Thursday, September 25, 2014

Children's Fairyland Oakland

Two special sketching nights at Children's Fairyland back-to-back, tonight the Urban Sketchers, and tomorrow a sketching event, Drawn Together, benefitting Fairyland — read more about it here

When I was a child, my mother brought my brother and I to visit Fairyland. I was about 3 years old, and Fairyland was just a few years older. The sculpture I remembered the most vividly was the Alice in Wonderland tunnel, with the card maze at the end. I wasn't tall enough to see through the "windows", so I could only see the tippy-tops of the figures in the garden.
the deck of cards who were tossed into the air

The Crooked Man and his crooked house

Oswald the Bubble Elf

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Runnymede Sculpture Farm, Woodside

watercolor and ink brush pen

watercolor and ink brush pen
More kudos to Cathy McAuliffe and Sam Perry for our visit last week to Runnymede. Good times.

It was a hot windless day and we seemed to have the place to ourselves. We wandered about, each sketcher alone with her thoughts and art supplies, clambering up and down the dry yellow hills dotted with art and large, mature oak trees. Deer families, wild turkeys and a lone coyote kept watch from a safe distance.

There's an extensive map of the 160 sculptures on the property but I was unable to identify the creators of these two large colorful sculptures. Sorry, sculptors.

Hometown Tourist

I have lived in the Bay Area all my life. I have been to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park many times but learned about things I had never noticed when I went there on a San Francisco City Guides tour. This tour lead by a very knowledgeable volunteer was great. They give free tours of places all over the city.

I had never been to Alcatraz and finally made it over to the "rock". The Alcatraz Historic Gardens Project preserves, rebuilds, and maintains the gardens created by those who lived on the island, and interprets their history. They have docent led tours that explain the gardens and tell the amazing story of the restoration.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Grace Quan in Richmond

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Found on Piedmont

From Piedmont Third Thursday Stroll. I got there pretty late, but there were quite a few nice little art-ish parties going on, a large karate class demonstration, and a woman singing beautifully on the street to entice people in to the theater. Seems like a fun event. I ended up on the patio between Found and the karate class, and sketched this vaguely middle-eastern-looking building across the street.
greetings, from Found

Runnymede Farm

Terrific opportunity for our group this week, when Cathy arranged a visit to Runnymede Farm in Woodside on the San Francisco Bay Peninsula, where her friend, artist Sam Perry, is a conservator.   The huge property belongs to the heirs of last century's California sugar magnate, Claus Spreckels, and is only open to non-profit and educational groups with a connection to the family.   Two descendents, John and Dodie Rosekrans, have placed more than 150 sculptures on the land along hiking paths, amid the tall grasses, vintage oaks and rolling hills.  An outdoor art extravaganza.  Much gratitude to Cathy and to Sam!

Deer wandering from "Didymous" (1987, welded steel) to "Ibis" (1987, steel and enamel) both by Charles Ginnever

In front of the Caretaker's House, "Symbiosis" by Mark di Suvero, 1989 (steel)

"The Horse" by Hana and Jan Exnar, 1988 (ceramic, metal, glass)

Atop a rise:  "Crucifixion of Allis Chalmers" by Gordon Chandler, 1987 (found metal)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scenes from the Past Saved for Future Generations: Preservation Park and the Pardee Home

The Latham-Ducel Fountain
The Pardee Home Carriage House

Thanks to everyone who were instrumental to the success of the sketch crawl last Sunday: Preservation Park staff, the Pardee Home Board and Staff, Historian Annalee Allen, and everyone who came out to sketch on September 14th. Please see some of their sketches in this blog.

I also want to express my appreciation for who fought to protect these historic places for future generations. Preservation Park and the Pardee Home represent the successful efforts to protect portions of Oakland's historic heritage. Preservation Park is a recreated Victorian neighborhood with in situ  and relocated buildings. They all now function as offices and facilities of nonprofit organizations and other enterprises, and serve as the setting for special events.  The Pardee Home complex, associated with the former California Governor, was threatened by construction of Interstate 980, but was ultimately saved by the historic preservation movement in Oakland. More information can be found at Park, The Oakland Tours Program offers guided tours of the Preservation Park District; please see

Victorians in Oakland

We spent a beautiful Sunday in Preservation Park and the Pardee Home Museum both located on the edge of Oakland's downtown. Wonderful examples of Oakland homes from the 1800s preserved in their original location along with some that were moved here from other places in the city.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Preservation Park, Oakland

Preservation Park is a Victorian neighborhood encompassing a two block area of  downtown Oakland.  Of the sixteen historic homes in Preservation Park, the five on the north side of 13th Street are on their original sites, part of a ring of Victorian residential neighborhood fragments at the fringe of Downtown, while eleven were moved onto the sites in order to spare them from demolition.  The area is now used as an event space. 

Thanks to Sonia Tamez for arranging our visit, complete with lemonade, cookies and a Q&A with a board member.
Italianate Row House, former home of William Bartling, a bookbinder.
The Latham-Ducel Fountain (or "the Diana Fountain"), made in Paris in the  1870s.

Former theater venue for wealthy East Bay gentlemen in the early 20th century.
Can now be rented for events.
We ended the day at the Pardee Museum, former home of George Pardee, mayor of Oakland, governor of California and founder of East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lost & Found

Great beer garden in Oakland. Sketched out on the patio on a warm evening. Very nice staff, Tim  the owner owner came by to welcome us and encourage our sketching. Also found other sketchers there from the Drink and Draw group. Small world and good time in Oakland.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lost and Found Beer Garden, Oakland

This huge beer garden/restaurant opened in Uptown Oakland last spring.  To go with our brews, owner Tim Martinez comped us some delicious roasted padron peppers because he liked the artwork we were doing.  Thanks, Tim!

A few of the many customers, next to the ping-pong table in the back garden.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Big Electric Trains

The Western Railway Museum in Suisun (north Bay Area) has a collection of historic streetcars and interurban electric trains. 100 years ago there was regular high speed electric passenger service between San Francisco and Sacramento then on to Chico. At the museum you can ride the actual trains on an original section of the track. Having just spent time in Bay Area traffic, more and better public transportation sounds pretty good to me!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

More Aloha

A few more sketches of my Hawaii trip earlier this year. Besides the beach, there is much to see in Honolulu, great museums, classic 1950's hotel and apartment buildings and Pearl Harbor.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Four Corners, Berkeley Style

I just returned from a trip that included a stop at Four Corners, the meeting place of the borders of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.  This reminded me that I hadn't finished the set of drawings I had started last year of the four corners of a major intersection in my neighborhood, Shattuck Avenue and Vine Street.  Luckily, our group met there this week to sketch at the Thursday Farmers' Market and Cheeseboard Pizza, and I was able to complete the final sketch.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


One of the trips I took this year was to Honolulu for two weeks. Wonderful place to sketch. The beach is full of models all day. The palm trees are amazing. And of course there are always drinks with little umbrellas!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fourth of July Parade

I'm back from my summer travels and catching up on posting. The parade in Concord was great. I went to see my Rosie The Riveters and a group of Pearl Harbor survivors.