Landscape Sketchcrawl Urban Sketchers

This Weekend! West Coast Urban Sketchers’ Sketchcrawl in the SF Bay Area

Lake Merritt View, Copic Sepia Multiliner
Lake Merritt View, Copic Sepia Multiliner

If you’re in the Bay Area the weekend of July 12-14, you’re invited to join in the sketching fun. We’ll be meeting Friday evening in Berkeley, all day Saturday in San Francisco and half a day on Sunday at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

You can find all the details, including schedules and downloadable maps on the 1st West Coast Urban Sketchers’ Sketchcrawl website or Facebook page.

Several art supply companies are supporting the event by donating sketching supplies and the local press have interviewed Urban Sketchers and are helping to promote the event with articles and arts and events columns.

We’re expecting over 100 people each day for this exciting event taking place at the same time as the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Barcelona, Spain and the Worldwide Sketchcrawl.

If you’re around this weekend, I hope you can join us. If you’re not, be sure to check out the Worldwide Sketchcrawl site to see if there is a sketchcrawl in your area on Saturday July 13.

Ink and watercolor wash Landscape Outdoors/Landscape Painting Places Sketchbook Pages

Taco Bike at Fairyland and Japanese Garden at Lake Merritt

Taco Bike at Fairyland, ink & watercolor, 8x6"
Taco Bike at Fairyland, ink & watercolor, 8×6″

The $2.00 taco was delicious, made to order from the box mounted to Taco Bike. As I look at my sketch above I am wondering: there must have been a third wheel on the other side of the cart. Otherwise it would be impossible to ride and balance, no? And they did ride it in to the park.

My plein air group was meeting at Oakland’s Lakeside Garden Center, but when I parked at Fairyland across the from the garden I decided to start there. It is a small amusement park where children create their own amusement in storybook-themed play areas/structures.

Fairyland Parade and Sliding Hill, ink & watercolor 8x6"
Fairyland Parade and Sliding Hill, ink & watercolor 8×6″

I hadn’t been there since my kids were little; adults aren’t usually allowed in without kids but this day Fairyland was hosting the Childrens’ Hospital Anniversary celebration and everyone was allowed in. I tried to sketch a parade (above) as it zipped by. Behind the parade are children sliding on cardboard down a little grassy hill and balloons everywhere.

At the other end of Fairyland a radio station was emceeing the event over loudspeakers. They introduced a guy who performed annoying kids’ songs who was followed by blasting Latin music and someone shrieking “TURN, TURN, SHIMMY, WHOOEEE!!! WHOOP WHOOP! TURN, TURN!…” I later learned this was a Zumba demo.

Japanese Garden at Lake Merritt, ink & watercolor, 6x8"
Japanese Garden at Lake Merritt, ink & watercolor and white gel pen, 6×8″

All morning I’d felt a migraine coming on and the Zumba shouting was the last straw. I headed over to the Japanese garden in the Lakeside Garden Center. The peaceful setting and sound of the waterfall soothed my achey head long enough to sketch and paint the scene.

Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Landscape Life in general Outdoors/Landscape Painting Places Plein Air Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Pumping Something in Snow Park, Oakland

Pumping Something in Snow Park, ink & watercolor
Pumping Something in Snow Park, ink & watercolor

I don’t know what they were pumping out of the ground but the name on the truck—”Environliners”—made me think I probably wouldn’t want to know. It was a gorgeous summer day and I was determined to get outside for a few minutes at lunchtime. I spent it eating a take-out salad and sketching in Snow Park across the street from our building in Oakland.

Our office culture is to eat with co-workers in the office kitchen and get right back to work since there’s always more to do than hours in the day. We’ve even been trying to figure out how to add a new month to the calendar to fit it all in.  But some days you have to forget about all that and just enjoy the moment and the all-too-rare sunshine in the Bay Area this summer.