On the Coast

Beautiful day at Half Moon Bay yesterday (Feb 8)! Bright skies, moderate temperatures. Sitting on rocks by the water, I completed this divided-page sketch. Try this technique, it’s fun! Use masking tape to create a few random squares and rectangles, then paint in various things you see, from small details to an overview. I find that this technique inspires me to find “treasures” to put into each space, as here with the glass and stones on the beach; a heron and gulls; and the long horizontal view of the low-tide diggers.



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Duke & Daisy

Good buddies Duke & Daisy play at the beach. I completed this pet portrait recently. Below, the painting matted and framed.

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“You did that?”

When I texted the image of my recent painting to a friend, she said “You did that??” I’ll try to take that as a compliment! It is different than my usual style, and I like the drama and texture. I used very vigorous strokes and juicy color-saturated washes. It’s bold and I will explore more in this style. I learned a lot doing this one. I got the pomegranates at Dan’s Fresh Produce and then set up some still life arrangements in bright sunlight on a small table outdoors. I played with the composition; I liked the little crown shapes on the tops and how they were echoed in the shadows. The shadow shapes were an integral element. My attitude was “Whatever happens, I’m just going to go for it and have fun.” It all came together! This painting will be part of a special series to be unveiled and exhibited in about 6 months.

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Rosie the Riveter and her uproar!

I sketched this page as a friend and I walked around the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center in Richmond. I used pencil and Staedtler permanent marker. Afterward, we relaxed outside the center at a picnic table with a view of the Bay, watching the birds and sailboats. While there, I added color to the sketch from my small watercolor kit. Admission to the Visitor Center is free. It has very interesting stories of the Richmond area and the huge influx of workers who migrated northward for wartime work. Society saw major disruptions and changes, affecting women’s rights, racial relations and civil rights, early Queer rights, access to health care, and unions / protections for workers — all these issues and more came to the forefront in the Richmond area and nationally at this time. From the National Park Service: “The term ‘Rosie the Riveter’ was first used in 1942 in a song of the same name about a woman working in an aircraft factory, and over the years has come to symbolize all women who worked in defense industries during WWII.”


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I am the gull

Scene from Mexico

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Sweet pets, Lilly & Kiki

Painted Susan’s dog Lilly and cat Kiki. Cats are difficult to paint but it was a fun challenge; this tortie has such wondrous swirling colors.

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Monterey beach

I couldn’t resist wading at this little beach at Cannery Row in Monterey, Oct. 12th. Wading in October? Why not! The water was freezing cold, but invigorating! The day was bright and relaxing. Loved seeing gulls, pelicans and egrets.

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Roofs with a view

People make use of rooftop spaces in Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico. I also saw several dogs on rooftop patios or walkways; I was told they are on patrol (as security, and combatting vermin). With moderate temperatures and breezes from the bay, the roof provides an extra room for family life.

I think I like my black and white version better; what do you think?

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Alviso at risk

I sketched the Bayside Cannery in historical Alviso recently. Alviso (now part of San Jose) was once a thriving port town, when San Jose was the capital of California. A few original buildings remain, like this cannery, but are deteriorating. Efforts are under way to preserve this important segment of California history. I also sketched the Laine home, a restored Victorian, and a view of the slough.


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Show at City Hall

My watercolor “Oakland Produce Mart” was awarded 2nd place in the “People and Places of Oakland” exhibit at Oakland City Hall. The show runs now through Nov 11, 2019
at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza (Third Floor, by the Council Chambers}, Oakland CA 94612. The painting depicts the historical market in the Warehouse District by Jack London Square.

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