While getting a coffee at Plank in Cloverdale this morning, I spotted this classic, blue bike parked next to a white picket fence. I couldn’t resist parking myself for the next couple of hours capturing it in my sketchbook.
Just as I finished the painting, I man in a cool black hat claimed his bike. After discussing my sketch, he acknowledged he too was an artist and used to teach Design at the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Turns out he created the cover for Taj Mahal’s Mo’ Roots album back in 1974.
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.
Last summer I was asked by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company to sketch Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. The final drawing (after some edits from the original location drawing) is now printed on the 5 pound chocolate bar and their point of purchase craft bags!
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.
Today my story and sketches of the Oak Hill Farm appeared in the TOWNS section of the Press Democrat Newspaper. I was disappointed to see the tree roots sketch printed so small but hey, I’ve already taken over almost the entire first page.
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!