Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, in a Mustang, with a sketchbook

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Palm tree, Malibu, CA

A week in California is never enough. But when I found out I was going to a conference in Anaheim around my birthday, my immediate thought was: perfect excuse for M. and me to drive from LA to San Fran in a convertible (with shades and a scarf and a sketchbook, of course)!

Kicked off this coastal crawl with a mini Urban Sketchers reunion: Chris and Shiho met me at Downtown Disney in Anaheim (I was staying at the Grand Californian Hotel). We had dinner at Tortilla Jo's while we drew.

At Tortilla Jo's in Downtown Disney, Anaheim, CA

Downtown Disney, Anaheim, CA

People at Downtown Disney, Anaheim, CA

The conference ended on Monday night -- so Tuesday morning M. and I picked up our ride -- a black Mustang convertible -- and set off on Highway 1.

In Malibu, I found that I really like watching people surf, or at least attempt to surf.

At the beach, Malibu, CA

Surfers in Malibu, CA

We lunched in Santa Barbara, and I sat in the shadeless part of the park to sketch the Mission:

Mission, Santa Barbara, CA

And then ... the fog rolled in. It pretty much sat on us for the rest of the trip. We never saw the top of Morro Rock (though we did kayak out to see the sea lions and the pelicans up close).

Foggy day in Morro Bay, CA

We spent most of Wednesday chasing gaps in the fog all the way from Morro Bay to Carmel. Don't get me wrong - Big Sur was still beautiful in its misty coyness. And it lifted enough for us to take the requisite souvenir photos of McWay Falls and the Bixby Bridge. But mostly we'd look to the left and see ... gauzy whiteness. So? We'll just have to go back another time.

Thursday was: Carmel-Monterey-Golden Gate Bridge-Sausalito-lunch in Napa-back to San Francisco for dinner-drop off car at SFO-get on redeye. All this with the Bay Bridge closed for the completion of the new eastern span!

But still, time for one last sketch to kiss California goodbye, from Bridgeway in Sausalito.

Sausalito, CA

As Arnold says, "I'll be back."

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  1. It was great to meet you again! Your sketches really evoke the California-ness of it all. And fog is part of the charm!

  2. Thanks for letting us all come along for the ride—a virtual visit to the west coast!

  3. Amazing sketches!!