Calistoga City Hall • © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
I'm giving a two–hour sketching workshop periodically throughout the summer, beginning today, called Sketching Calistoga. In it, we take time out to discover and sketch some of the lovely (and funky, or it wouldn't be Calistoga) scenes in town.
This morning, the skies were threatening rain, and I reconsidered all the indoor alternatives (the stagecoach at the Sharpsteen Museum, the Oscar Ben Sharpsteen won for his work on Disney's Fantasia, J.Kirk's coffee roaster at Yo El Rey, the folks sipping and chatting at the Calistoga Roastery...). But they cleared up, and I went sketching outdoors with Joe from Sacramento.
Napa River, in Calistoga • © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
We started with the Napa River, here looking up towards its headwaters. Now, you may not see the Napa River in this sketch, but, trust me, it's there. It's an untamed stretch of nature, with lots of overarching trees, rocks, and thickets of bushes, and the river itself, small here in Calistoga, lazily heading towards us. The light and shadow changes quickly, and you have to work quickly.
Then it was off to City Hall, whose facade has charmed (or dismayed) people since the 1880s. The wonderful thing about sketching is that we begin to really see all the lovely details of things around us that too often we just pass by. The world is a pretty amazing place – using a sketchbook and a pencil or pen or two is a really great way to see it.