Saturday, August 24, 2019

Leschi Nostalgia

8/23/19 Leschi Market in the Leschi neighborhood

On warm summer days when I was a kid, my older sister and I would walk the half-mile or so from our home to Leschi Market, where we’d buy popsicles or ice cream bars. Then we’d spread a blanket on the grass at the adjacent park to eat our treats with a view of Lake Washington and the marina. Of course, when I was eight years old, that view that others would call “breathtaking” or “sweeping” (especially when Mt. Rainier was out) didn’t impress me much. We had the same view from our livingroom window. I took it for granted. It’s only now, many decades later and no longer enjoying such a view in Maple Leaf, that I realize how fortunate I was to grow up in the Leschi neighborhood.

8/23/19 Leschi Marina
Indulging in such reminiscence while I sketched was a rare treat for me with USk Seattle yesterday. Although Leschi Market is not a storefront I would choose to sketch under any other circumstance, I did, purely out of nostalgia. While nearly everything about the area has changed since I lived there, that store still remains (though I’m pretty sure they didn’t offer organic chickens when my mom shopped there).

Next I wandered over to the marina, which apparently inspired many sketchers. I walked partway out on a rickety dock that made me a bit seasick when the water suddenly went rough, but I liked the composition of the boats with the I-90 bridges behind them.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “inspiration” – what it is and how much of it is necessary to make a sketch. Sometimes a strong visual image (like the marina composition) makes it easy to sketch. Other times, it’s a personal connection or some other resonance (the unappealing storefront) that creates the impulse to sketch, even if the visual image isn’t strong. And sometimes (most of the time, for me, it turns out), no apparent “inspiration” is available or necessary at all (more about this tomorrow).

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