I am really looking forward to settling down in my studio to do a series of paintings inspired by my recent trip to Sonoma, California.  I just got back late Friday night, and got up early Saturday morning to get ready for our Welcome Back to Otterville studio tour which was Saturday and Sunday.  It was a beautiful sunny weekend here, which I was especially grateful for – good for visitors and good for me.  I’m not sure how I would have handled cold and snow after the beautiful 70 degree weather we had in California!

In the four days I was there, I tasted some of the best wine I’ve ever had while on an interesting tour of the Benziger family winery (a piece of paradise), I met some really nice people from all over the Western hemisphere, I ate some delicious food, I visited some art galleries and art museums, I shopped, I hiked up three mountains, I learned that my fitness level is not what it should be, I sat in a hot tub to contemplate my future exercise routine, I learned about Jack London, I saw Douglas firs for the first time (amazing!), I saw Giant Redwoods for the first time at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve(even more amazing!), and I saw the sun set over the Pacific while I took in the breathtaking Northern California coastline at Goat Rock.  I think I may have seen a seal poking its head out of the water.  Also saw some deer and a fox, and learned the true value of the GPS unit.

Here is a little sketch I did while I was on the third hike.  My new friend Laura sat with me as I did it (thanks for being such a great and patient hiking companion Laura!) and about a hundred school children walked past behind me shouting words of encouragement.  This is on the Overlook Trail just on the edge of Sonoma, which is barely visible down in the centre as some white rooftops.

A plein air watercolour sketch from a little way up the Overlook Trail in Sonoma.




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