A Day at U. C. Berkeley

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Pitt Artist brush pen, watercolor in 7.75 X 9.75″ watercolor journal (dble page)

A day of brilliant weather, a chance to have lunch with my son and his friends, a good friend to sketch with. . .does it get any better?  We were so happy to be on this campus, which always feels a bit like the center of the universe with people of all nationalities and persuasions and lifestyles passing by each moment along with memories of history, demonstrations, a hive of social conscience.  So we sat on a wall by Sather Gate, in the warm winter sun, and jumped right in.  I’ve been wanting to practice architectural sketching, or at least to discover quick versions, so this seemed like a good spot.  But after a few minutes we were both groaning about the complexity of the scene.  And the sun which was getting too hot.  It’s always easier in theory.

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Tombow water soluble pen and watercolor

So we moved to the shade of a dining hall deck for some people sketching.  And what a gold mine it was!  There were enough young people coming and going that when one figure you were sketching moved, you could just wait til another similar one sat down to tack on the missing leg or hand.  And then there were the people on computer, who are an easy mark for the pen.  I find myself making up stories about who they are and what they are doing.  What I hadn’t guessed was that all the young students dressed in ties and dresses (not the normal berkeley school attire) were high schoolers from around the country who were there for a debate contest.  This we learned when one of them from Utah sat down with us to see the sketches and fill us in.

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Tombow pen and watercolor

After lunch with Andrew and friends and a fascinating tour of the Environmental Design building on campus, we settled down for some more mind numbing lines and angles and perspective.  Fun?  I’m not sure.  Good for me? Undoubtedly.But the coffee shop across the street beckoned with afternoon treats. Too tired for more sketching and anticipating the drive back to the country, I wolfed down a piece of carrot cake, drank my iced coffee and we called it a day.

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