Sunday, February 19, 2017

Launch Party: Urban Sketchers 10x10 Bay Area

Last weekend, the skies cleared just in time for the Urban Sketchers 10x10 Bay Area launch event. We started off with a quick sketch at Mission Bay with the SF Sketchers (who were celebrating their 5th anniversary).

Mission Bay, San Francisco, CA

Then it was on to Arch Art & Drafting Supply, where we noshed on finger foods, shopped, and heard from the workshop instructors. We ended the day at Thee Parkside, where we sketched over drinks and a late lunch.

Back patio at Thee Parkside, San Francisco, CA

There are still spots left in the workshops -- learn more and sign up.

Sketching in the Margins

It's been raining a lot here in California this winter, so we outdoor sketchers do what we can. We sketch indoors, even from television if necessary.

Super Bowl 2017

And sometimes there is a break in the clouds, so we take advantage of it. Even on a weekday, on the way to work.

San Jose Diridon platform

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

10x10: Check Out the Urban Sketchers 10th Anniversary Workshops

Interested in learning about urban sketching or sharpening your skills? Check out Urban Sketchers' 10x10 -- a series of workshops around the world to celebrate the nonprofit's 10th anniversary.

Here in the Bay Area, you can take workshops from ten awesome artists throughout 2017. Sign up for as many as you like. They're just 3 hours each -- perfect for busy schedules.

The workshop I'm teaching is in San Jose on June 24, titled Putting the "urban" in urban sketching. We'll draw what we see around us and have some fun incorporating signage, textures, and found materials into our sketchbook pages. So excited!

If you'd like to know more, stop by and see us at the 10x10 launch party on Saturday, February 11. The event starts off with a sketching meet-up at San Francisco’s Mission Creek Park Pavilion at noon. At 1:30 pm, we'll head over to Arch, where we'll introduce the instructors and the workshops. You'll get a chance to meet and mingle with all the artists and register for the classes.

Learn more about the workshops and how to sign up here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Bearing Witness

This past Sunday, at San Francisco International Airport.

Documenting the ban protest at SFO

People making signs for the protest at SFO

Protest at SFO

When there is lack of imagination at the highest levels, it is vital for our democracy that we support the arts. So sing. Dance. Draw. And share, and show the world.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mornings in Monterey

Monterey CA marina

Was in Monterey this week for a conference, so I went off to sketch before breakfast each morning.

Monterey CA wharf


View from My Doorstep

Santa Teresa, San Jose, CA

Last weekend, I challenged myself to paint close to home. As in right outside my door! I'm really enjoying water-soluble oils for plein air work. This was painted with Winsor & Newton Artisan oils on a small gessoed panel.

Escaping the Rain: Los Angeles

We drove down to LA over MLK Jr. weekend to escape the deluge here in the Bay Area.

To pass time before a dinner reservation, I decided to get my hair cut and ended up sketching Oyuna, the owner/master stylist at New Look Salon as she worked on another customer. I like what she did with my hair.

3rd Street Hair stylist LA

The next day, we had breakfast overlooking the ocean in Rancho Palos Verdes. I was hoping to see tidepools at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, but we didn't find any.

Rancho Palos Verdes CA

On the way home on Monday, we stopped in Santa Monica. I set up my Strada easel and painted the thick clouds above the ubiquitous beach volleyball nets.

Beach volleyball, Santa Monica, CA

Still searching for tidepools (no luck), we paused at Carpinteria State Beach near Santa Barbara. I sketched the people walking along the sand.

Carpinteria State Beach, CA

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Three from the Road: Connecticut

Mystic road shadows

I didn't do a lot of sketching over the break. It was a whirlwind of family and friends in three states.

Christmas Eve church service Dec 2016

But it was really good to be back on the other coast. And to have my usual blueberry rooibos tea at our favorite cafe, Lorca, in Stamford, CT.

Lorca Dec 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Happy Holidays!


Used a section of this abstract watercolor of poinsettias (inspired by a workshop I took at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto) for our holiday card this year. Hope everyone has a relaxing holiday and a very happy new year!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Weekend in Joshua Tree

After our Friendsgiving in LA, we drove out to Joshua Tree for the rest of the long weekend. We stayed in a cabin close to the park entrance.

Dinner on Friday evening was at Crossroads Cafe. It was packed! I liked the pulleys hanging by the window, so I did a quick sketch of the hungry crowd.

Crossroads Cafe Joshua Tree

There are few good options for fine dining in the immediate area of the park, which is surprising since Palm Springs is a good 45 minutes away and there is no concessionaire in the park itself. Note to self: If I ever have enough money to invest in restaurants.... :-)

The park was vast and beautiful, filled with joshua trees, cholla cacti, and massive boulders. We were surprised to have the landscape to ourselves for much of the time; we expected many more visitors given the holiday. Perhaps the chilly weather put off the climbers.

JT Hidden Valley

I was glad to have layers, a hat and gloves as we hiked in Hidden Valley.

JT rocks

The joshua trees had unique "personalities." Even the desert rock formations were picturesque, especially near Skull Rock. This one had a top that looked like E.T.!

Joshua Tree JT

We meandered down the remote Black Eagle Mine Road before the swiftly setting sun forced us to turn around. The watercolor on the bottom was done from our cabin window -- that was the view out back!

Black Eagle Mine Road

We drove all the way through the park and had dinner at the Purple Palm, at the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs. The dining room boasted vintage decor, including tasseled drum shades and detailed wallpaper.

Purple Palms Colony Palms Hotel PS

In the morning I spied a jackrabbit in the yard so I sketched it while M. went on a bike ride. I don't know what it was eating, but it seemed very focused.

Jack rabbit

Unfortunately the wind was too intense for a second day's foray into the park, so we headed home. After some torrential rain as we neared LA, the skies cleared up again. And this happened:

I managed one final sketch during our molasses crawl northward on the I-5, of the intense post-storm light and thick clouds over the flat farmland.

Road home from LA

Thanksgiving, LA-Style

Once again we found ourselves in balmy southern California for Thanksgiving. We left for LA very early in the morning, driving through thick fog. It soon gave way to the green and gold hills of Pacheco Pass.

Pacheco Pass

I put away my sketchbook and settled in to listen to Mindy Kaling's audiobook. It made the monotony of the I-5 somewhat tolerable.

After a quick stop in Van Nuys to see M.'s cousin, we headed to Venice where we wandered along the canals and stole glimpses of fancy turkey day feasts taking shape in the waterfront homes.

Venice canals LA

Then we made our way to the beach, because what's Thanksgiving in LA without sandy toes and a balmy breeze?

Venice beach LA

Dinner was Korean BBQ at Genwa with an old friend, followed by drinks at the Culver Hotel. The next morning, we headed to Wi Spa for a soak and sauna before heading to downtown LA to meet USk friends Virginia Heim and Shiho Nakaza. We wandered around The Last Bookstore while we waited for them, and then had lunch at Bar Ama.

Bar Ama DTLA

After lunch, Shiho and I sketched at Grand Central Market's G&B Coffee before we hit the road to Joshua Tree.

GB Coffee Grand Ctrl Mkt DTLA

Sketching SoVoSo

Saw the fantastic "Nutz Re-Mixed" at the Hammer Theatre a few weeks ago, featuring the a cappella group SoVoSo.
SoVoSo Nutz Remixed SJ
Their singing was a perfect complement to the acrobatics of the performers.