Francis Ford Coppola Winery

One of my favorite things about sketching in public is the public part, the friendly folks who come over to take a look and comment. Since most of the world lives on their iPhones these days – I’m sure you’ve noticed -it is quite enchanting to people when they see someone engaging in the old fashioned, folksy business of putting their experience on paper. Add the color in and they’re positively worshipful of even the most rudimentary attempts to sketch a scene.

My friends and I picked the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville for our New Year’s Eve sketch outing. If you haven’t been there, well, think – wine country gone hollywood with a combination of food, wine tasting, store, pool, film memorabilia museum. I’m sure I’ve left something out! Pure fun.

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Lamy Joy fountain pen and watercolor in 8X8″ Hand.book sketchbook

I’m looking forward to coming back on a hot summer day. The pool is gorgeous and I love the idea of changing in a cabana!  That day it was rather cold to sit outside in the afternoon shade.

My first encounter was a lovely young visitor from China  who left her table of iPhone users to join me, rather a compliment since this place is big on visual attractions of every sort.

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Inside was warm but getting crowded. Resting my sketchbook on the balcony looking down, I was soon joined by a wine bartender anxious to see my gear and sketches.

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There was a lot of wine tasting action of course and I didn’t want to get in the way with my sketching. In the corner was a vacant stool and I finally got the nerve to ask this fellow if it was OK for me to sit down and sketch there. He was delighted and even fluffed up those marvelous eyebrows (how did he guess I had my eye on him to sketch?)  It was a sketcher’s dream of being the fly on the wall (or barstool I guess), a bit dark so my colors were off, but dark enough that I didn’t notice until I got home! Of course this picture went on Chris’ phone as well as mine.

But we couldn’t leave until the first fellow brought us tastes of something divine and bubbly to celebrate the turn of the year and our most agreeable sketch venture in this place where the staff all seem intent on making you feel like a celebrity!

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