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Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Silver Line

Wiehle Avenue - Reston East Station
Today was the opening day for phase 1 of Metro's Silver Line. I live within walking distance of the last station, Wiehle Avenue - Reston East, so I walked over to sketch the opening day festivities. There were a lot of people there to ride the first train - I had to wait in a long line outside the station. But I eventually got on board in the second car, and rode the first train in through Tysons to East Falls Church, where the new tracks join the rest of the system. Riders cheered when the train started moving, and some even sang Silver Line songs they made up to the tunes of Christmas carols.
Riders on the very first Silver Line Train
I briefly met up with some folks from Greater Greater Washington who were touring the new stations, but lost track of the group while I stopped to sketch.
Spring Hill Station

I grew up in the outer suburbs, and have been waiting for this line to open for years. Now I can ride all the way in to DC without getting in my car, so this is an exciting day.
Crane at Wiehle Avenue



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Once again a visit to The Coffee Bar.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival has been going on over the past few weeks on the National Mall, in front of the Smithsonian Castle.  This year Kenya was one of the featured countries, and there was Kenyan food, folk art, music, and dance.  I got there just around closing time on the last day, so I didn't actually get to see much, but I did enjoy sketching to the rhythm of the music.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Millennium Park


The Millennium Park was a very challenging sketch.....however I enjoyed every minute of it. This open theater was designed by Frank Gehry and it has a wonderful closed and open feeling all at once. It was a cold windy summer afternoon full of people enjoying elegant orchestra style of music from Latin America. There were birds singing, kids running, adults kissing, and many great things. I did this sketch the day before the begining of the AIA Chicago National Convention 2014. It took me 5.5 hrs with breaks and I used black ink on white paper.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday Night Live in Herndon


On Fridays in the summertime, the town of Herndon puts on a series of free concerts on the town green. Last night, we saw country-rock band Shane Gamble, along with U2 tribute band "2U" (the world's "second best U2 experience"). I sketched until it got too dark to see, at which point I had to put my sketchbook away and just listen to the music like a normal person. But that was fun too.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Diamond Head


During my baby brother's weeding in O'ahu I took the chance to do a sketch of Diamond Head and Waikiki beach. I had traveled from Coast to Coast in the U.S.A. and I must say Hawai'i is the most beautiful state that I had ever visited. It is a very spiritual place where the mountains and valleys meet with the Pacific Ocean. It was a nice beautiful sunny morning with a nice tropical breeze. It took me 2.5 hrs and I used black ink on white paper

Monday, May 26, 2014

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre
I had been interested in visiting F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre's resting place for some time, and finally found a good reason to as my sister told me their anniversary as coming up (the couple was married April 3rd 1920).  So the first weekend after we got ingredients together for some Gin Rickeys, drove out to Rockville, MD to a small church surrounded by commercial plazas and paid our respects.
We made a couple drinks for F. Scott and Zelda, but already there was a collection of pens, books, stones, flowers and coins left by other admirers with similar intentions.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cathedral Flower Mart

This weekend was the annual Flower Mart at the Washington National Cathedral.  Many vendors set up stands selling flowers and herbs and crafts (and food) on the Cathedral grounds, as well as activities for children.  I heard bagpipes and banjos while sketching (though thankfully not at the same time).
 
I felt particularly motivated to sketch the Cathedral again after meeting David Macaulay last week, author/illustrator of Cathedral and The Way Things Work, who was speaking at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.
I have loved his books since I was very small, and it was exciting to get to meet him, so I just had to go out and draw a cathedral today.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Process: Bayou Sketch

In urban sketching, the sketching process can be as unique as the location being sketched. Unlike a landscape painter, whom can set up an easel in the middle of a meadow and paint mountains at a leisurely pace for hours on end, urban sketching can sometimes allow for only minimal sketching timeframes. For my sketches, I carve a little time out of the little time I have for lunch, usually from ten to twenty minutes. To sketch complex buildings, like the Bayou building, located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood here in Washington, DC, I scope out a spot, figure out how much detail I can sketch in a single section, and identify a detail where I can finish up on one day, and then pick up on the next. As for the spot to sketch from, I need to remember the exact spot, which is usually something like "along the fence, third post in, left foot on the sidewalk crack." In this manner, my sketches can take days or weeks to finish, but this is urban sketching, and to take a little time away from spreadsheets, layouts, and intensive digital work in the middle of the day, then I'm quite fine with that!









Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The United States Air Force Memorial


The United States Air Force Memorial here in Washington DC is probably the best place to visit in this area. The Memorial has vistas towards the city, the Pentagon, and Arlington Cemetery. It's a beautiful metallic sculptural structure that shines with the sun and it's visible from any place in the city. The Memorial does honor the men and women that served and serve in U.S. Air Force. It took me 3hrs between sketching, exploring, and enjoying the site. I used black ink on white paper.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cherry Blossom Festival

Spring has finally arrived now in D.C., and the cherry trees are actually in bloom for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival - the timing doesn't always work out quite this good.  There are always a lot of things going on in D.C. during the festival, including the parade, street fairs, music, and various events at the art museums - often with a Japanese cultural theme, since the cherry trees were originally a gift from Japan.

I got to see the Onoe Ryu Dancers perform traditional Japanese dance at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  The costumes and dancers were fun to sketch, and I tried using a brushpen instead of my usual fountain pen to capture them.