City of Contrasts: Hyderabad

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Spent last week in Hyderabad, India, for work. The previous time I was there was ~15 years ago; most of the development northwest of the city didn't even exist at the time. It is truly a marriage of old and new. I arrived early on a Sunday, so I had the chance to tour about and sketch.

Near the office early Sunday morning, the main activities seemed to be security and street sweeping. The street sweepers still use whisk brooms.

190623 Hyderabad 1

I stopped to sketch an impromptu game of cricket in a courtyard. This was my first time attempting to capture the action. Clearly I need to study it more.

190623 Hyderabad 2

There were people out on their balconies speaking on their mobile phones surrounded by drying clothes. The clothes say lots about who's living there.

190623 Hyderabad 3

190623 Hyderabad 4

In the afternoon a few colleagues and I headed out to Charminar by Metro and rickshaw.

190623 From rickshaw Hyderabad

190623 Charminar 1

190623 Charminar 2


Off the Paseo: San Jose State

Sunday, June 30, 2019

South Bay Sketchers explored Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San Jose a few weeks ago. I played around with mixed media as I wandered the campus at San Jose State University. This building is Tower Hall, but somehow I chose to sit on the one bench from which you can't see the tower at all....



Touching the Sky

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton is a speck on a distant peak, a landmark we point at when visitors look up. Up close, we found not one but several domes on the terraced hillsides, a metropolis of glass eyes open in wonder at the universe.


Photography night brought a select few out midweek; they braved the serpentine roads at dusk with their tripods and lenses to capture the sunset and swap f-stop stories.



The docents that evening spun the telescope about and regaled us with stories of James Lick and the observatory's construction. Go, if you have the chance - it's a magical experience, to be a few thousand feet closer to the moon.

island time

Maui: Something for Everyone

Sunday, June 30, 2019

It's said that Maui strikes the Goldilocks balance: not just touristy kitsch, not just remote beaches. In our Memorial Day weekend trip to the island, we found that to be true. We stayed in Wailea, Hana, and Lahaina so as to sample the varied pleasures of the island.

Here's a sketch of Maluaka Beach, just south of our hotel in Wailea. Getting to beaches early was key -- in many cases only a handful of people were there with us. Bliss!


As we drove toward Hana, we saw vast sugarcane fields -- a reminder of what the island's trade used to be.


A highlight of our trip was seeing turtles on Kuau Beach.

190524 Kuau Beach turtles Maui

This was the scene at Haleakala National Park's Kipahulu District.

190525 Haleakala NP Kipahulu District Maui

Next year, perhaps we'll visit the Big Island.

plein air

Recap: Carmel Art Festival

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Rain, rain, go away. That's what we kept saying every day at this year's Carmel Art Festival, from May 15-19. Some days the skies listened, some days not.

On Wednesday, I checked in around 4, got my boards and papers stamped (verification in case there is any doubt that paintings were done over the course of the festival), and quickly started on a watercolor a block from my hotel as the clouds were gathering. Good thing, too -- the drops fell fast toward the end, and I had to hastily pack up and run for cover.

190516 Carmel Ride

The next morning I rose early and went to the beach to do a small oil before breakfast. The light was almost tropical.

190516 Driftwood - SOLD

Both of the above paintings sold.

Between showers that day and the next, I went to the church across the street from the Cypress Inn (co-owned by the recently departed Doris Day) and did a quick watercolor of the hotel.

190517 Cypress Inn - Carmel

Friday morning I went back to the beach and got in another small oil.

190517 All to Ourselves

Then there was nothing more to do but frame the paintings, put them on the wall, and talk to potential buyers.


In the middle of it, M. and I decided to take the tandem bike along the Carmel Scenic Drive -- wow, what a lovely loop to ride. Stopped for a quick sketch on the way.

190518 Scenic Drive - Carmel

All in all, it was great to be selected to participate in this event, and I was happy to sell two paintings -- but between the Uber to get down there and the hotel nights and the rain, it was a bit on the expensive side. Had the weather been better, I would have considered it more of a vacation with a painting festival on the side.


Calling It Done

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Started this one outdoors in January, somewhere along the California coast in Montana de Oro State Park, on the trip where we went to San Luis Obispo. Went through lots of iterations before I was happy with it. "Rocky Cove," 6x8, oil.

190511 Rocky Cove oil