Thursday, February 20, 2020

Eastern Classics in Berkeley

The showroom has a wonderful assortment of Asian furniture and antiques. Everything is beautifully displayed and a pleasure to sketch. Thank you jay for hosting us. – Cathy McAuliffe








Thursday, February 13, 2020

Monday, February 3, 2020

A Shade Better

Actually more than a shade better! Great sketching at Sue Johnson Lamps on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. An almost unlimited supply of subjects both in the store and in the workroom. A beautiful and well lit place to sketch. _ Cathy McAuliffe




Sunday, February 2, 2020

Let there be light

Another happy sketcher here from a visit to Sue Johnson Lamps in Berkeley last week. For over 48 years, Sue's been creating beautiful lampshades of pressed layers of mica and other materials. She combines them with most wonderful sculptural elements imaginable, creating one-of-a-kind lamps that are a joy to own and to sketch.

Thanks, Sue, for a most enjoyable opportunity to sketch your creations.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Lights for the soul: Sue Johnson's Lamps


Visited a cozy lamp shop owned and operated by Sue Johnson. I was delighted to meet Sue. As she talked about her craft I could tell how much she loved her work. She is a true artist. It is no wonder she has been there since 1972!

As I sat in the midst of her shop I noticed that the lamps came in all shapes and colors,  and I was surrounded by a wonderful golden glow that shone through lamp shades 
made of mica or parchment. I especially liked the animals, and figurines that some of lamps supported. The owls were my favorite and I learned they reflected Sue’s love of birds. She is quite active with the Audubon Society too. -- Vivian Aldridge




Sue

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Return to the Light!

Sue Johnson Lamps is a really fun place to visit — pieces of art, textiles, craft are combined in to these lovely, lively and interesting one-of-a-kind lamps. This shop has been in this location for almost five decades, though the history is best seen in the back shop repair and creation area. Neither of these is quite finished, but this may be as far as they get.


a photo essay

I wanted to document a little about a recent show of photography at the David Brewer center in Berkeley. The photographer Joel Sartore has recorded in his own medium, photography, many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, etc. More and more of these creatures are being pushed to the brink of extinction, and some have actually left the planet already, sad to say. While not strictly an urban sketch, I tried to incorporate elements of the surroundings in one, and make the photos appear as what they are in the other.

"Palate-tickling"

The translation of Gaumenkitzel! More elegant in German, more fun in English. The food is great, the vibe relaxed.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

More Than Lace at Lacis

Lacis in Berkeley is a huge store with an almost unlimited variety of things to sketch. Founded in 1965 it has over 500 bolts of lace, buttons, ribbons, trims and 3,000 books on textiles. It is part grandma's attic, part community hall and part boutique. In the windows are parasols, handkerchiefs, dresses, lacey gloves, doilies, aprons, hats, knickknacks. Inside, lace and silk dresses hang from the high ceiling; a display case by the cash register houses vintage beaded bags; classes are held in such obscure crafts as Victorian corset making. There are shelves and shelves of vintage tablecloths and other linens; lots of jewelry, loads of buttons and ribbons, both vintage and contemporary, and a wall full of beads so you can make your own baubles. Another room houses hundreds of bolts of lace.
— Cathy McAuliffe





Saturday, January 11, 2020

Emeryville Public Market

The Market was busy on a winter evening. Many new food options are open. All look good!
— Cathy McAuliffe




Monday, January 6, 2020

Friday, December 27, 2019

Holiday on Fourth Street, Too


Every December, East Bay Urban Sketchers visit Fourth Street in Berkeley to sketch the holiday decorations. And every year, I invariably sketch the window display at Molly B. Boutique. 

Nina Taylor has been creating Molly B.'s wonderfully eclectic window displays for thirty plus years, and she never fails to attract passersby for a closer look. She uses her personal stash of props and rental items, along with objects loaned by friends and other artists. In this window Nina employs African and Oceanic masks, shields and other objects from Dave DeRoche's collection. 
~Susan Ford

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Holiday on Fourth Street

It is our holiday tradition to sketch the lights on Fourth Street in Berkeley. It seems that each year there are even more lights! This year's display was fabulous. — Cathy McAuliffe



Sunday, November 24, 2019

Fresh, Fresh, Fresh

We are fortunate in Berkeley to have many options for food shopping including not one but two Berkeley Bowl markets. The first Berkeley Bowl opened in 1977 as a small neighborhood market in a converted bowling alley, hence the name Berkeley Bowl. We sketched before the Thanksgiving rush at the second location Berkeley Bowl West. – Cathy McAuliffe





Saturday, November 23, 2019

BBWest

...otherwise known as Berkeley Bowl West. Such a great place to sketch, as well as to shop for groceries. I was looking for pumpkins, which they normally have many varieties of, but at this point they just have sugar pie pumpkins and a couple other types. However, they always have hundreds of cheeses.
Sometimes I like my drawing better than the colored version. What do you think?


I almost succumbed!


Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Ancient Art of Sake Making

At Takara Sake in Berkeley, a museum demonstrating the tools of the 1900's and earlier contains many fascinating relics of past, small-scale sake production. Takara Sake now has large stainless steel tanks and modern methods, but respect their past. A wonderful place to visit and taste sake!



These tanks are large, a co-sketcher stood nearby to show the scale, but I didn't sketch fast enough to get her in there! The one on the left is about 6' or so high. The pot on far right is actually the firepot, which is positioned below the tank. 

Sake Museum Visit

Takara Sake USA Inc. in Berkeley has been acquiring and preserving a wide array of sake-making artifacts and tools from Japan over the years. You can see  the tools used by Toji (brew masters) and brewery workers from the early 20th century.Wonderful subjects to sketch and a tasting room right next door! – Cathy McAuliffe





Sunday, November 10, 2019

Come Back Saloon

Somehow a revisit to the Longbranch invites this! Good food, good beer&wine, convivial atmosphere.



Slinging a Sketch at the Saloon

The Long Branch Saloon is a cozy  place for a chat or making a sketch with 12 of your closest amigas. — Vivian Aldridge


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Dia de Los Muertos in Oakland

This year's theme at Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood festival paid respect to Los Ausenttes (The Absent) those who are no longer with us, whether loved ones who have passed away or members of this community who have been displaced due to deportation, gentrification or incarceration. The altares (alters) were displayed throughout the festival including those in the trunks of the beautifully restored cars. —Cathy McAuliffe