New Sketch Gear

 Posted by on January 26, 2020  Lefties, Location Sketching, Watercolour  Tagged with:
Jan 262020

For Christmas I received some new drawing paraphernalia. A monogrammed sketchbook given by John Hoffman and a pocket-sized set of handmade watercolours, from Julia.

The Christmas/New Year break was very relaxing and I barely got out of my pyjamas the entire time, but on one of our few ‘proactive days’ (when we actually left home) I got to use these gifts when we went sketching in Golden Gate Park, which is one of my favourite places to draw.

Starting in The Rose Garden, I found a bench with a view across the flower beds, but as it wasn’t the season for blossoms I focused my attention on the trees beyond. Drawing scenes like this is difficult for me. Trees and shrubbery are hard to define in line alone, and need a mastery of light, colour and tone, none of which are my strong suits. But for that reason I need to try such scenes every so often. After a few doodles we head over to the nearby Japanese Tea Garden.

While nibbling cookies & mochi and sipping tea in the Tea House, we sketched the lovely view of the front gate into the Tea Garden. This welcome change of scenery gave me more of the interesting compositions and contrasts that I like to draw. The Tea Garden was rather crowded so I barely cracked open the watercolours on site, because I didn’t want to hog my seat for too long. So we went home to finish the drawings from photos.

These new Greenleaf & Blueberry watercolours are very compact. 14 colours fit into a business card-sized case, with a different earthier palette than the mini-sets I’m used to (usually Winsor & Newton). I look forward to playing around with them further in my monogrammed sketchbook by Shinola.

Life in the Lean-to

 Posted by on December 26, 2019  Family, My stroke  Tagged with:
Dec 262019
Life in the Lean-to

The Baker family has volatile brains. People on both sides of my family tree have suffered strokes, and on this day in 2012 it was my turn. The most recent victim of this family curse was my poor Dad, in mid 2018, and his stroke was much more massive than my own. I used to be a plucky & frequent [READ MORE…]

Mickey ♥ Chewie

 Posted by on October 6, 2019  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching, Watercolour  Tagged with: ,
Oct 062019
Mickey ♥ Chewie

I’d been to Tokyo Disneyland (in the mid 1980s) and Florida’s DisneyWorld (in the mid 2000s) but until recently I’d never been to the real deal Californian original; DISNEYLAND. Our trip was on 3 weekdays just after the Labour Day long weekend, in hopes of avoiding crowds (which I’m allergic to nowadays). The park was surprisingly busy, but thankfully the lines [READ MORE…]

A Day in The Presidio

 Posted by on August 4, 2019  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching, Watercolour  Tagged with: ,
Aug 042019
A Day in The Presidio

Last Christmas, Julia gave me a gift voucher for a posh massage place, and last weekend I finally got to use it, giving us the excuse for spending yet another pleasant day in The Presidio. After having a few kinks kneaded out of my battered body, there was time to kill until a dinner reservation, so we sat on the [READ MORE…]

Happy Birthday, Dad!

 Posted by on July 29, 2019  Drawings, Family, Lefties, My stroke  Tagged with:
Jul 292019
Happy Birthday, Dad!

My Dad’s 80th birthday is July 29th. I couldn’t get back to Australia to celebrate with my family today, but sent this card of cartoons and limericks to mark the completion of Dad’s 80th trip around the sun. Apart from all the typical similarities between a father and his son, Dad & I are bonded in a unique way; I [READ MORE…]