Duncans Mills is a “tiny hamlet” along the Russian River one encounters on the way to the beach at Jenner. It’s colorful in an historic and commercial way and immensely sketchable. The Ready, Set, Sketchers were meeting up there on Saturday and I happily joined them.
Years ago I did several “watercolor paintings” of the area, but wanted to do some quicker sketches in my book that told some part of the story of the place this time.
For some reason it’s always easier for me to sketch a building if I can put a figure in front of it. Luckily I could see this fellow in our group from my spot in the shade!
Duncans Mills is really all about the shops and gardens in between. I was fascinated by the rusty filagree of this gazebo and the fact that you could see through it to the garden and seats behind.
This was a quicky I got in just before we shared our sketches. Sitting under a tree across the street I thought I’d be less likely to make my usual mistake of overdoing the details. What happened was a reliving of the happy memories of the times we were invited to join the camping club on the river when the boys were young!
If you’re in the Sonoma County or northern San Francisco Bay area you may want to join us on one of these regular monthly sketch meet ups on the second Saturday of each month. Check it out on Facebook here. You would be most welcome!
This winery is five minutes from my house and along one of my favorite walking routes, Vine Hill School Rd. The iconic landmark of Martin Ray Winery, seen from far and wide, is the tower. I always find it easier to do a quick sketch of a lovely landscape if I can fit a manmade structure in as a counterpoint to all the foliage. (And there’s a farmworker in there too below.)
So Bettina and I spent a lovely half hour or so in the shade, enjoying the pleasures of the quiet garden (with the busy wine-making going on behind those trees). And while sitting there we were visited by a welcoming crew of the marketing chief, the assistant gardener (who gave us freshly dug up dahlia bulbs) and the master gardener who shared his project plan with us.
fountain pen, watercolor in 8 X 8″ hand.book w/c sketchbook
Once again taking advantage of the weather I ventured out with Carole this time to another Sebastopol farm to visit a friend who gave us a tour of her magical garden with chickens and doves and these sheep and an arts and crafts studio and more! All the creation of a person with an irrepressible urge to manifest things of beauty.
At her kitchen table I couldn’t help myself. . .
Saturday was Bob and my 27th wedding anniversary and we headed out toward the beach, getting as far as Duncans Mills before the cold wind moved in. So I practiced some speed sketching (and painted it later).
The anniversary date continued with a visit to art galleries in Guerneville and in particular the Blue Door where we met paper (collage) artist Douglas Devivo and were treated to an explanation of his process of transforming paper of all kinds into tapestry-like art of stunning beauty. Check it out at devivolife.com I left with a bag full of papers scooped from his table and blessings to give it a try. . .which I will!