Sebastopol Farmer’s Market

Sketching Between the Puddles

Normally at this time of year here in Sonoma County wouldn’t we be enjoying more predictably sunny days? Instead we’re dodging downpours on a regular basis, and LOVING IT! Gardening days are pure bliss because all the plants that have been biding their time throughout our five year draught are going bananas now!

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So last weekend we planned to visit the goat farm and sketch the baby goats, but that plan got rained out. So we headed over to Harmony Farm Supply and sketched in the sprinkles of rain and under an overhang while garden-fever was in full swing and customers were hungrily selecting additions to their spring gardens.

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Oh, by the way, while being frustrated that it was not a baby goat sketching day, I did a quick one of this handsome young one (Redwood Hills Farm) from a Facebook photo. Good practice for when the sunny day comes!

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Next day, Sunday, was sunny! The Sebastopol Farmer’s Market never disappoints with seasonal fruits, veggies, baked goods, plants, crafts, live music and more to tempt, well, everyone! Greedily I did a series of vignettes, some while standing.

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And then found a sunny spot out of the way to draw the tents and a guy picking out a pastry.

Some of this was practice and thinking through the schedule for my next sketch workshop April 29, 30 in Sebastopol, which will feature on location sketching along with the opportunity for some good eating! If you’re interested, visit my website.

Questions Like When to Stop

The biggest city in Sonoma County, CA and the county seat is Santa Rosa. Right now the city is undergoing a major revamping in the center. Courthouse Square is soon to be a lovely park area with no cars driving through (as was the previous case). Bob and I were downtown and I wanted to check it out for a possible sketch project to record the transformation.  Of course I’m already too late for that, since I didn’t sketch the “before”, but Im thinking I’d like to sketch the cranes and signs and construction scene when they’re back at work after the Labor Day weekend.

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fountain pen and brush pen and watercolor in 8X8″ hand.book w/c sketchbook

Capturing urban scenes is a relatively new challenge for me. There’s so much detail for the eye to focus on, and I’m learning little by little what to put in and leave out.

And then there’s also the question of when to STOP! It’s hard, because putting in all the shadow shapes is time consuming and not always necessary.

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Sometimes, as at the farmer’s market yesterday, I decide to just see how many layers I can put in to capture the story. My idea was to do a vignette, leaving white space, but I was having so much fun adding in characters that I just kept going.

The three young mothers in the foreground had toddlers constantly jumping into their laps and then running around in the grass. The guy behind them was a jazz musician playing on the ground rather than the stage for some reason. Great sounds!

And various people sat down on the bench next to me during the 30-40 minutes I was there and wanted to start up a conversation with me. It’s hard when you’re sketching, but Sebastopol is a very friendly town and people talk to you everywhere like you’re an old friend. Hmmm. Reminds me a bit of Ireland!