Porchfest Musicians

Yesterday was an SF Urban Sketchers meet up for the Porchfest Musicians an afternoon of music on the porches, backyards and stoops of the Mission! The day was sunny perfection and the streets filled with relaxed and appreciative audience and the feeling of open community.


I made a concertina style “sketchbook”  for the day – 30″ X 7.5″ folded in six sides. Low and behold it worked for the four groups I heard/saw (one on the front fold)


Honestly speaking us sketchers were there as much for the visuals as for the music. This group was playing in front of an open garage door and it took a couple songs, and asking the person next to me, to realize that the Wet Paint sign, which looked so natural in this setting, ( as did their grunge style ) was the group’s name.


Ziva was in a doorway singing like an angel. I plopped down in a comfortable chair below her, a terrible angle to do a portrait (sorry), but great to watch the audience on the street corner.


For a larger venue we walked to the House of Brakes where a group called Monkey, backed up against an awesome three story mural, was working on getting the crowd engaged. I couldn’t resist the guy with the fuschia colored sideburns and beard! Eventually of course that also meant our clear view filled up with pulsating bodies.


With only minutes left before our end of day meet up to share sketches we found the Kai Lyons Jazz band and got in one more. Honestly? It was about the hat and dark glasses along with the flowered crop pants.

But the day was mostly about the personal aspect, meeting a very diverse crowd of people. The performers were sometimes as grateful to us for sketching them as we were to them for the music and visuals. There was lots of picture taking, and I even (supposedly) got on a live internet feed? which I will probably never see and that’s lucky. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Porchfest! Here’s the sketches from last year.



  1. Hi Susan I was in your April 29-30 workshop in Sebastopol. I totally loved it and hope to tale another one! I am writing just to point out what a small world it is. The subject of your last drawing at Porchfest, Kai Lyons, is my neighbor! I called him today and he said he looked for you when they stopped playing but you had gone. I emailed him your blog. Have a wonderful summer.

    Marianne >


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