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Teepees in the Hood: Sketchercize

Teepees in the 'Hood, ink & watercolor
Teepees in the 'Hood, ink & watercolor

I went out for a bit of “sketchercize” today, trying to get unsluggish. My plan was to walk 30 minutes, sketch wherever I landed at 30 minutes and then walk 30 minutes back. But 15 minutes out I came across this odd montage and had to stop right there. Up a few stairs just past some lovely native drought resistant plantings, and a miniature pagoda was a full sized authentic teepee in front of a wall of bamboo. Somewhere behind that was a house.

Why would someone have a teepee in their front yard? Is it for houseguests who have overstayed their welcome? A mother-in-law apartment? A garden shed? A kid’s playhouse? An art studio? A meditation room? A dog house? A place to just get away?

One nice thing about living in the San Francisco Bay Area, or at least in this part of it, is the feeling of “Anything goes,” and “Live and let live.” Slightly (?) odd artists like me fit right in. I definitely found my tribe when I moved to Berkeley, and while I live a few miles north of there now, apparently it’s close enough for teepees.

And now off to watch the season five finale of Project Runway on DVD. Since I’ve finished all 5 seasons of The Wire, and caught up on Project Runway, I’m excited to get back to more drawing and reading and much, much less time in front of the TV!

5 replies on “Teepees in the Hood: Sketchercize”

After a morning of trying (not with much success!) to draw teapots Picasso-style, I took a detour through some housing estate that calls itself “Premiere Gardens.” Totally boring, in every way.Then…I come here and find a teepee. Wigwam? And why not! That’s just what the fuddy-duddies at Premiere Gardens need!


Bravo for the sketchercize, Jana, and the sketch is lovely and the wigwam intriguing. I like those steps and mailbox against the lush greenery, and the light over them.


I like your pen and inks–a quick slice of life. And this one is especially nice. I wish it were my case where we live. We have the Mayor ProTem living behind us, and he keeps us on the straigh and narrow–any time there’s a wisp of grass that grows too long near the road we hear about it from the city. If it were up to me, I’d forget about mowing it entirely, and let it go wild, afterall there’s enough trees to make a forest in just our yard.

We used to do an exercise similar to your walk and sketch when I was in a camera club (before painting). We’d take a fresh roll of 36 exposure slide film, and start out from our back door, and walk 50 steps or whatever was designated by the leader, and take a single photograph, then go 50 steps more and repeat until all 36 exposure were used up, trying with each one to have a well designed, photographically pleasing shot. Then we’d have them developed at our local camera club (also a member) and the leader of that group would pick them up, arrange them in collated sequence and we’d see them at the next meeting–great fun, and especially nice when you had a winner. Gee, that would be a great way to practice sketching–must try it–no color, just a quick sketch and more on.


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