Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Coptic Bookbinding

I don't often aspire to make my own drawing materials, but I took a class in coptic bookbinding at TechShop San Jose a few weeks ago because I had a coupon. It's a great way to make lie-flat sketchbooks. There were just two of us in the class. We were provided precut paper and MDF covers and learned how to sew waxed thread across the signatures to create this secure binding.

Sketchbook using coptic bookbinding

Another detail of the coptic bookbinding stitch

Detail of coptic bookbinding

I liked learning the technique and can see the advantage of using my own mix of papers, but I'll probably leave the sketchbook-making to the pros.

How about you? Have you ever made your own sketchbook?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Winter in Yosemite

Winter, Yosemite National Park, California

What a gift to be able to drive a few hours to see nature's wonders in the relative quiet of winter. Sketched Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Fall as we exited the park.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happy New Year!

Henry Coe State Park, Morgan Hill, California

We spent our first New Year's in California cooking, eating, and going to wineries with friends. On that Sunday, M and I capped off the holiday with a hike in Henry Coe State Park, where I just had to stop and paint this twisting, gnarled tree. Not a bad way to start 2016!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

L.A. Love

Sunset in Venice, Los Angeles, CA

Spent Thanksgiving weekend in L.A. eating, shopping, and sketching. Can't wait to go back!

Hollywood sign CA

Griffith Observatory LA

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Looking out from Nepenthe, Big Sur

View from Nepenthe, Big Sur, California

It's odd to live so close to Big Sur that we can go there on a whim. This is the view from Nepenthe, a cafe/restaurant that overlooks the water.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Goodbye, InkTober!

Original Joes San Jose

Thank goodness the month is over. My daily InkTober drawings often devolved into strange late-night surreal scribblings, as I'd ask M. to give me prompt words. Here are the remaining ones, just to close out this bizarre month:

inktober - bbq island 10-17

inktober - surreal 4

inktober - surreal 5

Alcatraz from Fort Mason

inktober surreal chef

inktober bw faces

inktober mirror sketch

Santa Teresa Farmers Market

Sleeping Michael inktober2

inktober faces

inktober inukshuk

inktober spool doodle

surreal inktober 10-30

surreal inktober 10-31

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Week in InkTober

I've been diligently drawing every day but just hadn't taken time to scan everything until today. So here's the massive catch-up post.

Last night M. and I had dinner at Pho 69 and checked out TechShop in downtown San Jose. In between I sketched the California Theatre, a '20s-era movie palace turned performing arts venue.

Calfornia theater San Jose

The day before, I drew the two trees and distant hills I see every day out our front door. They are tall and totemic and remind me that I am in California.

View out the front door

Finding InkTober subjects on busy weeknights was challenging until M. and I hit upon the idea of using word prompts (from vintage copies of Sunset magazine, found at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park) to inspire me to draw random things and tie them together.

M. thinks teacup-tuna-toilet-paper baby will go viral.


Me, I'm rooting for the Saltine desert.


It's hard to do it without any prompts -- I end up mostly drawing what's in front of me, and at 10 pm it starts with whatever I see in and around the mirrored bedroom closet doors.

Between feet

Last Sunday M. and I rode our bikes at Viva Calle SJ, an open streets event in which miles of San Jose roads were closed to cars. I sketched at the Aztec dance demonstration by Tezkatlipoka Dance Group and then drew the cyclists who had gathered at the information tents at Parque de los Pobladores.

Viva Calle SJ performance

Viva Calle SJ sketch