Monday, June 13, 2011

So. Seattle...

..was grey and cool, which is typical for Seattle, so I really didn't expect anything different! It was kind of nice to get out of town after all the medical worries with Secret Agent Man, plus all the family being in and out and all, we kind of needed a little break.
The drive over was lovely, I love the Highway 2 route over Stevens Pass.
Seattle traffic, however, nearly made me want to turn around and go home! I don't know how people can live in those types of metropolitan clusters without losing their minds. Well, maybe they don't, I guess.

We splurged for a water front hotel since it was a special occasion and all (plus a late anniversary thing) and it was kind of nice to be able to watch the boats come and go. I love being that near the water. One morning I woke up and found this outside my window:

Except that from the room it looked more like this:

Ninja cruise ship,  never even heard it pull in!
I don't know where it was going, but one day I would like to be on it! I think a cruise would be awesome. Although, I suspect it was headed to Alaska, which would be okay, but I'd really like a nice Greek Isle cruise, eh?

The main reason we went, of course, was to look at my Sketchbook again, as well as visit some of the other Sketchbooks in the project.
The gallery opened to a large waiting audience:

Um. Yah, well, it was early yet. By about 1230 there were maybe 20 people in attendance. I had to keep telling myself that it was Friday, after all. I think they did better on Saturday.
Once inside there were dozens of shelves holding all the Sketchbooks. Some of the books looked very interesting:

My biggest disappointment was that you couldn't just pull a book off the shelf to look at (I really, really wanted to look at that furry one, also one that was about 4 inches thick, sparkly and had bits hanging out of it...) and since you couldn't see the library number on most of them, there was no real way to ask for specific ones. You had to go to the desk and ask for (only) two books by theme, artist, or random, which was mostly what I did.

Of course, I checked mine out again (I really need to get off my butt and print out another one. Or three.) and then I checked out a friend's book.
Here are some pix from some of the other books I checked out:

I really liked the cute  beagle drawings by this artist, Maria Conforti. I would list all the others, but the Sketchbook Project website is not fully functional yet, and there's no way to search by artist, so I'm not sure at this time who's stuff is what, even though I have a list of names... One of the books was one big sheet of paper, all folded up and it looked interesting, but unfortunately the "gallery" was not set up to view something like that, which brings me to my second disappointment:
The gallery wasn't much of a "gallery".
We were stuffed into a grungy staircase, which from what I can tell is the actual gallery.

I understand that space in Seattle is at a premium, but I wish they had done some more research before choosing this space.
It was just not functional for such a showing. There was no place to sit, other than the stairs, and not many of them either. You had to actually take the books outside, which of course meant standing around or sitting on window sills. Then you have to worry about rain, bird poop, or the occasional scum-bag-punk-passerby like the one who tried to grab the book out of my hand, or that someone would walk off with one they really liked. Not ideal for looking at someone else's hard wrought art work.

(FYI if anyone from the Brooklyn Art Library reads this, next time bring the show to Spokane. Better galleries available, and we LOVE artsy-fartsy stuff! Seriously!)
As far as the books themselves, I liked that there were books of all kinds, some serious, some not, some done by children, and some by quite "serious" and obviously professional artists. I wish I had had time to check out more books, but it was such a tedious process, and S.A.M. just didn't need to be standing around there so we left.

Maybe after I've done four or five projects, and am wildly famous, we'll go to the Brooklyn Art Library and try again!


  1. Je regrette vivement que l'ensemble de tous ces recueils n'ait pas pu obtenir plus de considération... avec une salle plus prodigieuse où à la fois les lecteurs puissent prendre vraiment du plaisir à compulser...
    mais cela viendra, j'en suis certaine!
    Gros bisous.

  2. very cool...despite the short comings, i bet they were pretty cool to look at...and i love seattle...

  3. Wow, thanks for the write up and pics. Such a disappointment about the location. :( But how cool is that to see all those varieties of sketchbooks! I wish you could have rifled through them yourself, but logistically speaking, I suppose there is no way to keep track of where everything is unless you have a trained and certified sketchbook librarian there. Too bad you couldn't get your hands on the furry one!

    And ninja ship? Bahahahaha!!!

  4. Did you visit the "Great Wall of Gum" while you were there? LOL. It's becoming more popular these days!

  5. The sketchbook project seems like a fascinating project, which could use some organizational tweaks! I thought it was funny that you mentioned Spokane. I grew up just north of the Canadian border in a town called Nelson. We used to save up our money to go shopping in Spokane, and since our band teacher was American, he would take us there for band trips. Now I live a lot closer to Seattle!

  6. How very interesting! I used to live across the sound from Seattle over in Gig Harbor. I'm surprised they would have chosen this site for such a showing, too. It would have been very cramped.

    I was wondering what the sketchbook project was all about! Thank you so much for sharing the event and the artists you found, Tera!


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