Monday, September 9, 2013

Experience Music Project Museum

9/9/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Zig markers,
Diamine Grey ink, 140 lb. paper
Ever since the Seattle Urban Sketchers met at the Seattle Center last holiday season, I’ve been thinking about returning to sketch at the Experience Music Project Museum. At the time, I had briefly considered sketching in the EMP lobby. Ultimately, I was overwhelmed by the unusual space and especially the formidable Guitar Gallery sculpture visible from the lobby, so I ended up sketching at the skating rink and Armory instead.

With eight more months of sketching chops since then (she said, boldly), I was ready to take on the Guitar Gallery today. I don’t know if the size of this amazing piece of work – made of actual guitars and other instruments – is apparent in my sketch, but I couldn’t get it all in. In fact, photographing it in one shot is impossible unless you have a particularly wide wide-angle lens (which my phone fell far short of).

9/9/13 Diamine Eclipse, Grey and Chocolate Brown inks, Sailor pens, Zig markers, 100 lb. paper
EMP is one of those places where I feel conflicted: I’m torn between wanting to see all the exhibits and wanting to sketch. But in a large museum like that where one could easily spend all day, I usually have a better experience if I take my time in a few exhibits rather than try to see all of them in a cursory manner. With that in mind, I spent most of my time in the Icons of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibits. I first sketched the harpoon gun used by Sigourney Weaver in “Alien” (1979). Then I took a wider view of the exhibit area that included an Anubis guard helmet worn in “Stargate” (1994). By the time I finished sketching the head of a caged dragon (whose glowing red eye opened briefly as I sketched), it was time to go have lunch with my friend Gary. The dragon’s tail will have to wait until next time.

9/9/13 Diamine Eclipse and Grey inks, Sailor pen, 100 lb. paper
9/9/13 Diamine Chocolate ink


  1. Excellent sketches, especially the guitar tower. I prefer the Science Fiction museum to the EMP. Saw the Fantasy exhibit soon after if opened. I'm a member, so when you want to go back, I'd be game to go with you!

  2. I love your perspective for sketching the guitar sculpture. Including the people gives us a good idea of how it is hanging. Nice job on that. It is hard to actually get to view the exhibits at a museum and sketch too. The time disappears much too fast that way. You need a few days to see and sketch everything you want, which makes a return visit likely. Good job!


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