Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer to Fall

Our beautiful summer is sliding smoothly into fall. At our house, this summer was memorable in its simplicity. We checked in with family and friends, accomplished household projects, took pleasant sunny walks, ate outside almost daily and generally just appreciated being home.

Michael and Kristina celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

And Annie and Ed, their second.

And we've been long distance watching sweet baby Harvey grow. Bless iphones, Skype and now Instagram!

Harvey became a US and British citizen.

Loyal dog Sophie is showing her age. (Like the rest if us?)
We're celebrating her 14th birthday on Thanksgiving.

The weather provided many great sketching days. In early summer, I participated in an Ink to Color Urban Sketchers Workshop with Urban Sketchers, Frank Ching and Gail Wong. It was a whole weekend of seeing and sketching Seattle with local and visiting sketchers. It was a lot of fun and a stimulating start for the summer.

I really wanted to record the viaduct before it's torn down. I know it's a big ugly wall dividing the city from its view but I have many good memories of coming home from traveling to see that remarkable view of the city. Susan Miller, my favorite sketching partner and I returned later to try our luck at the moving target of the Great Wheel.

Under the viaduct

So few days and so much to sketch.

Ballard Avenue
Tiny Chase Lake in Edmonds

Sunny Olympics from Golden Gardens

Jeff and Michael learning to paddle board, wetly.

Noisy but fascinating Georgetown

And my favorite, a pristine day when I found a full view of Mt. Rainier from Magnolia Bluff.

We're expecting to visit London soon, with a side trip to Spain.  We'll hug the real baby, not the instagram version. We'll be coming home the long, long way by ship through the Panama Canal. It's been such a pleasure deciding which sketchbook and materials to bring and imagining the sights I'll want to record. Hopefully, our summer will keep on going!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Long Distance Doting

My husband and I have entered the new world of grandparenting. We loved being on hand for the first month of our little Harvey's life. Now that we are home, we are valuing every snippet of his life that we get to share. I am very aware of how lucky we are to have the ability to communicate in real time. Both of my great grandmothers left Europe to make a life here in the U.S. Their parents heard little if any more from them. How painful that must have been. My daughter and her family live in England. We get texts, pictures, emails and best of all, Skype. They will visit here and we will visit there. I expect that Harvey is part of a world traveling generation of grandchildren who will know their relatives this way. We'll have to see how this all unfolds. In the meantime, I'm taking delight where it's offered.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gaining Perspective at Pike Place

This weekend, I took part in a drawing workshop with Frank Ching and Gail Wong, of Seattle Urban Sketcher fame. We had hours of time to think about perspective and color. It was challenging to try to see and sketch through architectural eyes. We finished with a morning at the Pike Place Market. I enjoyed the company of new sketcher Emily while we tried to apply what we learned at the iconic market entrance.  I heard voices in my head - horizon line, space, viewpoint, context, contrast. Whew. Plenty to absorb.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Loving London

When we heard in October that our daughter was expecting our first grandchild, we knew we'd have to make plans for an April trip to London. We padded the days before and after the due date and a month seemed about right. Little Harvey Jefferson arrived on April 12th. Just in time for spring to come to London.

Sketching a baby is really hard. Most of my attempts made poor little Harvey look a bit alien. Here is the only one I can share and it's from a photo. He is precious in every way.

When we weren't busy holding Harvey,we tried to be helpful in Annie's shop, The Village Haberdashery.
Even Harvey made his appearance and will be a huggable feature there.

The rest of the time, Jeff and I explored London. There were innumerable sketching opportunities that I had to pass up. It is an awesome, fascinating city. Besides the classic sites, which are overwhelming anyway, there are wonderful, charming neighborhoods.

We had found a tiny, affordable garden flat in Belsize, in the northwest part of London. (near Hampstead Heath)
These huge homes are mostly divided into flats but are still very elegant. There are many curving streets with rows of uniform houses, Georgian, Victorian, Kensington.

The neighborhood shops are separated by being offset and central. That way, it doesn't break the lovely architectural symmetry.

We read that other parts of Belsize experienced heavy damage during WWII. I was surprised to find this former air raid shelter on the main street near the tube stop.

We love London and having a new reason to visit often!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Awaiting a Kodak Moment

It's very special to share in the anticipation of a new baby. Here in London, Annie and Ed are expecting their little boy any day. While we wait, we are learning a bit about how to help in Annie's shop, The Village Haberdashery and thoroughly enjoying some great walks. We've rented a tiny flat in Belsize, close to Annie and Ed's and having fun exploring city life here. It's colder than Seattle. We feel like we've stepped back into winter. But who knows? Maybe the baby and spring will arrive together!

Below, Mini Sophie sits on Jeff's grandma's portable sewing machine, now happily at home in The Village Haberdashery. (Thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk) We successfully schlepped that heavy, precious antique on the plane with us because we felt it belonged with Annie. It looks right at home.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thailand and Cambodia

It's finally time to share a few sketches from our February/March trip to Thailand and Cambodia. It was a lovely trip with very new experiences. In Thailand, we spent two weeks on a Gate 1 tour. We started in Bangkok and went as far north as The Golden Triangle. In Cambodia, we hired a guide to take us around to see the many ancient wats and villages. During the trip, my head was spinning with historical images brought to life. It felt more than a world away.

Ban Pa In 1632-1889
Aisawan Dhiphya - Asana Pavilion
Divine Seat of Personal Freedom

My personal favorite hideout at the Royal Palace - the Royal Raft.                                 

A view from our Bangkok hotel room. Bangkok is overcrowded and overlapping but I was encouraged by how much green there was.

Hotel shrines

Wat Ta Som, 12th century.  Here we saw a hint of the glorious colors that must have been there.

Prasat Angkor Wat, the 12th century hub of a million people.

One evening, near Chang Mai, our tour group had dinner at the home of a local Thai family. At the end of the meal, we were invited to share in the wonderful tradition of setting candles alight in the night sky. It was stunning and a perfect image of the tranquility that can be found in Thailand.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friendly Face in Bangkok

Friendly Face in Bangkok, originally uploaded by PeggyJG.

My husband Jeff and I are touring Thailand. Before I left, I was reminded to focus on the details when I sketched as there is so much to see here. So at the stunning Royal Palace, I had fun with this guard.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Calm in Corsica

It's hard to spend much time outdoors in this very, cold for Seattle, weather. It's 30 degrees at present.That makes it a pleasant time to look through old travel photos. This watercolor was inspired by the small northern Corsican village of Centuri Port. It was settled by the Romans and hasn't grown much since then. The village seems to be popular for summer stays. We enjoyed the quiet month of September.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How We Survive the Gray

What a fabulous beginning for 2013! The sky couldn't be bluer and the air feels so clean.

Jeff and I began the New Year with a First Day walk at Saltwater State Park. It was perfectly clear day and the walk (actually stroll) was led by a very knowledgeable volunteer. We felt very proud of ourselves for our healthy start. It made us want to take advantage of more of our many state parks.

Today I was able to visit my favorite Seattle view at Golden Gardens. Here is my sketch from today and below from February, 2011. I've learned to add a little Q Burnt orange to my blue and I really like the difference. Here's to many clear days in 2013!