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Albany Drawing Faces Ink and watercolor wash People Places Sketchbook Pages

Monday Night Sketchcrawl: Albany

Sketching San Pablo Ave to Peets
Sketching San Pablo Ave to Peets

Monday night Cathy and I did a little sketching around San Pablo Avenue between Albany and El Cerrito, not the most inspiring of locales it turns out. It amused me that the palm tree above had an Available for Lease sign just in front of it, though it was actually a space in the building behind it (that I didn’t draw) that was for lease. The other pics above are of the Albany bowl and inside Peets Coffee where we ended the evening.

Old West Gun Room
Old West Gun Room

We started at the Old Gun Room, a still-functioning, historic gun store that is terribly out of place and time. I was having trouble paying close attention to detail last night, and drew  the N in “Guns” on the sign backwards, as well as adding an extra wagon wheel in the fence. I think I did a better job last time I drew and painted the Gun Room when I painted it on site.

Hotsy Totsy Club, Albany
Hotsy Totsy Club, Albany

I like the way the Hotsy-Totsy sign came out, though I’m not sure what happened to the perspective: I KNOW I couldn’t have seen the top of the sign. But I was really hungry at that point and was having even more trouble paying attention to details. By the way, the Hotsy-Totsy Club is anything but! It opens around 7 a.m. (need I say more?).(UPDATE: the club has new owners and a new clientele and a fun retro vibe; see my newer post here).

Cathy likes to sketch on site in order to capture more images, and then adds paint at home.  I don’t usually do that, preferring to paint on site,  but tried it last night. After I’d done all the cross-hatching on the windows and door area, trying to shade them, I looked at what Cathy was doing and saw that she just does the outlines without any cross-hatching when she’s going to paint the images later. I think that makes more sense and allows the watercolor to do the shading rather than the incongruous scribbly ink that was too dark.

We decided that next week we’ll go somewhere pretty and away from traffic, like the Berkeley Rose Garden.

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Ink and watercolor wash Life in general People Sketchbook Pages

Healing Garden at Christ the Light Cathedral: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Healing Garden, 6x9", ink & watercolor
Healing Garden, 6x9", ink & watercolor (Kremer Pigments)

Hidden away behind the new, massive Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light is a “Healing Garden” for the victims of sexual abuse by priests. I knew it was there because I’d read about it when the cathedral was opened to the public, but had a hard time finding it.

I was having a stressful day at my office, which is just across the street from the cathedral,  and had gone looking for the garden at lunch. I thought that a few minutes in a healing garden would be restorative before tackling the afternoon’s work.

The “garden” is hidden away in a little corner behind the church, and consists of a small patio, about 10 feet in diameter, ringed by wooden benches arranged in a circle around what looks like a big cracked  rock. The only greenery in the “garden” are some small hedges in cement planters that support the slatted benches.

The healing I found in the garden came from sunshine and sketching, not from sitting next to the huge concrete cathedral, on a hard wooden bench, gazing at what turned out to be a sculpture of a big cracked rock, not an actual rock.

The plaque on the bench:  “This healing garden, planned by survivors, is dedicated to those innocents sexually abused by members of the clergy. We remember, and we affirm, NEVER AGAIN.”

The plaque beside the sculpture:  “Some day, 11, 2000.  Masatoshi Izumi. Basalt.”

I get that the sculpture might represent how hard, broken, and cracked apart the lives of the victims must be. What I don’t get is how this could be called a “Healing Garden.” Where’s the garden? Where’s the healing?

I hope that survivors who visit and are able to find the garden do find it a healing experience.

Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Life in general People Sketchbook Pages

Sketching at Peets Coffee Pinole

View from Peets Coffee Pinole, ink & watercolor
View from Peets Coffee Pinole, ink & watercolor

It was 86 degrees but quite comfortable in the shade of an umbrella, on the patio at Peets Coffee in Pinole, where I sipped my iced latte and sketched this view of the parking lot and hills behind it. I’d dropped off a key at my son’s house nearby and then done my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and decided I deserved a delicious  icy reward next door at Peets.

Mr. Fidget keeps moving
Mr. Fidget keeps moving

This guy never stopped moving, feet up on a chair, knees up, leaning sideways, feet under chair, flip-flops on, off. I was so happy when he put his feet back on the ground so I could finish the sketch. It felt good to slow down on a busy day and sit and draw, but when I checked my watch I realized my groceries had been baking in the car for nearly an hour. I packed up and added watercolor at home.