Sunday, September 24, 2017

Grace Cathedral -- a Story Around Every Corner

Attended a sketching event at Grace Cathedral with guest stars Liz Steel and Jane Blundell, and hosted by Laurie Wigham.  Lots of happy sketchers in attendance. One of the sketchers told me about the bent over lady in my sketch. The lady was 75 years old, an immigrant from Russia, and her husband was a professor who left her in midlife. She also knew a lot about the history of the homes surrounding the cathedral. "There is a story around every corner." -- Vivian Aldridge



Meet-up with Liz Steel and Jane Blundell

I think it’s safe to say that all of us Bay Area sketchers had a great time hobnobbing with world famous sketchers Liz Steel and Jane Blundell today. There were probably 60 sketchers total. Though socializing was our purpose, Grace Cathedral was our sketching subject. Thanks to Laurie Wigham for organizing the event!

Friday, September 22, 2017

UC Botanical Garden, Too

I sketched Judith while Judith sketched the pond

UC Botanical Garden

It is always interesting to me the variety of subjects we find and the sketches we make at a shared location. This afternoon our group met at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley. Each person found something completely different to sketch! Here is what I found.– Cathy McAuliffe





Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Viola Frey at the Oakland Museum

My husband has lots of stories about studying ceramics with the late Viola Frey (1933-2004) at California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts). A visit to the Oakland Museum always includes taking another look at Viola's sculptures.

She's most well known for her monumental, brightly colored ceramic sculptures that shaped and redefined ceramics from 'craft' to 'fine art.'

As a CCAC student herself in the 1950s, Viola studied painting with Richard Diebenkorn and attended classes with fellow students Robert Arneson, Manuel Neri and Nathan Oliveira. What an exciting time that must have been.








Monday, September 11, 2017

Friday Night @ OMCA

Last Friday at the Oakland Museum of California was a real dance night! In addition to a warm evening, and  a street full of food trucks there was Salsa music from great musicians and alot of dancers! #fridaynights@OMCA– Cathy McAuliffe









Sunday, September 10, 2017

Friday Night Fun at the Oakland Museum but Watch Your Step!


Enjoyed a vibrant evening on a warm Friday night just outside the
 Oakland Museum. All went well until I danced the salsa while
 descending the stairs and pulled a muscle! ;-) --Vivian Aldridge




If you find your way to the rooftop you can see a number of interesting buildings.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Antique Car Show in Cloverdale

Cloverdale's Antique Car Show is hands down the most fun I've had all year sketching. What's not to like? Antique cars and enthusiasts everywhere. People eager to have you sketch their car as they tell you all the nitty gritty that went into the restoration. Passers by seemed as interesting in our groups sketches as they did the cars. Top that off with a Pizza (last year) or Thai food (this year) and the day is complete.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Maker's Common in Berkeley

A new market and eatery on University Avenue in Berkeley. Beautiful place with good food.And as others mentioned, it was a warm night and we sat outside on the back patio. — Cathy McAuliffe



Maker's Common - An uncommonly warm evening in Berkeley

Billed as the first crowdfunded public eatery in the Bay Area, was a welcoming spot for sketching

Friday, September 1, 2017

Maker's Common: A Cool Place for Dining and Sketching on a Hot Summer's Night

Great people and food at Berkeley's Maker's Common. Thank you for the hospitality!

Maker Commons in Berkeley


Visited an eatery and shop called "Maker Commons" in Berkeley with my sketching
 friends last night. 
The night was so warm we sat on the back porch dining on cheese
 and drinking wine. The moon even made a timely appearance. -- Vivian Aldridge







Monday, August 28, 2017

This is What America Looks Like

If Ceiny were here I know she would have gone to this.

This is the rally and march that met in the Castro District of San Francisco
 on August 26. My favorite 
chant was "This is what America looks like!"
-- Vivian Aldridge


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Memories of Ceiny


Ceiny was a warm-hearted individual who brought so much enthusiasm to drawing and whatever she was engaged in. We spent many sketching sessions in each others' company, quietly recording what we saw around us, and Ceiny always seemed to find the specific elements which told the story of the place and the people. She helped me through an emotional rough spot with my own health issue which was much appreciated. 

Upon returning from travels, she would share her experiences and observations through her very detailed and illustrative imagery. She seemed to see things in a sweetly unique way. —just trying to find some words which work among the many available to us to show my appreciation of her as a person. 

At a book shop on College Ave.



We went to "occupy the farm"

Remembering Ceiny Carney

Ceiny sketched by Susan



This post is in honor of Ceiny Carney -- sweet woman, talented artist and fellow urban sketcher who died about a week ago.

In May 2015, we spent a rare warm evening sketching on the courtyard at Freehouse, an eatery in a historic 1928 hotel near the UC Berkeley campus. I drew Ceiny as she sat sketching in quiet concentration in the late afternoon sun.









Susan sketched by Ceiny

Fond memories of a get together we had in the spring of this year. Ceiny, me and the gang sketched one another and gave the person we sketched the painting we had made. This was a rare sketch night because we didn't scatter in search of a good sketch location. We sat together around Cathy's table, sketching and painting one another. We had a lot of laughs. 

Above is Ceiny's painting of me, hamming it up over a vase of fresh daffodils. Didn't Ceiny's drawings capture the essence of every location? I remember her amazing concentration, enthusiasm and artistic focus. And a sweet little laugh that I can hear in my memory. We miss you, Ceiny.

My Memories of Ceiny

Last year I met Ceiny for the first time in Manchester, England  at the
 Urban Sketching Symposium.  After that trip I kept running into her every week for
 about two months including at Green Gulch Zen Retreat when no one was around except
 her and her buddy from France. I took that as a "sign" that I was meant to have her as my
 friend. It was she who brought me into the blogging urban sketching group for
San Francisco that changed the scope of my life.

Thank you Ceiny. You have forever changed me. I will pick up your torch and carry on with your 
colored pencils, beautiful smile, and wonderful sense of humor. --Vivian Aldridge

Here are four sketches to remember you by....

1) Last winter I sketched each member of my group wearing a hat.
Ceiny is in the bottom row on the right.



2) I sketched this of Ceiny in April.



3) Ceiny drew me in the sketch below and asked me if I did not mind if I had
 taco sauce dripping out of the corner of my mouth ;-)



4) Ceiny sketched this of me. She always did make feel like a queen :-)










A Life Well Composed: Remembering Ceiny Carney

I miss Ceiny, a member of our urban sketching chapter, who passed away recently. I'll always remember her compassion, her sense of social justice, and her enthusiasm for sketching the world around her. She could-and did-sketch it all!
These are Ceiny's sketches. Please see other posts about her life, her work and our memories on this blog  and related Facebook Page.

Remembering Ceiny Carney


Ceiny, one of our members passed away a week ago. She was a big part of our group and we miss her terribly. Today we are posting remembrances of our sketching time together.

Ceiny was always available to sketch no matter where we were going and always captured the scene in her trademark style. I will remember her political sketches the most and I will think of her as we carry on reporting the protests and marches to come. Here are some of those sketches and a photo of her Hands Around Lake Merritt sketch that was included in our exhibit "This Is What Democracy Looks Like." —Cathy McAuliffe


Remembering Ceiny....


Ceiny, our dear sketcher friend died last week & I miss her enthusiasm and wonderful laugh.  Following are a few of my favorite Ceiny sketches including her narrative and ending with my own sketch at Clevelend Cascades at Lake Merritt showing sketchers from behind, Ceiny on the far left.




Gyuto Foundation, Richmond March 8, 2017 - The monks plan to install a total of 365 prayer wheels to surround the monastery, giving everyone an opportunity to circumambulate and turn the wheels for a walking meditation.  "If one turns the prayer wheel with positive thoughts for the benefit of others, it transforms one's mind and offers its blessings of compassion."





Serrahna Clothing December 27, 2014 - More from our evening at Serrahna, full of colorful apparel made from traditional Indian fabrics, as well as accessories  (jewelry, scarves, hats, etc).  The owner, Andrea, who designs the clothing, was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study textiles in India as an artist at large.





Piedmont Yarn Shop October 18, 2014 - This cozy yarn shop has been owned since July by two longtime friends who met while working in the Berkeley Shakespeare Company costume shop.  In addition to all the colorful yarn and handmade sample garments, the place was decorated with knitted leaf garlands for fall.



Sketchers Hats - sketched everyone from behind with their hats (except Sonia) since it was quite toasty (from left, Ceiny, Susan, Cathy, Sonia (no hat).

Monday, August 14, 2017

RIP Ceiny!


This is a sketch that Ceiny drew last November at the Hands Around the Lake event at Lake Merritt in Oakland.


In a Facebook post Feb. 23, days before the One Week 100 People drawing challenge Ceiny issued a challenge of her own by listing the names of nine artist-friends. She ended her post with these words: "Especially looking forward to yours Carrie Lee McClish!"

"Oh no she didn't!" I said to myself with a smile on my face. But that was Ceiny. That was her way of telling me, "hey, girl you can do this. I know you can!"

And I did it. I spent that week in March drawing 100 people on location, not from photos or a computer screen, but on the plaza near my office, in nearby coffee houses and restaurants, and even at church. And I did it in less than a week. 

Anytime I posted a sketch on Facebook Ceiny gave it a thumbs up or "hearted it." Her sense of wonder and enthusiasm for sketching made the past years five years that I spent sketching with her a joy-filled journey of growth and discovery.

Her spirit will live on in all of us who knew and sketched with her.

Rest In Peace, Ceiny!

Below is an iPad portrait I drew of Ceiny in the days following her death.






Fairyland In the Late Afternoon



Cathy provided construction paper & glue, the "Big Pumpkin Espresso" shop was closed for business.


I was drawn to the Mock Turtle figure from Alice in Wonderland with tears falling down his cheek.