Lake Merritt, ink & watercolor pencil

Lake Merritt, ink & watercolor pencil

After work Tuesday night we met to sketch at Lake Merritt which is across the street from my office. I guess I drank too much coffee that day because I couldn’t settle down and focus. There was a fascinating parade of people walking by, all talking to each other or on cellphones, leaving bits of conversation in their wake.

Warmup sketches

Warmup sketches

I warmed up with some sketches of the local seabirds and passing people, noting a few conversation snippets. That’s an old Chinese lady with a pole over her shoulders carrying huge garbage bags on either side that were bigger than she was. I assume she was gathering cans to recycle for a few dollars.

Lake Merritt apartments, mixed media

Lake Merritt apartments, mixed media

When it got cold and windy we headed up to my office on the 25th floor and drew the view out the window. I liked my sketch of the building and tall trees at the bottom of the page but instead of stopping there, I kept drawing until the page was full. I didn’t like that so tried various ways to hide the rest and finally pasted ruled tracing paper over it.

Drawing, Ink and watercolor wash, Places, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. congratulations:you are one of the few living artists that makes me enthusiastic.I´´d love to be taught art by you

  2. I think it was the “constant flow of humanity” that got you! Looks like you recorded some good snippets of conversation and some flavor to help you remember the evening:)

    PS-I used to love going to Fairyland. Wasn’t there some kind of key you got?

    • Yes, I remember those giant plastic keys that you put into a little box beside each play area to activate the recorded fairy tale story. It’s such a nice place: an amusement park based on books where children do creative, imaginate play, instead of riding on machines! I haven’t actually been inside since they remodeled (and since my kids were little) but I have a nice view of it from my office window. Jana

  3. I agree with Julie. And you captured the afternoon with those snippets of dialog and sketches and they are great fun.

  4. I like that you share your good and not so good days of sketching. I think we all have some of each. I also like your “conversation snippets”. I also like to include those in my journals, especially when I am traveling.

    • I’m so glad to hear that you like seeing the good and “not so good” (thanks for not saying “bad”) work. I almost didn’t post these but it was so nice to get this kind of support for doing so. Thanks! Jana

  5. Sometimes it’s hard for me to make that transition from work to sketching…..and coffee doesn’t necessarily help! But I’m glad you posted this….I like that you post when it works, and when it doesn’t, and just keep moving forward!

    Carol C.

    • Thanks for the support! I do have trouble with transitions and it hadn’t occurred to me that’s what was happening since usually I’m in a different location when we sketch. Being right there at work made the transition even worse. Thanks for helping solve the mystery! Jana

  6. Just that you are spending time “seeing” and recording is a good thing. Your brain was working in an alternative way than usual.

    • Thanks Levonne. That’s a nice way of putting it. Sort of like saying “differently abled” instead of “dis-abled”. I think my brain was both tired and stuck in work mode, and since I was still in my work environment that made it even harder to shift into art mode. Jana

  7. Yes, Jana, even the “warts and all” times are worth it.

    • Hah! Warts and all! Funny. But you’re right, it’s important to value every minute, even if they’re icky. And the mess in the sketchbook led to some fun time just playing with it, knowing I couldn’t make it any worse, and getting it to a point I could stand it. Jana

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