Drawing Life in general Sketchbook Pages Watercolor

Old West Gun Room, El Cerrito, CA



This very old gun shop is located about a mile from my house, next door to the new Peet’s Coffee. I’m sure that the only reason it continues to exist is that it’s always been here. It would never be allowed to open on the edge of a residential neighborhood in this liberal community now.

I needed a walk and I needed coffee beans and I needed to draw. So I packed my little painting kit in my backpack and headed towards Peets with a plan to get my coffee and paint the gun shop. Every few feet I saw a tree or flower I wanted to draw but decided to come back to those things later.

I walked the mile, got my pound of Peets Special Decaf beans, a cup of mostly decaf, and sat down on the sidewalk across the street in front of Payless Shoes to draw. I felt a little silly sitting on the sidewalk, making the occasional pedestrian walk around me, but I got over it once I started drawing. I drew in ink, added watercolor, decided I was more than finished, and stood up. Yikes! It took a block to work out the kinks in my legs.

When I got home it was earlier than I expected–time just seems to stretch out and expand when I’m in “the zone,” I thought. But as I was scanning the drawing I got a call from Nora asking when I might be arriving for the 6:00 dinner at Michael’s. I looked down at the clock on my computer screen and it was already 6:30! But my watch said 5:30–sometime during the walk my watch’s display had switched to “Time 2,” which I’d never changed to daylight savings time, so it was an hour behind. They were nice enough to wait for me and dinner was great!

I enjoyed the extra hour I had today, even though it wasn’t real.

Lamy Safari pen, Noodlers ink, Moleskine large watercolor notebook.

10 replies on “Old West Gun Room, El Cerrito, CA”

THIS IS FABULOUS, Jana! Such detailing and yet delicate lines and color!! LOVE IT! And my doesn’t the time fly when we’re in the ‘zone’!!!!


Jana – what a treat to see your drawing of this unusual business in my neighborhood too! I love the warmth and coziness that you captured in your painting and the structure itself exudes that feeling from the outside at least. I wonder what lurks inside! I’ve always wanted to go inside but then again I’m not really sure….


Jana, your art works is so wonderful. I am being a self taught artist and truly learn so much from wonderful Artists like yourself.. Can you please tell me about the safari pen for drawing I want to get one but need some advise.
Thank-you so much for youre time.


love the purple shadows of roof and sidewalk, just seems to tie all the other colors together, and your lovely loose style, no wonder you lose time, looks like you have such fun doing these!


Yup – I know that place too. You captured it so well, and I can imagine just where you sat to paint it! Beautiful.



I love this style of painting! It conveys so much feeling and character! It is a style that I want to learn. I thought your story of “being in the zone” was a kick! I can understand how that can happen “zone time” can truly pass like that, glad you still made your dinner!


You did a beautiful job. I remember as a kid wondering what on earth was inside this place. It seemed so old that Davey Crockett probably got his hat there. Have you approached the owner? His name is Bob, he’s a good guy. I think he would be touched to know of your artwork.


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