Exploring Seattle: The SODO Track Murals

I love discovering new (to me) things to see and do in my home town of Seattle.  Today, my friend Carol and I drove to south Seattle, parked near 5th Avenue South and Lander Street, and then walked along the light rail tracks on the SODO bike trail.  We wanted to see the murals that line the tracks, which were painted in 2016, 2017 and 2018.  They are a remarkable community art project, and fun to see.

For more photos, I invite you to view my slideshow at this link.



Day trip to the “Everett Everglades”

View across Snohomish River from Langus Riverfront Park

When my friend Bonnie invited me to an outing in the “Everett Everglades,” I happily accepted.  I had never heard of this place, but Everett is just 30 miles north of Seattle, and I am always open to exploring new (to me) destinations.  The “Everett Everglades” is what the locals call Langus Riverfront Park.  It’s a lovely natural area along the Snohomish River, with a paved trail, benches, picnic tables, a shelter and bathrooms. Bonnie and I intended to paint, but we ended up chatting and catching up on our summer news instead.  That’s what happens when it’s been too long between visits!

I did make one painting from one of my photos when I got home later that afternoon.  A fine ending to a fun day.

My watercolor painting of the Everett Everglades


Seattle’s Nordic Museum

Interior, Nordic Museum (long narrow hall like a fjord)
Exhibit details, Nordic Museum

In May of this year, Seattle’s Nordic Museum opened in a new location in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.  This week I made my first visit there.  The exhibits, celebrating the cultures of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, are tasteful done.  You can see more photos at the link above.

Seattle Day Trip: The Amazon Spheres

The Spheres on the amazon campus, Seattle
Living fern wall inside the Spheres

I went on a little adventure in downtown Seattle this morning — an exploration of a new architectural wonder, the Spheres.  These three conjoined structures are located on the campus of retail giant Amazon.  Newly opened in January of this year, they are a work space for employees of the company, providing lots of convivial gathering spots and seating in a multi-level, glass conservatory-like atmosphere.  The company allows the general public to visit the Spheres on certain Saturdays.  Advance tickets are required, but there is no cost.

I loved this space!  The diversity of greens, plants, and foliage was amazing.  I could have spent the day comfortably reading a book or visiting with friends in any number of seating spaces — there were rocking chairs and rattan chairs and lounge chairs and metal chairs, small tables and couches.  You could buy a cup of coffee and a doughnut.  Everything was bright and inviting. It was a fun outing.


Painting Irises with a Flat Brush

Irises in Kitty’s garden

Every year I look forward to iris season in the Skagit Valley and schedule a very special day to paint the irises in my friend Kitty’s gardens on Samish Island.  This year when Kitty announced the early blooms were ready, my schedule was too harried and I had to postpone my visit to late May.  I worried I would miss this season’s spectacle.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone up there this late in the iris season, but it turned out that good things happen to those who wait.  Kitty’s irises were absolutely stunning — bountiful and colorful and glorious.

Scenes from Kitty’s garden

I took way too many photos again this year.  The many varieties of iris flaunt their frills and flounces and colors like so many ladies at a fancy ball.  Each individual flower or small grouping called out to be photographed.  I obliged.  I knew I would have quite a big editing and uploading job when I returned home!  But it was worth it.

Just look at those black velvet petals (upper right).

I struggled a bit to find a new perspective, a new point of view, amidst all this clamor.  At one point I lay on the ground looking up — a worm’s eye view — to see the flowers against the blue sky.

Looking up.

This year I was also pleased to play and experiment with painting irises using a flat brush.  I tried to apply some of the practices I started at Tom Hoffmann’s Palouse watercolor workshop — moving toward more abstract shapes.   Here are the results:

The large iris is called the Star Ship Enterprise.


Tulip Time 2018: Day Trip to the Skagit Valley

Considering that people from around the world spend money to fly to the Netherlands to see the tulips in bloom, we who live in Seattle are beyond fortunate to have our own tulip fields an hour’s drive north.  I do so enjoy playing tourist in my own local area.  And I’m happy to report another glorious day taking in the wonders of the Skagit Valley in Spring.

For me, it is well worth getting up very early so that I am in the Skagit Valley for sunrise.  The first light and low-lying fog give an ethereal feel to these first minutes of the day.

Arriving at the Skagit Valley as the day dawns

Other photographers had the same game plan to be in the fields at sunrise.
Sunrise in the tulip field
Fog makes a floating world

Too soon the day brightened and the fog burned off.  Now the tulip fields were ribbons of bright color in the landscape.

My watercolor sketches cannot do justice to this natural beauty.



An Exhibit of My Art in June — Save the Date!

I am delighted to invite you to a show of my art during the month of June.  Mark your calendars!

Local Wonders:
Nature in Watercolor and Ink
by Rosemary Washington

When:  June 1 – 30, 2018.  Artist Reception/Open House on Thursday evening, June 7th, from 5:00-7:00

Where:  Elisabeth C. Miller Library, Center for Urban Horticulture, on the University of Washington campus, 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle

The exhibit will feature selected works in watercolor and ink — mostly plant and animal portraits — inspired by nature in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.  Art works will be on display and for sale* during the Miller Library’s regular open hours.

Please stop by for a visit.

*All sales by cash or check.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the UW Miller Library Fund.  Buyers can pick up their art on or after June 30th.