Tag Archives: Sketchbook

India: on to Manali and the Pavarti Valley

Manali is a starting point to the Indian Himalayas in the state of Himachal Pradesh. We had heard that the best way to get there was to take an overnight bus from Delhi. We investigatedt other options but none of them much reduced the number of hours of travel. So, we flew from Jodhpur to Delhi and situated ourselves on the overnight bus.

DelhiManaliJourneyMap

The seats on the bus reclined and elevated our legs but there was no bathroom aboard. I dubbed the ride “the Kishkaville Express” because the last half of the trip, on rocky, unpaved mountain roads, bumped and jumped in the early morning. After 13+ hours, we arrived in Manali.

On the bus, we met Alaka and Dev, a friendly couple from Delhi, who told us about a local festival that was happening that day, the Manu Festival.

ManuTempleBandManuTempleDance

ManuTemple

You can tell that Manali was probably a sleepy hamlet twenty years ago. Its beauty and location an all to familiar blessing and curse as it’s become a tourist haven of the north and jumping off point for mountaineering. Most of the visitors are Indian, coming for adventures and ganga, which is smoked pretty freely in the old section, despite being illegal. There are a myriad of outdoor outfitters lining the main road and over a hundred guest houses and hotels. During high season (late May and June) the traffic can be complete gridlock.

We stayed a few days in Manali and then took a car to Tosh in the Pavarti Valley.

TOSH

I was awestruck by the views from Tosh. The stunning snow capped mountains in the distance and homes tucked into the steep hillsides reminded me of the picturesque villages of Nepal.

ToshMultiColor

ToshBeauty

Although we had been told that it was “the best place to stay in Tosh” our guest house was a dirty dump. The transformer had gone out and we had no electricity while we stayed there (not the fault of the guest house).

SquatToiletThe latch on our door needed oil. It squeaked loudly whenever we struggled to pulled it over to lock or unlock it, the bedding was soiled and the combination squat/sit toilet seat was loose. I don’t want to talk about the rest of the bathroom.

That said, our balcony had a wonderful view of the mountains and gave us a great vantage point for watching the comings and goings of the village.

From Tosh, we walked along the valley to the Waterfall Café, where the tables sit in the gushing flow.

WaterfallCafe

Further on was Kulka, a tiny mountain “village” consisting of two guest houses, a small store, a babbling brook, grazing horses and a lovely high meadow with an awesome view. We would have loved to stay in Kulka.

Pulga
The next day, we took a car, which dropped us off near Pulga, another village nearby. The road is still being built there so we backpacked in. On the way, we met some travelers who recommended we stay at the #capitalcafe, a new guest house with bamboo cottages (and electricity)! The place was SWEET as was the young owner, Chetan, who spent time with us and told us his story.  It was a highlight for me to share my greeting cards with Chetan and his crew, who are all Nepalese. His cook recognized one of the places I’d drawn.

We took a hike in the dense forest there, passing a waterfall and a herd of cattle (right there on the path). To our surprise, we happened upon this shrine in the woods. ShrineInTheWoods

We wanted to stay another night there but had already made reservations at an Airbnb which was in Gargi

 

NYC long weekend to see the Michelangelo Drawings

The incredible show at the MET will only be there until mid February. My sister Tobie encouraged me to go since the drawings will only be shown this one time. We jumped on a plane and had a wonderful long weekend in the Big Apple. It even snowed all day on Saturday and accumulated 7″—what a treat!

Of course, I sketched. Here are the pieces I did.

FatCat2

Found this great bar, the Fat Cat, with live Jazz

GuitarPlayer

FatCat1

NYC-3

Through the window at Tea and Sympathy in the West Village. While waiting for my old friend, Amy.

NYC-4

Artifacts from the wonderful National Museum of the American Indian in the old Custom’s House in lower Manhattan

Doodle

Please excuse. A doodle to fill my time on the plane.

Family Reunion and Mini-Vacation

For the first time in over 25 years, my mother’s family had a reunion. I love my family and we always have great fun together. I’m very fortunate that so many live within 2-3 hours from San Francisco. But I don’t see the rest of the gang much at all.

So, I was excited that our family was getting together in Monterey, CA, only 3 hours from us. I designed the t-shirt and helped with some other details. Pictured below: My great grandmother, Bertha Soloveichik Tumpson and Albert Joseph Tumpson.

I_survived_the_Reunion_webWe drove down on Friday and ran into traffic in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, of course. It’s still so beautiful on the coast. We were blessed with incredible weather, sunshine and not too much wind.

The incredible Janet Takahashi taught me to sketch when I’m a passenger in the car. This is a great distraction when traffic is heavy. Even if the work is rough, it’s fun!

TravelingToMonterey-LTravelingToMonterey-1

The reunion was cousins galore! I caught a few:

The answer is, “At the Louvre.”

Following the big event, we got some needed R & R on the Central Coast in lovely Cayucos, north of Morro Bay.

Cayucos2

We caught some FUN waves.

Cayucos1

And on our second day, visited Morro Bay.

MorroRock-L

The sign says, “Death from Drowning happens once in a lifetime. Undertow of surf can make return to shore impossible.” The waves were churning and there around 30 surfers were catching rides.

The rock itself is impressive and beautiful. On the other side of the spit, there were two dozen otters lazing in the water. Not shown here are the towering smokestacks of the power plant; an odd imposition on an otherwise picturesque location.

Back in Cayucos, we assumed the position.

Mitch

Sad to end our wonderful mini-vacation, I could only muster a weird doodle in the car.

NorthDriveDoodle

More Sketches of 2017

A few new sketches from Spring of this year.

 

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.

AnoNuevo

 

And we hosted a birthday party at our house for our friend Seth.

Seth

One Week 100 People 2017

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 sketches were done during a meeting of the Mill Valley CAN (Community Action Network) meeting. A group that is doing fantastic political action!

Number10-15

The ferry is a wonderful place to sketch people because they seldom see me drawing them. Most are reading something, as this sketch shows.Number19-23

 

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 FerryNumber44-48

Number49-52A few of my colleagues:Number53-55

Number56_74

 

More quick sketches with a sharpie. I sketched first and colored in later.

 

Number43_70-73

Finally doing a few just with paint. It was really fun and interesting to mix it up and do things a little differently.

Number86-87Number88-90

Numbers91

 

At the Water protectors rally in San Francisco

Number92Number93-94Number95-97Number98-100

Voila!

Art day at Robin’s and Pier 39

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!

murdershed

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.

pier39

Grand Newsstand and Robin’s Studio

I just spent a day with Dominique and Robin in Oakland at Robin’s. Her house is beautiful and her studio is every artist’s fantasy – wonderful light, space, and all kinds of fantastic supplies. I couldn’t resist drawing one wall of the space, chock-a-block with treasures.robinsstudio1

I am also fascinated with the Grand Newsstand on Market which sells a variety of ZINES. It’s such a cool kiosk type of thing and of course, I love zines!

grandnewsstand