Travel

A walk through Glen Park

San Francisco isn’t all skyscrapers and Victorian facades.  There’s a few secret pockets.  Glen Park is one of them.  Lots of green and pedestrian friendly…

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Interesting things to find just laying around…

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A bit of the country in the middle of the city…

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September Sketches

Sketched quite a bit this month while also loading earlier drawings onto Instagram.  Though drawing only two years now, I can’t believe how much stuff I’ve produced, how many different types of sketches.   Here’s some of what I did this month:

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I’m feeling the itch to start painting again with watercolors.  Maybe, later this year, once it starts getting dark and cold, it’ll be a good time to experiment with paints and papers.  Here’s more from September:

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Three Land & Cityscapes

Typically, while out on a walk or off on a drive, I’ll catch a glimpse of something marvelous — something that stops my heart, something I want to dwell inside of, something I want to share.  So I’ll snap a shot with my cell phone.  Then, back home, I’ll spend some time with my paper, pens and pencils, and let the meditation roll.

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It’s hard not to walk past St Paul’s cathedral in upper Noe Valley, especially with Bernal Heights rising in the background, and not just stop to breathe in the beauty of telephone wires — and to say a silent prayer of thanks.

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Irony abounds in San Francisco, if only visually.  Here, in 1895, at the corner of Gough & Ellis, St Mark’s Lutheran Church brought the word of God to the city.  In 1964, a Goliath Tower rose beside the Church, replacing the word with views only God could afford.

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In the end, if a pilgrim seeks to find the Lord, there’s nothing like taking a drive out of town, crossing a couple bridges, passing through mountains, following two-lane roads deep into farmland.  There’s a moment that comes after killing the ignition, a moment full of country silence, a moment to take a breath — to breathe it all in.

End of June Sketches

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As much as I’d like to draw every day, I just refuse to force it and, instead, wait for wu wei to provide some inspiration.

Sometimes, I draw from life while other times from photos.  Either way, I wait till something about an image touches me, inspiring me to capture it.

It’s getting easier to draw people.  Even though my sketches aren’t perfect renditions of the subjects, the more I do them, the more confident I feel.

Still, each time I start, I’m certain that I’ll never be able to capture what I see.

Afterward, when I look at what I’ve drawn, I realize that, if nothing else, what I have captured is the inspiring spark that got me to reach for the pencils.

 

Nor Cal Getaway

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It’s good to get away, to drive a couple hours north, to rent a room with a big ranch yard, a big orchard sky, a big yellow moon rising over hilltops, barbed-wire fencing glinting by the road.

A rooster cocks at dawn, calling out to crickets and frogs, the ground all green this early spring with March rains behind us.

I think of other artists, slipping away at dawn to the fields, setting up easels, writing their visions with color and line.

I join them now, clumsy with supplies, learning to keep the sun off my neck, to pencil-sketch quickly, to gently dab a sepia line, to stick with dry watercolor sticks, the texture and touch of the sketchbook pages.

Dry pigments without any water perfectly quench the still thirsty earth.