June 30, 2011. A beautiful day today in Fresno. I had lunch with photographer Paul Mullins- haven't had a cheese steak hoagie in a long time. After a visit with All Things Fresno, I thought I'd better take advantage of the cooler weather and do a sketch of the old "Hotel Fresno" building. Hard to believe our time in Fresno is coming to an end. There is so much yet to sketch and so many folks to talk with, but we're planning on being back here next summer, so we'll just have to save some goodness for next time.
June 29, 2011. It was nice to wake up to some rain this morning, which meant the weather cooled off considerably, giving me a chance to do some sketching in the middle of the day without the oppressive heat. We're having some busy days with many great appointments, seeing friends we haven't seen in a couple years, while our kids are up in the mountains enjoying summer camp at Hume Lake. Everywhere we go, people are so generous, feeding us like we haven't eaten in a year, and all the while we get to enjoy the nearly endless California sunshine.
(And here's a quick sketch from our trip to Priest Lake, Idaho that I forgot to post. There was this interesting floating platform tied to some branches along the edge of the lake.)
June 25, 2011. A little sketch from down the road this morning. A few people wandered by while I sat on the curb to draw it. I'll dedicate this one to a guy I met a couple days ago who is having a rough time of it. He grew up without a dad, found his role models on the streets, then tried to get his life right, got married, had a couple kids. But like all of us, he made some mistakes, and now everything he had has been ripped away. Looking at him, you'd never think he'd be the type to walk into a church, but he was desperate to get things right with his life. Here's to you, "R-" hang in there, walk steady, don't stop praying. Don't let your anger get the best of you. You're not alone. A lot of us have been there.
June 24, 2011. I've drawn Warnor's Theater before, but it was requested that I do it again. I started the sketch on location, but by 7 am I was already feeling the heat, so I had to pack it up. It turned out to be a much cooler day, the temperature dropping from Wednesday's 107 degrees. My goal is to sketch a small set of historical and important Fresno spots this next week while I'm here. I intend to finish this drawing after some friends at "All Things Fresno" take a look at it and may decide to use it. It needs a sky for one thing. By the way, "All Things Fresno" has a gallery and gift shop there on the left by the awnings shown.
June 20, 2011. I don't usually get two sketches in on one day, but I was told about this funeral home down on Fulton and Divisadero that I should draw. While I was down there I saw several old structures that wanted to be drawn, but they'll just have to wait. One thing I took notice of, while sitting there on the sidewalk across the street- it's hot in Fresno. I think it was about 100 degrees today, supposed to be getting up to 105 by Wednesday. I'm not used to sketching in that kind of heat, and I think I'll have to take along an ice-cold Ginger Ale next time.
June 20, 2011. If you ask my kids what they miss most about America, In-N-Out Burgers fall somewhere in the top 5. It's always our first stop on the way home from the airport. Since we've been away, the chain has spread out from Southern California and there are about five of them here in Fresno now. I don't think we'll ever see them back in Germany, sadly. So, we'll get our fill while we're here, but make sure to swim a few hundred laps in between to work off the calories. Fresno's not short on sunshine, so I should be able to do plenty of early morning sketches before the household is awake.
June 19, 2011. After a great time in the Northwest, we settle down in the central valley of California, where we'll be for a time. My first sketch is down on Blackstone in Fresno. The golden arches are recognized all over the world as a symbol that represents so many different things about American culture, good and bad. One of my favorite things about Fresno is the sun. Washington and Idaho were still wet and cool, but you can always count on Fresno to provide Vitamin D.
June 11, 2011. It would have been a shame to come all the way to Seattle and not get a chance to sketch with Gabi Campanario, aka the "Seattle Sketcher." He is the one who most inspired me to begin sketching on location in the first place. We sketched the Starbucks at the Mill Creek Town Center, near his house, sipping Jamba Juice. I did my best to sketch "Gabi style" with this one, working fast and trying to capture the scene with energetic lines and splashes of color. Meanwhile, he sketched the same scene and sketched me too. You can see his sketch of Starbucks [here] and his sketch of me [here]. Gabi's not only a great artist, he's a great person as well, and I was privileged to get a couple days to hang out with him and see his life.
June 10, 2011. Here's my first sketch on this side of the ocean. We've had a great start to our summer. Our first day was with Gabi Campanario, the "Seattle Sketcher" and founder of the international Urban Sketchers movement. It was a pleasure getting to know him and his family, as well as the beautiful city of Seattle. The last couple days we've taken our daughter on college tours and we're staying up in Lynden, Washington near the Canadian border with a wonderful couple. Tomorrow we're heading back to Seattle, and I'm planning on sketching in the city with Gabi, something I've been looking forward to for a long time. This is a sketch I did this morning on Front Street in Lynden.
June 3, 2011. Here's a sketch I did today of the "Circus Luna" that's here in town. It pretty much symbolizes my day today, as we missed catching a train this morning in France, then had to have a water leak in the basement fixed, then found out the local government office has misplaced my daughter's passport, just in time for our flight to the States on Tuesday for eight weeks. The good news is, I was able to sell some artwork today, which is a huge help. I was also able to get several loads of wash done, do the yard work, pack, and defrost the freezer. Hard to believe how much can happen in one day.