Monday, June 13, 2011

A Serendipitous Saturday of Sketchbooks

On Saturday I took the train up to Seattle to see Nikki's Sketchbook that she had submitted for the traveling Sketchbook Project.

I was suppose to meet up with a couple of people - Helen who is another participating artist from the Collage Collaborative group I am in and Jamie who was my budget work buddy twenty years ago. I had to get up at 5am (which still is not my favorite hour of the day). While on the train I read the messages that Helen was going on Sunday instead of today and Jamie had to go in to work...BLEGH! Oh well.... I would see what the day still had to offer (and what a fabulous offer it had!).

Taking off from Portland....

.... I got to Seattle and took a cab downtown to the Form/Space Atelier building. I had been told ahead of time by Helen that space was tight - that you would be sitting on a flight of stairs or outside on the sidewalk.

As serendipitous luck would have it I am standing next in line to a person named Keri. We start up an easy conversation about the books. She hands me her business card and my first glance sees "alzheimer's" in big bold letters. I tell her I am in school getting a degree in Gerontology. We are soon exchanging work ideas and art class ideas (of course I had to tell her about Dayna!).

When you first get there, you get a "library card" which allows you to check out two books at a time. They get and find the books for you (since there are over 10,000 books). They suggest I get Nikki's first and another one from her themed section "the view from up here". Keri checks out her first two and we head outside. Heaven....I get to see and touch Nikki's work (I almost felt like I was getting to spend the afternoon with her!).

Back inside for another round of check-outs, the person helping us in none other than the projects' creator Shane Zucker!

And did I tell you that Keri likes to get her picture taken as much as I do! It felt as if I was hanging out with great is that?!

Next up I check out Helen's wonderful book.

The rest of the afternoon is spent looking at other books and meeting a couple of their creators. The turtle by Latrice Smith was painted using tea bags and the black and white bicycle was made using duct tape.

The afternoon is over and I catch a taxi back to the train station (but first I stop at my all time favorite store in Seattle to get a wonderful bag of bibbles and bobbles to take back home!).

The train trip back to Portland gave me time to reflect on the day just spent. Always a believer in serendipity, had Jamie and Helen not cancelled out I wonder if I would have met Keri. Had I not met Nikki, I would not have known about this amazing project.

The sun was shining on the trip home and its warmth felt so good.

I ordered their Mac 'n Cheese (it's truly one of the best I have ever had) and a glass of wine and settle back in for a quiet time of reflection (and a much needed nap). From a day starting with a blegh ~ it comes to an end with an abundant feeling of gratitude.

I look forward to doing the Sketchbook Project this coming year and hopefully getting to see Keri when the project travels to Portland (it's one of their scheduled stops in 2012). Hopefully Nikki will submit another book so I can spend the afternoon with her again! Thank you Nikki Soppelsa for submitting your "the view from up here" sketchbook to be shared with new found friends ~ it was a great afternoon!


  1. Loved reading about your journey. I signed up for the sketchbook project in May - hope to get it soon.

    My son and daughter-in-law live in Portland. When we go visit them (not sure when, but hopefully sometime this year), maybe we could pack up our sketchbooks and meet for a cup of tea.
    Have a great day!
    Debbie Baier

  2. What a wonderful post! I am so thrilled for you that you were able to see Nikki's sketchbook!

  3. Trying one more time to leave a comment ~ I think the last time I had to use the "anonymous" ID. I am so very much enjoying your posts. Love the connection with Portland and the Pac NW almost as much as I enjoy your art. Your enthusiasm is inspiring. (Keeping my fingers crossed for a Bobby Bryan original miniature book in the Great Exchange!)
    Catherine L Mommsen
    Near Washington DC

  4. very cool!! My book was there among the 10,000!! I hope to see the tour this summer when it comes to Florida ; ) lenna