Above is a sketch I did of the Arroyo Vista Inn B&B, where I stayed. It took a couple of hours, at least, but it was a pleasant morning in the shade. The Inn is only a few minutes walk away from Brenda's lovely new studio.
I still had a bit of time before meeting up with Brenda and her artist friend, Judy Schroeder, to go sketch in the afternoon. So I drew my rental car in the parking lot. I love the big gnarly trees that surrounded the Inn.
The sketch below is of Castle Green. It used to be a famous hotel, but has been converted to residential living. This was a bit of a "break out moment" for me as a sketcher. I started the drawing in ink, which means there is no correcting of the compositional scale, once begun. I had intended to draw the two round towers at the top of the building. But it was cropped off at the top of my page. Brenda suggested that I just keep drawing across the page and finish the building. RADICAL!! I rarely to that!! I like drawing on the right side, with nothing on the left, so I don't have a previous drawing bleed through. But in this case...since I was hanging out with two free-spirited Californians...I just took the leap and kept drawing. (I know...most of you sketchers are probably rolling your eyes, and always draw on the front and back of every page.)
Here is the amazing building, and my sketch.
Below, a photo taken by Brenda Swenson of yours truly.
Here is my sketch before adding color.
These ladies were my sketching partners for the afternoon...Brenda Swenson (on the left) and her long-time friend, Judy Schroeder (on the right). It was a lot of fun hanging out with these two.
A selfie with the gals in the park.
Here is Brenda's painting.
And here is Judy's.
After we finished sketching, we went over to see Brenda's wonderful newly-opened STUDIO, which is right above a coffee shop! We enjoyed a cold beverage, and looked at sketchbooks. Later, Brenda gave me a brief tutorial about one of her favorite water color paints, which I had never heard of: Quinacridone Gold! (David Smith brand, to be specific.)
Below is a photo specifically for my Mom, Dee Ludwig, who would have loved to have joined us. I think Mom has been sketch-friends with Brenda online long before I have. So..."Hey, Mom...here I am in Brenda's Studio!"
Finally, as the day drew to a close (a sketching pun not intended...but appropriate), I got to take a quick tour of Brenda and Mike's backyard to see "The Twins"!! Brenda and Mike have a love for restoring old cars and trucks. Mike is also an amazing craftsman with wood, and with stained glass...their home looks like a fantastic art museum inside. My love for drawing old rusty machines and vehicles is one thing that Brenda and I share in common! What a terrific way to end my trip.
While this post is the last for my sketches...check back soon. I will share a few photos of the beauty that I saw on this "artist retreat". Thanks again to all my friends that I got to spend time with on the journey!!