Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lux Appraisals - Chickens!

What a gathering!

Mr. Rooster
I love sketching at Lux, so many interesting things to see and Susan's friend Jesse is always so welcoming and cordial.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fowl Play

The warehouse at Lux Appraisers and Estate Services in Emeryville is always full of some kind of treasure or another.  Today the reward was a massive chicken collection--seemingly thousands of them in all shapes, sizes and materials from an individual's home in Pachecho.  Fun to play with drawing fowl a few days before Thanksgiving.  Thanks Jesse and staff for hosting us.

December 2015 First Thursday
4th Street lights by Cathy McAuliffe

Thursday, December 3, 2015
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Holiday Lights on 4th Street, Berkeley
1776 4th Street, Berkeley


Join us on Thursday December 3rd to sketch the holiday lights on Fourth Street in Berkeley. We will meet in front of Peet's Coffee (1776 4th Street) at 6:30. We will meet inside Tacubaya near Peet's at 8:00 to share our sketches. See you there!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sketching—in the dark!

Have you ever tried sketching in the dark?
You can't see your paper,
your colors look all grey,
you can't tell if you are drawing the lamp or the fence....

Pad to the rescue! Using Procreate I sketched these two last night, mostly all "on-the-spot" (otherwise known as "alla prima"). This app records a movie of your actions as you go. These are short, and fun to watch —Play the movie to see how I sketched it!

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Veteran's Day parade in Petaluma

This is a wonderful parade In Petaluma every November 11th. Veterans both young and old, high school marching band, horses, vintage vehicles, fly overs and lots of community support. It all takes place under beautiful fall trees lining the streets. I always go early enough to sketch the groups as they line up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Autumn Colors in Sonoma County

I was able to get very close to the vines to sketch and paint!
You may see a few little raisins left on the vine among the blaze of color.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

more from Spenger's

Spenger's has so many wonderful objects from maritime activity, both actual items and models. They also have mounted fish and hunting trophies, a deep sea diver suit, life-preservers, many pieces of equipment from boats and ships, and a pistol & rifle collection. I tried again to sketch the divers' suit, and of course the people during happy hour are more lively than they look here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015 ninja turtle says to the other...

as previously noted: visitors from the past...

Before heading in the the newly re-built Bear's Lair, I stopped to sketch "A Musical Offering" — a wonderful, intimate, classical music shop which has been on Bancroft for decades. Glad to see it's still there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fish Story

There is alot to sketch at Spenger's in Berkeley (see the posting below and check our Facebook page for more -
I sketched the giant tuna in the dining room, fiberglass I think. And a sampling of things in the bar including some happy hour patrons. Thanks Spenger's for having us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto

Spenger's, in the Fourth Street shopping district, is a Berkeley institution, granted landmark status in 2001.  Founded by a Bavarian immigrant as a clam stand in the 1890s, Spenger's opened as a full-service restaurant in the 1930s.  It was great to sketch with others in the bar on a cool autumn evening.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Westside Road, Healdsburg

Grape harvest is officially over here in Sonoma County but the lush colors of the vineyards are nearing their peak. This was drawn just outside of Healdsburg on Westside Road.

(From the back cover of my new book "Impressions of Wine Country")

Ninja Turtles, Too

Visiting Berkeley from their home in the sewers of New York City, two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took time off from their busy law enforcement careers to enjoy a couple cold ones at the Bear's Lair.

Named for Renaissance artists Leonardo daVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello, the four comic book heroes originated in the '80s before gaining fame in animation, television and toy action figures.

A fifth turtle, Venus deMilo, aka The Next Mutation never obtained notoriety or acceptance and took early retirement at The Bronx Zoo.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Bear's Lair. . .

. . . and more non-turtles (see below) sitting at the bar in the new Bear's Lair, part of a $223 million dollar upgrade of Lower Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus. 

Speaking of "walking into a bar" jokes, here's an offering from the New Yorker:

Quite a bit more chic than the former 50 year old venue.

Two Ninja Turtles walk into a bar...

We were sketching in the new Bear's Lair at UC Berkeley one night last week and these guys were at the bar enjoying a brew. This is the new Bear's Lair located on the ground floor of the newly renovated Eshelman Hall near Zellerbach Hall. It replaced the original at the lower level of the ASUC Student Union. (Headline credit goes to Ceiny Carney, fellow sketcher.)

There were some non-turtles there as well.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Preston Vineyards and Farms

Over the past month, I've visited Preston Vineyards and Farms several times for produce, sketching, and of course, wine tasting. The property is situated in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and is a beautiful place to visit, especially in fall. The farm store is loaded with gourds, pumpkins, herbs, zucchini, and much more. Picnic tables are in abundance and make perfect places for lunch and a quick sketch.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

North Berkeley Farmers' Market

Controversy and change have surrounded the North Berkeley Farmers' Market this year.  The Ecology Center operates three wonderful year-round markets, including one on Shattuck Avenue at Rose Street on Tuesdays from 3 - 7 p.m.  Due to concerns about disabled access and retail impact, the City of Berkeley required a recent relocation to down the street.  Some think the new configuration lacks a community feeling because the booths are lined up in a row facing a retail strip rather than the stalls facing each other across a grassy meridian.  The Ecology Center staff members say they are "committed to doing our best to make the farmers’ market work in the new location"--including providing chairs and tables near Saul's Restaurant, which will soon have a new parklet on the street in front.

Early in the evening, looking south toward Shattuck and Vine

Later in the evening, looking north toward Rose Street

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

More Scribbling in the Dark

Chris Botti: trumpet.  Tombow, water-soluble pen, water brush     
Sketching musicians at a concert: I can't see the sketch very well in the darkened theater. I'm trying to be quiet and not draw attention. Wonderfully distracted by the performances and personalities on stage, I'm temporarily released from that endless pursuit of perfection and playful gesture drawings emerge.

Caroline Campbell, beautiful rockin' violinist

SF Symphony Chamber Music Series

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Orcas in September

A ferry ride with enough time to work on a puzzle and afterwards enjoy Orcas Island in the San Juan's for the rest of the week.

Cole Hardware in Oakland

Longtime (since 1920) San Francisco store, Cole Hardware, just opened a new branch in the Rockridge section of North Oakland in January of 2015.  They want to be part of the neighborhood--with the motto, "Cole. Hardware for the soul."   After drawing the seasonal array of pumpkins outside on a balmy October evening, I got captivated by the glove display inside.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lewiston Jazz at Cafe Leila, Berkeley

Lewiston Jazz played at Cafe Leila on a recent Saturday night: Cool jazz, tasty affordable organic food, family-friendly club, no corkage fee. Good times.

Water-soluble pen & water brush

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Fall in Berkeley

The pumpkins and gourds have arrived at Whole Foods on Gilman. I loved the names of all the pumpkin variaties.

See Susan's pumkin sketches and halloween history in her posting below.

Pumpkin plethora, Whole Foods Market, Berkeley

The most profitable holiday in America began as a pagan holiday in Ireland.

To celebrate the end of the harvest and All Hallows Eve, Celtic farmers carved scary faces into turnips and potatoes and placed them in windows and doors to frighten away evil spirits. The British carved large beets for the same purpose.

Immigrants brought this tradition to the United States. The pumpkin proved to be a superior jack o'lantern (although a carved beet, oozing red juice, has its own morbid appeal).

Follow this video link for jack o'lantern history from The History Channel:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saul's and the Piano Player

Besides lots to draw and good food we also had music to sketch by! Thanks to the piano player who provided a great sound track to our sketching. I too missed the photos on the walls, especially the one of Katz Deli and their WW2 sign: Send a salami to your boy in the Army!