San Francisco Meet-up with Liz Steel and Jane Blundell

I think it’s safe to say that all of us Bay Area sketchers had a great time hobnobbing with world famous sketchers Liz Steel and Jane Blundell today. There were probably 60 sketchers total. Though socializing was our purpose, Grace Cathedral was our sketching subject. Thanks to Laurie Wigham for organizing the event!

Antique Car Show in Cloverdale

Cloverdale’s Antique Car Show is hands down the most fun I’ve had all year sketching. What’s not to like? Antique cars and enthusiasts everywhere. People eager to have you sketch their car as they tell you all the nitty gritty that went into the restoration. Passers by seemed as interesting in our groups sketches as they did the cars. Top that off with a Pizza (last year) or Thai food (this year) and the day is complete.

Nineteenth Floor View from the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago

Accommodations for the Urban Sketchers Symposium can be quite comfortable if you have a friend who’s nice enough to use thousands of accumulated Marriott points. My friend Phil had just enough points to score the Blackstone Hotel, just two blocks from the Goodman Center where the Symposium was centered in downtown Chicago. Thanks Phil!
 
The historic hotel was built by the Drake brothers, hiring architects Marshall & Fox to design it. It opened in 1910 and at the time it was the tallest building in Chicago. Noteworthy guests have included 12 consecutive presidents from Taft to Carter, Al Capone, and others. The Blackstone has also been used as staging for several notable films, including The Color of Money and The Untouchables.
 
The sliver of a view we had out our 19th floor room includes Grant Park and Lake Michigan off in the distance.

Books on Stage

Tonight Carolyn Cooke and Randall Babtkis read selections of their published work at the Books on Stage (Produced by Janet Vail) event here in Cloverdale. Carolyn’s novel, Daughters of the Revolution, was named one of the best books of 2011 by the San Francisco Chronicle and The New Yorker Magazine. Randall is a published poet, a performance art impresario, and director of a graduate writing program. After the reading, Carolyn and Randall shared their numerous insights on how they weave their writing and marriage together. After a round of questions from the audience, wine and cheese was served in the lobby. A great evening all around!

Goat Rock Beach Revisited

Headed out to Goat Rock Beach (again) to avoid the Sonoma County heat wave. Today reached 112° in Cloverdale. Beach was cool and very windy. Had to seek shelter behind some rocks to avoid the gusts from blowing my painting supplies all over the beach.