Lunar New Year 2020, the Year of the Rat, begins on January 25, 2020 and lasts until February 11, 2021. The Rat, the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac, is said to be clever and resourceful with a keen vision for solving problems. Those born under this sign tend to be ambitious, energetic, thoughtful, and charming. Among these are William Shakespeare, Rosa Parks, Buddy Holly, and Pope Francis, as well as three U.S. presidents—Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. Kung Hee Fat Choy!
The Asian Art Museum closed in 2017 to allow for a major renovation and expansion designed by LMN Architects to occur. This drawing shows the new wing added to the rear of the original structure that will house a new gallery, education studio, conservation center, and community meeting room. With more exhibition space, the museum will now organize artwork by themes that link cultures, histories, and belief systems to convey the diversity and complexity of Asia, the world’s largest continent.
The rebirthed Asian Art Museum will open to the public on the weekend of February 8 and 9, 2020.
This sparse drawing attempts to convey this elegant Art Moderne building designed by Carl F. Gould, a University of Washington professor of architecture and partner in the firm of Bebb and Gould. Located in Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, it served as the Seattle Art Museum from 1933 until 1991, when a new SAM designed by Robert Venturi of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates was completed in downtown Seattle. The building was subsequently renovated and reopened in 1994 as the Asian Art Museum. The building is a designated Seattle landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
*The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that they are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.
Visiting Swansons Nursery’s annual Reindeer Festival last week, I drew a few vignettes of the featured stars, Dasher and Blitzen. These incomplete views had to be done quickly because of the reindeers’ constant moving about. This exercise reminded me of how drawing from observation sharpens our visual acuity and helps us notice often subtle traits or characteristics. For example, I had always assumed that deer antlers grew symmetrically, but these reindeer had antlers that were not symmetrical at all. In doing some research, I came upon what biologists call fluctuating asymmetry in deer antlers, which can be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental stresses. In addition, these reindeer had a multipronged tine extending over their foreheads on one antler but not the other. This extra blade was supposedly used as a snowscraper!
San Miguel Arcángel was built in the late 17th century in the colonial Baroque style, but in the 19th century, a local builder Zeferino Gutiérrez Muñoz was asked to rebuild the towers and facade that had suffered substantial cracking over the years. He was a bricklayer by profession and so he relied on a postcard of Cologne Cathedral in Germany for inspiration. The result is a massive pseudo-Gothic structure that has become the iconic emblem of San Miguel de Allende, 50 miles west of Querétaro.
This sketch, done quickly as a demo, is an example of how it is possible not to complete every detail or part of a scene, especially when drawing symmetrical compositions. It is often enough to merely suggest one part and then let the imagination of the viewer complete the view.
The Lahaina Jodo Mission is a Buddhist temple founded in 1912 by Gendo Saito with the support of the Japanese immigrants working in the island’s sugar and pineapple plantations. The three-tiered pagoda serves as a columbarium and contains the urns of deceased members.
The celestial buddha, 12 feet high and weighing 3 1/2 tons, was installed in June 1968. On a nearby plaque is inscribed the following: “This image of Amitabha-Buddha was erected here at the picturesque seashore of Lahaina, the capital of the ancient Hawaiian Dynasty, in celebration of the centennial anniversary of Japanese immigration to the Hawaii (sic) Islands…”
Front Street is the main thoroughfare through Lahaina. Now lined with tourist shops, galleries, and restaurants, the street retains the wooden facades and balconies from the mid-19th century, when Lahaina was a thriving whaling port and a hub of Maui’s sugar and pineapple industries.
Just a block away from the Pioneer Inn is the Old Court & Customs House, which was built in the late 1850s on the site of the Old Fort in Lahaina. It opened in 1860 to serve as both a center for governmental and court affairs and a customs house for whaling and trading ships during the Monarchy period. Originally sporting a wood facade, the structure was renovated in 1925 in the Greek Revival style. Behind is the courthouse plaza, dominated by one of the largest banyan trees in the U.S.