Sunday, December 8, 2013

Drawing Jam Rocks Again!

12/7/13 Evan Flory-Barnes. Diamine Chocolate Brown ink,
Sailor pen, Canson XL 140 lb. paper
It was 20 degrees yesterday morning, the coldest day of the season so far. Peggy and I arrived at Gage Academy at 8:35 a.m., which meant that we could either wait in the warm car or wait in line outside for 25 minutes before the doors would even open. Without hesitation, we both headed for the line immediately – and three people were already ahead of us, shivering as we were!


Maybe. But that’s the way it is at Drawing Jam, Gage’s annual festival of participative art, which I had been looking forward to ever since I went to my very first Jam last year! Where else can you spend 12 hours drawing, looking at art, chatting with friends while drawing, eating, drawing, meeting people, drawing, getting free art supplies, drawing, listening to live music and drawing some more – all for $10?

12/7/13 Miss Kitty Baby. Diamine Chocolate
Brown ink, Sailor pen
As I did last year, I spent most of my time in the “Stars of Seattle” studio, where local celebrities like the Seattle Seafair Pirates, rock band Midday Veil and burlesque performer Miss Kitty Baby posed as models. My favorite “model” was improvisational jazz bass player Evan Flory-Barnes, who, unlike the others, didn’t pose – he simply performed his innovative music while we sketched him. (The life drawing monitor kept interrupting his performance every 20 minutes to ask him if he wanted a break, which he always declined. I wanted to shout, “Stop interrupting! Let the man play!”) Sketching while listening to live, improvisational jazz. . . does it get any better?

After eight hours of drawing, I finally called it a day, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Rock on, Gage! (To see more of my sketches from Drawing Jam, see my Life Drawing set in my Flickr Photostream.)

12/7/13 Seafair Pirate. Private Reserve Velvet Black ink
12/7/13 Seafair Pirate. Private Reserve Velvet Black ink

12/7/13 Midday Veil. Private Reserve Velvet
Black ink

12/7/13 Seafair Pirate. Private Reserve Velvet
Black ink

Only three people ahead of us in line -- but we still have 25 minutes
to wait in 20-degree weather before we can storm the doors down.


  1. Your sketches of the people are fantastic!!! The Drawing Jam sounds like a lot of fun. I've never heard of that before. Is it unique to where you are???

    1. Thanks, Joan! Yes, I think Drawing Jam is unique to Gage Academy, which is a wonderful art school here in Seattle. It's where I sometimes go for life drawing practice.

  2. My goodness what a great event that must be. I've never heard of anything like it. Your sketches from the event are great. Wish I could have been with you.

    Cheers --- Larry

  3. Your sketches are worth the wait in the cold weather. They are very nice. I have gone to those sketching jams in the past, waited in line but never in the bitter cold. It is true to it's title....a jam of serious, fun loving, artistic people crazy enough to stand in line for twelves hours of sketching, painting, listening and talking to other artists, observing people, learning, and sculpturing with clay.


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