Thursday, May 2, 2013

Museum of History and Industry


5/2/13 Noodler's Lexington Grey ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha
I took advantage of free admission on first Thursday to visit the Museum of History and Industry at its new location on Lake Union. As an occasional visitor of MOHAI at its old location, I was familiar with some exhibits, but many other artifacts were able to come out of MOHAI’s archives in the larger facility. The new spacious, well-lighted building is a well-deserved home for Puget Sound-area history.
 
Although I hadn’t planned it, my visit turned out to be more than one lesson in composition (Frank Ching, I was paying attention during your lecture at last Saturday’s workshop!), though I could have saved myself time if I had spent more time seeing and less time drawing as Frank had recommended.
 

5/2/13 Lexington Grey ink, watercolor, S&B Alpha
A Seattle native, I was immediately drawn to a couple of colorful and nostalgic icons from my childhood. One was the large red neon R that had been a landmark above the Rainier Brewery in south Seattle for decades. First I sketched the R by itself from the main lobby (at left), but after I finished I realized the composition was blah and gave the R no context. A little later as I was climbing the stairs to the third floor, I saw a more interesting composition of the R (at bottom) behind an ancient Boeing B-1 mail carrier (I learned from a docent that the small plane was made of ship parts).
 
5/2/13 Lexington Grey ink, water-soluble colored pencils, Zig markers

The bright pink Lincoln’s Toe Truck is another familiar icon from parades and other public events. I started sketching it from the second floor railing directly over the toes, but I realized quickly that I didn’t leave space on the page for any context, so the composition was strange. Fortunately, I saw this before I had wasted more than a few minutes, so I abandoned the line drawing right away and started over. This time I put in some people nearby for both context and scale: a better composition (at top).
 
After a grilled caprese sandwich at MOHAI’s Compass CafĂ©, I sketched three figureheads leaning out from the second floor near the ceiling (at right). I couldn’t find a placard about them, and the docent I asked didn’t know, so I have no idea what ships these figureheads originally sailed with.
 
I had given myself four hours on the parking meter, so it was time to go, but I’ll be going back again sometime soon – there’s plenty to sketch at MOHAI as well as plenty to learn and enjoy.
5/2/13 Iroshizuku Take-Sumi and Sailor inks, Zig markers


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