Saturday, May 4, 2013

Small Lot, Big Equipment

5/4/13 Platinum Sepia ink, watercolor, Zig markers, pencil, Stillman & Birn sketchbook
On our way to the Sand Point Metropolitan Market this morning, we saw a disproportional number of heavy machinery moving slowly around a small lot on the corner of 25th Northeast and Northeast 75th in Wedgwood. I think the lot has been empty for a while – perhaps a gas station stood there at some point. It didn’t look like anything was being built, nor being torn down, and there were so many pieces of equipment in such a small space that it seemed to me that they could hardly maneuver.
Curious, and with this week’s Urban Sketchers Flickr group theme “People on the Job” on my mind, I went back this afternoon to find out what was going on. It turned out to be environmental cleanup activity, according to the worker I asked.
Technical note: I’m constantly switching out various art materials in my daily bag to minimize its weight and bulk while maximizing my sketching options. Since I had rarely used it, I recently replaced an orange Zig marker with something else. As I stood on a noisy, dusty, highly trafficked street corner, I regretted not having that bright orange marker, which would have enabled me to add the important color to this sketch quickly without having to get out my watercolors to mix the orange. Given that “construction orange” is always a prominent color in the urban landscape, I guess I’d better put that marker back into my bag.


  1. For the first time i have seen someone fascinated with the construction work going along side the road and making a sketch of it and even writing a blog about it. It makes me amazed.
    Construction Equipment Parts

    1. Hi Bruce! It's hard not to be fascinated with those big machines! But for me it's more about trying to sketch whatever is around me and becoming more aware. Construction is such a common sight everywhere that it's easy to block it out. It's part of urban life, and I enjoy the experience of capturing it.


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