bay views

Sketching in Alviso

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Alviso (home to Alviso Marina County Park) is just minutes from the Silicon Valley tech hubs of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale and Mountain View. And yet -- it feels like a bit of a time capsule, a part of the bay that was forgotten once the shipping business gave way to the railroad, and the once prominent cannery was no more. But there are salt flats, and old buildings, and views for days.

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It's a great place for birdwatching, kayaking, and bicycling too -- you can ride along the margins of the wetlands and wave to the Amtrak trains as they speed by.


A Walk in the Park

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

We are so lucky to have open space (Santa Teresa County Park) right out our back gate! Before dinner today, we carefully picked our way through the overgrown wild mustard and thistles to get to the trail for a short walk. As we left the park, the setting sun threw attractive shadows on some disused sheds, so I stopped to do a quick sketch.

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I started with a fineliner and then used a waterbrush with a W&N Cotman Sketchers' Pocket Box to add color. Added a few highlights with a white gel pen.


The Street Where I Live

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The most recent incarnation of rideshare service in my area is Uber Express Pool, where you are picked up within a small radius of your location to speed the trip. As our street is bounded by a hill and a golf course, there are only a few blocks in either direction that it could ask me to walk (and I invariably get there well before the app expects me to). A few mornings ago, I took advantage of the 5-minute wait time to sketch the view.

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Do you draw in life's interstitials? When do you make time to sketch?

pacific northwest

Weekend Away: Portland

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Last Friday we hopped up to PDX for a quick visit. It was only our second time there -- our last trip was nine years ago!

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It was super fun to see our Oregon friends, including sketchers Rita Sabler and Andrea Matthews. And of course we enjoyed ALL the delicious food.

Rita invited us to sit in on a workshop she was teaching on Saturday, featuring a talk by local historian John Doyle. It was fascinating to learn the stories of the bridges on the Willamette River.

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We spent the afternoon with other friends sampling coffee and tea at Coava and wandering the Mississippi/Williams neighborhood before dinner at Pok Pok Noi and soft serve at Pine Street Market's Salt & Straw WizBangBar.

Sunday I went to the Lan Su Chinese Garden with Sarah Gilbert, who runs Cordilleran Tours. Just before we left, we drew our fortunes from a cylinder of numbered sticks. I joked that my trip had a theme of 9s: we were staying at The Nines hotel, it had been nine years since I'd been to Portland, and my fortune was #29.

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We also loved viewing artist Jill Torberson's works, which were on display in the buildings as well as right in the grounds of the garden. Her mixed media wall pieces were particularly striking.

We chased our garden tour with brunch at Cheryl's on 12th, where Andrea met us. We sat outdoors in a drizzle, so we got the true PDX experience. And then M. and I went off to the Portland Art Museum, where we saw an amazing exhibit about LAIKA (the animation studio behind Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings, and more). It's there till May 20, so go if you can. The detail and creativity that goes into these sets and figures is astounding.

I have to say, I liked Portland more this time around. Perhaps we've both grown up a bit in those nine years.