Jack London Square Sketch for East Bay SPCA

I was honored when the East Bay SPCA asked to license my sketch of Jack London Square (in the poster below) for their annual Adopt-A-Thon fund-raiser publicity materials. They kindly offered to pay for the use of the image but I was very happy to donate it for their use. As an animal lover I am grateful for the wonderful work the SPCA does to care for and find homes for animals.

You can click the image to get more information about the event. It will be a lot of fun and if you’re looking for a new family member of the furry variety, be sure to visit the Adopt-A-Thon! My original sketch is and info about it is at the bottom of this post.

.Adoptathon2016-BayWoff-Ad.FINAL-2

I sketched the scene below at Jack London Square of London’s old cabin and the wolf statue out front on a gorgeous sunny day and the shadows were in just the right place. It was one of those sketches where everything just worked. In the background are the high-rise office buildings of Downtown Oakland.

Jack London Cabin and Wolf Statue, ink and watercolor, 10x7 in

Jack London Cabin and Wolf Statue, ink and watercolor, 10×7 in

Happy Solstice! Bouquet for Busby

Bouquet for Busby, ink and watercolor, 11x8.5 inches

Bouquet for Busby, ink and watercolor, 11×8.5 inches

On this shortest day of the year here are some cheery flowers to brighten the darkness.

While I was away visiting my mom last weekend, my cat-sitter Rachel (of McGraw’s Paws) cat-sat for the first time since Busby my tabby cat died. She was sad not seeing him too and left me this stunning bouquet of flowers in his honor and a lovely card with these wise and beautiful words about sorrow that are worth remembering for any loss:

‘When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

~Kahlil Gibran

Crockett’s Funky Main Street

Crockett Main Street, ink and watercolor, 10x8 in

Crockett Main Street, ink and watercolor, 10×8 in

Inspired by a wonderful urban plein air painting workshop and demo by one of my favorite artists, Randy Sexton, I sketched the main street in the funky little town of Crockett that houses his studio, Epperson Gallery and a tattoo parlor. Randy is one of the nicest gentlemen I’ve ever met, as well as a highly skilled and talented painter, and a gifted teacher.

Crockett is home to many oddball characters and funky old bars and shops. When I said I’d love to paint portraits of some of the local denizens he said he’d been doing just that, starting from when a professional model didn’t show up for a figure painting session. He and his fellow artists just popped in to one of the neighborhood dive bars and recruited a regular to come pose for cash and beer.

EDiM 8, 9, 10: Handle, Label and On-Off Switch

EDIM 8-9 Handle and Label, ink & watercolor, 8x10 in

EDIM 8-9 Handle and Label, ink & watercolor, 8×10 in

Every Day in May 8 was “Draw Something With a Handle.” This is my new Presto Flip Waffle Maker with an impressive handle that allows you to close the machine and flip it so that the waffle batter covers both sides of the grids evenly (or stand it up for storage). I was skeptical, given I was trying to make very untraditional waffles (from oat flour, without oil) but it worked great.

EDIM 9 is Draw an Interesting Label. I liked the colorful Jamaican beach scene and bright green bottle on the Reeds Ginger Beer.

EDIM 10-On/Off Switch (Hairdryer), ink and watercolor, 8x10 in

EDIM 10-On/Off Switch (Hairdryer), ink and watercolor, 8×10 in

EDIM 10 is Something with an On-Off Switch and I used my handy hair dryer on my watercolor table. I was tempted to repurpose the waffle iron for 8 and 10 since time was short, but the whole point is to get drawing practice so I did.

EDiM Medley: Days 5, 6, 7

EDiM 5-6-7: Hot, Bristles, Envelope, ink and watercolor, 8x10

EDiM 5-6-7: Hot, Bristles, Envelope, ink and watercolor, 8×10

May 5 was “Draw Something Hot.” I went for the obvious, a cup of hot tea because I like this cup and I was short on imagination and time due to some “first world problems” (iPhone went bad and required way too many wasted hours to restore it).

May 6 was “Something with Bristles.” I wanted to draw the odd, bristly whiskers under my dog’s chin but she wouldn’t hold still long enough. Instead here’s a bristly bottle brush with a bonus soft cotton tip. I bought it to clean something I apparently no longer own since I haven’t used it in years and can’t remember what it was for. I created the bristles by painting in watercolor and then adding white gel pen.

May 7 was “Envelope” and this is the Mothers Day card and envelope I sent to my mom after I sketched it.

Every Day in May 3 and 4: Curtains and Spice Bottles

Every Day in May 4: Spice Bottles, ink and watercolor, 8x5 in

Every Day in May 4: Spice Bottles, ink and watercolor, 8×5 in

I have a whole rack of Penzeys spices but these are my favorites that sit out on the counter for daily use. Their pepper is nothing like the tasteless stuff from the supermarket; it has wonderful flavor and I put it on almost everything. Their cinnamon is sweet and delicious and the Sandwich Sprinkle is great on salads, veggies and meat.

Every Day in May 3: Curtain, ink and watercolor, 8x10 in

Every Day in May 3: Curtain, ink and watercolor, 8×10 in

I have such a tiny bathroom I had to sit on the sink to draw this. My favorite part was drawing the funny patterns on the glass blocks in the window. When I remodeled the bathrooms in my duplex I requested glass blocks in the shower and a window that opens set inside the glass blocks. The wavy glass was fun to draw and is meant to provide privacy but in reality, it’s not perfect. Good thing the neighborhood doesn’t have a few of the window! Also featured in the sketch is my Black and Decker dog washing shower attachment that makes it super easy to wash my dog and she loves hopping in the tub for her spa treatment.

Every Day in May 3-4: Curtain and Spice Bottles, ink and watercolor, 8x10 in

Every Day in May 3-4: Full page, 8×10 in

Every Day in May: Days 1 and 2

EDiM 1: Food Food: Defrosting Burger, graphite and watercolor, 8x7.25 in

EDiM 1: Food Food: Defrosting Burger, graphite and watercolor, 8×7.25 in

Day 1 of Every Day in May 2015 is supposed to be a favorite food and although I do enjoy the occasional burger, ground beef isn’t really a favorite eat…but this vacuum-sealed package of defrosting-as-I-drew meat was certainly a favorite to draw.

EDiM 2: Tree (Baby Cherry Tree), ink and watercolor, 4.5x8 in

EDiM 2: Tree (Baby Cherry Tree), ink and watercolor, 4.5×8 in

Day 2’s cue is “A nearby tree” and my next-door neighbor’s adorable little baby flowering cherry called out to be drawn before the puffy flowers fall. I meant to fit the whole tree on the page but I started in ink with the top left branch and drew too big so only the top left side of the tree fit. Oh well.

 

EDiM 1 and 2: Food (Defrosting Ground Beef) and Tree (Baby Flowering Cherry)

EDiM 1 and 2: Full page in sketchbook, ink and watercolor, 8×10 in 

It felt so good to just draw for fun in my sketchbook again after weeks of working on two commissioned paintings that are finally approaching completion. I needed to get back to playing in my sketchbook again, whether the paintings were finished or not, so EDiM came along just at the right time.

For me, it will probably be more like Every-ish Day… or (Almost) Every Day… or Some Days in May since I have a lot of other things going on this month. However many days it is, any day that I get to draw is a good day!

If you want to join in the fun, check out the Facebook Group or the Flickr Group and click to join. Everyone is welcome to play any time during the month.

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