Weekend in Tahoe

Monday, October 22, 2018

It's only four hours away, so why did it take us so long to go back to the Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe? The last time we were there was during our cross-country roadtrip, in 2015.

Better late than never, and October is the off season (after the summer crowd, before ski season). We stopped in Truckee, California, for lunch and then headed straight to Sand Harbor State Park across the border in Nevada, with its fabulous boulders and Caribbean-teal water.

181020 Lake Tahoe - Sand Harbor

181020 Lake Tahoe - Sand Harbor Beach

181020 SUPers on Lake Tahoe - Sand Harbor

My favorite spot, though, was Fallen Leaf Lake, southwest of the built-up resorts of South Lake Tahoe. It was like suddenly being transported to Alaska. It was pristine, and largely deserted, and beautiful.

181021 Fallen Leaf Lake

181021 Fallen Leaf Lake

I would love to know what these two men were doing with all this equipment (and one was in a wetsuit), but I just had to draw them.

181021 Workers on Fallen Leaf Lake

What are your favorite places near Tahoe?



Monday, October 22, 2018

Well, not really trainspotting, but rather spotting things from a train. This is what I saw and sketched as I rode the train from San Jose to Oakland two weekends ago: mounds of salt. Where does all this salt go? Is it part of Cargill's salt works in the Bay Area? Possibly; I have no idea, but it was fun to get some more Inktober drawing in.

181013 Salt flats from Amtrak

I colored the sketch with a waterbrush (yes, my favorite Pentel Aquash L) and one of those Daniel Smith watercolor dot cards I seem to accumulate from USK symposium goodie bags and sponsor giveaways. I think this was the Jane Blundell palette. The dot cards are a great way to test out new pigments and color combinations.


Special Places

Saturday, October 20, 2018

I'm so honored whenever people ask me to do a commissioned sketch or painting. I can only hope my interpretation of the subject comes remotely close to capturing what's in their head and heart. Here's one I did recently of Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

181004 CR Ocean Beach San Francisco

Lots of love from me to those who love this special place.


Playing Catch-Up

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sometimes life gets in the way of Inktober. I've still been drawing in the margins, but this month has been overfilled with Big Work Things. So I snatch minutes here and there.

Waiting for a Lyft car...

181004 Heaton Moor waiting for Lyft

The view from Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve...

181006 View from Sierra Azul OSP

A stylized cactus...

181007 cactus illo

A head, from TV...

181003 head inktober

A rooster, from a photo I took in Kauai...

181002 Kauai rooster inktober

Sometimes ambition is bigger than reality, but don't lose hope. The month isn't over yet!


It's Baaaaack!

Monday, October 01, 2018

Yep, the turning of the leaves means only one thing for us sketchers: Inktober time has arrived! Thirty-one days, 31 drawings. Post with the hashtag. Use the prompts provided by the website or do your own. Anything goes. This year, I may take a week and do a series of themed drawings. Or not. Will see where the muse tells me to go.

181001 still life inktober

Today's effort was a hodgepodge of the stuff lying on my coffee table. Props if you can figure out what everything is.


Album Art: Strange Curses

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Excited to share a recent commission: cover art I created for San Francisco singer-songwriter Laura Paragano's debut full-length album, "Strange Curses." Follow her on Spotify/pre-order on Amazon: It's out tomorrow, September 17!

Strange Curses album art


Weekend in Mystic

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Spent Labor Day weekend relaxing with family in Connecticut. It involved reading, wine tasting, wading in the ocean, going for a boat ride, listening to the Coast Guard Band, shopping, eating, napping and, of course, sketching. Perfection.

Misquamicut State Beach, just across the state line in Rhode Island:

180901 Misquamicut Beach RI

Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington:

180901 Saltwater Farm Vineyard Mystic CT

View of the Thames River in New London, from Fort Trumbull:

180902 Thames River New London CT

Quick captures from the boat, in Mystic:

180902 from the boat Mystic CT


Castle on the Hill

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Last weekend, we roadtripped down to San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle, the Julia Morgan-designed residence of erstwhile publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. It's a confection of a house, perched on a hill overlooking the California coast.

The buildings and grounds are a California State Park, with a choice of guided tours offered. We chose the Grand Rooms tour, which took us through the main building, Casa Grande. We were one of the first to see the newly repaired Neptune Pool refilled, as it had been drained in 2014 due to massive leaks.

After the tour, we had the run of the exterior, so I found a bit of shade and did a quick sketch of the main building.

081818 Hearst Castle exterior