September 20, 2013 at 7:38 PM
Sketched Sept. 12, 2013
As Patrick Ford teaches middle-schoolers how to build a wooden bridge, at least one in the class is not paying attention. I’m talking about Buddy 2.0, who is snoozing with her tongue out inside the cart Ford uses to wheel her around.
A real English bulldog has roamed the hallways of Beaver Lake Middle SchoolCQ in Issaquah and served as the mascot since the school opened in 1994. The first Buddy charmed kids and parents for 13 years, said Ford, and when she died they just had to get another bulldog. “Beaver Lake just didn’t feel the same without Buddy.”
The school district, which adopted a no-animal policy a few years ago, makes an exception for Buddy as long as Ford gets permission from all the parents and continues to prove that having Buddy in the school has an educational value. She helps kids cope with the anxieties of middle school, he said. “Some kids may not have many friends, but Buddy is always their friend.”
One of the dozen students drawn to Buddy during recess put it this way. “She brings us all together really well.”
September 13, 2013 at 9:09 PM
Brian Miller watches last Sunday’s football game inside Hawk One, a converted motorhome
he co-owns with two fellow die-hard Seahawk fans. The tailgate party at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma was just an appetizer for Sunday’s real craze before the season home opener against the 49ers at Century Link Field. It may not count as my first authentic tailgating experience, but I sure learned a great deal about a team and a sport I knew little about.
Sketched Sept. 8, 2013
Talk about team spirit.
Gary Buchanan, Brian Miller and Tony Wetzel don’t just root for the Seahawks. They have their own 38-foot tailgating RV to rally fans before games.
The interior of the motor home is a mini-museum of the team’s history. The ceiling looks like that of the old Kingdome stadium, and names of legendary Seahawk players are displayed on a “Ring of Honor.” There’s more Kingdome-era stuff all around: three red chairs from the old stands, a piece of green turf and even a chunk of cement from the arena demolished 13 years ago.
The custom bar, which stands on legs shaped like goal posts, displays the original Seahawk logo, based on Native American tribal art. The osprey doesn’t have the mean eye of the current logo, noted Miller, who is a toolmaker by day and did most of the handiwork inside the vehicle.
Hawk One looks so polished you might think it’s an official marketing gimmick. It’s not.
“We are the core 12th Man,” said Buchanan, who is looking forward to bring the “ultimate tailgating experience” to “Hawk Alley” for a fifth year in a row Sunday, with the game against the 49ers. “A thousand people will show up. It will be crazy.”
Tailgating is quite the ritual. At home games, Hawk One co-owner Gary Buchanan dresses as the “Sea Pope” and leads fans in prayer. “I pray to the football gods for a positive outcome of the game and no injuries for the players,” he said.
Buchanan found the RV on Craigslist and, after a massive rebuild,
it made its official debut as Hawk One in 2009.
Buchanan, Wetzel and Miller gathered around the bar to discuss last Sunday’s game.
The Seahawks beat the Panthers 12-7.
The trio of die-hard Seahawk fans met about a decade ago through their daughters, who played softball together in elementary school. Now grown up, their kids are bringing a new generation of fans to the tailgate parties.
Buchanan said most people don’t start tailgating until 9 or 10 in the morning, but you can expect Hawk One to raise their 12th Man flag at 6:30 a.m. and celebrate with food, music and toasts until an hour before the game starts. For home games, they set up on Utah Avenue South just north of the Starbucks headquarters.
September 6, 2013 at 6:27 PM
You can never sketch the Fremont Troll enough. More here.
(Four-color BIC pen on 5.5″ by 8.5″ Stillman And Birn Gamma Series sketchbook.)
I’m hardly a lonesome sketcher in Seattle, and that makes me really happy. Every third Sunday of the month I can go sketching with the Seattle Urban Sketchers. And every other month —or so it seems— sketchers from other cities come to visit. Hello, Tommy Kane, Marty Harris and Jim Bumgarner.
Seattle is such a sketch-friendly city that if you move here temporarily, as Joshua Boulet did last fall, you may find it very hard to leave.
Boulet, 35, is a comic book artist, illustrator and sketcher originally from Texas whose work I just discovered a few months ago. I was particularly captivated by his book, Draw Occupy Wall Street, an engaging visual account he inked while living at Zuccoti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy movement in New York City.
Draw Occupy Wall Street, by Joshua Boulet
Recently, Boulet illustrated the ‘Best of Seattle‘ issue of Seattle Weekly with lively ink drawings that captured the pulse of the city. They showed politicians clapping during the unveiling of Bertha, the waterfront tunneling machine, live music performances by the best local singers and patrons lining up at the city’s favorite bakery.
After some exchanges online, Boulet and I finally had a “sketching date” this morning. And as you would expect from two guys crazy about drawing from life, we talked non-stop on the matter. I told him I’ve been experimenting with Bic pen and watercolor, as you can see from the drawings at the top of this post. Then he showed me his tricked-out Pilot Pen that he fills with Dr. Ph. Martin Black India ink. This is the kind of stuff that makes sketchers bond. We drew each other at the Fremont Coffee Company and then we headed to sketch the Fremont Troll. You can never sketch the troll enough!
Boulet recalled the first time he saw the Troll. He stumbled upon it by accident, he said, and took that as a sign that he made the right decision to move to Seattle. I can relate to that. An introduction to the Fremont Troll will make any artist feel welcomed to this city.
Now, let’s hope Boulet will stick around. Seattle needs to see more of his talent.
August 30, 2013 at 6:49 PM
Sketched Aug. 29, 2013
While all eyes are on the new Husky Stadium, let me draw attention to a small, but familiar, piece of the upgraded complex: the 360-pound bronze husky sculpture that has welcomed fans since 1995 and is now the centerpiece of the Dawg Pack Entrance.
Did you know “Husky Spirit” is related to Rachel, the Pike Place Market pig? Both statues are the creations of Whidbey Island sculptor Georgia Gerber, whose portfolio of local public art includes plenty of animals: bears at the Redmond Town Center, gorillas at the Woodland Park Zoo and two harbor seals on Alki Beach (to be dedicated Sept. 8). Gerber said that of the more than 60 pieces she has created, the husky is special to her because she is a University of Washington alumna. The goal was to create “a proud husky, larger than life, that would become an iconic image.”
Sitting to draw it for a couple hours gave me a new appreciation for Gerber’s work. I wonder what animal she will create next. A seahawk, perhaps?
August 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM
A personal highlight of sketching the Bales sentencing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week was meeting Peter Millett. To most news outlets covering the story, he was the go-to courtroom artist. But Millett is also an accomplished sculptor, painter and art teacher. Courtroom sketching is something he does on the side when the opportunity presents itself.
Viewers who see the courtroom sketches on TV or in the newspaper may not realize how difficult a job this is, if I may say so myself. Though not every courtroom is laid out the same way, you can pretty much count on the witness stand, the judge and the rest of the characters you are supposed to draw being farther away than you wish. It’s also likely that they’ll have their back to you, which makes sketching them even harder. The sketch below gives you an idea of the real context inside the military courtroom where Millett and I sketched.
To make the sketches work, you have to compress the scene, bringing the characters closer together than they are in real life. You also have to be able to draw face close-ups despite the distance that separates you from the people you are drawing. If only they let the sketch artist move around!
I learned a great deal from Millett, who’s done this type of sketching for years, and hope we’ll cross paths again, inside or outside the courtroom.
Millett would rush out of the courtroom during breaks and tape his sketches to the back of a TV truck so the crews could photograph them for broadcast via satellite. Times reporter Christine Clarridge took this photo after the sentencing ended Friday.
August 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Sketched August 8, 2013
Perfect timing. The morning low tide allowed me to walk far out on the beach south of Alki Point and find a good angle to sketch Seattle’s most-hidden lighthouse.
Boaters may be very familiar with the beacon that marks the southern entrance to Elliott Bay (Did you know it flashes every five seconds?). But for those of us spending all our time on dry land, it’s not easy to get a close look.
First, there are the beach houses surrounding the historic landmark, which turned 100 this summer. Though I was able to walk around them at low tide, I couldn’t help but feel I was sneaking into somebody’s backyard. Second, the lighthouse complex is an active Coast Guard station that houses the residence of the Commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, Rear Admiral Richard T. Gromlich. Walk by the entrance on Alki Avenue Southwest, and you realize this is not your typical tourist attraction.
But it’s still possible to visit the lighthouse. During the summers or by appointment, Coast Guard volunteers give free tours of the complex. If you don’t want to get your feet muddy as I did, you may want to stop by this weekend or next.
August 23, 2013 at 6:31 PM
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole, a military jury decided Friday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Here are the moments I was able to draw in the courtroom:
Staff Sgt. Walden, the court bailiff, handed the jury’s decision to judge Col. Jeffery Nance, who read it and gave it back to him to take to the jury for the final announcement.
Lt. Col. Jay Morse presented the prosecution’s closing arguments to the jury of six high-ranking U.S. Army soldiers. Among the slides he showed, I was left with the impression of an image that showed one of Bales’ victims, a young girl with her head all covered in blood.
Morse also showed a slide with the names of 48 people who died or were wounded by Bales.
Defense attorney Emma Scanlan tried to convince the jury that her client, who already pleaded guilty for his crimes in June, deserved a chance at parole based on his military record.
Afterward, the group of Afghans flown to JBML for the sentencing appeared before the media. Since we were outside the courtroom, cameras were allowed and recorded the moment. For a minute I thought I’d just listen, but then I started to sketch. That’s what I came to do, after all. It’s a scene that I will remember for a long time.
August 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM
Thursday was my second day sketching at the sentencing hearing of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.
One of the most anticipated moments of the week happened during Bales’ unsworn testimony. As expected, he apologized for killing 16 Afghan men, women and children in Afghanistan last year. Defense attorney Emma Scanlan asked Bales: “Who’s responsible for what happened?” Then Bales replied: “I am. I am responsible,” and then continued expressing deep regret for his actions. “I’m sorry. I’m truly, truly sorry.”
Earlier the defense team called Marc Edwards to testify. Edwards is a former professional football player and knew Bales from high school.
SFC Timothy Farris served with Bales in Afghanistan. He described situations where Bales and other fellow soldiers wore themselves out helping wounded civilians.
CSM (Retired) Alan Bjerke said he remembered Bales as always upbeat and with a smile on his face.
A serious trial is not without a lighthearted moment, I guess. Judge Col. Jeffery Nance got impatient when the witness on the stand, Major Brent Clemmer, didn’t have a laser pointer for his presentation. A member of the prosecution team said he could use his, but not before informing the judge that it was his “personal pointer.”
After nearly five hours, the sentencing wrapped up for the day. Though I spent most of the time concentrating on the witnesses, the judge and the defense team, the moment that stood out the most for me happened during a break after Bales’ testimony. Members of his family cried on his shoulder as he hugged them one by one. I did the sketch above as he embraced his wife, Kari.
August 21, 2013 at 6:39 PM
When cameras aren’t allowed in a court of law, old-fashioned sketching can do the job of capturing the visual information we are accustomed to seeing in photos. That’s been the case with this week’s Robert Bales’ sentencing hearing, which started Monday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma. Bales is the U.S. soldier who pleaded guilty of killing 16 Afghan villagers in Kandahar in 2012.
I was able to be in the courtroom today as witnesses for the prosecution and defense teams took the stand. Below are my sketches and here is the story filed by Times reporter Lewis Kamb.
August 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM
I never thought I would ride a Portuguese trolley anywhere but in Lisbon,
where I lived for a few months in the late ’90s.
Sketched July 30, 2013
Some cities love trolleys more than others.
While Seattle has watched its fleet of waterfront streetcars collect dust in a Sodo warehouse, Issaquah has gone as far as Colorado and Iowa to bring a trolley to its downtown corridor.
The idea gained traction after the city restored its historic train depot in 1994. “We wanted to run something on the track, and it couldn’t be a steam engine,” said trolley volunteer Barbara Justice.
Saturday, almost two decades later, an old car (originally from Lisbon, Portugal) that Justice and her team found in Aspen, Colo., and then sent to Iowa for restoration makes its debut as Issaquah’s newest attraction. The trolley line runs on the historic tracks once used for freight and passenger service to Seattle. It is part of the revitalization of the downtown and meant to attract more visitors to Issaquah’s museums.
Though the trolley will travel only half a mile back and forth, Justice said the distance is not the point. “We are in the history business, not the transportation business.”
The Issaquah Valley Trolley will operate on weekends, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on a “pay as you can” basis.
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