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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

Category: Waterscapes


June 20, 2014 at 11:16 PM

An extreme low tide brings out high interest and new discoveries


Sketched June 14, 2014

low tide sealife comboAn excursion to the Puget Sound shoreline never disappoints, especially during the extreme low tides that usually happen around the summer and winter solstice.

In Edmonds, the tide reached its lowest point of the year, minus 2.98 feet, last Saturday at 12:21 p.m. That was so low that people could sneak in under the ferry dock, a rarely accessible area where the waterline would rise 15 feet by 7:45 p.m. and reach almost to the top of the pilings seen in my sketch.


Comments | More in Nature, Recreation, Waterscapes | Topics: Edmonds

May 16, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Olympic Sculpture Park stands tall on a sunny day


Sketched May 13, 2014

Did you get out and enjoy the sun this week? With temperatures in the 70s and 80s, it felt just like summer. Sitting by Alexander Calder’s “Eagle” at Olympic Sculpture Park, I saw people reading books, walking their dogs and taking in the magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains.

The park feels so right in this location, it’s hard to believe it didn’t exist when I moved here eight years ago. It opened in 2007 on the former site of a fuel-storage facility that took years to clean up.


Comments | More in Nature, Parks, Skylines, Waterscapes | Topics: Belltown

May 2, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Tough tugs, big cargo and very long trips all the way to Alaska


Sketched April 23, 2014

For those who work in the local maritime industry, boating season doesn’t start today. It’s a year-round occupation.

Once every three weeks, for example, Capt. Brent Bierbaum and the crew of the Arctic Titan load up their tugboat with food provisions and embark on a 1,400-mile journey to Alaska. The job: to transport a barge the size of a football field all the way to Whittier, a rail-yard outpost on Prince William Sound. From oil-train cars and refrigerated containers with frozen bread to machinery and even boats, the barge’s deck is packed five-stories high. Imagine maneuvering that load through tides and narrow inlets along the coast of Canada. “It’s a huge responsibility,” Bierbaum said.


Comments | More in Boats, Waterscapes | Topics: Ballard, Elliott Bay

December 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Old city bathhouses stage comeback

Sketched Nov. 18, 2013 Talk about an interesting transformation. Back in the early 70s, when people stopped using the city’s historic bathhouses as places to change into their swimwear, the little brick buildings were repurposed as art centers. Currently, Seward Park’s is a ceramic studio, Madrona Beach’s hosts a dance company, and…


Comments | More in Buildings, History, Waterscapes | Topics: Green Lake

November 29, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Breaking ground by breaking ice again

Sketched Nov. 26, 2013 For the first time in years, the Polar Star is about to go break some ice. Budget cuts and repairs kept the aging heavy-duty icebreaker sidelined since 2006, but come Tuesday, it will leave Pier 36 on a four-month deployment to Antarctica. Deck Officer Paul Garcia said the mission is to break a…


Comments | More in Boats, Military, Waterscapes | Topics: Downtown waterfront

November 15, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Unwelcoming November chill still marks birthplace of Seattle

An austere monument at Alki Avenue S.W. and 63rd Avenue S.W. marks the “birthplace of Seattle,” the point along the West Seattle shoreline where a group of pioneers led by Arthur Denny landed 162 years ago this week. I used to think the Denny Party stumbled upon these lands the same way Columbus happened…


Comments | More in History, Statues, Waterscapes | Topics: West Seattle

July 16, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Sketchbook memories from Highway 101 road trip

The number of amazing scenic locations along the Pacific coast between Seattle and San Francisco is too many to count. How do you even start planning a road trip?

For our week-long vacation, my wife, Michelle, and I decided to make stops in Newport, Ore., and McKinleyville, Calif., before arriving to our destination, a hotel facing the ocean in Pacifica, south of San Francisco. We had stayed there 12 years ago, before we got married, and loved it. Why not repeat?

Except Pacifica and San Francisco, the rest of the trip was a new experience for us and for our two kids. We visited the aquarium in Newport, got our feet wet in desolate beaches along the coast, admired the majestic redwoods in Humboldt County and saw a colony of sea lions from a bluff in Moss Beach, Calif.

Though I don’t feel like drawing as much as I used to on my time off — I already sketch for my job! — I could not keep my hands away from the sketchbook to record some of those precious moments. If you have recommendations for a future coastal trip, perhaps closer to home, I’m all ears!

Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Newport, Oregon.


Comments | More in Sketchbook, Waterscapes

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