I have a few year-end retrospective blogging traditions, and this is one of them: my 10 most memorable sketches of the year. (Here are links to my most memorable sketches of 2014 and 2013.)
Note that I don’t call them my “best” sketches of the year or the ones I like the most. These are sketches that bring back the strongest or most meaningful memories. After all, for me, one of the most important aspects of sketching is being able to preserve moments of my life. What are your most memorable sketches? (Clicking the title of the sketch will take you to the original post.)
March 26, Maple Leaf Park, Seattle (left): There I was in late March, sitting under a clear blue sky and 70 degrees – it felt like summer! I knew it wouldn’t last long, but what a treat to sketch the park on a day like that after a long winter.
May 16, Eiffel Tower, Paris (right): Unlike some artists who poo-poo the well-known sights and go for lesser-known views, I don’t have an issue with sketching the world-famous. Sketching the Eiffel Tower felt like a dream come true.
July 17, construction site for 200 Occidental Building, Seattle (left): The main reason this sketch was so memorable is that it was made under the noisiest conditions ever! I was happy that I had ear plugs in my sketch kit.
Aug. 9, Star of India, San Diego (right): After the West Coast Sketchcrawl in San Diego came to an end, a few other sketchers and I decided to do a bit more sketching on the waterfront. There’s no doubt that the Star of India was a memorable sketch subject, but what makes it stand out for me was the record number of people who planted themselves right in front of me to photograph it, completely blocking my view.
Aug. 29, Alix and Seila’s wedding, Half Moon Bay (left): Although I didn’t have as much time as I had hoped, sketching my niece Alix and her fiancé Seila saying their vows was a very special moment for me.
Sept. 2, T-Rex at California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco (right): After spending several hours exploring San Francisco’s spectacular science museum, I was getting antsy because I still hadn’t sketched one of the many dinosaur skeletons. This overpass view of the T-Rex was impossible to resist.
Sept. 27, Top Pot Donuts, Seattle (left): I spend a lot of time sketching people using laptops in coffee shops, so this dude at Top Pot on Alki was nothing special. What made the sketch memorable was that mega-sketcher and artist Don Colley was by my side during his fantastic urban sketching workshop, showing me how to improve the sketch.
Oct. 6, roofers, Seattle (right): I don’t get many opportunities for a front-row sketching seat of roofers at work, so when the house next door got a new roof, I was upstairs sketching from the bedroom window. I’m easily entertained as long as I have my sketchbook!
Nov. 16, Himeji Castle, Himeji (below): The weather was warm and gorgeous (perhaps the best we had during our trip to Japan), it was my birthday, and 800-year-old Himeji-jo was gleaming in the sunlight. That’s a memorable sketch all-around.
Nov. 21, egrets and herons on the Kamo River, Kyoto (right): After spending more than a week in tourist-crowded Kyoto, we were weary of battling crowds. Sketching birds from the nearly deserted bank of the Kamogawa was just the quiet and solace I needed, and it was one of my favorite days of the whole trip.