San Francisco-Bay Area: Part 1

September 20, 2017 | 7 Comments

I’m having a great time in the Bay Area but it has been a little busier than I expected. Are you surprised? I have had a number of great sketching days and have also met up with a few longtime online friends.

It’s hard to find time for me to describe everything but here is a short video which I shared on instagram earlier.

It’s a quick flip-through showing the first three days worth of sketching. Some of these pages were not finished at the time, so when I get home and do the final video, you might like to check out how I finished off my spreads.

If you can’t see embedded video – please click here.

And now here a a few photos



Straight after a 13 hour flight and a lunch (and coffee) I was out on the streets of Los Gatos (in the South Bay area) sketching with Suhita Shirodkar.

(If you haven’t already realised, Suhita is one of my close sketching buddies, who I spend a lot of time with during USK symposiums. It’s really special to be hanging out with her again and this time in her own part of the world!)


We actually got photographed for the local paper…


while sketching the historic theater.



Thursday: we met up with two long time Flickr friends – Nina Khashchina (Apple-pine) and Gay Kraeger. Ah! it was such a treat to finally meet them and sketch together!


We sketched in Stanford…


…including having fun with Nina’s Ackerman pen for this quick sketch of an alligator carved out of a log.


Nina also took us to sketch some Eichler mid-century modern houses. They were a lot of fun to sketch and harder than they look. It was a lovely quiet neighbourhood and very relaxing for an afternoon sketching session.

And then as if the day wasn’t long enough, we then had a lively dinner at Suhita’s with Uma, Sirvani and Laurie Wigham.

(Just for the record, I didn’t have any jet lag at all this time – I just didn’t even mentally allow it, but just got straight into the new time zone!)



Friday: Laurie asked me if I would like to go to a John Muir Laws workshop on sketching the details of birds.

‘YESSS!!!’ was my reply. Here is a snippet of my notes from the workshop. He is such a incredible teacher and so inspiring in many ways.

It was wonderful to have a nice long lunch afterwards.


And I got a copy of his book – I can not recommend this book (and his other material) highly enough!

Note: Arrived in San Francisco on Friday evening after three days in the South Bay area.



Saturday: I went with Laurie to her local farmers market and sketched of course!


I then went to Philz, a fancy customised coffee shop to meet up with a brush calligraphy friend of mine – Sharisse aka Pieces Calligraphy


We have skyped a number of times, so it was super nice to meet her in real life, and it was so nice that she came all the way from Sacramento to meet me.


While she was in town, she also organised a calligraphy meetup, so I had fun hanging out with a different group of creative people. Of course I asked them all to write in my sketchbook! And some how I managed to do two little watercolour demos – are you surprised?


Then I went on a crazy solo ‘sketch and walk’ session. First, the ferry building,


And then the Coit Tower. I did three other sketches, but you will have to wait until the next flip-through video to see them.


Sunday: No sketching, as always. I had a truly wonderful time at a great local church, and look forward to spending next Lord’s Day with them as well.



Monday: Started my day with a cafe visit – its a bit bizarre that the cup was so similar to those in my local Sydney cafe.


Suhita came up for the day and we sketched some Victorian buildings. This is one of my sketches.


Late afternoon, Laurie took me up to the top of Bernal hill and on the way back I did this sketch of a row of cute houses. Just to throw you a little … I did this in my neatest style. I’m always mixing it up aren’t I?


Ok, that’s about all I have time for today.

A quick note about my sketchbooks. I started a second book for my time in San Francisco (Alpha softcover 8 x 10) as I thought I would need to work larger. I will go back to the smaller book when I head to Austin next week for the conference I plan to attend (more about that later).


Finally: reminder of a sketch meetup this Saturday at Nob Hill-  details and RSVP here.

7 Comments

  • Rebekah Farr - September 20, 2017 reply

    I love that you were able to find a local church to worship! Your sketches are lovely! I am so excited for Saturday! I cant wait! :)

  • Rae Ecklund - September 20, 2017 reply

    Welcome Liz! It sounds like your hosts have made the best itinerary for you so far! Philz coffee? Yes! Hope you had the "Philharmonic". The drawings are superb and thank you for posting. Loved them all but especially the single Victorian. Can't wait to see you Saturday and finally meet after exchanging some emails. Continue your fun and be sure to include your secret for stamina. Especially after long flights! You amaze us all. See you soon. PS: Hope you enjoy some really great Texas hospitality. My state. My people. And don't be offended when you hear, "Yes, ma'am and No ma'am". It has nothing to do with age. It's just a Texas thing. Rae Ecklund

  • Kirk whiteside - September 20, 2017 reply

    Glad you had such a great time in the San Francisco area and had a chance to meet all those great people!

  • christine kopet - September 20, 2017 reply

    Love your SF sketches! Such style and subject variety- but always beautiful and so much fun to look at.

  • Flory - September 20, 2017 reply

    Welcome to the Bay Area, Liz! I'm delighted you're having such a great time. I love your sketches, and the Ferry Building is one of my favorite subjects. Can't wait until Saturday to see you again and sketch gorgeous Grace Cathedral. Keep having fun! xo Flory

  • linda zaner - September 28, 2017 reply

    wondering why i cannot access (error 526) my online classes? am i out of time, discontinued?? please advise

    • Liz Steel - September 29, 2017 reply

      We are working on it. Should be back up soon!!!

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