#healdsburgjazz

Summer is arriving

The thermostat just hit 100, so summer has officially arrived. I’m hunkered down in air conditioning with time to catch up on blogging a bit. Here’s some sketches of recent outings.

valleyford2

We lucked out with weather over the weekend and the Ready, Set, Sketchers (aka North Bay Urban Sketchers) met up in Valley Ford on Saturday. It was sunny-warm enough that I just looked for a shady spot to sit in a parking lot, and fell in love with this old “shack”. Did someone live there? Was it storage for the little store next door? Or maybe even the post office?

Valley Ford is a block long and surrounded by rolling grass lands and stands of trees, a big draw for plein aire painters, but also a lunch stop for cyclists and others on their way to the shoreline. The parking lot was a crowded with all of the above, but somehow none of them made it into this old-timey scene.

healdsburgplaza

As you can see I didn’t get close enough to the band, Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, to sketch them at the opening of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in the Plaza. That evening I was content to sit in my chair along with all the other folks, eating and drinking wine and people watching. If you want to see the band, you can look at last year’s sketch.

Kingstreetgiants

Same place, Healdsburg Plaza concert series, with the band, the King Street Giants.There’s always space to plant my mini-stool on the side or in the back of the stage to get a closer view.

And tomorrow is another concert there, but I think I’ll have to pass. Another 100 day tomorrow, and my melting point is 90.

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Let the Summer Begin!

. . .with free concerts on the plaza! And the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.

jazz

Lamy fountain pen and watercolor in Hahnemuhl Watercolor Book

The Plaza in Healdsburg was jam packed on Tuesday night. We were sitting far enough back where you don’t even see the musicians but can still enjoy the music just fine. People are set up in their groupings with friends and wine and food and dancing  by the stage and on the sidelines. Everybody happy to be there on a warm almost summer night. And the music. . .ahhh, Latin Jazz!

Santos

Here’s my 30X30 direct watercolor for the day. Not the fluid watercolor paper I prefer, but I kind of like all the texture that happens with the wet application. When the musicians returned after the break, I set my little stool up on the side of the stage to get deep into the latin groove and let the percussion rule the sketch. Honestly I’d had some wine too, which might be evident in the “looseness” of the sketch. And all the while I’m thinking, oh yeah, it’s summer-groovin-time now!

Carlos Medrano, Sabor de mi Cuba

Another Tuesday evening at Healdsburg Plaza, with Carlos Medrano and his band celebrating the 19th Annual Jazz Festival.

carlosmedrano

So how do you put the tones and color and flavors of the hot and steamy Cuban jazz down on paper? Always fun to try!

Found a new spot to sit where visibility was good! It was early in the show and I plunked my mini-stool down right at the feet of the performers with my back to the dancers.  I don’t think I would have had the nerve if there hadn’t been a couple photographers with their tripods set up there.

Carlos1

Later there was a fair amount of dancing on stage as the singer collected people from the audience and coached them in the sinuous movements of the hips. I gave it a try for a while too, then sat again to draw the audience, mostly in movement. It certainly puts a smile on your face with so many different ages dropping their inhibitions together!

cubandiva

Next day I did another quick sketch from my iPhone pics, trying to keep the same freshness as the on-location sketches. I wanted another crack at capturing her movement. Trying to sketch faster and drop my tidiness in the service of energy. I sketched this same group six months ago if you want to check it out here.