Tyee Marina 1

This week I'm attending the College for Congregational Development in Federal Way. It's an intense eight-day program, and I need to get away every so often and clear my head. So each morning I've gotten up early and made a watercolor of something in the area. This is a view of Tyee Marina on Commencement Bay. This area is a funky, broken-down, post-industrial waterfront with sagging docks, crumbling concrete, aging buildings and other visual delights.

As I was working on this painting, a man came up and peered over my shoulder. He was a boat owner arriving early to work on his boat ("a never-ending project", he said). A retired art teacher, he suggested that I try the view from the dock behind me. "I'm glad to see someone still paints outside", he said.

"There's damn few of us left," I said.