Saturday, August 14, 2021

A Little Abstract Thinking

Our USK chapter is starting to meet in person for some actual urban sketching our online meetups have provided a chance to try some interesting activities. Recently using the same subject photo we worked on abstracting that scene. As always it was fun to see how each person interprets the same view. And we all realized how challenging it can be to abstract a landscape. This was not on location sketching but it was one of our year long activities that keep the group sketching during lockdown. - Cathy McAuliffe 

Alex Connor

Cathy McAuliffe

Eve Aldridge

Judith Heller

Laurie Wigham

Sonia Tamez

Susan Ford

Susan Wilson

Tracey Thompson

Vivian Adridge

Sunday, May 31, 2020

We All Need A Map

During the Shelter at Home our sketch group has been meeting each week on Zoom. We have done portraits, learned new techniques, illustrated recipes, made mail art. We thought we might run out of ideas but we keep coming up with more! One week we drew maps. Maps of our daily walks, our route to the grocery store, dog walks, nature walks, so many different walks that we are all taking during this time!

 Alex Connor

 Carrie McClish

 Cathy Raingarden

 Cathy McAuliffe

 Vivian Aldridge

 Susan Wilson

 Susan Ford

Sonia Tamez

 Judith Heller
Micaela Marsden

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Window at Molly b’s

Molly b always has an amazing window, but it was exceptional this month. I was able to quickly sketch a selective portion of it on March 6 while running errands. I added more paint and the sticker when I got home.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

A Whole New Way to Sit at the Chabot Science Center

Even though I have been to the Chabot Science Center a number of times I always find something I have never seen before. This space toilet fascinated me because I was wondering what do astronauts do without gravity to "move things about." -- Vivian Aldridge

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

Sketching the Showroom at Eastern Classics in Berkeley

This store is a portal to Asian furniture and other well crafted items, antiques  and contemporary goods. 

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


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.


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

Emeryville Public Market - Post Hoildays

Quick 15 minute sketch. People were coming and going at a frantic pace even post holidays. — Vivian Aldridge

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