Saturday, August 27, 2016

Wonderful Garden in Berkeley

Marcia Donohue invited us to sketch her garden one afternoon last week (see other sketches in posts below). We shared the space with great sculptures, plantings and 15 chickens. Great time!

Friday, August 26, 2016

More from the Garden

Wonderful afternoon in Marcia Donohue's garden, clearly a labor of love for over 35 years.  It's open to the public every Sunday from 1-5 p.m.  Thanks, Marcia!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

In Marcia's garden

ceramic foot, ceramic totems & bowling balls
Marcia Donahue is a self-described sculptor and devotee of the Roman goddess Flora. Her iconic garden is a riotous celebration of color and form. The gurgle of the monumental water feature draws you down narrow paths. Chickens run about in this jungle of lush aromatic plantings. Ceramic surprises -- oversize, overhead, everywhere -- demand attention and contemplation. A collection of bowling balls. A big pot filled with spoons, all turned inward like the petals of a silvery succulent. I could have drawn here all day.    

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Evening event at BAMFA with Jazz Music

I found myself drawn to a room with an upcoming exhibit of Hans Hoffman paintings, almost seemed he was there painting & had just stepped out for a coffee, the wild jazz sounds in the next room sounded better from afar too....

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Evening at Berkeley Art Museum

Last Thursday The Berkeley Art Museum BAMPFA was a great place to be sketching. Music, film and exhibits! Trifecta!

Friday, August 19, 2016

FULL at the Berkeley Art Museum

On the night of each full moon, the Berkeley Art Museum hosts a music event in the galleries, often including a poetry reading and film projections.  August's evening, led by saxophonist Larry Ochs, featured structured improvisations inspired by the work of influential filmmakers.

Before the performance, viewers at the exhibition, "Berkeley Eye"

"Gambits" performing music based on a John Cassavetes film

The audience on the colorful, comfortable yellow seating

From a film of the hands of five symphony conductors, projected on a gallery wall

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The World Famous Hamburger Ranch

The World Famous Hamburger Ranch in Cloverdale, CA has long been a popular spot for travelers along Hwys 101 and 128. The ever popular brisket, baby back ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and BBQ chicken is slow cooked in a giant wood-fired smoker and tastes so good, it begs for repeat visits. But what makes this Road House ‘World Famous’? There are hundreds of postcards decorating walls from all over the world reminiscing of the food and fun times.
I too have had some great memories here including today with my friend Phil. We both had pulled pork sandwiches with onion rings and sweet potato fries, then we headed out for an afternoon of sketching under the shade of an oak tree.

Monday, August 15, 2016

More Roller Derby Girls!

How great to attend a scrimmage of local roller derby teams and a special treat to share the evening with my visiting sketcher friends from Paris.  Thanks to Susan Ford and her friend, Ariel!  (See detailed info on Susan's post below.)

Ref and team on the bench

Opposing team on bench

Some of the scrimmage action       

Banner says:  Bay Area All-Stars

Bay Area (Roller) Derby, Oakland

Roller derby is all about athleticism, strength, strategy and speed.  It's also about camaraderie, humor, aliases and alter egos.

It was exciting and incredible fun watching and trying to draw these energetic athletes at a recent practice session. Sometimes I was so amazed by the action that I forgot to sketch!

Roller derby is an international sport dominated by all-female amateur teams like the local Berkeley Resistance and the Richmond Wrecking Belles. Roller derby is being considered for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.

Thank you, Ariel, Frightmare and Gretchen Vomette for inviting the Urban Sketchers to a Bay Area Derby practice session.

Check out the action at Bay Area Derby's August 27th Championship Bouts! Tickets and other information at

30 seconds on the penalty bench

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cape Fear Cafe

Cape Fear Cafe, located in the tiny town of Duncans Mills has been a local hot spot for 20 years. The food is great and includes sandwiches, omelettes, soups, salads and much more. Although the café is a destination unto it’s self, there are many shops to purchase souvenirs, gifts, and house hold items. I spent my time sketching, of course, until the smell of grilling meats lured me indoors for a grilled chicken sandwich and a pile of fries.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Four Views of the Bay Bridge

I spent a good part of the day  sketching the Bay Bridge from the San Francisco side (for a change). There is a glimpse of the Oakland cranes under the bridge.
This sketch shows the connection to Yerba Buena Island.
Sometimes the cables would catch the shifting light.
And sometimes they wouldn't so much.

"Mutha Hen" Sculpture Orinda Downtown

Sketching Mutha Hen looked good because it was in the sun & Orinda was actually chilly this August day

Friday, August 5, 2016

Loard's Ice Cream, Orinda

Welcome to the twilight zone. From the old-school decor to the super sweet air-conditioned aroma as you push through the door, Loard's Ice Cream in Orinda takes you back, way back in time.

Loard’s ice cream recipes have not changed since 1950, when founder Russ Salyards opened the first of nearly a dozen of his East Bay ice cream shops. He won the Gold Medal in the Ice Cream and Dairy Products category at the 1952 California State Fair.

You can also still enjoy Loard's ice cream in Oakland, Alameda, Castro Valley and Livermore. Keeping the sweet dream alive. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mendocino County in July

Old pickup ('37 Chevy?), Philo
Truck Stop Ahead: Rusted metal road sign in the weeds, Philo

Mini paintings while touring Digging Dog Nursery, Albion