Friday, January 10, 2014

Seattle Central Library

1/10/14 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Fabriano Studio hot press 140 lb. paper
Nearly two years ago, the Seattle Urban Sketchers met at the Seattle Public Library’s Central downtown location to sketch and later attend Gabi’s presentation there. I had not yet worked up the courage to sketch with the group, especially not in a building as intimidating as the Central library. But I went to Gabi’s talk (he was promoting his then-new book, The Art of Urban Sketching), learned more about the urban sketching movement, and met a few sketchers who encouraged me to join them. I finally did get up the courage to sketch with them the following month – and of course, as they say, the rest is history.
1/10/14 Diamine Onyx Black and Grey inks, watercolor, Fabriano Studio hot press 

It felt like a personal completion of some sort to have finally sketched at the downtown library today with the Friday sketchers. I was no less intimidated today by the amazing architecture, vast windows and unusual interior features than I was two years ago. But the big difference between then and now is that now I accept that I’ll probably always be intimidated by such formidable sketching challenges – and I just sketch anyway.

With this what-the-heck attitude, I first went up to Level 10, the highest public level, and sketched the reading room and that incredible glass ceiling. Later I went down to the Level 3 “Living Room” to sketch more patrons seated in the ridiculously uncomfortable chairs. (They are sort of like modernized Adirondack chairs, and you know how comfortable they are. I guess the library wants to invite people to read – but not for too long.) My single favorite feature of the Central library is the chartreuse escalators, which you can see in both sketches.

1/10/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink, Fabriano Studio
This third sketch is of the outside of the library, which I sketched from Vovito Espresso across the street facing Spring Street’s steep incline between Fourth and Fifth avenues, waiting for the library to open. It was a good intro sketch to those basket-woven windows.

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