Art, Love & Wine

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Two of my paintings will be included in Central Coast Plein Air Painters' upcoming show, "Art, Love & Wine," at Wargin Wines in Watsonville, CA.

Yesterday M. and I went to drop off the paintings, and we ended up shopping for antiques in Soquel and watching the waves at Rio Del Mar Beach in Aptos.

190126 Rio del Mar Beach, Aptos, CA

Here are the two paintings in the show:


Almaden Lake Park

The opening reception is on Friday, February 1, from 4 to 7 pm. The show runs through March 22.

mountain high

Colorado Sketchbook

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I had to be in Boulder last week for work, so M. and I took advantage of the long MLK weekend to plan a trip to the mountains. We flew into Denver Friday night and stayed at the Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, a hipster hotel not far from Union Station. The plan was to take Amtrak's California Zephyr -- reputed to be one of the most scenic rail routes in the country -- westward the following morning.

Well. We knew the previous night that the train would be delayed, as it was several hours late leaving Chicago. But as the hours went on, the delay just grew. And grew. And grew. The morning came and went. So did noon. We watched people play shuffleboard at Union Station.

190119 Union Station Denver

190119 Union Station Denver 2

Finally, around 4:30 pm, the train slowly backed into the station. We were disappointed; the sole reason to take the 5+ hour train instead of a rental car was to see parts of the mountains otherwise hard to get to especially in the winter. With the late departure, we were barely climbing into the rockies at sunset.

190119 Entering Rockies Colorado

Nevertheless, it was an adventure, albeit an overpriced one given the late hour; we had a roomette to ourselves, dined in the dining car, and sat for a few minutes in the lounge car.

In the morning we took a dip in the vast, steamy hot-springs fed pool at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort and then picked up our rental car to drive east.

190120 I-70 E Vail Denver Colorado

We stopped in Vail for lunch. I sketched the view from the window at Pepi's, an Austrian restaurant recommended to us by the Enterprise rep. So many colorfully dressed skiers and snowboarders in the town. And yep, those are the ski lifts in the background!

190120 Vail Colorado

190120 Skiers Vail Colorado

When we got back to Denver, we had dinner at Ace Eat Serve. It's food ... plus ping pong. Genius!

190120 Ace Eat Serve Denver 2

190120 Ace Eat Serve Denver

After M. left for home on Monday morning, I went shopping and then to the Christian Dior fashion exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. I used a few Zebra Zensations mechanical colored pencils (bought at Meininger, of course) to draw while in the museum, as they don't allow pens there. I used watercolor to color them later.

190121 Dior at Denver Art Museum

Dinner with friends at Avelina and then drinks across the street at the Oxford Hotel's Cruise Room rounded out the weekend before I headed off to work in Boulder for the week!


A Weekend in SLO County

Sunday, January 27, 2019

For the holidays, M. got me tickets to see musical virtuoso (and Late Show bandleader) Jon Batiste performing live at CalPoly, so we made a weekend out of it. After meandering through wineries and lunching at Cass Wines, we made our way to Estero Inn at Morro Bay. Got there just in time to capture the sunset over Morro Rock.

190112 Morro Rock

We proceeded to the town of San Luis Obispo, where we had dinner at Vegetable Butcher. Then it was time for the main event. What a treat! Jon Batiste started off on stage but then brought the music to the audience, playing his signature melodica. For a while he stood directly next to us.

I had a hard time sketching him since it was dark, but I made a few attempts.

190112 Jon Batiste at PAC SLO

In the morning, I did another quick sketch of Morro Rock. Hard to fathom that this volcano remnant's been around for some 23 million years!

190113 Morro Rock


The Red Coat

Monday, January 14, 2019

Stopped in for lunch last week at Hannah Coffee on the Alameda in San Jose and was captivated by this customer in a bright red coat.

190111 Hannah Coffee San Jose

Nothing like strong colors to fight the January blahs!


More House Love

Monday, January 14, 2019

Here's a zoomed-in detail of a commission I worked on last year.

Detail of commissioned house sketch

I remember every house I've lived in, the little secret spaces and places that made each one special. I hope this sketch brings back such memories to the recipient.


Child's Play

Monday, January 14, 2019

190105 SJ Diridon morning

Best way I've found to overcome fear of the blank page? Use materials that aren't precious. Kids' art supplies are a great way to "break the ice." Decided to break out these Ooly Chunkies children's paint sticks to start off my new sketching year.

190105 SJ Diridon with Ooly Chunkies

Oh my, are they a challenge! They are so imprecise that I had to use a piece of cardstock as a stencil to get anything resembling a sharp edge. And all those bright, not-really-blendable colors meant I had to be very creative in my use of white overlays in this scene of San Jose's Diridon Station platform in early morning light.


Happy New Year!

Friday, January 04, 2019

Just back from a whirlwind holiday trip to New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Most of my time was spent with friends and family -- there was much reading, cooking, eating, shopping, playing of games, and visiting. And dodging raindrops!

Still, I managed to get a few sketches in.

After we took M.'s family to Sunday Eve of Christmas Eve brunch at the Weekapaug Inn, we stopped in downtown Westerly, Rhode Island, to visit the lovely Savoy Bookshop & Cafe. We ended up staying in Westerly longer than planned though, since the car battery gave out! I parked myself on a bench and sketched this while we waited for AAA to arive.

181223 Westerly Rhode Island

It's a mishmash of mixed media: ink, watercolor, colored pencil, gel ink.

This next sketch was also done while waiting -- this time, for the train from Boston's North Station to West Concord, Massachusetts, where we were meeting friends for dinner.

181227 North Station Boston

Only when we'd settled into our New Year's Airbnb rental did I have time for a more leisurely sketch. Here's the view of Indian Lake from the window of our rental house in South Kingston, Rhode Island.

181231 Indian Lake Rhode Island cropped

Thanks to everyone who reads this blog. Wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year!