Saturday, September 12, 2009

Deluxe Bakery, Iowa City

Unfortunately no one was at the bakery when I arrived to sketch, but the setting alone called to be drawn. Taylor, was gracious and kind to let me order a diet coke and make myself at home. Nothing nonfat at this joint. I hope to go back soon and draw the outside and the case with all the goodies in it. A fabulous place if you don't worry about cardiac disease!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Khalilah was the most amazing model and I only got to draw her once. Sigh. Since she was modeling for my class that day (in San Francisco at the Academy of Art University) and I was busy teaching, I only got to draw her, literally, once.


Diana was from Berkeley and sang in a group called "Odor of Pears." She was a great model.

Receiving a Blessing/ Expressing Gratitude

I always felt like the dancing I did in "Sweat Your Prayers" was a contemplative movement showing gratitude for life. This drawing was inspired by that feeling.

Sweat Your Prayers

Gabrielle Roth has created a practice of dancing that incorporates what she calls the "five rhythms" in the universe. These drawings are from observing people at the weekly dance sessions I attended (and danced at for several years) in Sausalito, California. I was blessed to have taken a workshop directly from Gabrielle.

Anjali Dancing

Anjali danced in a most beautiful way, prayerful, like she was saying "Namaste" to the universe. I tried to capture the spirit of her flowing movements in quick brush lines, the line of her pregnant belly allowed a beautiful swoop of the brush.


I met Anjali at a 5 Rhythms "Sweat Your Prayers" dance practice in Marin County. She had the most beautiful round belly, perfectly round like a planet in the universe, which in a way it was.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Drawing Renaissance Festival Revelers

Beaumonde the demi monde...
Adam - what an amazing outfit he was wearing. Check out the wings on his armor.

My friend Annie took these shots without me knowing it, I was so engrossed in drawing Adam.

Beaumonde! What a perfect model! I longed to paint him full size, blue tights and all.

Iowa City, Iowa

The first capitol building for the state of Iowa - now called "Old Cap," it sits in the center of the University of Iowa's pentacrest. It has a gold dome on top which I didn't have room for, but I mostly remember the day it caught on fire - the painters were not being very smart up there.

St Peters in Cosgrove, IA - home of Pork Days and Polka Mass

St Peter's Catholic Church - Cosgrove, Iowa. It sits in between my art studio and a former house that was part meth lab and part brothel. It was busted a year ago. Found all that out during Pork Days, a festival that included a Polka mass, on the day that I moved into the studio. Not being Catholic, I have no idea what a Polka mass is. Oh, but the views! The views of the Iowa countryside!

Eric, Tei, Lute player, Lucky, & Signy

Eric had a leather patch for a badge that said "Concierge" and his job was to shoo you out the right door from the Renaissance Festival. I drew him at the request of a lass - I won't say who - who wanted me to send her my drawing of him, but not tell him that. "Are you still feeling creative?" she asked.
Tei was simply talking to friends but I loved the black sleeves and the shape they made with her black hair and dainty parasol.
The guitar player didn't really want to be drawn, even though I asked permission. He dipped his head out of view. Some guy behind me was all excited and kept saying, "Wow, that's really good!" - "Fantastic!" - "Wonderful, wonderful!" As I was about to turn and take my bows, he rushed over to the musician and had a long conversation about how much he loved his music. Oh, well. I went ahead and bought his CD.
Lucky was a patient Labrador, and his little scribble of a friend next to him on the leash was a tired little Yorkie.
Signy goes to Kansas State and was scheduled, nervously, for her first job modeling nude for an art class the following week. I told her not to worry, everyone will be very professional after the first few gasps.


Catherine was beading at a table against a mirror, and is a third generation Ren Festie. Her grandmother was running the shop and her mom and aunt had shops on both sides of hers. Her costume was red and white - she was elegant and had the most striking profile.


Adam - and his friends - were in a class by themselves. Adam had on this amazing leather coat, and chain mail with metal warrior plates on his neck and shoulders. He was so gallant about posing, such a gentleman, truly living out the life of a nobleman. He looked like a knight and acted like one too. I bought the whole package.
The Bakery Stage at the Renaissance Festival in Minneapolis - where we saw a friend juggle fire, knives, and bowling pins. Someone got a little nick from the knife throwing stunt.

Ann had a shop inside of the front entrance. Lovely lass!

Ren Festies in Lydia's Shop

This is Chad. He had his hand in his doublet Napoleon-style the whole time. Then he showed me what he had in his hand: a little baby squirrel. He found it under his car and had since bought a little cage, eye dropper and bonded with the little guy. The baby squirrel fit neatly in his hand and held on to his finger like he wanted to suckle it.

This is Brandon and Lauren. Lauren looked like a pouty Katie Holmes.
Here's Tyler - very game to pose. Hard to see details of his great outfit, the sun was going down.

Lydia, Minneapolis Ren Fest

Lydia's shop was awesome. She and her friends were some of the first people I drew and they were so nice to let me draw them while they were greeting customers. I said I would come back and buy from them, which I did - a beautiful plaid Highland Lass kind of ensemble to wear next year. But here's the real story: Lydia is fascinated with Anne Boleyn and is an English history major. On May 19, 2036, it will be Anne Boleyn's 500th anniversary of her execution (Thanks to Henry VIII) - and it will also be Lydia's 50th birthday. What are the odds?

Renaissance Festival, Minneapolis

André and Evian, the pages.
ZzaZza - has been going to the Minneapolis Renaissance Festival for 30 years!
Marcello too, 30 years at the Ren Fest. I saw them and my hand instinctively reached out as I followed them behind the scenes to their trailer, begging to let me draw them. Marcello got ready for his close up.
Beaumonde was a great model - I told him: "Look bored." He did this so well!
These were favorites at the Ren Fest - unbelievable costumes and outsize, fabulous personalities. My favorite Divas of all time and I've lived in San Francisco for 16 years total so I've seen myself some Divas. Love you Marcello, Beaumonde, ZzaZza, André, and Evian!