The weather is gorgeous in the S.F. Bay Area today, sunny and warm with a gentle breeze. It inspired me to drag my old bike out of hiding and go for my first bike ride in two years. Of course the tires were completely flat. I got my first bit of exercise pumping up the tires (while managing to get chain grease all over myself working from the wrong side of the bike.) Finally took off down the street and 3 blocks later realized that when the front tire pointed straight ahead, the handles bars were turned to the left.
Rode back home, called bike store, got directions to fix it, used wrong little L-shaped wrench thingee which got stuck in the hole, called bike store again, found the correct metric wrench they said to use in my son’s tools he left behind in my garage, got the stuck one out, tried again, but couldn’t loosen the bolt. Looked around to see if there were any men home on the block who could strong-arm it for me. No men home.
Called sons (both avid cyclists). Son #1 not answering. Son #2 was working from home and was so sweet, came right over and fixed it for me. Finally, two hours after I first planned to leave, I was on my way, down to the Bay Trail.
It was glorious! I rode through Richmond Annex, crossed over the freeway on the pedestrian bridge at Sacramento St., over to Central, down to the Bay Trail, and rode all the way to the Rosie the Riveter Monument and National Park in Richmond. I stopped to paint the ship “Amazing Grace” (above) in the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor.
My reward on the way home was lunch at the Sit Stay Cafe at Pt. Isabel. I was sitting under a bright red-orange umbrella there when I painted this and so all the colors came out really weird (that’s the bay and SF in the distance on upper right). I loved the body language of the people and the dogs. Pt. Isabel is an enormous dog park along the bay with spectacular views. The cafe is next door to Mud Puppy’s Tub and Scrub dog bathing shop, so the patio and cafe are dog friendly.
Then I cycled home happy, if a bit sunburned. Tonight is the El Cerrito Art Association meeting, with a demo by artist and Liquitext rep Michele Theberge.
What a great day! The views of the bay, the harbors, the city, were spectacular, the sun hot and the breezes cooling. Doesn’t get much better than this! Definitely an Amazing Grace kind of day!
(Some of this also posted on Sketchercise.ning.com.)
13 replies on “Amazing Grace: “Sketchercizing” on the S.F. Bay Trail”
Beautiful sketches! But about the bike…I must point out that men are not necessary for repairs (I’m a certified pro bike mechanic). Sounds like the bike shop people just didn’t give you the proper instructions, it’s a very easy fix. That said, good for you for getting the bike out and getting it rideable!
Hi Kathryn, I know it doesn’t take a man, but it was going to take more wrist strength and tools than I had. Apparently the bolt was frozen in place and even my son couldn’t get the wrench to turn. He described a particular kind of tool they probably had at the bikeshop that would provide enough leverage to get it to budge. What my son did was stand with the wheel between his legs and push the handlebars into position. He made it rideable and hopefully didn’t mess anything up, though a piece of plastic did fall off a few minutes later
hi dear , very nice sketches and good use of colors , i like it .
Sounds like a fabulous day – and bringing home several delightful sketches to document it isn’t too bad either. I get the feeling that you back to watercolor and your visual journal more these days than when we were together last winter?
Hi Shirley, Sorry for the late reply. Yes, I think you’re right that I’m doing more sketching now than I was last winter. It’s such a mainstay of my art life. I think I was doing less than while I was nose to trail trying to get a handle on oil painting. And of course as soon as I began to “get it” I had to start working in acrylics too, where I can feel like a klutz all over again!
I just realized how long it’s been since I’ve visted your “place” — I don’t even know if you’ve retired yet. I’m heading over for a visit right now! Jana
Love the dogs at the cafe. Your sociable animals always have so much personality.
Jana, You had the perfect day yesterday. I want to bike that trail now! It sounds beautiful. xoxo
Hi – you were right in our neighborhood (work). It’s a great area at the Marina for a sandwich or a quick sketch!
Come by next time and sketch our Public Health Dept at Meeker and Marina Bay Parkway. There’s a neat cafe across the street.
I will be meeting you and the other plein air artists at John Muir later this month. Am always up for Point Richmond sketching during the noon hour!
Thanks Janice, I’ll look forward to seeing you at John Muir. I can’t quite picture where your office is located, but it sounds like it’s a bit off the Bay Trail. It must be nice working so close to the bay and not in an urban setting, like downtown Oakland where I work.
Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. Jana
Jana, what a great post! I’m glad you finally got out on your bike ride – such determination! Your sketches are wonderful too – my favorite is the second one. You included so much wonderful detail, and the body language of both people and dogs is perfect.
I think you should copyright “Sketchersizing” great concept for a sketch group 😀 Keep those vibrant colors coming – nice sketch
Hi Gerald, Thanks for your kind words.
I’m passing along your suggestion for copyright (or maybe trademark?) to Katherine Tyrell, who is the brains behind “sketchercize”. She coined the phrase and started the group on Ning and Flickr. You can read more about the group and her great idea hereand here .
Thanks again, Jana
I like these two sketches, very pretty.