Through the fires of this year, we’ve occasionally considered moving from the Golden State. However, our trip to the coast reminded me how incredibly beautiful it is here in California.
The weather was glorious and clear. We saw whale spouts out in the water, shooting stars in the clear night sky and ate fabulous food.
We were treated to a tour of the Mendocino Stone Zone, a place where host Peter Mullins brings in stonemasons from Scotland, Ireland, France and New England to create art within his property in the hills. Peter is a font of knowledge about stone and informed us of a seam of basalt in Windsor, not far from where we live.
We stayed at Roseman Creek Ranch, which provided a fantastic, huge kitchen. We paid a little extra for the big wood oven to be fired up so we could make pizza and other yummies. What a treat it all was!
March and April were busy. I went to the town hall to hear my Congressman Jared Huffman answer questions. I made calls to Georgia voters for Jon Ossoff in Georgia, marched for 45 to reveal his taxes, went to a climate rally and a Mill Valley Community Action Network (MVCAN) meeting. Sketches were created.
Down in the Baja
Año Nuevo State Park.
We saw a few of the famous Elephant Seals. They’re pretty funny looking. We learned that the Grizzly Bear and the Elephant Seal have a common ancestor. Pups are “weaners.” Elephant Seals spend most of their time way out at sea (3000 miles) They came to Año Nuevo Beach in California, to shed their skins and later, to give birth.
And we hosted a birthday party at our house for our friend Seth.
I have become a big fan of Instagram. Through that app, I’ve found wonderful sketchers, illustrators and artists and I’ve been sharing my work (@susanstanger5995—when I picked the handle, I didn’t know you were supposed to pick something more descriptive—I’m still learning). In early March, I learned about a challenge to sketch 100 people in a week. You might have noticed that I love to draw people so this was a no brainer for me. But it wasn’t easy. It was really 100 people in 5 days and by the end of the week, I was pretty much burnt out on drawing people.
On the other hand (so to speak), my drawing became more facile and quicker. I also started using other media, like a sharpie pen and colored pencils. One day, I banged out several sketches that way in just half an hour. Really quick and half from memory as my subjects moved through and out of eyeshot.
I posted on Instagram every day but the drawings were out of order and sometimes incomplete. I knew that eventually I would post them here so I could show them all in order (somewhat—though it seems that I’m missing a couple) and write more details about what I was doing, if I wanted to. So, here they are, my sketches of 100 people…
These first few sketches were done at the Mill valley Community Action Network meeting
These first sketches were done during a meeting of the Mill Valley CAN (Community Action Network) meeting. A group that is doing fantastic political action!
The ferry is a wonderful place to sketch people because they seldom see me drawing them. Most are reading something, as this sketch shows.
Here’s where I start doing those really quick sketches with the Sharpie pen and colored pencils. These were created in the lobby of the building where I work, 201 Mission St. on the corner of Beale in SF.
Back on the Ferry
A few of my colleagues:
More quick sketches with a sharpie. I sketched first and colored in later.
Finally doing a few just with paint. It was really fun and interesting to mix it up and do things a little differently.
This is the place that Robin called the “Murder Shed” because it’s a dilapidated shed behind her house that looks creepy in the night. But there’s also this tree that’s blooming with red and pink flowers right in front. I thought it was beautiful and cool!
The next day, I went with my folks to Pier 39 for “Tulipmania” which was basically no more than a marketing campaign and several planters full of tulips. I was more taken by the seals/sea lions. They are pretty funny.
I miss my wonderful former colleague, Dominique. She’s a talented illustrator and we used to go out to sketch in the financial district of San Francisco at lunchtime on Wednesdays. She’s freelancing now but I’m trying to keep the tradition going on my own.
This week, I did a quick sketch of Coit Tower (minus the traffic, trolley lines and streetlamps) from the Embarcadero.
I can get really bored on a 5 hour plane ride. Especially when we have an extra 1.5 hours to stop to refuel (in beautiful Salt Lake City). Started these pen and inks at the Museum of Natural History in NY and at the Metropolitan. Painted them on the plane. I got a little carried away but it was fun.
I always anticipate the annual HSB Festival in San Francisco. Such a gift to our City and to everyone who loves music. This year was wonderful, as always.
During Mavis Staples’ set on Friday night, we sat near this striking looking woman. She woman didn’t smile or change expression the whole time. the
We wondered what she was thinking.
Saturday, we got there early to hang at the Arrow stage where KT Tunstall was the first act. Never heard her name before but we knew some of her hits. Great fun!
I love the excitement of HSB. Everyone is friendly and happy. The couple next to us came from Scotland for the festival. I also met a woman from North Carolina who is anxious to see Jackson Browne. The many colorful characters of San Francisco have converged on the park.