Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Beautiful November Day in Locke

Our November weather has been astonishing.  While so many folks suffer in the aftermath of the storm on the East Coast, Sacramento residents have been bathed in bright sunshine and blue skies.  It's too good to pass up.  Today I traveled 35 miles south to the incredible little town of Locke, California.  If you've read many of my previous posts, you know it's a favorite location for painting and meeting up with artist friends..although I don't think I have been there this summer!  Today artists Martha Esch and Ernie Wester were on hand.

As sometimes happens to me in Locke, I could not settle on an subject.  There's something about the place that just overwhelms me at times.  There's just too much to choose from...and the temptation to bite off too much is as strong as it is intimidating.  After about 2 hours or wandering from spot to spot, making small sketches and then moving on, Martha challenged me and her son Charlie to a 10 minute "sketch off" of a hot rod '36 Ford that pulled up right in front of us.  That little exercise broke the ice and I made my choice, got the easel set up and was painting almost immediately afterward.  (We gave the sketches to the car owner.)

This is my 12" x 16" oil sketch of "Strange Cargo" a charming little shop in Locke.  I loved all the 'stuff' out in front and tried to capture that without falling into the trap of doodling detail forever.  It was a great day....So glad I went to Locke once again.

"Strange Cargo", Locke, Californin 12" x 16" oil on canvas panel.

Here's our sketches on the running board and tucked under the windshield wiper waiting for the car owner.

During the day, a busload of Chinese tourists came to Locke. Martha's painting and her personality soon had them swarming her.  She is a magnet for kids of any culture and shortly after this photo was taken, she had three or four of them sitting at the easel painting!  Amazing.  What a great day!!!

Martha and Chinese tourists in Locke, CA


  1. Love the story and the painting. Nice job!!!

  2. Thank you Ruth...I added the pictures of Martha and the Chinese tourist kids as well as the car we drew in the "ten minute sketch off". What a fun day.