When I got to the top of the tram I hung out for a bit at the edge of the platform so I could enjoy the view. But then, mindful of the antibiotics in my system, shifted to a bench out of the sun. And did Hood, which I haven't seen in weeks, along with an unfamiliar man who appeared to be sketching.
But when he turned, I saw that he was just fiddling with his phone. With a stylus. Yes, he was sketching, on his phone. His name is Chad, and he's a friend of Ellie's.
I was getting cold by then, so I went into the pavilion, and did a trio of sketchers who are hardier than I am.
And then headed towards the skybridge. But never made it, stopping at a closed coffee shop with a stupendous view.
Biketown member party. With ping-pong. And beer. Way boring. I took out my tablet and played with the sketching app, trying out some new brushes. There's some instability there, as some of the brushes can stop working of a sudden.I tried some quick sketches of the ping pong players, settling on the face of a woman who was clearing enjoying herself. Or maybe just liked her opponent a lot.
I gotta admit that I cheated. I didn't do this one from life, but from a photo that I took on Sunday when the sun was out for five minutes. (Which was lucky, as Monday's windstorm blew at least one of those leaves off the tree.)
This is obviously not the same variety as the big tree at 25th and Savier, but looks to be the same as the persimmon tree in the Chinese Garden. Where the plaque says that it won't be ripe until December.
And when I said that the storm recovery was finally complete? Well, I lied. One section of the new sidewalk isn't quite up to code and will have to be redone. Sometime. The company is lining up all of their ducks, with one eye on the weather forecast. My hope is that it gets done before the anniversary of the storm.
I showed up at 9:30, for a memorial service... for a tree.
Osmanthus Life Celebration
There were speeches about how everyone loved the tree - how the Buckman neighborhood donated it to the garden (and how they used heavy equipment to dig it out, transport it and plant it) and how it scented the whole neighborhood in the fall. I myself had never noticed it before. It's been suffering for years and is more than a bit scraggly now.
Then we all got cups of tea and drank the traditional Chinese toast for departed loved ones - to heaven, to the earth, and to the ... tree. (Actually, you're supposed to pour the tea out on the ground, but we drank it, rather than wasting it.)
The tree will be removed tomorrow, with a replacement showing up on Monday morning. A smaller tree, but it will still need a crane to get it in.
Then I stuck around for Kalina's sketchcrawl in the garden.
About a dozen of us gathered at the art museum (as opposed to the hundreds lining up for Wordstock) and we passed out the hashtags to use and the schedule for the day. And took a couple of group photos, and then dispersed.
I walked straight back into the museum, wading through the book lovers, and did another sketch of the giant skeleton in the Laika exhibit, from below this time.
I'd put on a nametag, as I was officially volunteering for the sketchcrawl. Which meant that people passing thought that I was a volunteer for the museum, or for Wordstock, and kept asking me for directions.
Also, my preferred sketching apps seems to have upgraded itself since the last time I used it. And has a different UI. And more brushes. And more colors. So many that they've given up on naming them and just give them numbers.
After that I wandered towards the farmers market. It was drizzling, but I was able to stand in the entrance to the library and see one of the booths (doing coffee) from the back.
Then down to the Urban Center, where I stood under the shelter of a MAX stop.
Then across the river on the Hawthorne Bridge, and down to the esplanade, where I stood under a tree to do downtown.
At this point a slow-moving freight train was blocking my path to the next stop, so I climbed back up on the Hawthorne Bridge to go over it to get to the New Deal Distillery. Here a bunch of us gathered to draw their still.
Then we straggled over the few blocks to Cartopia, the food pod at one corner of Ladd's Addition.
I was at the vets buying cat food, and leafed through one of the books in the waiting room, showing different breeds of dogs. And thought that I should practice sketching dogs. I could look up breeds in wikipedia and do one whenever I had time. Or, better yet, look at the 'adopt me' page of the OHS and do one of them.
So here is Albion.
(She's actually prettier than this in real life.)
I'm probably not going to do this every day. But I'll post a sketch when I can find the time. God knows there's a steady supply of animals showing up to be adopted.
A few months ago, I went to a performance of traditional Chinese opera and dance at our local Chinese garden. One of the performances was of face changing, which I had never heard of. The dancer had about a dozen fabric masks, probably tucked up in her headdress somehow. She flicked from one to another, in plain sight, and I never saw the transition. She even danced into the audience so we could watch up close.
This, thank god, is the last day of Inktober. The woman who proposed this project to me originally set it as a 100-day challenge of daily sketches. But she herself is exhausted, and going to quit after today, and hasn't come up with a list of prompts to continue it with.
The black one is Aramis. He came to me in 1998, as a young and totally clueless tom. The gray one is Pippin. She somehow lost her mom in 2009, when she was about 8 weeks old. Aramis found her and brought her home, and they've been a bonded pair ever since.
Our assignment was to copy one of the paintings in the exhibit of the Wyeths and turn some part of it into a word. I did two, one by Andrew, titled "Fog Bell", that I choose for its simple blocks of color.
And another by N.C. of an illustration of gnomes bowling that he did for Rip Van Winkle, that I picked out the highlights and did white on dark.
And then, just for fun, I sketched the skull of the monster skeleton that's part of the exhibit for Laika.
This actually happened. A few years back, when my cats were still allowed outside unsupervised, two of them managed to corner a mouse. Then Aramis, my oldest, walked up and touched noses with it. And then flopped over on his side and invited it to play. It, however, chose to skeedaddle instead.
I was googling for sailing ships and pirate ships when I suddenly remembered the ship moored on the Neva during the Scarlet Sails festival, way back from when I was living in Leningrad. I managed to find my sketchbook from that summer, but found that I hadn't actually done the ship. But, I did find its souvenir pin. Sadly, the scarlet had faded over the past 40 years, leaving the faintest of blushes. But I put it back in.
Last year I fostered a couple of orphaned kittens. After every feeding I'd spend a chunk of time grooming them, cleaning the spilled milk from their faces, and dealing with the other end as well. But they ended up being pretty filthy anyway, since my warm, wet washcloth wasn't nearly at scrubbing as their mom's rough tongue.
I reached back into January and did The Tree That Fell Over. And added an arborist to show scale, imagining the first of the PGE crew to arrive looking up at the tree and trying to decide how to take it apart.