Celebrating Autumn in Sonoma County


fountain pen and watercolor in 8X8″ Handbook sketchbook

Once or twice a year my artist friend Chris Carter comes to town to teach a workshop and we get some time to go sketching together. After lunch at our local Willowood Cafe  we headed next door to sketch the lovely bamboo garden and green and red building housing the Bamboo Tea House, only to discover the bamboo and other plants dug up. It was a lovely but bittersweet scene, since they just lost their lease and must move.


Next stop, Lynmar Estates winery, home of many memories of sketching in the gardens, doing workshops there, wine tasting and more. The fall colors upstaged the people, as you can see.  With these quick sketches I’m learning to leave out what I don’t have time for.  Well, maybe I shouldn’t have left off the lady’s head!


Next day my sketch pal Carole and I were out again, enjoying the Dry Creek area , first for a hike up a trail that wild boar apparently frequent. Hence the trail name “Boar Scat Trail”.  We saw plenty of scat and signs of snouts routing around in the dirt, but luckily none of the wild boar.


We’re both more interested in people scenes than landscapes these days, so next stop was the Dry Creek General Store, frequented by everyone from local vineyard workers spending an afternoon drinking through their six pack of beer on the porch outside, to stylish young adult cyclists and wine tasters (from the Bay Area, is my guess). Throw in some leather jacketed, tatooed bikers and you’ve got enough subjects to make a sketcher drool.  I even tackled the bicycles, which totally confounded me with all those spokes and elliptical shapes.


I took a break from sketching people to record some of the winery signs on one pole at the intersection. Honestly, this was not even all of the wineries up that road, and there were an equal number in the opposite direction! Time to clean my fountain pen which was not flowing well.

Looking up at the porch, where people were waiting for their lunch orders I caught one man before the whole group left.  The Christmas elf on the porch (a part of the holiday decor) generously offered to stand still so that I could finish the sketch.


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