Wednesday, November 28, 2012

San Jose Airport

San Jose Airport
Originally uploaded by apple-pine

Chinatown Market

Vietnamese Market
Chinatown, Oakland, CA
Nov 23, 2012
Please see postings by fellow sketchers.


Oakland Chinatown

Sketches from our trip to Oakland's Chinatown on Friday. Check out the other sketches from the day.

Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round

It was a great sketching night! The display of Christmas trees, the ornaments, the lights, Santa, the Elfs, it was difficult to decide what to draw!
Merry-Go-Round, pen and ink, 9x12in

Merry-Go-Round, pen and ink, colored pencils, 9x12in

Tilden Christmas Fantasy, continued

Such a beautiful night in the park.  You drive up in the darkness and BAM--a huge lighted tree and carousel music under a full moon.  I was inspired by the great results by several of my fellow sketchers using I-pads, but my drawings are all with pen and watercolor.

The "senior elf" offered chocolate to "keep up your energy for drawing."

Later he was holding an I-phone.  I wish I'd waited to draw that image.

Finally,  I attempted to draw the 101 year old Tilden Park Carousel.
This sketch of one of the Christmas trees inside is in honor of my 4-1/2 year old great niece,  Maddie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tilden Park Christmas Fantasy

They added air-filled woodland characters this year, the tree must be taller by another 4 feet, and there are many ornament-encrusted trees inside the carousel.
Since it was quite dark, I tried drawing on my iPad with Sketchbook Pro - I got an impression of the giant tree in front which is magical because of being extremely outsized. There are many fun, light-string-outlined shapes covering the lawn. I added one paper/ink drawing. 

Oakland Chinatown

Hing Wah Chinese Product on Webster Street - a bustling place with many shoppers any day of the week. A number of people stopped to see what I was doing. The mechanism on the roll-up door looked like it would be good into the next century!

More Pacific Grove

Asilomar in Pacific Grove is a great place to stay. It's close to the Monterrey aquarium and to Carmel. The historic buildings designed by Julia Morgan have a charm that is hard to find in new architecture.
Scripps building, Asilomar, pen and brown ink and watercolors, 9x12in
Carmel beach, pen and ink and watercolors, 9x12in.

More from Brennan's in Berkeley

Pacific Grove

My friend-since-high-school, Paula, and I went to Asilomar earlier this month for a watercolor workshop, which included an afternoon painting in Pacific Grove.

First we went down to the beach to avoid the wind and practice painting rocks.

All of a sudden, a wedding party and their photographers arrived.
Later, we walked into town and found this colorful house with many inflatable plastic turkeys hanging in the tree.  Who could resist drawing it?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Brennan's Irish Pub

OK, Brennan's may not be cozy, but it's a good place to draw! There are many tables, and groups of people here and there, usually some good subjects. Last Tuesday was pretty quiet, great for sketching. The veridian-green walls make for a good backdrop any time of the year, but are particularly good during the "holiday" season when they have lights strung up around the bar. The man at the end of the bar wore a shiny, black leather jacket through the evening. I tried to get the shininess and had to leave a lot of it white even though it was dark to show the wrinkles.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Westside Road, Healdsburg

Unlike today, last weekend the weather was perfect for a bike ride and I chose to head into the Russian River Valley. The autumn colors were at their peak, draping the landscape in deep oranges, rich reds, and golds. In another week, two at most, these warm colors of autumn will be replaced with winter greens.

Sketching Around the Actual Cafe

Espresso Counter at Actual Cafe, Oakland, ink & watercolor, 6x8"

The Actual Cafe is a bike-friendly, art-friendly neighborhood cafe in North Oakland that we always enjoy visiting for some snacks, espresso and sketching.
Around the Corner from the Actual Cafe, ink & watercolor, 6x8"
When we arrived the light was really nice still so we sketched in the neighborhood first before going inside. While I was sketching the house above, Susan was sketching me and the house (below).
Susan Ford's Sketch of me sketching and the neighborhood

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Visit to St. Mary's College

St. Mary's Chapel, ink & watercolor
 I visited St. Mary's College to see a landscape painting and drawing show in their Museum of Art. The shows were great and afterwards I tried sketching a couple different views of their chapel.
The side of the chapel, ink & watercolor
I struggled with both sketches: I was sitting on a picnic bench that was popular with wasps and they kept landing on my bright yellow Lamy Safari fountain pen. The light changed and the shadows that attracted me initially were gone when I was ready to paint. I accidentally splattered some red in the sky... But any time spent sketching is good time, even if the results aren't the best.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Windsor Hillside Vineyards

While driving Old Redwood Highway north of Windsor, I’ve always enjoyed the view along Los Amigos Road. Last weekend, I finally found time to sit amongst the young olive trees at the roadside to paint the scene.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Driving South from Point Reyes to Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach is a wonderful place to spend a day. It's located down from the beautiful Mt.Tamalpais State Park. It's a luxury to have such beautiful places so close to home.

Toby's Barn, Point Reyes Station

If you keep driving towards the West from the Cheese Factory (see post below) you arrive to Point Reyes Station at the end of Tomales Bay (created by the San Andreas fault). Toby's Feed Barn sells a varied mixture of items, from pasture for your horse to beautiful art. You can have coffee with pastries and join a yoga class. I just draw and enjoy the warmth of the community feeling of Point Reyes.

Downtown San Francisco, Grant and Market

Another drawing afternoon in San Francisco. Sunny but a lot colder than last week. I couldn't see what did the advertising say and I wrote the four noble truths from the Dalai Lama book I had in my bag.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Cheese Factory

Nestled in a valley outside of Petaluma, stands the landmark where the well-loved cheese Rouge et Noir is made. Known locally as The Cheese Factory, its real name is the Marin French Cheese Company, and it has produced hand-crafted, soft-ripened cheeses in this same location since 1865, making it the oldest cheese manufacturer in the USA. I’ve passed it many times on the way to Point Reyes, always promising to stop next time. Last week I finally took the time to visit and I’m glad I did.

The moment I stepped into the cheese shop, I was invited to taste. I delighted in the various aromas, textures and flavors of brie, Camembert, and bleu cheeses, before taking a mini tour of the facility. Through a window I watched as workers poured warm milk into containers with added culture. From here, the natural process of converting milk to cheese only takes a few hours. Once the curds have thickened, the whey is allowed to drain away and the new cheese is formed into molds. Each cheese is aged for a specified period of time depending on its type, and then finally packaged for sale.

As lunch time approached, I headed back to the shop and picked out a Petite Creme Rouge et Noir, a packet of crackers, and a drink. Resting outside by the duck pond, I savored my snack, along with a view that encouraged me to pull out my watercolor paints. This area of northern California, known for its artisan cheeses, is especially beautiful in late autumn, after seasonal rains have begun to fall. Rolling grass-covered hills that were sere and golden just last month are now a brilliant emerald green. The cows that dot these hillsides are no doubt happier of late, eating newly sprouted grasses.

Thursday, November 8, 2012