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Bad Day…Good Day…Bad Day

Sylvia Painting at Berkeley Marina, Ink & watercolor
Sylvia Painting at Berkeley Marina, Ink & watercolor

First the Good Day: I had fun sketching this artist painting at the Berkeley Marina during our paint-out today. Unfortunately that fun was sandwiched between two Bad-Day things.

The second Bad Day thing is the worst: I came home from the paint-out and discovered that my Gmail account got hacked and sent spam to everyone in my address book. UGH! I researched the problem and took all the recommended steps to fix it: changed my Gmail password (and am now halfway through changing all my other passwords), checked all my security settings, ran 2 virus checkers and 2 malware checkers which all came up negative.

If you received  one of the spam messages, please accept my apology. And if you clicked the link or replied to the message, then just to be safe, please change your email password too.

The first Bad-Day thing was that on my way to the paint-out there was a big accident just beyond the exit I needed to take to the Marina. Traffic wasn’t moving and people started getting nasty. First they started driving on the shoulder of the road, trying (unsuccessfully) to get to the exit and off the freeway.

Then big SUVs and pickup trucks started driving up the curb onto the dirt, turning one pre-exit lane into 3 lanes of cars squeezed together, jockeying to get ahead of each other. Then two SUVs ran into each other, blocking things up even more. Of course all three lanes had to funnel back into the same lane at the exit ramp but those pushy guys got off first.

Berkeley Harbor Patrol, ink & watercolor
Berkeley Harbor Patrol, ink & watercolor

I was really upset because our plein air group had hired David Savellano to lead a watercolor sketching workshop for us and I was missing it! I was so frustrated just sitting there watching beastly, rude drivers instead of enjoying art and sea air at the marina. Finally, inch by inch I made it to the exit and arrived half an hour late to the demo.

Naturally, I had a little trouble loosening up when I did the boat sketch above, but after taking a lunch/attitude adjustment break, returned for more, determined to get loose and just play. The sketch at the top of the post was the result. During the critique David gave me great reviews for both sketches which made my day and believe, me, I really needed that on a day like this!

15 replies on “Bad Day…Good Day…Bad Day”

Awww, Jana, I can feel your frustration, since I just went through that email swipe thing too. So rude, why do they DO that? Was yours a Canadian pharmacy thing?

I’m glad you were able to enjoy most of the demo, and that you got some great sketches out of it. The top one really feels like sunshine, great!


As always, you turned a bad day into some great sketches, Jana–that one at the top just pulls me right in.

So sorry about the Hacker. I hate to have to change my passwords because I have trouble remembering them. Do you have any idea who the Hacker was?

And frustrated drivers are a horror. How good that you didn’t get into an accident from them, at least, even though others did. I guess each of us has had hairy experiences from them– I sure did during tourist season on twisting Connecticut roads. And iced roads lure them out of their dens, too.



Changed my email password, glad I caught up on my reading!
My son has been stalked by an ex-girlfriend and she got into his email, changed his password and other things.. so I’ve recently changed many of my passwords and also changed the security questions to less obvious answers,as that was how she hacked his… trying to prevent her from getting into my stuff as well.
It’s been a lesson, I now carry a little booklet w/ all my passwords….

It looks like a miserable run of luck for you, but the sketch is beautiful.


Unfortunately I got the email before I read your post! How did you research how to fix it? Guess I’d better change my passwords…..You did some very nice paintings for a very bad day!


Sorry to hear about your upsets, Jana! Yes, I got the spam email too, but figured out quickly that someone got a hold of your email identity. How annoying for you!

Love the sketches though! Especially the sketch of a sketcher, nicely done!


What a crappy day! But you had a good critique 🙂

I realised the email was spam and deleted it, but thanks for the heads up.


Hi Jana, The good thing about bad days is that they end…and then the sun comes up and we get to start fresh. I know what you mean about impatient, rude drivers. I hate it. The thing that is troubling here in Indy is the number of people that run red lights. It is really scary. Anyway, I can see that you really relaxed between the two paintings. The second is looser and more spontaneous. Very nice job on both!


I still get lots of those ‘Africa you have a million dollars etc. ’emails though I’ve got good virus protection.
It is nasty to be in bad traffic situations but why are people so mean these days? I was thinking about the effects of that Iceland volcano and wondered how many ‘good samaritans’ were out there helping people to get to places. Would you pick up stranded people in trouble at an airport?


The traffic would definitely have stressed me out!! But I have to say that I really, really like both of these. Your frustration doesn’t come through at all. I love the colors and I love that boat!


I love the one of Sylvia sketching! The boat is really good too, but I can feel a teensy bit of tension there (maybe its because you told us though). It just seems a little tighter than your usual style. I love the idea of your group hiring an artist to come and give you a new perspective once in a while.


I’m discovering that it’s good for me to accept that when I sketch the first one is often tight and icky and I get looser as I go on. So I need to either start by doing warm up sketching, like maybe blind contour drawing, or just accept that the first one will often be a throw-away. And yes, it’s nice being part of a group that is so well organized that we can do things like bring in workshop leaders. Jana


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