Like a Bad Haircut

Guest Post by Tina Koyama

Seattle, Washington, USA

I have a love/hate relationship with utility poles and power lines. Stark and unattractive, they have certainly marred many otherwise scenic photos. At least as a sketcher, I can choose not to include them in a sketch. But if they are a prominent part of a cityscape, they seem to demand to be included. Ugly as they may be, they add a certain rhythm of lines, both vertical and horizontal. They are also inescapable.

Trees, in particular, are often hapless victims of power lines in Seattle. Standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, many tall trees get their limbs chopped away like a bad haircut. As I sketch them, I imagine how grand and beautiful the trees might have been if left to grow undisturbed. At the same time, I appreciate their silent dignity as their remaining branches negotiate with the straight, unyielding wires.

Shown here are some trees I’ve sketched in all seasons in various Seattle neighborhoods. All of them were sketched from my car – my all-weather mobile studio.

Tina Koyama is a Seattle native and active member of Seattle Urban Sketchers. She enjoys sketching outdoors when the weather allows and inside coffee shops and her car when it doesn’t.


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