Healdsburg Plaza

4th of July postscript

My boys are grown up now and there’s no grandchildren, (yet anyway) but I do enjoy a bit of the chaos and color of children’s events and have the perfect excuse to go – sketching! So July 4th’s sketch-venture at the Healdsburg Plaza was the Annual  Rotary Duck Dash and Kids Parade. Oh, and there were plenty of canine characters too, some of them upstaging the kids and yes, ducks.


The Russian River Ramblers were playing Dixieland Jazz. There was free ice cream, fishing in duck shaped kiddy pools, and lots of prizes for not only costumes but if your rubber ducky won the duck dash.


It was all a bit dizzying to try to sketch all the frenetic activity which could be seen sitting almost anywhere. So we picked some shade and plunged in.


I got out my red and blue Inktense watercolor pencils to color things in. It really was a sea of red, white and blue. But I ended up painting over it in watercolor. Next time I think I’ll use colored brush pens or markers or just stick to watercolor.


These beautiful girls had some function related to the Duck Dash. Everybody who wasn’t a parent or kid had a role to play in this community event.


Uncle Sam was there too of course. This is a sketch I did of him 3 years ago, but thought I’d revisit it here.

We’ve got a lot of politics going on every single day, if you know what I mean, so it was nice to take a break and just be with other people celebrating our families and our living-togetherness, not our us-versus-them-ness. Now back to work finding a way to include everyone beyond as well.


Ready, Set, Sketch at Healdsburg Plaza

Last Saturday I met up with the Ready, Set,Sketchers group at the Healdsburg Plaza for a morning of sketching followed by lunch at Wurst. Not wanting to sit down in one place and do a detailed sketch, I set a time limit of 30 minutes on each spot and moved around.


fountain pen and watercolor in 7 X 10″ Stillman & Birn beta series sketchbook

I overdid the girth of the column here, but that’s what happens when I get interested in something and don’t take time to measure. Healdsburg is such a combination of local people hanging out side by side with legions of happy visitors who travel in packs from tasting rooms to shops to restaurants, lending a party atmosphere the place.


The Plaza is ringed by enticing boutiques and permeated with the aromas of fine foods.It was tricky on that Saturday morning to get out of the way of the parade of visitors on the sidewalk.  I found a little patch of grass under a tree and thought I’d play it safe and stay outside on the sidewalk and stick to drawing. I did try on one of these hats at Bella and was sorely tempted!


But then I was drawn to another shop, One O One, where the sun was shining on the display in the window. Mannikins are the best subjects when you want to relax. They are well behaved and never move!

The Ready, Set, Sketchers meet in Sonoma County locations on the second Saturday of every month and you’re welcome to join in.