We took the kids to the Open House at Cloverleaf Ranch in Santa Rosa. They had lots of fun. I even had fun sketching this view of their barns from the pool.
A quick sketch I did in front of the UC Berkeley Faculty Club for my first post on the SF Bay Area Urban Sketchers blog. I had hoped for some people to show up, but summer time is quite slow around the University.
The Faculty Club has been around since 1902 and is a wonderful place to grab lunch or have drinks after class (or work). I’ve even attended a lovely wedding (several years ago) that was hosted on the lawn shown in the sketch.
If you get a chance to view The Club from the inside, you’ll immediately note the precious craftsman design of Bernard Maybeck that is also seen throughout the historic homes of the area. It’s definitely one of the best examples (that I’ve seen) of this type of warm personal architecture.
Read more about it at http://www.berkeleyfacultyclub.com/
Just a quick lunch time sketch in front of the Valley Life Sciences Building (read more about the history of the building here). It’s a little slow on campus right now due to it being finals week. I chose this spot because of the shade more than anything else, but I was able to catch a few students coming and going from where I sat.
So my local SF Bay Area Urban Sketchers group met up at the Cathedral of Christ the Light (Lake Merritt – Oakland, CA) on May 1st. I’m not a practicing Muslim, but I couldn’t help but think, “this should be interesting.” Let’s face it when you’re looking for stunning works of religious architecture in the US, it’s not going to be a mosque. But who knows what’s in store for future generations? Perhaps our children or their children will be sketching in spaces where architecture and spirituality come together in ways that are beyond our imagination. All that aside, I have to say that I found myself in peaceful bliss as I sketched the body of Jesus as I sat in the pews of the Cathedral of Christ the Light. The moment made me pause and wonder why my mother left Christianity and chose Islam when I was a child. In the midst of my feelings of bliss and spiritual thoughts, I found myself awkwardly looking up at the image of Christ. I realized I was sitting in a spot that none of the other sketchers chose. Perhaps because the perspective felt awkward, a little like an IMAX film. But I didn’t want to move. I wanted to try and make it work. I remembered that I saw a couple of other sketchers turn their sketchbooks at a 45 degree angle so that they could capture the as much of the horizontal and vertical views as possible. Here’s my attempt.
April 11, 2014 – UC Berkeley. Here is another lunch time sketch from the Cal campus. The Campanile (Sather Tower) is synonymous with UC Berkeley and it’s effort to constantly push the envelope and strive for excellence in academia. If you’re in the area tomorrow (April 12th), come and visit the campus on Cal Day and get a free view from the top of the tower.
Sometimes the best urban sketch is right in your own backyard, or neighborhood park. For me, this is Terrace Park, now known as Jewel’s Terrace Park in honor of Jewel Okawachi, a dedicated mother, board member and leader in the Albany community.
These homes sit on the eastern edge of the park. On any given sunny afternoon, one can enjoy the color, textures and shadows of their exteriors along the fence. As my son rode his bike round and around the park path, and played with kids who came in an out of the frame, I felt at ease, as if I was in my own back yard.
I have to admit, I was both excited and nervous about sketching this famous UC landmark. I didn’t feel worthy. Sather Gate was built in 1910 in memory of Peder Sather, a benefactor of the University. If it could speak, I imagine it could recall the events of the Free Speech Movement, the songs of graduates passing underneath it and the director’s yelling “Cut!” from the movies filmed under its arches.
I don’t always pass by it as I walk though the campus, but when I do, I have to pause and study it. On this particular occasion, it was the end of Spring Break and no students were around, not that it mattered to me. 😉 I hope to sketch it again from a different perspective. I often wonder if they know what a true rite of passage they’re experiencing while attending the University. When the students walk through it, taking their selfies in front of it, observing its awkward copper corrosion from the corner of their eyes, are they truly aware of it.
The College of Chemistry is close to my office and has an inner elevated courtyard that offers a secluded vantage point from which one can see and hear all the activity below while remaining virtually unnoticed. It was mid-term week and the students were hurrying in and out of the buildings to study groups, cafes and more classes. I overheard bits of conversations that represented the social mosaic of student life. One girl cried out, ”I’m so not prepared for this test.” Another, whom I could not see, but could discern that he was on his phone, was making plans for a week of partying on the beach. There were also several conversations in Spanish, Mandarin and Russian.
South Hall Road, Univ. of California, Berkeley – March 18, 2014. I tried to find a place that allowed me to sketch the campus tower and the students at the same time. The long cement bench facing South Hall Road was a good compromise. I was able to get the lower half of the tower and Le Conte Hall as well as a sprinkling of students reading, studying and conversing in the mid-day sun.