July 31, 2011. I've been enjoying catching up with my family in Long Beach. We spent a couple days down in San Diego and Escondido. This morning I got up early to sketch this place down the road called the Metaphor Cafe. I thought the name was interesting. Only three more days here in California and I wish I could stretch them out, except that my dear wife is already getting over jet lag in Germany, waiting for the rest of us to get home.
July 29, 2011. I've been looking forward to drawing my home town Long Beach for a long time. Here's Dave's burgers, just down the street from where I grew up. It's my brother's favorite place to eat, and even though Dave doesn't work there anymore, the gal who runs it, Tiffany, is also great. I only get a hamburger there once every two years, but they always recognize me and ask me how things are in Germany. Amazing people who can do that.
July 28, 2011. It's the big Nike US Open of surfing competition this weekend in Huntington Beach, California. We were down at the beach playing in the waves with cousins and loving the sunshine. We're coming down to our last week in the States, so we're making sure to eat lots of fish tacos and burritos before we leave, and preparing ourselves for the schnizel that awaits us on the other side of the pond.
July 22, 2011. The blog has been a ghost town lately, as we've been having lunch and dinner appointments with so many great people here in Southern California. On top of that, we've been scoping out the colleges around for our daughter, and looking at options for what we're going to do a year from now when we move back to this part of the world for a while. I've seen lots of great sights that I'd like to sketch, just no time to do it. Finally I woke up early this morning, sat on our balcony and sketched the Sheraton Hotel across the parking lot. We're about a stone's throw from Disneyland, so we see all the tourists walking there every morning, then all tuckered out at the end of the day with their balloons and mouse ears.
July 11, 2011. Trees and rocks and lakes, and more trees... There's no way I could capture the beauty of Lake Tahoe, but I gave it a whirl. Everywhere we roamed I found gobs of subjects to sketch. Some day I'll have to travel around to all the old historical Californian gold rush towns and fill some sketchbooks with the great sights. My brother-in-law was reading a dusty old book written by a guy who lived during the old west days of California- it got me re-interested in that time period and desirous to sketch some of those old haunts.
July 10, 2011. We had a great vacation at Lake Tahoe this past week- time to catch up with family, see the wonderful fireworks show over the lake, enjoy the beach, fishing, some rock climbing, bike riding, a visit to the Donner Party museum, and some sketching here and there. I had a chance to do some nature sketching, which is something I've been wanting to do for some time. I'll make sure to post some of the sketches individually when I get a chance, but here's a preview, since it's been a week since I've posted anything.
July 3, 2011. Here's the finished drawing of Warnor's Theater (Pantages Theater) in downtown Fresno. It's a beautiful building on the corner of Fulton and Tuolumne, built in 1928 by Alexander Pantages, who owned 16 such theaters and controlled 40 others. He then sold the theater to Warner Brothers the following year and the name was changed slightly in the 60s to Warnor's Theater when a new owner acquired it. We are finishing up our time in Fresno today, packing to head to Lake Tahoe for a family reunion of sorts. We've enjoyed speaking to many wonderful groups of people and meeting with friends every day. The kids fully enjoyed their summer camp experience, and came away with many new friends of their own.
July 1, 2011. Well, I'm excited to get our kids back from summer camp and hear how it went. I feel like we've had our own summer camp going on here with swimming and meeting with good friends every day, eating fresh corn from Fresno State University, and delicious fruits and vegetables from the central valley. I started sketching this place on location, then came back home to finish it up. I'm actually enjoying seeing the interesting architecture used around here. The new stuff has a similar look to it, and I get the desire to draw every restaurant and building I see up and down the road as we drive by. I don't know what they call this style, but it reminds me of the Starbucks or Borders of several years ago, just developed.