Friday, November 23, 2012

Bauhaus Coffee, Day After Thanksgiving

Today my wife and I made the long walk in the rain through our flooded neighborhood to pay a visit to Bauhaus coffee, which is unquestionably one of my favorite places in Seattle. I realize that this drawing doesn't exactly scream "coffee shop" since there are no people and no coffee, so you'll just have to believe me when I tell you that this was in fact drawn while sitting inside such a place. I opted to skip the usual subjects and instead go with the back staircase and the bookshelves against the wall, which really are a substantial part of the experience.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Americans Think of When They Think of Europe

This is an ink drawing done from a photo in the New York Times travel section. To me, this pretty much sums up the image most Americans have of life in Europe: funny-looking cars and old churches. All that's missing is socialized medicine and a few Italians waving their arms around.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

At the Seattle Art Museum with the Urban Sketchers

The Seattle Urban Sketchers had their monthly sketch crawl this morning at the Seattle Art Museum. The drawing at the top is of a sculpture by Yayoi Kusama called "A Pair of Shoes." I'm not sure how well this reads in a pencil drawing, but it's basically a white plaster sculpture of a pair of shoes with rocks, bean bags, and other "mixed media" attached. It's actually kind of a beautiful thing to see in person, I hope I've done it justice.

The second drawing is a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois called "Winged Figure." I'm fairly confident that I did not do this one justice with a pencil sketch, but I'm including it here anyway in the spirit of over-sharing on the internet. This is actually the second time I've drawn one of her sculptures - I think this one from the sculpture garden in New Orleans did a slightly better job of capturing what it's like to actually stand in front of her work.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Here There Be Dragons

Sometimes I take my sketch book to a museum and spend a lot of time wandering around trying to pick something to draw, saying to myself "hey, that looks kind of interesting, but then I also really like that sculpture I saw downstairs. Hmmm... what to do?" Other times, I walk into a room and right there before me is a guy riding a dragon. At that point, the decision is made.

This was my experience when I went to the Seattle Asian Art Museum yesterday afternoon. According to the wall text, this piece dates from the Ming Dynasty somewhere around the 14th century. Apparently this was actually used as a roof tile and there were buildings whose outer walls were covered with them to ward off enemies and bring good fortune to their inhabitants. I'm thinking of asking my landlord if he can put a few of these up on my roof.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Me vs. the Parthenon

This is a pencil drawing of a section of the north frieze of the Parthenon. I actually started this a few months ago but, for reasons known only to the voices in my head, tucked it away in a drawer and only just got around to finishing it. It's not quite the drawing I originally intended (I had grand plans of including a lot more of the details), but in the end I'm pretty happy with it and I think I've reached a point where I need to stop messing with it. I really would like to go to Greece someday.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Have Nothing In Your House That You Do Not Know To Be Useful Or Believe To Be Beautiful

This was drawn from a photo in a book entitled "The Gardens of William Morris" that my friend had in her living room. I'll admit that I didn't know a lot about William Morris before I started flipping through this book and I mostly selected the subject because his beard looked like it would be fun to draw. It turns out that William Morris was actually a pretty righteous individual, as evidenced by the quote I copied on the drawing. For those who can't read my handwriting (which would probably make my third grade teacher hang her head in shame), it says "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." Sound advice.