Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cross-Country Road Trip, Part 2

After Ohio, we hugged the Lake Michigan “coastline” to check out Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Lunch the next day was in Davenport, Iowa, where I looked out at the mighty Mississippi River.

Mississippi River, Davenport, Iowa

Omaha, Nebraska, was a pleasant surprise. It’s a foodie town, with interesting neighborhoods. We stayed near the Old Market, which is packed with shops and restaurants shaded by decorative awnings.

Old Market, Omaha, Nebraska

There are vintage signs and distinctive letterforms everywhere. Even the view from our hotel window was eye-catching:

View from 7th floor of hotel, Omaha, Nebraska

Here's what the drive through the rest of Nebraska looked like:

I-80 Nebraska

To be continued...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cross-Country Road Trip, Part 1

We are driving our car across the country (well, M. is driving; I'm just riding along and playing DJ) as part of our ongoing move from Connecticut to California.

Our first stop: Cleveland! We stayed at Clifford House B&B in Ohio City and walked to Bar Cento/Bier Markt for dinner. It was Kentucky Derby night, so the place was hopping. I sketched the patrons at the bar while we waited to be served.

At Bar Cento / Bier Markt, Cleveland, Ohio

The next morning I drew a few scenes in the neighborhood, including one of W. 25th Street with the new Mitchell's Ice Cream outpost -- yum.

Alley, Ohio City, Cleveland, Ohio

W. 25th Street, Cleveland, Ohio

To be continued...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Downtown Redwood City

San Mateo County History Museum, Redwood City, California

The San Mateo County History Museum in downtown Redwood City used to be the old county courthouse.

The light here in the peninsula is intense; sunglasses and a hat are a must. The blazing rays make lovely shadows to paint though, so I can't complain.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Portrait Party

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Julia Kay's Portrait Party -- a live one, at Alley Cat Books in the Mission. It was lovely to meet Julia Kay in person and to practice drawing fast portraits of people.





History Expo at the Old Mint, San Francisco

Last month I joined the SF Bay Urban Sketchers at the Old Mint. There were several people in costume promoting the ongoing History Expo. We enjoyed listening to their proclamations and chatting with the various role-players.

History Expo at Old Mint, San Francisco, CA

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rome and Naples Sketchbook

My pre-Google "jobmoon" in February was a weeklong trip to Italy.

We ate bucatini and pasta carbonara and savored crispy artichokes. In Vatican City I sketched the tourists craning their necks skyward in the Sistine Chapel.

Tourists at the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

What a place! I'm glad I'd read Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King. It's a fascinating account of how these frescoes came to be.

No trip to Rome is complete without a trek to the top of the Spanish Steps. I took advantage of a brief period of sunshine to sketch the scene below.

View from top of Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

Rome was lovely and picturesque, but it was Naples that stole my heart. Our hotel was right across from the Castel dell'Ovo, with stunning views of the bay. Fellow urban sketcher Lucia Marinelli and I met up to draw the scene despite the chilly wind.

Castel dell'Ovo, Naples, Italy

Naples is narrow alleys and breathtaking views. I stamped my sketchbook in the Moleskine store at the train station - fun!

Via San Biagio dei Librai, Naples, Italy

Street scene, Naples, Italy

And who can forget the artisanal pizza, the sfogliatelle, the gelato?

Pizzaiolo and customer, Naples, Italy

On the flight back I read Andrea Camilleri's The Shape of Water, featuring the irrepressible detective (and foodie!) Inspector Montalbano. Sicily calls!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Goodbye, Snow. Hello, Sunshine!

Castro Street, Mountain View, CA
Big news: We're in the middle of moving to California! More about that soon, plus sketches from my "jobmoon" trip to Italy. The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of prepping, packing, list-making and house-hunting, so on Saturday I took a few hours off to meet up with the South Bay Urban Sketchers. We met at Red Rock Coffee Company in downtown Mountain View and then wandered down Castro Street with our sketchbooks. It was a great way to start the weekend!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Bit of GE History in Schenectady

GE building, Schenectady, NY
For M.'s birthday I surprised him with a three-state roadtrip extravaganza to see family and friends; he was behind the wheel but didn't know where we were headed. Our first destination was Schenectady, NY, to see a performance by the Mop & Bucket Company, an improv group. We reached there as the sun was setting, creating a brilliant-hued backdrop for GE's original headquarters (cool trivia: its zip code is 12345).