Sunday, February 23, 2014

A San Francisco Charmer

"At Home on Potrero Hill "
14" x 11" Ink and Watercolor
Bob and I stayed at this home on Potrero Hill in San Francisco which we arranged through The owner asked me to paint a sketch of the house. This was great fun. I worked from about 6 photos, none quite positioned like this. I used a dip pen with permanent ink and watercolor. It was a challenge to maintain a sketch approach. I settled on doing a vignette.  I sent three small sketches to the client, and did both a small and larger trial run before completing this piece. I also suggested mounting this 300 lb. paper on a backing, rather than matting, so I was careful to maintain a deckled edge, which you can't see in this photo.
Today I return to the city with a friend for an afternoon of ballet. This one is a day trip with lunch at Absinthe's, a grand old institution. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Friends Meeting House -- California's Oldest

"Friends Meeting House"
11" x 14" Ink and Watercolor on Paper
The SCVWS paintsites group met at this sweet little spot, tucked away on a quiet residential street in San Jose.  This small building is the oldest Friend's house in California, dating back into the 1800s. It was moved a couple hundred feet when 880 was built.  The day was sunny and warm, and we had a small, but productive group painting. I was delighted to see my host for the Croatian Art Retreat, Marion Podolski.
Because I am working on a commissioned ink and watercolor sketch, I wanted to experiment with the medium.  I would like my commission to be a bit more sketchy than this, which I am finding a challenge. Knowing I am doing it for a client makes me immediately more careful.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Magazine Collage of San Francisco

"City by the Bay"
14" x 18" magazine collage on canvas
Begun in November, the piece languished in my art room partially complete. Attic cleaning, travel, dancing, bike riding, and life, all took precedence. Finally a couple days ago, I propped it up on the easel, tossed the drop cloth on the floor, and made a mess.
From the late 80s until 2000, I had an old, but sturdy, boat at Pier 40. After Gary died, I realized I did not want to learn marine mechanicals, and turned it over to my partner. It did not have red sails to fly in the sunset, but "Elation" was our home away from home for a number of years. I love the city -- the chaos, the noise, the music, the fashions, the busy people, the bike riders, Market Street, the Transamerica Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the museums, even touristy Fisherman's Wharf. I hope I captured some of that here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Room with a View: View from Potrero Hill

"Room with a View: View from Potrero Hill"
San Francisco, CA
5" x 9" Ink and watercolor sketch

Bob needed some flute repair by an expert and he wanted to take a couple Argentine Tango lessons at Metronome Dance Collective, in San Francisco. After searching for reasonable hotels in SF, of which there was none (I don't consider $300 to $400 a night reasonable, even for 4-star places), I decided to try that we used in Venice Beach to rent a room or cottage from a private homeowner. We found a lovely spot on Potrero Hill, just a half mile walk from the studio. Take this link to the listing. We enjoyed the locale, the wonderful restaurants, Fran's hot tub, our private deck, and  many walks around the neighborhood. No gym needed here. Just walk those hills. We got their via Caltrain and hoofing it up the hills. We used public transit to get to Pacific Heights for the flute repair.

Intrepid cyclist descends 24% grade.

Oh, yes, it's steep.

Fabulous art in front of a home.

Views in all directions and the city center is a roll down the hill.

Breakfast is a treat at Plow Restaurant.

The Wednesday morning clientele enjoy breakfast at Plow.

There are many good restaurants on 18th Avenue, including Plow, described as Midwest farm boy meets Asian city girl. The owners both began chef careers at a top notch East Bay restaurant. A couple of kids later, they live on the Hill and opened this place where you can wait in line, especially on weekends. We lucked out and got two seats at the counter where we enjoyed watching the chef activity.

We also ate at Goat Hill Pizza, really full Italian, which my late husband and I frequented in the 90s while staying on our boat next to the Giants stadium that did not exist then. Chez Maman was a treat, and small Thinker Café on 20th street offered a lovely local experience for breakfast. We got a kick out of the kids ready for school and the city dogs patiently and quietly awaiting their owners. Coffee at Farley's on Monday evening had us tagged as locals -- maybe it was Bob's debonair hat and sport coat, or could it have been my leather jacket and scarf? The sweet little Christopher's Books is still there. This is city life at its best.

A visit to Christopher's Books is always a treat.

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