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Squid, Vanilla Ale, Noise and Wonky Sketching at Elevation 66

Grilled squid with avocado, rice fritters, grapefruit gel and spicy avocado
Grilled squid with avocado, rice fritters, grapefruit gel and spicy avocado

I enthusiastically joined my Tuesday night sketch buddies for dinner, beer and sketching at  Elevation 66, the new El Cerrito brew pub. I loved my dinner,  displayed above, (a “small plate” combo so weird I couldn’t resist: grilled squid slices on spicy avocado sauce beside little blobs of grapefruit foam/gel (“to cleanse the palate”) and spicy deep-fried rice fritters. Odd but yummy!

Esther Vanilla Stout Ale, Delicious! ink & watercolor, 7x5"
Esther Vanilla Stout, Delicious! ink & watercolor, 7x5"

Even under the influence of a small glass of Esther Vanilla Stout, a delicious milkshake of a beer, it got so noisy by 8:00 on a Tuesday night that I couldn’t think straight and was ready to leave. I was having a hard time with drawing ellipses and symmetrical shapes (my next drawing subject to practice).

Cathy & Micaela at the bar
Cathy & Micaela sketching at the bar, ink & watercolor 5x7"

And there were lots and lots of symmetrical shapes to practice on! My drawing just kept getting wonkier as the noise got louder.

Beer in the vat, wine on the shelf with hoses
Beer in the vat, wine on the shelf with hoses

I was overly self-critical while I was sketching, wanting to get things right. Then I got my copy of The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World and discovered something wonderful: Of the two sketches of mine that Gabi chose for the book, one is very wonky and the other nicely organized. That helped me to see that there is room for both in my art life. Wonky is good! Getting it “right” is good too! Yay!

Please click on their names to see Cathy, Micaela and Beth’s excellent pub sketches from the evening on our Urban Sketchers blog.

6 replies on “Squid, Vanilla Ale, Noise and Wonky Sketching at Elevation 66”

San Francisco is a great city to do Urban Sketching in…I loved the Embarcadero area…wish I’d been sketching then and that digital cameras had been available (1980s)! Your sketches are excellent…wonky, well why not! I crave me some calamari, sounds great with avocado and the vanilla beer, interesting!

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