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Albany Building Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Painting Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Hotsy Totsy Club’s Hot Stewsdays

Hotsy Totsy Club at Sunset, ink & watercolor 5x8"
Hotsy Totsy Club at Sunset, ink & watercolor 5×8″

We started our Tuesday evening sketching outside the Hotsy Totsy Club in Albany. I had trouble with my watercolor Moleskine paper kind of pilling up when I tried to put another layer of paint on the shadow side of the funky building. Not sure why but that has happened to several pages so I’m glad to be finishing up the Moleskine and going back to binding my own sketchbooks.

Around sunset it got cold  so we moved inside.

Hotsy Totsy interior, ink & watercolor, 5x5"
Hotsy Totsy interior, ink & watercolor, 5×5″

We heard they had free hot stew on Tuesday nights (S’tewsday) and thought that would be a good way to warm up. It turned out they don’t serve it until 9:00 so Judith and I shared a hot toddy (as opposed to a Hot Totsy which the bartender explained was served on fire). It was pretty dark inside and hard to judge the colors we were painting.

I previously posted some snide comments about the Hotsy Totsy Club here, but it got new owners around that time who transformed it from a 72-year-old sleazy joint mostly populated by old drunks to a fun neighborhood retro saloon. Here’s an article about the club’s transformation.

We hung out and sketched until 9:00 when we were rewarded with the most delicious gumbo ever! Full of fat shrimp and all the other spicy goodness that is gumbo. Yum!

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Albany Building Drawing Ink and watercolor wash People Places Shop windows Sketchbook Pages

Evening Outside the Burger Depot

Burger Depot, Ink & watercolor, 5x7"
Burger Depot, Ink & watercolor, 5x7"

Trying to get in one last outdoor evening sketch session of the season, we sketched at the bottom of Solano Avenue in Albany. I stood under a street lamp and by the time I finished drawing it was dark out.

The proprietor of the Burger Depot who has owned the shop for over 30 years saw me trying to paint standing, with my palette and water on the ground, and brought over a plastic chair and a little table for me. The street light and light from inside the shop gave me just enough light to see what I was doing.

I was initially drawn to the scene by two seedy looking guys sitting in a window seat but they left before I could draw them. Fortunately the other two guys eating there were wonderful models who kept returning to the same positions, making it easy-ish to draw them.

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Albany Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Interiors Painting Places Sketchbook Pages

The Pub/Sketchcrawl Continues: The Pub, Albany

On Pub Time, ink & watercolor
On Pub Time, ink & watercolor

The Pub in Albany was originally an old house and though long ago it was (minimally) converted to a pub, it is as comfy as hanging out in my living room (except a lot more interesting). People come to drink beer or espresso, play card or board games and sit around in big overstuffed chairs to chat. There are interesting collections of objects in every room.

The Pub: Like a Living Room, ink & watercolor
The Pub: Like a Living Room, ink & watercolor

Until we started sketching in pubs I had no idea that there was so much game playing going on. Beer drinking aside, it just seems so wholesome the way groups of friends meet in person to play games instead of playing digital games alone or with virtual friends online.

A note about the picture above–the white shape above the bottom right chair is the head of the bald guy who was sitting there. I liked how it looked even though you can’t tell what it is.

Categories
Albany Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Painting Places Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Sketching at Target (?!)

Ladies Shoes, Target, Ink & watercolor
Ladies Shoes, Target, Ink & watercolor

Yes Target! Although we’ll be so happy when we can go outside for our Tuesday evening Urban sketching again, sketching at Target was a lot more fun than you might think. I had fun sketching the silly high heels and flip-flops on the wall behind them. Nobody seemed to notice or question why I was painting in the shoe department.

Left over Valentine Flowers, ink & watercolor
Left over Valentine Flowers, ink & watercolor

It was the night after Valentine’s day and there was the display of sad, wilting Valentines roses, on clearance, half off.

Remote Controlled Baby Swing, ink & watercolor
Remote Controlled Baby Swing, ink & watercolor

Whatever happened to sitting in a rocking chair holding the baby in your arms? This contraption had a touch pad remote control with 6 speeds and more. Someone told me he bought one of these only to discover it came in a million parts that was a nightmare to assemble.

 

Categories
Albany Life in general Oil Painting Painting Places

Santa and Christmas Sleeping Rough in the Park

Santa version 6, oil on panel, 8x6
Merry Christmas Santa (version 6), oil on panel, 8x6

People are living in the park known as the Albany Bulb again. On a walk we saw more than a dozen homemade shelters, tree houses and tents hidden away in the brush, this one (below) complete with Christmas tree.

Christmas at the Bulb
Christmas at the Albany Bulb

Although I no longer celebrate Christmas with trees and gifts myself, I always like to get out my Santa (at top of post) that was given to me by a wonderful former student who died not long after in a motorcycle crash. The funny, cheery Santa always reminds me of the value of generosity and the transitory nature of life.

I hope Santa finds the homeless families living in the park and makes their Christmas bright. It can’t be much fun camping out in the mud, pouring rain and wind we’ve been having.

And I hope all of you are having a wonderful winter holiday too!