Friday, August 21, 2015

Bradner Gardens is Full of Surprises

8/21/15 ink, watercolor, colored pencil
Proposing a sketch outing at a location I haven’t been to before can be risky, but the photos looked inviting, so I took a chance on Bradner Gardens Park. Along with the other Friday sketchers, I was delighted to find this well-designed pea patch to be full of surprises.

For one thing, there’s a windmill, which I sketched first from my car while the morning was still a little chilly. It was already warming up by the time I finished, so I got out of the car and captured one of the many imaginative scarecrows populating the gardens. Dressed in a corporate shirt and tie (and fly unzipped), this scarecrow was apparently inspired by a former Seattle mayor, Kate had heard. (We both noted that the scarecrow has two faces – one on either side of his head! Hmmm.)

The gardeners who work this pea patch have so many luscious flowers and vegetables growing that I wandered for quite a while trying to choose one for my last sketch. The gorgeous green peppers near the restroom caught my eye – the shapes and colors so vibrant. 
8/21/15 ink, watercolor, colored

8/21/15 ink, watercolor, colored pencil

Speaking of the restroom, I have to show you the surprise I found there. From the outside, it looks like your typical drab, unattractive concrete box often found in city parks. But inside was a mosaic covering the walls with huge insects and other garden motifs. The wall placard said that the mosaic was made and donated by Friends of Bradner Gardens volunteers.

8/21/15 inks, Zig marker, colored pencil
Although technically this last sketch (at right) wasn’t made in the gardens, I finished it this morning before the others arrived for the meetup, so I’ll include it in this post. Wandering around the gardens’ periphery, construction noise got my attention, so I walked around the block to see what was going on. A backhoe was busy digging a hole in the street. I could tell that the work was nearly done, so I had to hurry, and sure enough, it finished a few minutes later. The funny part was that afterwards while I was still standing there coloring the backhoe, the operator came over to see what I was doing. Concerned that I was a neighbor taking notes so that I could complain about the dust or noise, he seemed relieved that I was only sketching. He laughed and said I had made him look skinnier than he really is!


  1. Love that fancy WC!!! Great idea for the scarecrows....were they all so clever? Nice sketches of the gardens and the construction vehicle. You had a busy day.

  2. I love the executive scarecrow. Looks like Bradner Gardens is in line for a second trip, particularly the bathroom :-)

  3. What a pleasant surprise to visit those gardens! Your account really puts me right back there and your sketches sum it all up beautifully.

  4. Lovely sketches and a great response by the backhoe operator. What a delightful surprise in the toilets :)


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