CHIORI, sketchbook spread, Ink & watercolor

CHIORI, sketchbook spread, Ink & watercolor

Micaela suggested the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) building in North Oakland for our Tuesday night sketching and it was an interesting challenge. The 1923 building with 80,000 square feet of space was once a high school. Abandoned in the 1980s, it sat disintegrating for many years, with boarded up windows and peeling paint.

When Children’s Hospital took over the building they kept the original design and built within a high-tech facility for the study of biochemistry, hematology, molecular biology, genetics, and more. The laboratory is backed up by emergency power and critical systems such as freezers and incubators are monitored 24 hours a day.

We could hear the hum and buzz of those systems (along with the loud passing BART trains on the overhead rail across the street) while we sketched. It was so cold, foggy and drizzly damp that Sonia sat in her car to sketch and Micaela and I wore multiple layers of down and fleece. Will summer ever come to the Bay Area?

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Category:
Building, Drawing, Ink and watercolor wash, Landscape, Painting, Places
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Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. dear Jana:what a beautiful Spanish style building and God bless those people
    who saved it from the claws of capitalism.I have changed my min
    Americans:yes there are artists and enough well meaning people who can
    preserve the past and hamper the building of ugly high -rises.As apediatrician
    I envy my colleagues spending day and night bin such romantic surroundings

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    • Hi Victor, Well it’s not a totally romantic surrounding. The building is in a gritty, urban neighborhood, on a busy street which has the very noisy elevated subway line running down the middle of it. But it IS a beautiful old building with the kind of architectural detail no longer seen in new buildings.

      Jana

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  2. I’m glad to see the building was preserved! It’s beautiful! Be careful what you wish for (summer)….we just got back from two weeks in Alaska to find that summer is here in Western Washington and temps are in the 90s!! (My sisters in Texas, who had 109 yesterday, are not sympathetic!)

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    • I know what you mean…at least when it’s cold out you can cuddle up in doors and stay warm. But when it’s hot there’s just no relief. (Although a few years ago, during a horrible hot spell I bought a portable air conditioner which I’ve needed to use a total of 4 times. But I don’t regret it. I love being able to roll it into the studio, run the hose out the window, flip the switch, and painting, staying cool and comfortable. And then moving it to the bedroom at night. The way things are going I have a feeling we’ll have another heat wave in September that will more than make up for the cold summer.

      Jana

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  3. Will summer ever come???? It was 104 while working in my yard yesterday! I will try to picture myself needing fleece to stay warm while sketching; maybe it will cool me off! Wonderful sketch! Isn’t the weather strange this year?!

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    • 104? Sorry, that’s just unacceptable! I would just fall asleep if it was that hot here. Years ago I camped with a group of friends in an isolated spot in the Siskiyou National Forrest where it was 117 every afternoon. My fellow campers and I soon quickly turned to going naked naked and spending most of the day in the creek or the pond. But in the afternoons at peak temperature I would crawl into my tent and fall asleep. Heat does that to me. Now I have a wonderful portable AC that I can roll from room to room on those rare super hot days. Much more productive than going naked and sleeping half the day! Jana

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  4. Fabulous painting Jana.

    I think I missed summer in UK, I’ve been told the 2 days were in July. I hope it arrives there soon.

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  5. Nice work as always! Thanks much!

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  6. The CHORI Building used to be the site of the old Merritt College years ago… I remember that a Hollywood film crew once came to Oakland to shoot a movie about a urban inner city high school on the premises when it was empty and awaiting redevelopment. I’m glad after decades, it finally happened and the researchers at CHORI have pretty much preserved the inside as well.

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  7. What a great building! I think of all of the subjects that you pick to sketch, the buildings are my favorite:)

    Summer huh? We are headed for triple digits this week:)

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