encourage his child to get closer to the edge of the top of the forehead so he can get a better picture......
This rocket used to adorn the front of an Army/Navy surplus store in Belltown. When announced that it was coming down and headed for the trash heap, business leaders in Fremont made arrangements for the "center of the known universe" to be its new home. It sat for some time till it was installed ('94) on the front of what is now a ladies boutique.
Joined up with classmates Val Thompson and Alex Poorman to sketch downtown Tacoma. It was the last day of the Norman Rockwell exhibit and the line out the door of the Tacoma Art Museum was a half a block long. Gonna have to see it another time.
This sketch is looking south toward the Tacoma Dome and the industrial part of town, done in pen and ink with a watercolor wash.
Alex and I met up with a huge crowd of urban sketchers for the May event. The first image is looking West toward Seattle Center. The second is of a small segment of the community garden and the rainwater catch barrel and pump.
One of the pieces I submitted for the show. The original art work was used as an award given out at the end of the Tapps Island Jr. Golf Camp (2004?). Reworked it to appear as an ad for this years event. Created in Adobe Illustrator CS5.
We are supposed to come up with a cubist deconstruction of a sport. Turns out I didn't come close to cubism but stay tuned, I think I can solve this problem. The final product will be a color painting with a medium of my choice.
We got together at the Amgen Footbridge at the north end of Elliott Bay. It was a great turnout and we were rewarded with a rare stretch of time with no rain (though I inhaled a colony of pesky gnats).
This sketch is of a fishing boat docked at the Smith Cove Waterway. I will add some color and finish under the dock when time permits. Great to have fellow Highline students Val Thompson, Alex Poorman, and Brian Mason join us. Hope they get the bug and want to become regulars.
I got in some urban hiking for this event, got off the bus at Benaroya Hall in downtown and walked the 2.5 miles through Olympic Sculpture and Myrtle Edwards Parks to get to our rendezvous. It is a beautiful region we live in (when it's not raining.....).
Pen and ink with grey marker in the Eileen VB sketchbook.
Didn't have much time on the schedule to draw, but Tamra suggested coffee and even if its a quick sketch at Jet City Espresso, I was a happy camper the rest of the day. Funny how therapeutic sketching can be...... yes, this is a subject I've done before. Cool to see things start to green up and bloom.
Alex and I did our own sketchcrawl today, starting at Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square and then to the Pike-Pine hill climb. This sketch was done of the unique decor at the Six Arms Restaurant and Bar. Lots of whimsical piping and mysterious crows that have (as our waitress Celeste would say a 'Where's Waldo?") quality to their locations all over the establishment. Good food, the porter was OK, maybe a 7 on a scale to 10. No this picture isn't upside down - the crow was.....
For her internship, Tamra is developing a website for the Anderson Island Fire Department. While she was there taking pictures I got to sketch in and around the fire house. The firemen all have their gear ready to jump into when a call comes in.
We spent President's Weekend at a time share in Leavenworth, WA. It's a touristy place that has decked itself out as a Bavarian transplant since the 60's. Beautiful weather and scenery were dampened only by my coming down with the flu bug.
Am closing in on the end of the Marty Sketchbook - This was straight watercolor a rarity for me, looking out our back deck at the Leavenworth Golf Course and Cascade Mountains.
My digital photography class got together at the Museum of Flight this afternoon for a photo shoot. I got there a couple of hours early to get some sketching in.Pen and ink with water wash and gray marker, in the Marty sketchbook.
Arcturus is a annual literary publication that is put out by the Writing Dept. at the college, each year the Graphic Design Dept. gets to compete for the cover design.
This years theme is 'water' so I went with a surreal take on the subject. The concept is by no means new, a local artist from the '80s created paintings with color on the outside and a b/w interior. I definitely like the contrast, though I'm sure they are looking for something with more sophistication.
I've promised my wife that I would come up with something new for the back cover - the dog floating in deep water gave her anxiety...........
Am so very proud of my daughter (Kiersten) who plays trumpet for the Kentridge High School Jazz Band. They played in a competition at Bellevue College against nationally ranked schools like Seattle's Garfield and Roosevelt. This page was a collection of quick sketches done throughout the day.Pen and ink in the Marty sketchbook.
Met with the Seattle Urban Sketchers at the Seattle Public Library for a morning of sketching. The Library is a futuristic looking all-glass building that takes some navigational skills if your trying to get back to the lobby.
We got together Sunday morning at the Bauhaus Coffee Co. (E. Pine) to do the 'Coffee Culture' of the neighborhood. Good coffee can be had at seemingly every corner in the area - and there's an art supply store across the street....I had the foresight to forgo watching the Seahawks-Bears game in order to join the sketch group, good choice it turns out.
To start the new year off right, I headed out to spend this beautiful day sketching. I ended up in South Park and found this great industrial site just off the Duwamish waterway. The barge in the middle ground is the Gold Seeker out of Ketchikan, Alaska.
It was eerie how quiet it was because of the holiday, I've been down here on a work day and there is no way one could set up and sketch without being in someone's way.
Ok, not very glamorous, but it was cold and damp and I did this from Tom and Jackie's deck (but then again, from my deck you see the cul-de-sac in all it's glory). McNeil Island is the land mass behind the trucks. FYI - A cul-de-sac (literally "bottom of bag") is a word of French origin referring to a dead end, closed, no through road (UK, Australian and Canadian English). -Wikipedia.
Yea, that's right I had to look it up to make sure I spelled it right, thought I'd pass along a bit of useless information.
A couple of days before New Years I hiked out to the Lake Washington Boathouse. The view is looking Northwest to downtown Seattle (Mercer Island is on the right). I'm amazed at how much the end of the lake has filled in with sand, soil and debris. It's not seen during the summer months and I wonder if it is dredged annually. You can just see the Columbia Tower and a couple of other tall buildings peeking over the ridge and the Olympic Mountains were in crisp view.
This was a very cold day and the sketching was fast. Pen and ink with watercolor.
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: