A couple of months ago, I was invited to include my watercolor sketch of Healdsburgâ€™s Memorial Bridge in the Healdsburgâ€™s Museumâ€™s exhibit, â€œRussian River Good Old Days.â€ At first I was reluctant to tear it out of my spiral bound sketchbook, but the opportunity was too good to pass up.
I drove downtown to the museum with the framed watercolor in hand and met with the curator of the show, Holly Hoods. After I gave her my painting and signed all the necessary documentation, she showed me around the exhibit. One of the more striking images I saw was a photo of a huge swan boat floating underneath Memorial Bridge. Holly explained that the photo was of a water carnival that happened here in 1908, and that this summer, the City of Healdsburg was reviving the carnival at Memorial Beach, swan and all.
Fast forward to this past weekend, the Water Carnival of 2011 took place at Memorial Beach. I arrived with friends and family, all with picnic baskets in hand, and set up on the beach. While awaiting the start of the float parade, I sketched the bridge and the surrounding area of plants, trees and people. Then the crowded beach erupted in cheers as the floats came into view, and I filled in the swan as it made its way down the Russian River just like in the old photo.