Friday, July 29, 2022

The Shady Side of the Street


7/26/22 Mt. Rainier from Maple Leaf Park

Here in the Pacific Northwest where we have a solid cloud cover much of the year, and blistering heat is rare (though, alarmingly, increasingly less rare), I’m not accustomed to having to find shade first before I look for something to sketch. I’m also fast, so on a “normal” weather day, I don’t mind standing in the sun for the time it takes me to make a sketch. I know I’m fortunate; many sketchers in other climates must seek shade as a normal routine.

On the first day of our heatwave this week, during which the city opened public cooling centers for people without AC, I went out early in the day to get ahead of the heat. Though the horizon looked a bit hazy, I could see from our partial view of Mt. Rainier that Her Majesty was out. My first stop was Maple Leaf Park to pay a quick homage. I didn’t think I’d find any shade there, and it was still comfortable enough that I wasn’t concerned, but I did find a tiny bit of shade that helped. At 8:17 a.m. when I finished the sketch, it was 75 degrees.

7/26/22 Maple Leaf neighborhood
After taking a walk, I had had plenty of sun and rapidly rising heat, so I zig-zagged my way home to stay on the shady side of the streets. I usually don’t like to limit my compositional view, but being motivated to stay cool gave me a fresh challenge. There’s always something to sketch if I’m looking for it.


  1. Glad you were able to get out and sketch before the heat was too oppressive. Love the sketch of Her Majesty.

    1. Thanks! It was possibly my quickest sketch of Rainier yet!


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