Architecture and Urban Planning, Artists, Urban Sketching

I found this wonderful piece in the historic conservatory of the One Sansome Street building in the heart of the San Francisco financial district.  It is one of the many pieces by Stirling Calder (Alexander) created for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

The Star Girl - Stirling Calder (Alexander)

The Star Girl

Aside
Urban Sketching, Watercolor

We took the kids to the Open House at Cloverleaf Ranch in Santa Rosa.  They had lots of fun.  I even had fun sketching this view of their barns from the pool.

Cloverleaf Ranch

May 15, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (watercolor on paper)

Cloverleaf Ranch

Aside
Art General, Urban Sketching, Watercolor

I finally got the chance to sketch the giant Medusa head that’s been lurking behind wind-screens and barbed wire fences in the heart of Petaluma, California.  Before I set to work, I had a chance to meet the wizard behind this creation, Kevin Clark, a local artist known for his restaurant designs and the Rhino Redemption art car.

He graciously gave me a tour of his workshop and a detailed explanation of what this giant Medusa head really was.  It’s actually called Medusa Madness and it uses over 100 gallons of propane in full fire-breathing mode.  The snake bodies were made from over 800 steel barrels in construction and the face was based on a mold he took from his wife face.

Medusa Madness

“Medusa Madness” Petaluma, California May 17, 2016 (Watercolor and ink on paper)

Medusa Madness

Aside
Urban Sketching

The sidewalk of Telegraph Avenue in front of Amoeba Records and Zebra Tattoos is a great location for sketching.  I found a sandwich shop with bar seating that faced the street.  I ordered up some lunch and set about capturing the midday sun and scene on paper.  The light and shadows seemed to transform the already vibrant colors of the storefronts.  While sketching, I observed people coming and going.  Some were just too fast for my pencil.  Others, however, were not.  I was able to sketch the people that hovered about without any apparent purpose.  Some appeared to just pause for a cigarette break while others had made the sidewalk their camp for the day.  (Read more at Urban Sketchers SF Bay Area)

Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA

Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA

 

Amoebas and Zebras

Aside
Uncategorized, Urban Sketching, Watercolor
June 27, 2014

June 27, 2014 – The Street Spirit of Bancroft Way

When I first arrived at UC Berkeley in 1997, I entered from one of the most unlikely entrances on campus, the steps on Bancroft Way that led me to the Hearst Gymnasium and Barrows Hall.  A few days ago, I decided to return to those steps and just look back at the street and observe the activity.  Not much has changed.  The facades of the retail shops remain unchanged.  The flower vendor left a few years ago and a “For Lease” sign sits in his place.  A “Street Spirit” vendor found some shade on the bench where the flowers were once sold and offered his newspapers to passers by.  I sat down on the steps next to one of the classical revival urns that surrounded the Hearst Gymnasium.  I sketched as the urn’s lion gargoyle gazed out onto the street almost in a protective manner over the “Street Spirit” vendor.

The Street Spirit of Bancroft Way

Aside
Urban Sketching
June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014

 

A quick sketch I did in front of the UC Berkeley Faculty Club for my first post on the SF Bay Area Urban Sketchers blog.  I had hoped for some people to show up, but summer time is quite slow around the University.

The Faculty Club has been around since 1902 and is a wonderful place to grab lunch or have drinks after class (or work).  I’ve even attended a lovely wedding (several years ago) that was hosted on the lawn shown in the sketch.

If you get a chance to view The Club from the inside, you’ll immediately note the precious craftsman design of Bernard Maybeck that is also seen throughout the historic homes of the area. It’s definitely one of the best examples (that I’ve seen) of this type of warm personal architecture.

Read more about it at http://www.berkeleyfacultyclub.com/

UC Berkeley Faculty Club

Aside