Back in the winter of 1976, I sketched this backyard tree while falling snow hid the towering Rocky Mountains behind it. From the warmth of a nearby fireplace, I spent most of a morning trying to capture the leafless tree’s limbs exactly as I saw them. At 12 years old, I had never spent so much time drawing a single subject, nor did I know that the process of drawing from life would be a life long pursuit.
Each year I kick off the winter holidays with a visit to Charles M. Schulz’s Redwood Empire Ice Arena. The festive atmosphere is enhanced with holiday decorations, seasonal music, and bundled-up ice skaters, all of which bring back childhood memories and provides a unique opportunity to sketch. But once my fingers get too cold to paint, I head into the Warm Puppy café for a cup of hot chocolate and park myself next to the table where Schulz himself use to sit every day before working on his beloved comic strip, Peanuts.
The Ready, Set, Sketch! group met today in the beautiful town of Occidental. This tiny town, located directly west of Sebastopol, has a number of good places to shop and eat. One of those places is the Union Hotel and Restaurant.
Back in 1925, Giovanna Gobetti Giovanna sold the Union Saloon to Carlo Panizzera for $2,500.00. Carlo turned it into the Union Hotel, which is still owned and run by his descendants today.
Lately I’ve been practicing sketching without ink lines. Sometimes I feel I’m successful and sometimes I don’t. Ultimately this sketch is overworked, but I picked up some new ideas which makes it all worth while.
Just finished painting a mural in Taverna Sofia, a great new Greek restaurant here in Healdsburg. After viewing a copy of my book “Impressions of Greece” Sofia asked me to paint the map.
Recently, I was asked by Ghirardelli Chocolate to do an illustration of their downtown San Francisco building. I started by sketching on location to get the right view. Once a view was selected, I worked from photographs to complete a final drawing and then watercolored it. The final ink drawing will be printed onto craft bags for point of purchase. The final watercolor will be printed on the packaging of a 5 lbs chocolate bar!
Last weekend, the Ready, Set Sketch! group toured the Dry Creek Valley by bike. It’s one of the most beautiful rides in Sonoma County. Resting on a hilltop along Chiquita road, I sketched an owl box standing high above the vineyard covered landscape.
Lambert Bridge crossing Dry Creek, located just outside of Healdsburg in the Dry Creek Valley.
Quivira Vineyards, a beautiful winery located on the far end of the Dry Creek Valley has both, arresting views and great wine. This sketch shows a nearby barn, neck deep in vineyards.