Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Around and about in Seattle, continued

When I left off, Becky was just getting off the ferry in Seattle. We made our way down the waterfront area to our favorite lunch. It is a place where you get smoked fish and chips. We don't know the name. It just opens up to the sidewalk and you take your lunch inside to a picnic table to eat. We have been going here for lunch for close to forty years now and it is still as good as ever. I've mentioned it here before. A trip to Seattle would not be complete without a stop. Here's my lunch and my sister's lunch and my sister. I like the smoked halibut. Becky prefers the smoked salmon.

Then we walked up the long flight of stairs from the waterfront up to the Seattle Art Museum. The Hammering Man sculpture out front has an arm that moves up and down. He hammers from morning til night.

Inside there were a series of white Chevys hanging from the ceiling, seemingly careening around with lights shooting out of them, an installation by Cai Guo-Qiang.

We headed directly for the Picasso exhibit. The SAM website describes it: " The exhibition presents iconic works from virtually every phase of Picasso’s legendary career, documenting the full range of his unceasing inventiveness and prodigious creative process. Drawn from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris—the largest and most important repository of the artist’s work in the world—the exhibition features more than 150 extraordinary paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs." It is, in fact, Picasso's own collection of his own work. And it was grand!

Photos were not permitted within the exhibit, but I found these photos on the web, of some of my favorite pieces.

 Probably my very favorite was this one of the dancing couple.

 Do you find this amusing or morbid? I kind of loved it.

 What can I say about this bronze goat? He was life sized and totally fabulous.

There was something for everyone in this exhibit—etchings and photos and drawings and paintings. Classical style and blue period and cubism and harlequins and sculpture. We saw several groups of schoolchildren touring with docents from the museum. It was great to eavesdrop on their comments. Kids seem to totally "get" Picasso. They respond to his humor and drama and storytelling and don't worry much about style or what Picasso was thinking. That lady in the painting has three eyes?—"Cool!"

After walking all over Seattle and then through the museum we were exhausted. We bid Becky farewell and headed back to the hotel. After a "feets up" rest and a quick dinner we hit the street again and walked several blocks to Jazz Alley to hear the wonderful Taj Mahal Trio.

 Our table was right next to the stage and it was a great show. Took the picture with my phone. A near perfect day.

The next morning we took a walk up Pike Street before heading for the train home. I found an art supply store and bought a sketchbook and a couple pens. I was inspired by Picasso! On the train I doodled some Picasso-esque shapes and lines. The motion of the train transferred itself into the lines, giving them a quivery quality.

 I tried an extemporaneous face a la Picasso. It didn't turn out so great, but a little boy, about 4 came by and stopped to watch me draw. He was obviously bored with the train trip and keeping his Dad busy trying to entertain him. He would run through the cars, then come back to see me draw again for awhile.

 The section of the trip from Tacoma to Olympia runs right along the Puget Sound and is always beautiful. As the train passed under the Tacoma Narrows bridge, the sun was setting.

It was a great trip and perfect way to celebrate our anniversary.


  1. Hi Terry,
    your train movements transferred into the line" concept is one my friend Margaret Cooter is exploring. Here is a link to what she was doing when she started exploring the idea of "travel writing" http://margaret-cooter.blogspot.com/2010/01/travel-writing.html

    Now she is doing an MA in
    Visual Arts (Book Arts) at the University of the Arts, London. Margaret has recently been printing the "journey lines" onto textiles, etc.

    Thought you might find it interesting.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. what a wonderful trip and a perfect anniversary celebration. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Holy Cow!! Taj Mahal...who knew???

  3. Now I'm itching to get to Seattle again.

  4. Those hanging cars make me nervous. Don't think I could walk under them-what if the cable got loose?
    Love the low hanging gut on the cat, which appears on several of my 'babies' that live here, too. If the food bowl is empty they are convinced they are in danger of imminent starvation (unlikely). He obviously never met a meal he wouldn't eat!

  5. Just a note: I learned on a tour of Seattle that the Hammering Man works every day, morning until night. The only day he stops working is on Labor Day. Makes sense. :)

    Also, I beleive the car installation is not of Chevy's but of Ford Taurus-es. David's former car, now Jamie's means of transportation. I wonder if there is something magical about a Ford Taurus...

  6. Yep, Jess, you are right--Tauruses. Nine of them. White cars all look like Chevys to me--heh!

  7. I had been noticing all through the exhibit that you and Picasso do eyes very similarly, so I'm thinking that your portrait from the train is very Terry-esque, as well as Picasso-esque. :o)
    I had such a wonderful afternoon with you two--I want to thank you again! Sorry I couldn't have ended the day with Taj Mahal but did have a beautiful ferry ride home and a slice of pizza with Nicholas.
    [I thought the cat was disturbing but loved, loved, loved the goat--Le Chevre] I really liked the big lumpy, "fruit heads", too!

  8. I'm reading a Terry Brooks novel which is partly set in post-apocalypse downtown Seattle. The museum has been looted, all the windows broken out, but the hammering man still stands, although not hammering. I've been to Seattle often enough to visualize the places he describes the characters wandering through, but then to find your travelogue of the same area - well, it was just too wonderful of a coincidence!

  9. Wow, I finally had time to catch up with your Seattle trip -- what a marvelous way to celebrate your anniversary (or anything else, for that matter). I have never been to Seattle, except in a bus from the airport to the ferry when I taught in Coupeville.

    Loved the sewing machines and the library...and your doodles! Also, the cat with the bird.