Russian Tea and Roses and Plaza sketching in Healdsburg


Pitt Artist pen, watercolor on HP paper (6 X 6″ sketchbook)

The Russian River Rose Company had their fall open house with plant and rose water sale featuring Russian tea service, tea leaf reading and a performance by the Baltic singers Gradina. The two ladies doing the readings under the magnificent persimmon tree, surrounded by fragrant roses and fluttering butterflies, were kept busy by a long line of people seeking fortunes.  Each one was given a sweet blessing to send them off after the reading.


The line of women, shoulder to shoulder and arm in arm, wearing bright peasant clothing, sang the haunting eastern European folks tunes that heal wounds and bestow blessings for the heart and also for the land.  At one point as they were just beginning their second round of singing, a rare event (for us in drought-land) occurred and the sky opened up in an otherwise sunny sky, and gave us a good drenching for a few minutes before the sun once again restored it’s supremacy.


I was sketching the orange cat napping at that moment, as I heard the audience titter and then cheer for the rain, even as as the performers and everyone was getting wet.  When I got home, 20 minutes away, I found that not a drop had fallen there.


pencil, Pitt Artist Pen, Pentel brush pen and watercolor in Strathmore Watercolor Journal 8 X 10″

Another lovely fall day in Healdburg was a chance to practice a complex city scene, giving myself the luxury of an hour to get as much detail as possible without every detail.  Later this month I got some new ideas on adding people to the scene.

Coming up next:  adding the chaos of a crowd. . .



  1. Susan, every time I see your work I think, “Genius!” You capture the essence of everything you sketch. No two faces are the same, you infuse your work with movement and bring the viewer into the scene with you. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your wonderful art.


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