Monday, February 12, 2018

"This is What Democracy Looks Like" Show at UC Berkeley

Sketch by Vivian Aldridge 2017 

The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California in Berkeley is hosting "This is What Democracy Looks Like" with the SF Bay Area Urban Sketchers. These drawings chronicle resistance and demonstrations from the local (Bay Area, New York, Oregon) to the global (England, Turkey). The sketches, like the events themselves, are part of a worldwide effort to highlight community engagement in social and political action.

The show runs from February 15 to March 30, 2018. The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology is located in 102 Kroeber Hall on Bancroft Way at College Avenue on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

We want to express our appreciation to both Blick Art Materials and Flax Art & Design in Oakland for their support.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Cato's Ale House Sketching



I too enjoyed sketching the "man with the porkpie hat" and sat at a table with initials and designs carved directly into the table and the welcome sign was quite welcoming!





Saturday, February 3, 2018

Lively Night at Cato's Ale House

We had a great time sketching at Cato's. They welcomed us with reserved tables and there was good food, drink and many great "models". As Vivian said in her post (below) the low lighting made adding color to sketches a bit of a challenge but in the light of day I was pleasantly surprised at how well I guessed the location of the colors on my palette! — Cathy McAuliffe 








Friday, February 2, 2018

Sitting in the Dark

Catos is a lively place even on a Thursday night. Low dim lights in all corners make it
somewhat mysterious. Our corner was so dark we could hardly see what
we were sketching. But that experience of not seeing kept our sketches loose. :-) 
Afterwards my sister and I showed our sketches to the man in the hat. He was absolutely 
delighted! -- Vivian Aldridge


The story behind it

As it turns out, we just have to make up the story sometimes — Who were the "Demanders"? Is Arrow 77 an ale? Was the glamourous woman in the photo a heartthrob of the day? Who was Cato anyway?? We may never know the answers to those questions, but here's my sketch of some of the memorabilia at Cato's Ale House anyway.

Friday, January 26, 2018

San Francisco Old and New

Sketching the skyline from roof deck of One Kearny in San Francisco. This 11 story building was build in1902 and survivied the 1906 earthquake and fire. At the time it must have seemed very, very tall. In the background is the just finished Salesforce Tower. It is the tallest building in the city, 61 floors tall. And it does seem very, very tall! Besides the skyline we had great views down Market Street and down Third Street. — Cathy McAuliffe





Wednesday, January 24, 2018

What is Behind the Window?

If you visit One Kearny in San Francisco you can ride the elevator to the 11th floor M-F until 5 PM  and enjoy a rooftop terrace that is open to the public. I just love this roof but I wonder what is behind the shade in the window. I heard a rumor there was a gym but I would prefer to think there is an attic full of relics from the past, and maybe a strange person or two.;-) -- Vivian Aldridge


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Women's March 2018

Why go to only one Women's March? Oakland and San Francisco both wonderful events. Big crowds of marchers at both! – Cathy McAuliffe








Friday, January 19, 2018

Dress up!

This was such a fun idea—thank you Vivian!

I added a little color to the ink drawings.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Posing With Words

A couple of brave souls from my urban sketching group came over to my house and played “dress up” with me. The other part of this activity was to choose from a list of words to add to a sign. I call this activity “posing with words.” -- Vivian Aldridge









Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Book Club of California

The calmest place we have ever sketched! And right in the middle of downtown San Francisco. The quote by Sven Birkerts that is painted above the bookcases: To shut the book and step into the day is to make one kind of passage, and to pull away from the day to enter the book is to make quite another.— Cathy McAuliffe




Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Peace of Mind at a One Hundred Year Old Book Club

If you have a love of real paper books you might consider visiting the California Book Club of California. It is the most peaceful place in all of downtown San Francisco. -- Vivian Aldridge


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Rocket Man



"The Eagle has landed"


Another sketch from our Friday night outing to Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center. This is an empty astronaut's suit from the Apollo 11 mission. You can slip into it from the back, poke your head into the helmet and have the ubiquitous photo opp.

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon . . . Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module, Eagle on July 20, 1969. 

--Susan Ford

Monday, January 8, 2018

BIG Telescope

As Vivian posted, we went to the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. Great place! I too spent the whole time with the telescope and the volunteer astronomers who kindly answered all our questions. Volunteer George had the best outfit, much of the solar system on his tie! We will be back on a clear night to see the telescope in action. — Cathy McAuliffe





It was a foggy night so I used my Scientific problem-solving to dry our sketches:


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Observing Rachel

Met fellow sketchers at the Chabot Space and Science Center on a rainy winters night. Spent most of my time in the observatory sketching a telescope lovingly nicknamed “Rachel.” Believe it or not, she was commissioned in 1914 and is still used today!
— Vivian Aldridge



Monday, January 1, 2018

Resilience in 2017


For many 2017 was one tough year and yet we are given the opportunity to see the
resilience of the human spirit.  This is a sketch I made of a display I found at the Windsor Town Green in Northern California. This display was to give thanks to the fire fighters that fought the Atlas fire in Sonoma County.  -- Vivian Aldridge




Monday, December 18, 2017

Pollinator Procession

Pollinator Procession in Oakland brought to you by Extinction Awareness, Giant Puppets Save The World and Pollinator Posse. Wonderful and colorful gathering at Lake Merritt and Lake Merritt Gardens to celebrate pollinators and raise awareness of how much we depend on them for the food we eat. — Cathy McAuliffe





Tuesday, December 12, 2017

4th street holiday light show!

I admire my fellow-sketchers for night-time sketching with paper, pen and watercolors! I'm afraid I didn't feel up to that challenge and "painted" on my iPad instead. Starting with a dark background, all I had to do was put in the light. So, it feels like cheating but it's fun and it's easier to be loose with it as you're not "wasting" paper no matter what you do!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Holiday Sketching Tradition

We always go to Fourth Street in Berkeley to sketch the holiday lights. It seems that there are more each year! — Cathy McAuliffe



Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday Lights on 4th Street in Berkeley


Every year that I go to 4th Street in Berkeley I see more and more lights. Next time
I am bringing sunglasses. Happy Holidays! --- Vivian Aldridge


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Crab Catcher

Over Thanksgiving I visited Ukiah (northern California) and was taken to a place that sells
 live crab out of a tent. Because I am such a city girl I was quite enthralled by the whole
 experience. Those crabs were fighting mad, and the gal had to use big rubber gloves so she
 would not get bitten. Despite the carnage that crab was the best I have ever eaten --Vivian Aldridge


Monday, November 27, 2017

Public Night on Fourth Street, Berkeley



Thursday, December 7th, 2017
6:30 - 8:30 pm
4th Street lights in Berkeley
Fourth Street & Hearst, Berkeley
http://www.fourthstreet.com/events

Meet at 6:30 near the Apple Store, and we’ll agree upon a place to meet at 8:30 to share sketchbooks

Check actransit.org for bus schedules. Otherwise, parking is pretty easy in the evening.

Fourth Street at this time of year is festooned with lights of all kinds—wound around the tree trunks, draped across the street, in many shapes hanging from the branches—capture the glow and fun of the holiday mood! Store fronts have interesting displays, and sometimes there are musicians playing on the street near Peet’s (they could always use a tip!).



There are a number of places to eat, Tacubaya is one of our favorites, and is a relaxed place to be inside, eat, and sketch if it happens to be inclement weather outside. Zut! which is charming with trendy Mediterranean food is sorta reasonable if you share, and has lots of people and a bar to sketch. 

See you there!