Bauhaus Coffee

When it’s cold and wet outside, one searches for a warm, dry place to draw. Here is a 2011 sketch of the interior of Bauhaus Books and Coffee on Capitol Hill, the first of its three locations which opened in 1993. And here is its newest cafe in downtown Ballard.

San Andrés


Before returning to Seattle from Medellin, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a couple of days on San Andrés, an island in the Caribbean Sea with an English past but tied politically to Colombia. Situated 470 miles north of Colombia but only 140 miles east of Nicaragua, it is, along with Providencia and Santa Catalina, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. I was able to spend a day drawing some of the historic structures on the island with a small group of staff and students from the Jardin Botanico de San Andrés.

A View Down Pike Street

I sketched this view looking west down Pike Street while sitting outside the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. This is not a particularly beautiful or picturesque city scene. It is a rather pedestrian assemblage of urban elements—street lamps, sidewalk tables and chairs, store fronts and canopied entrances. What makes it unique is the arched vault of steel and glass that spans this one-block section of Pike Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Stepping inside the lobby of the convention center and dropping in scale from the street to a sculpture, this is a study of the terra cotta head of an American Indian that once adorned the 1910 Cobb Building.

El Peñol de Guatapé

Two hours northeast of Medellin is El Peñol, a massive monolithic rock formation that rises more than 650 feet above the town of Guatapé. Once worshipped by the Tahamies Indians, it is now a popular tourist attraction. Along a vertical break in the face is built a staircase of 649 steps leading to a three-story observatory at the top. While I did not physically make the ascent, I did climb the stairs with my eyes as I drew this view from the base.

More Scenes from Medellin

The choice of what to sketch is almost always a matter of personal preference. For me, I am drawn to subjects that are unique to a place. Here are two examples from Medellin, the city of eternal spring.

Just across from the hotel where we stayed in Medellin is the Museo de Arte Moderno, founded in 1978 but relocated in 2009 to the space of the Talleres Robledo, a steel mill from the 1930s. Onto to this historic structure was grafted a new addition through the collaborative efforts of 51+1, an architectural firm from Peru, and CtrlG, a firm from Medellin.

In the Medellin Botanical Gardens is the Orquideorama, which consists of 14 structures that rise like giant wooden flowers more than 50 feet into the air. Designed by Plan B Architects in 2006, the large canopies provide filtered sunlight and shelter for permanent and temporary exhibitions amidst the natural landscape of the gardens.