Place du Grand 9 Avril 1947

This is a view of Place du Grand 9 Avril 1947, also known as Grand Socco (Big Square), just outside one of the gates to the médina of Tangier. The square is named after the speech Mohmamed V gave in support of Moroccan independence on April 9, 1947. Normally the space is filled with street performers and vendors selling a variety of fruits, spices, and second-hand goods but it was somewhat quiet due to the beginning of the observance of Ramadan—the annual holy month of praying and fasting for Muslims worldwide

Médina Pathways

The Médina of Fès is one of the largest car-free urban zones in the world and through its pathways people and goods flow like the blood coursing through our arteries and veins. Because of their narrowness, it seems awkward to call these pathways “streets” although that is how they function. In addition to serving as paths for people and conduits for goods carried by handcart or donkey, these “streets” serve as informal social spaces and as extensions of small commercial establishments.

There are generally three scales, ranging from main streets as seen in the first image above, to side streets, and finally to back streets as narrow as a meter wide as seen in the images below.

Views of Morocco

Sharing a couple of views of Morocco. The first is a small court in the médina of Tangier. The second is a view from the rooftop of Riad Kettani, where we are staying in the médina of Fès. Entering médinas, especially the one in Fès, is like walking into new worlds.

Seattle Art Museum


This is the original lobby of the Seattle Art Museum, designed by Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates in 1991, before the museum was expanded in 2006 in a design by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture. A grand staircase traverses the rise from First to Second Avenues, mirrored on the outside with a similar set of stairs.

For comparison, below is the same view from 6 years ago, showing how I struggled with the issues of proportion and scale.

Stoup Brewing

Stoup, a word that originally referred to a flagon or beaker for drink, is the name of a small craft brewery in the heart of the Ballard Brewing District, just a few blocks away from Reuben’s Brews. Founded by Brad Benson, Lara Zahaba, and Certified Cicerone Robyn Schumacher, the brewery is housed in an industrial metal building, which you can see in the view above, just before it began to rain. I used the rain as an excuse to then go inside and savor a Citra IPA while I drew the interior view below.


A quote from the Irish Literary Times: “Punctuation creates sense, clarity, and stress in sentences. It structures and organizes your writing.” I wonder if there is an equivalent element or principle in drawing that would also serve to create “sense, clarity, and stress” and organize the composition of a drawing.

Sense = Meaning; Clarity = Sharpness; Stress = Focus

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Company

In contrast to Hale’s Ales, Bad Jimmy’s is a relatively small craft operation. I’m not sure but I think “5 beer lovers” started the brewery as a Kickstarter project in 2013. It’s housed in a converted garage behind several food establishments in the neighborhood being touted as Freelard, between Fremont and Ballard.

Hale’s Ales Brewery and Pub

Mike Hale opened his first brewery in Colville, Washington, in 1983. Since that time, Hale’s has become the longest running, continuously owned, and independent craft brewery in the Pacific Northwest. This is a view of the brewing equipment in the Seattle brewery and pub, which opened in 1995 in the Frelard neighborhood between Fremont and Ballard. The notes below the sketch explain the brewing process as described on signs attached to the railing.

After the cracked barley malt is saturated with hot water sprays, the resulting sweet wort is boiled and clarified. Adding hops at this point imparts some bitterness to balance the sweetness of the wort. In the Hop Back, the wort is whirlpooled for greater clarity and more hops added to give the wort certain herbal and aromatic characteristics before being transferred to fermentation barrels.

As a point of comparison, below is another sketch of the brewing vats done six years ago.