|1/21/17 Women's March
Per my annual tradition, shown here are my top 10 most memorable sketches of the year. As before, these are not necessarily my “best” or “favorite” sketches; they are ones that evoke the strongest memories. Although 99 percent of the fun of sketching is in the act of sketching (and not the sketch that results from it), I also derive much pleasure from thumbing through my sketchbooks and remembering the events and circumstances surrounding the sketch. (Click the title of the sketch to go to the original post and full-size images.)
Jan. 21, Seattle’s Women’s March (above): Typically, I am not a politically active person. But Trump’s election stirred me as has no other political event in recent history. Despite much trepidation about joining what was expected to be a crowd of more than 100,000, I participated in Seattle’s Women’s March. And while I never felt unsafe during our peaceful event, sketching as I walked made me feel “normal” while doing something that was 100 percent outside my comfort zone.
|4/8/17 San Jose Taiko
April 8, San Jose Taiko concert (left): When I heard that San Jose Taiko, a highly acclaimed professional taiko group, would be performing in the Seattle area, I was thrilled! My niece Alix is a member, and I hadn’t seen her perform in many years.
May 10, Manarola, Italy (left): Of the Cinque Terre’s “five lands,” Manarola is one of the most picturesque. The scene I sketched is one that appears on many postcards and in guidebooks of Italy. Although I had first seen it in 2006, I wasn’t sketching yet then. It felt both intimidating and fulfilling to finally sketch it.
|5/12/17 Lake Como
May 12, Lake Como, Italy (left): Two days after that memorable sketch in Manarola, I had a personal breakthrough when I sketched Lake Como from Varenna using colored pencils. This landscape sketch is of the type that I thought wasn’t possible on location with colored pencils because of their time-consuming nature. I was ecstatic to have found a way to do it in an hour.
July 26, Cloud Gate, Chicago (below): Although it wasn’t a scheduled symposium event at that point, many sketchers ended up wandering over to Millennium Park on the first day of the symposium to sketch “the Bean” (officially named Cloud Gate). I was happily reunited at the park with many sketchers I had met at previous symposiums. The most memorable meeting was with Joan Tavolott, whom I have known for years through our blogs but had not met in person until that day at the Bean.
|7/26/17 "The Bean"
|8/1/17 Michigan Avenue
Aug. 1, Michigan Avenue, Chicago (left): By the time I sketched this view from Michigan Avenue of my favorite Chicago building, the metallic blue Two Prudential, the symposium was over, and I was getting ready to leave town that afternoon. When I look at this sketch now, it seems to hold all my wonderful memories of the symposium as well as the excitement of a beautiful city that I want to return to again and again.
|8/21/17 Total solar eclipse
Aug. 21, total solar eclipse, Oregon (right): Two years of planning culminated in about 10 seconds of solar eclipse totality for my family!
|9/5/17 Smokey sky
Sept. 5, sun behind smoke-filled sky: A record number of wildfires have taken and endangered lives up and down the Pacific Coast this year. Smoke and ash from Central Washington filled the air around the Puget Sound area for many days. It was eerie to sketch an orange sun at 8:21 a.m. as if it were sunset – and to be able to look at it directly with my naked eyes, just as I did during the eclipse totality only weeks before.
|10/28/17 Maples at Northgate
Oct. 28, maple trees at Northgate (right): Although some regions can count on gorgeous fall color each year, the Pacific Northwest is not one of them. All the conditions must have been right this year, though, because we had a particularly phenomenal autumn for color. I sketched trees whenever I could. This afternoon at Northgate was especially fun because Greg came with me, and he walked up and down the street with his camera as I sketched.
|11/11/17 King Street Station
Nov. 11, King Street Station: Urban Sketchers celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, culminating in a worldwide, 24-hour sketchcrawl Nov. 11. USk Seattle had record-breaking attendance, including our founder, Gabi Campanario, at King Street Station.