Petaluma sketch

Wind tunnel sketching

Our Bay Area sketch friends Cathy McAuliffe and Laurie Wigham came up to the north county (Sonoma) last week on an invitation to sketch the mustard with us and ended up sketching the rolling green hills and winds of Petaluma instead. Not wanting to get too far away from lunch places we started out by the riverfront.

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watercolor and Inktense pencils in Watercolor Field Journal, 8 X 8″

 

Then after lunch we headed out of town, determined to find that lovely yellow mustard on the landscape, but ended up settling for the rolling green hills view of Helen Putnam Park.

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Nothing in this bucolic landscape would suggest the howling winds here which turned my hair into a birds nest, rattled the pages of the sketchbook, and dried the paint instantly on contact with the paper.

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But as you can see, our hardy group was not to be deterred! Here’s out tailgate gallery.

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Back to town again, with the gale force winds continuing, we settled into a bit of town sketching before calling it a day – a mustard-less day, but fruitful nevertheless!

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Apple Press and Petaluma Sketching

If you live in Sebastopol there’s still time to bring your apples over to the free apple press and enjoy the nectarian pleasure of your own fresh apple juice. The volunteer crew will help you out and even clean the press after you and all with enthusiastic smiles. I guess I was too busy with art and such this season to bring my own apple harvest in, so instead I harvested some sketches last Saturday morning.

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The sponsor of this is the Slow Food Russian River group. For those of you who don’t know, the term Slow Food refers to “an alternative to fast food and strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.” Slow however is not how I would refer to the folks doing the apple press procedure. So my pen was moving pretty fast!

And then I got totally distracted by a little girl who was washing apples and then feeding them into the press. When she came over to check out my paints I couldn’t resist loading up a brushload and handing it to her. She knew what to do with it of course. Here’s Adeline’s version of the activity.

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Then last week we were checking out the scene for the upcoming Watercolor Simplified for the Sketcher workshop in Petaluma on October 14. We were delighted to find the most appealing spots for sketching, not to mention eating, easy parking etc. So I’m quite looking forward to offering this workshop. For instance there’s the Great Petaluma Mill and the backdrop of those, are they grain shoots?

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and the cutest bistros, bakeries etc to go for the lunch sketch which is always assigned.

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Check out the meal I had. And yet even so I was tortured by the men sitting across from us who ordered a spectacular gluten free chocolate cake and only ate a bite or two! They were so friendly that I know they would have given me the rest, but truly I was already full. I’m quite impressed with these urban sketchers who draw and paint their food when it comes. I’m always too ready to dig in.

There’s still one spot left in the workshop. If you’re interested, visit my website for more info and to contact me.