Thursday, March 11, 2010

Photocrawling Seattle

Usually I sleep in on my days off...a rare opportunity to wake to the songs and twitters of the backyard birds in the the pale pink light of a rising winter sun...the warmth of the sun's rays wrapping me in a soft blanket of comfort. But Saturday before last, I fairly hopped out of bed, excited to get out the door and down to the train station to take the Amtrak Cascade to Seattle. I met up with my friend, Paula, to share the 3 hour train ride north, where we will meet Gwen and Dawn at the Seattle Pike Street Market.

The sir was warm with the promise of spring. Small green sprigs decorated the trees and the dogwoods were in full bloom. Ever alert for that small piece of discarded trash that might become a recycled work of art, I saw several promising informal trash dumps to visit on the side of the tracks. Who would have thought that when I grew up, I would be excited by the sight of discarded drawers and metal pieces? Or an odd shaped rock? Or any of the multitude of small treasures to be had upon the ground. How lucky we all are as artists, to see the potential beauty in things no longer of value to others!

When we arrived in Seattle, sweet Gwen was there to guide us to our destination. After a few photos of the Seattle station architecture and the tiled floors, still surviving from the original construction, we were off to the market, via the underground tram. A few stops later, we walked out into the bright sunlight to see the Seattle Art Museum right in front of us. A beautiful building that I longed to go in and visit, but no time for that today. We walked down the street, taking in the Hammering Man, whose hammer had been stilled by the removal of his hand for maintenance. A few blocks later, we gazed at the Seattle Market, ringed by daffodils along the roof edge and full to the brim of folks out to enjoy the day. Here, we found Dawn and now the four of us set out to explore. The distant Sound was a sapphire blue and the cherry blossoms filled the trees with pink lacy frills. The market itself was filled with the color of fresh fruit and vegetables, the fragrance of lavender countered by the smell of newly caught seafood.

We watched the vendors toss fish in the air and hawk their goods. We took photos of the multitude of neon signs that are throughout the market, but rare to find outside the old parts of towns now. And the flowers....there were so many of every color in the rainbow...bulbs, perrenials, tree limbs and ornamentals. An amazing array that filled the eyes and nose, almost overwhelming our senses.

We stopped to have humbows for lunch, a dumpling filled with deliciously spiced pork from a streetside vendor, before moving on to find a coffee shop to sit and journal the day. Along the way, we stepped into Fran's Chocolates, and sample a bit of heaven in the form of a smoke salt chocolate caramel and bought small Easter chicks of chocolate and caramel, wrapped in foil in hues of purple and green. Of course, some of these begged to come home with me and how could I resist? Now filled with good food and equipped with photos of our explorations, we settled down to enjoy our day and journal.

We printed out photos to share on our PoGo printers to preserve the day for all of us. Gwen provided us all with a small journal made from newspaper and gesso and a clever fold and cut method and we set down to cut, glue, collage and write while we enjoyed our coffee. Too soon, though, it was time for Paula and I to catch the train back home. After visiting the Medici paper store and scoring some unique collage packets I can take to Australia for the students, we said our goodbyes to Dawn and headed off to the train station, walking this time so that we could continue to take photos of the day. We said our goodbyes to Gwen at the station and settled in for the long trainride home. Paula and I chatted on about the day and how wonderful it is to spend time in the company of our friends in the pursuit of art. It just does not get much better than that!


Dawn E. Shepherd Nguyen said...

Hi Jan!!
Your photos and journal are great!! I love the cover artwork and basically everything you did in your journal along with your fantastic photos. It sure was great to meet you.
I look forward to our next photo crawl!
Take care,

Gwen said...

I love your journal! Thanks for posting about our day, I so enjoyed meeting you, and look forward to more art adventures together!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Jan !!! I am reading your blog from most recent to older, so I ahve discovered that you probably have met some fo my wonderful OZ friends at your Creative Soul Retreat- what amazing fun and an incredible journey. OZ is way up on my bucket list as well- must get kids through college first tho!!! Seattle is one of my fav cities- we lived in Longview Wa for awhile- rather close to you. At that time I ahd a 3 week old and we had just moved from Maryland so I was not much into finding the art haunts that I so crave- Sigh!!! Now we are back on the east Coast in VA and I miss the green and the ease and comraderie of the art community ifn the PNW!!!! So glad that I found your blog though!!
Best Regards!

Paula McNamee said...

Jan, your journal is a lot of fun and I love the photos that you posted. It sure was a fun day and I hope we can do it again sometime soon. Hope you're getting rested from your big trip down under.