Icky Shrimp Taco and Signed by Santa James

(left) Cactus Taqueria Diners with Xmas decor; (right) Santa Sketch Signed by Santa James

Cathy had the brave idea to sketch at the San Francisco Centre mall. I say “brave” because for some of us, entering an upscale glitzy mall during the holidays requires much girding of the loins. It was fun sketching on BART on the way there, but when I entered the mall I felt like I’d walked into a science fiction movie.

Noise! Shiny stuff! Expensive stuff! Way too much stuff! Escalators winding around and around, floor after floor, up to a huge domed ceiling where Santa and my sketch group were supposed to be. But it turned out there are two domes and I was on the wrong side of the mall.

Finally I made it to the correct dome where movies were projected on the dome ceiling, music was playing and Santa was sitting on a throne in front of a backdrop that said “The Picture Perfect Holiday Made Possible by Microsoft.” When they took your picture with Santa they cropped out the Microsoft bit.

Santa James and I

Santa James and I

After I sketched Santa I went up to get my free photo with him. Isn’t he the most perfect looking Santa? I asked him to sign my sketch and he did, “Santa James.” He maintained that cherubic smile all evening through dozens of crabby children and silly adults getting their picture taken with him. One group of 4 teen girls all talked on their cellphones while their picture was taken.

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Category:
Drawing, Ink and watercolor wash, People, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. Santa James has a good ring to it! 🙂

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  2. Great post–definitely made me smile, which is hard to do when I’m thinking about that particular mall any time of year, let alone Christmas. The sheer number of escalators in that building gives me anxiety.

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  3. Very Norman Rockwell! 🙂

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    • I love Norman Rockwell. I just read that there is a Rockwell retrospective that will be coming to nearby Sacramento next year! Can’t wait. Jana

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      • I got to see Rockwell’s work in Sandy Eggo about 10 years ago – so very powerful to see it in person, large and real! And Sac’to is closer to me than SD, so I might have to make a trip north to see it again – thanks for tell us!

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  4. Oops! I commented from the cats’ account. Again!!!!!!!!
    This is me!

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  5. I would just like to mention that following your blog is a great source of joy and encourgement to me; thank you! Merry Christmas to you.

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  6. Very cute photo!!! You could use that as a Christmas card!! I agree with you, being in the mall at Christmas time sounds horrendous on the surface!! But you pulled it off….

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  7. I love your picture with Santa James!! His cherubic look, rosy cheeks and glasses make him just the Santa I tried to stay awake to listen for as a child. The Christ child’s birth has always been my real celebration, but Saint Nicholas has a great part too!! I love following your blog as your ups and downs help me to weather my own in drawing and all. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

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    • Thank you very much. I’m so glad to hear my ups and downs are helpful to you, especially since both of these sketches felt unsuccessful to me, even after playing with them some more at home. Sometimes I’m tempted to only post my “best” but I always enjoy seeing others’ less perfect drawings too, so push myself to post as you say, “the ups and the downs.” Santa James seemed to be the sweetest person ever, so much so I could believe he is the really truly Santa. Merry Christmas to you too! Jana

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