Monday, May 20, 2024

Drizzly U-District Street Fair


5/18/24 U-District Street Fair

After a streak of good weather during USk Seattle outings (well, except for soggy Cinco de Mayo), our luck ran out Saturday: The U-District Street Fair was mostly damp to drizzly. Still, I managed to duck under awnings and trees to catch the general fair ambiance of tents and attendees, a balloon man, and two members of a jazz group performing on the stage.

Eventually I got chilly and tired of being dripped on by trees, so I retreated to Ugly Mug Café and Coffee Roasters, where the windows cast a nice backlighting on patrons.

5/18/24 Ugly Mug Cafe

Our luck was back for the throwdown, when it finally stopped raining and the sun even appeared briefly. (By that afternoon when I was back at home, it started pouring! I feel bad for the vendors, who probably lost a lot of sales to the miserable weather.)

For three decades before the pandemic, the annual U-District Street Fair was one of our favorite summer (or near-summer) events. Begun in 1970 with roots in activism for social and political change, this was Seattle’s first street fair and the country’s longest-running festival of its kind. It came back strong in 2022 after a necessary pandemic pause, but we didn’t attend the last couple years. Despite the rain, it was good to be back last Saturday, especially with USk Seattle. (The last time USk Seattle met there was in 2019.)

Speaking of USk, today is my 12-year anniversary since I joined Urban Sketchers Seattle!

Material notes: The bright blue Uglybook I recently filled was a joy to use, but now that summer is nearing, it was time for a change-up: Sunny yellow! (The light blue paper above is the larger-format Uglybook.) And as much as I love the comic-y look of markers, I had been missing my beloved pencils. In addition to being sunny, I was hoping the high-key color would be light enough to show graphite, especially the water-soluble graphite ArtGraf pencil used above. When activated, ArtGraf is almost as dark as a marker. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s going to work out with my comics style. Even with a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens for assist with dark backgrounds, graphite just doesn’t have the solid punch of a marker’s bold line. I’m not giving it up yet, but I’m not feeling it, either.

On the upside, waterproof Pitt pens saved the wet day: Several times my pages got hit by big secondary raindrops from tree limbs above, but no running occurred!

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