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.

Goat Rock Beach

A near perfect day (weather wise) painting at Goat Rock Beach today. I’m still working on new techniques. The most important thing I learned is that I have a lot to learn.




Episcopal Church

Working in a new style today. Partially successful and partially not. But overall, I’m happy to have learned something new. This watercolor sketch is of an Episcopal Church on Broad Street here in Cloverdale.

Analy Hall, Santa Rosa Junior College


The Ready, Set, Sketch group met at Santa Rosa Junior College today under crystal blue skies dripping with sunshine. The biblical flood that has plagued us for the past couple of months appears to be over, a welcome change.

I sketched Analy Hall where the art department is located. It was here that I took etching class nine times and would to take it again if I could. So other than sketching, printmaking is my second artistic love.

Unraveling the Complexity of Travel Sketching

Workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Urban sketchers is excited to be holding it’s own series of 10 workshops around the Bay Area: 10 teachers you’ve been wanting to take a workshop with, and workshops geared towards all levels of sketchers!

My Workshop in San Francisco

Title of workshop: Unraveling the Complexity of Travel Sketching

Level of difficulty: Beginning
Instructor: Richard Sheppard
Date/time: May 6 and May 7, 10am-1pm (I have two spots that just opened up for Saturday May 6. My May 7 class is currently full.)
Meeting place: San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts, on the corner of Baker St. and Bay St.

Class description: The best souvenirs are not the things you buy or the photos you take while on vacation, but drawings you create in a sketchbook. Sketching allows the artist to slow down enough to get acquainted with surroundings that are so often overlooked while framing the world through a lens. Yet sketching in public can be a daunting experience for the self-conscious sketcher, or for those that are just unprepared. The first part of this class will cover tips on getting beyond the emotional roadblocks that keep us from sketching. Then we’ll discuss materials, styles, and techniques that are best suited for travel sketching. The final part of the class will cover developing a visual vocabulary as well as choosing subjects that are memorable and meaningful.

To register contact and put “San Francisco Bay Area 10×10” in the subject line of your email. Suhita will let you know if there are still spots open and she will help you through the registration process.

Tower of Sketching Books

I admit it. I love art books. Drawing, watercolor, illustration, animation, and of course, sketching are some of my favorite subjects. This stack represents approximately 15% of my total art book collection, but even still, I feel my library is no where near complete. What are some of your favorite art books?

How to Make a Journal of Your Life by D. Price

Process Recess by James Jean

The Urban Sketching Handbook: People and Motion by Gabriel Campanario ( I have a sketch in this book!)

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes by Gabriel Campanario

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Reportage and Documentary Drawing by Veronica Lawler

Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory

PR3: The Hallowed Seam by James Jean

Lapin a Saint-Emilion by Lapin

Manchester Sketchbook edited by Jan Chlebik and Phil Griffin

The Artist on the Road: Impressions of Greece by Richard Sheppard (my book!)

Mostly Montreal by Shari Blaukopf

Sketchbooking by Barbara M. Stecher

Road to Rome: An Artist’s Year in Italy by Marlene McLoughlin

Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook by Brenda Swenson

Random Beach Bodies by Melanie Reim

One Drawing a Day by Veronica Lawlor

Impressions of Wine Country by Richard Sheppard (my book!)

An Illustrated Journey by Danny Gregory (I’m one of the featured artists!)

An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory

Seattle Sketcher by Gabriel Campanario

On-the-Spot Drawing by Nick Meglin

Creative Sketching Workshop by Pete Scully

The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario

Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings by Wil Freeborn

Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques by Thomas Thorspecken

Sketching People by Lynne Chapman

Drawing People by Barbara Bradley

Now Where Was I? by Steven Reddy

Papas’ Portland by William Papas

Papas’ Greece by Tessa and Bill Papas

Back Roads to the California Coast by Earl Thollander and Herb McGrew

Drawing Fire: A Combat Artist at War by Howard Brodie

The Urban Sketcher by Marc Taro Holmes

The Artist’s Guide to Sketching by James Gurney and Thomas Kinkade

Artist’s Journal Workshop by Cathy Johnson

Freehand Drawing and Discovery by James Richards