Friday, December 17, 2010

Sketches from Local Travel - Rooms with a View

"Historic California Theater in December"
from St. Claire Hotel
San Jose, CA

"A Grey Day in the City by the Bay"
from Mark Hopkins Hotel
San Francisco, CA

December is always a busy month, with my birthday and then Christmas. We usually like to do something special on birthdays. This year we took light rail to our own downtown San Jose, about 10 miles away. We checked into the historic Saint Claire Hotel, enjoyed Christmas in the Park, and attended a live musical about Ginger Rogers at San Jose Repertory Theater.

Christmas in the Park on my birthday

My art supplies were meager -- a sketch book that does not accept watercolor well and my Koi watercolor set with brush pen. I depicted what I could see of California Theater, a restored movie house turned symphony and opera house, from my room. You see the valley and the mountains of our fair city done on paper that does not take watercolor well. I sketched in sepia ink and then applied color.

Yesterday we returned from two nights in San Francisco where we met up with a friend from the East Coast. We stayed at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, only because I am very good at bidding on rooms on Priceline. We did however, spend our room savings having the breakfast buffet twice at the Top of the Mark, that venerable institution with the best views in town from high on Nob Hill.
View from our table at the Top of the Mark on Day 1
(Grace Cathedral is visible in the foreground)

Day 1 we awakened to sunshine and a layer of fog. Day 2 we awakened to rain and mist. I did this little piece on Day 2 from our room, and all I could think was shades of grey. You see the TransAmerica Building (pyramid shaped), some of the Bay, Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, and the hills of Berkeley in the distance. Here is my photo of from the room:

"Grey day in the city by the Bay

The piece was done on the same sketch pad not meant for watercolor with the same pan paints and brush pen.

In retirement, we have an uber social life, so time for art has been limited the past week. I've been doing some pastels in drawing class, but I hesitate to show them as they are only half done. Maybe Monday I will accomplish more.


Christiane Kingsley said...

Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. I like to travel vicariously through your posts:-) I am looking forward to seeing your pastels.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, Even with the problem of paper that doesn't like watercolor, it's fun seeing your watercolor pieces. Inspiring too. Your blog is so appropriately titled. You have a wonderful, adventurous spirit! Great photos too.

hwfarber said...

Delightful paintings, Mary.

Mary Paquet said...

Dearest friends, you are all so special. Hoping your holidays are going nicely.