Smell the Roses and Imagine

This month’s Fall colors on the North Side of Page Street in San Francisco are not the usual East Coast array of autumn leaves, but of late blooming vine flowers. You can still detect a floral scent as you meander down the street. I was traversing the city during my usual 5-mile jaunt from home to the CBD (central business district), but was surprised by the concentration of flowering vines framing beautiful Victorians along the way. They were lovingly nurtured by early morning light.

I also caught the aftermath of Halloween decorations that were clever and irresistible. How does anyone have the time and ingenuity to devote to such eccentricity? They were definitely enjoyable from an audience perspective.

These settings seemed to carry over to the Dia de las Meurtes, or Day of the Dead celebrated in the Latin-X World. It reminded me of the animated movie, “Coco” that introduced the positive significance of this holiday. The San Francisco symphony paid tribute to its members with puppet-sized effigies above the staircase (see featured photo above), when we heard Ray Chen, the violinist,  perform “Lalo” in a tribute to Hispanic culture.

The Crissy Field area on the north shore of San Francisco provides leisurely strolls along the Marina. It has been upgraded to include better landscaping, defined paths and killer views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline. This walk easily gives the Hi-line in New York City a run for its money!

A few student sketches from my figure-drawing class show examples of foreshortening, gestures, and use of pencil, ink and charcoal:

If you are stressed about recent events or the upcoming election, here’s a great inspirational song from Barbara Streisand:

Apologies for my month-long absence. While due in part to technical difficulties (upgrading software, offloading movie files, and conversions for posting photos), I am debating about terminating my blog at the end of this year.

In 2019,  I will continue traveling and plan to return to Germany to study German. We may visit Armenia, Azerbaijian, and Georgia, in the same style as our travel to Iran earlier this year (See April 2018), and I may do another week of sketching in Portugal with Diane Olivier in June. Stay tuned, and as always, let me know your thoughts!

6 thoughts on “Smell the Roses and Imagine”

  1. Vicky, looking forward to your new notes, just watching TV about the big fire in California, pls take care and write us as usual.


  2. We were not in any danger, but the smoke hung for a couple of weeks. It was a grim reminder of the delicate nature of the environment. We had some of the worst air in the world, not unlike what Beijing and Delhi suffer on a daily basis. All the more reason to take action for global climate. Hopefully you will be spared in Hong Kong!


  3. I missed this one. More wonderful sketches. I think a sketch book with stories of their origins would be fascinating

    Nachtse Woche gehe ich nach Deuschland. Ich brauche eine deusche losung. Gluchliche Weihnachtsmart.


    1. Good Morning! Always a pleasure to hear from you. You bring up a good idea. I started a journal this year combining my sketches and personal thoughts. After the Kavanaugh trial where I sketched Blasey-Ford, Kavanaugh and senators on the Judiciary Committee, I got too depressed and stopped! But you have inspired me to go back to it.
      Ich wünsche dir eine tolle Reise!


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