This time of year, it’s a media standby to list the top 10 events of the past 12 months, so I might as well do it, too. Instead of choosing my 10 “best” or “favorite” sketches (I don’t like to evaluate sketches that way; they are all part of the same process), I’ve selected 10 that are the most memorable for various personal reasons. Some evoke particularly strong sensory feelings of a place; others represent a change in perception; still others simply took place in unique circumstances. (Clicking the title of the sketch will take you to the original post.)
Jan. 20, Suzzallo Library: Sketching this gothic window during a Seattle Urban Sketchers gathering completely exhausted me!
Feb. 22, Brazilian “Terror Bird,” Burke Museum: Before I tried it, I used to think sketching a skeleton would be too challenging for me. This “terror bird” changed my view: Skeletons are indeed challenging, but they are also so fascinating that they became my favorite natural history subject matter. In fact, I became a Burke member this day so that I could look forward to sketching many more skeletons.
|UW cherry trees|
March 30, University of Washington cherry trees: On a record-breaking warm spring day (wearing flip-flops in March is unheard of!), I joined hundreds of people simply rejoicing in the beauty of cherry blossoms.
|"Waiting for the Interurban"|
May 10, Waiting for the Interurban, Fremont neighborhood: On a particularly sunny and pleasant day, the Friday sketchers gathered in Fremont to sketch icons like this sculpture. Despite the continually obstructing stream of traffic as I sketched, I remember being perfectly comfortable in the mid-day sunshine, basking in the fun.
|Greenwood Car Show|
June 29, Greenwood Car Show: Sketching these classic cars and chatting with their owners helped me to slay a sketching nemesis. Though they remain challenging, now I think cars really aren’t so bad, a thought that was reinforced a few days ago at the LeMay Car Museum.
July 13, Arc deTriomf, Barcelona: Sketched at the culminating gathering of hundreds of sketchers during the International Urban Sketching Symposium, the Arc de Triomf is now a symbol for me of feeling a part of that worldwide community.
July 18, Köln Cathedral, Köln: This sketch was a record-breaker for me, the longest I have spent on any one sketch – two hours. The day was sunny and warm but not yet hot. As I sat with my back against a pillar, hundreds of commuters busily walking by without so much as a glance at the cathedral, I continually marveled to be in the presence of such architectural splendor.
|Maple in Wedgwood|
Oct. 12, maple tree, Wedgwood neighborhood: Just one of many trees I sketched last autumn, this maple helped me slay a second sketching nemesis. How could I find an enemy in a sketch subject that gave me so much joy to portray?
Nov. 15, Smith Tower sketched from the Columbia Tower: It wasn’t just that it was my birthday celebration that made this day special. A view from the 73rd floor makes everything seem grand and amazing.
|The Seattle Sketcher on New Day|
Dec. 16, Gabi’s appearance on New Day Northwest: I had never been in a live TV studio audience before, so the event was memorable in that regard. Sketching the Seattle Sketcher on the program made the event even more memorable.
|From Hiroshima to Hope|
Edited 12/29/13: I suddenly remembered a sketch event that was especially memorable for me because it was one of few opportunities I’ve taken for actual reportage sketching: The “From Hiroshima to Hope” annual commemoration in honor of the victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. I thought about eliminating one of the other sketches from this post, but who says a “top 10” list has to be limited to 10?