The character of old Seattle still graces the ambience of the Pioneer Square area of Seattle and along Western Avenue to the Pike Place Market.

The Smith Tower

The Smith Tower

The 42-floor Smith Tower was the tallest building on the West Coast when it was built in 1914.

The 42-floor Smith Tower was the tallest building on the West Coast when it was built in 1914.

Totem Pole in Pioneer Square

Totem Pole in Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square totem pole

Another totem pole by the Iron Pergola

Another totem pole by the Iron Pergola

Ink sketch of Pioneer Square totem pole

Iron Pergola, Pioneer Square

Iron Pergola, Pioneer Square

Vine-covered wall along Western Avenue

Vine-covered wall along Western Avenue

Man hole cover on Western Avenue

Man hole cover on Western Avenue

Along Western Ave

Busker with duct-taped accordion, Pike Place Market

Busker with duct-taped accordion, Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

Sketch of rock fish

Sketch of rock fish

Self-portrait: my reflection in a shop window

When I was walking in Pioneer Square recently, my gaze was arrested by my reflected images in the shop windows.  I stopped to photograph these ghostly mirages.  I have few photos of myself because usually I’m the one behind the camera.  So these shots were a fun departure from the norm.  I felt like a figment of my own imagination.

Reflected image

I like the ghostly effect

A ghost among the candied apples!




I think that the leaves of the geranium are more interesting than the flowers.

Red Geraniums
by Martha Haskell Clark

Life did not bring me silken gowns,
Nor jewels for my hair,
Nor signs of gabled foreign towns
In distant countries fair,
But I can glimpse, beyond my pane, a green and friendly hill,
And red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.

The brambled cares of everyday,
The tiny humdrum things,
May bind my feet when they would stray,
But still my heart has wings
While red geraniums are bloomed against my window glass,
And low above my green-sweet hill the gypsy wind-clouds pass.

And if my dreamings ne’er come true,
The brightest and the best,
But leave me lone my journey through,
I’ll set my heart at rest,
And thank God for home-sweet things, a green and friendly hill,
And red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.

Alley in Pioneer Square, Seattle, brightened by geraniums

Red geraniums, Pioneer Square

Red geraniums in the alley

Watercolor sketch of geranium leaf

Nord Alley in Pioneer Square

I had some fun playing around with Picasa’s photo editing software.  The photo above is the original.  Below are several manipulated versions.  Which do you like best?

Nord Alley in sepia

Nord Alley, Lomo-ish effect

Nord Alley, Holga-ish effect

Nord Alley, posterized effect

Nord Alley, Orton-ish effect

Nord Alley, Cross-process effect

Nord Alley, neon effect

Nord Alley, boost effect


First Thursday Art Walk at the Foster/White Gallery in Pioneer Square

I had an opportunity to check out the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square this week.  It was a beautiful, late summer evening, perfect for wandering in and out of the many galleries in the Pioneer Square district of downtown Seattle.  It was almost as much fun people watching as it was looking at the art!

View down an alley in Pioneer Square

This building with its black fire escape and red window caught my eye.

Photographic installation in Occidental Square: "Shoreline" by Perri Lynch

Another outdoor installation: "Flock of Seagulls" by L Sq

Nord Alley featured the art of John Fleming and Wyn Bielaska, and a plein air artist at work.

Hanging sculptural mobiles by Paul Vexler at the Foster/White Gallery. This one is called "blue 360."

Paul Vexler's "Hoops and Loops" exhibit, Foster/White Gallery

Paul Vexler's "Small Hoop" and shadows, Foster/White Gallery

More Alley Art

July 11, 2011

Art in the Alley by Joe Iano

Alley Art

There was another Alley Art event ( in Pioneer Square this past First Thursday.  This time the exhibit featured the art of Joe Iano.  Programs like this are a fun way to revitalize an urban neighborhood.  Here are some photos of the evening:

Art installed in an alley

Alley art by Joe Iano

Alley Art

Real puddle in alley!

Alley Art

Balconey grill in alley

Alley fixtures

Brickwork embellishments in the alley

Pioneer Square is a hopping place on First Thursdays.  Artists sell their wares from tented booths.  There are plenty of tables and chairs for eating and visiting.

Wire sculptures for sale

Pioneer Square is a great place for people watching.

Skirted wonder

Hats were out for the Dancing Hats event

My favorite hat

Body painting in the window of the Last Supper Club

Body as art

It Takes Two to Tango

July 10, 2011

“Dancing is the poetry of the foot.”
— John Dryden

Tango lesson in Pioneer Square

I went to Pioneer Square for First Thursday and stumbled upon an outdoor dance floor.  Thursday was the final day of a Dancing Hats event, and one of the evening activities was a free tango lesson.  It looked like a lot of fun!

Demonstrating tango steps

One of tango's sexy moves

Free tango lesson in Pioneer Square

The romance of the dance


Knitted Trees art installation, Pioneer Square

The Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle is vibrating with color.  An art installation called Knitted Trees by Suzanne Tidwell brightens the square.  They complement the colorful street murals in the area.

Knitted lamp post, Pioneer Square

Looking toward the sports stadiums, Pioneer Square

Colorful mural, Pioneer Square

Door in mural

Alley Art

May 10, 2011

Art installed in an alley in Pioneer Square, Seattle

Last Thursday evening I attended an Alley Art Party in Pioneer Square.  It celebrated the installation of several art sculptures in Nord Alley.  I love the idea of revitalizing a typical throw-away space, like an alley.  And I also love the idea of using the outdoors as an extension of living space.  Here are some photos of the event:

Alley Art Party on First Thursday, Seattle

Scooter and art

One of several art installations in Nord Alley

You had to look up to see this sculpture.

Un-celebrated art in another alley near my bus stop in Pioneer Square

Another surprise in an alley in Pioneer Square

Outside the Seattle Art Museum a few minutes before opening

We are very fortunate to have a rare opportunity to see over 100 of Picasso’s works of art without the cost of an expensive airplane ticket.  The Seattle Art Museum is currently exhibiting Picasso’s art from the collection of the Musee National Picasso in Paris, which is undergoing renovation right now.  I went to see it this week.  The ticket price includes an audio tour, which I found helpful in learning about Picasso’s career.

One of my favorite pieces was a painting called The Farm Woman, 1938.  I loved the simple, yet evocative, sketches of a rooster, hen, and chicks on the edges of the painting.  Picasso is a genius at making a few lines so very expressive.

Here is a reproduction of The Farm Woman in the exhibit catalog.

Detail of the rooster from The Farm Woman

Seattle street scene: Picasso mural near Pioneer Square