|4/29/23 Ksitigarbha Temple, Lynnwood
Urban Sketchers Seattle was treated to a unique experience Saturday: an afternoon sketching at Ksitigarbha Buddhist Temple. Lynnwood is a bit farther north than we typically venture for sketch outings, but the experience was certainly worth the extra miles. Open to the public on Saturdays, the Vietnamese temple grounds are a wondrous display of statuary and ornament. The location would have been a fabulous experience any day, but we were also treated to spectacular weather: Clear blue sky and temps in the high 70s!
Built on a steep, wooded hillside, the grounds gave us a good workout as we climbed many staircases to eventually reach the top. All along the way were colorful, intricately decorated religious icons. Most of the ornamentation was related to nature – artificial flowers, birds, other animals – but I spotted a few mythical creatures, too. I wish I understood the symbiology and significance of the amazing sights. Stairway landings often led to small, secluded nooks, most with benches or chairs, which made sketching serene and comfortable.
I had to wander for quite a while to take it all in and decide what to sketch, which was a staggering decision! Overwhelmed by all the color and detail, I started with an icon at the very top of the grounds, which I chose because it was one of the “plainest” displays (above)!
After chatting with other sketchers and wandering some more, I eventually ended up in a studio area where congregation members were having a work party. The large space was filled with more of the colorful ornamentation I saw throughout the temple grounds. Workers were painting items that would be used for more displays.
|Congregation members paint items that will be used in future displays. The space was filled with colorful florals and other ormanments.
Filling the few minutes before the throwdown, I made a small tonal study of a beautifully lighted Buddha’s face, which was a relief after trying to capture all the details in the first icon I sketched.
Many thanks to Ksitigarbha Temple for welcoming USk Seattle onto their sacred grounds as we all wandered about with our jaws hanging open in awe!