After we left Los Angeles, we drove inland to go camp in the Sierra Nevada mountain range (Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park). We were a little upset that we didn't get to see the California coast, but we'll just have to come back! I love camping, and the mountains/deserts/lakes were stunning. I couldn't believe the variety in landscape that we saw in such a short amount of time. I was reading some brochures about Yosemite, and was struck by a quote:
"When a visitor asked a Yosemite ranger what he would do if he had only a day to visit the park, the ranger answered, 'I'd weep.'"
It almost made me weep reading this quote because we did only have one day within the park! We must return one day!
I set up my easel in Yosemite National Park for a very short amount of time. People walking by seemed interested, but their priority was to take in the nature, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a means of promotion. Someone asked me why I was painting there, and were wondering if the landscape inspired me in any way. I responded by saying that my main purpose was to question the idea of a work space. I have to finish these paintings one way or another, but why do I always have to be cramped up in my studio? It is much more pleasant painting outside in our nation's "playground"!
The view from our campsite at Convict Lake in Inyo National Forest (our deer friend!)
I set up and worked on a painting for a little bit in Yosemite National Park! I venture to say that this is the first house cat painted within the park :)
OFF TO SAN FRANCISCO!
After we drove through Yosemite, we stayed with my family in San Jose that night and headed into San Francisco the next day. We both LOVED San Francisco. I guess I'm a stereotypical San Francisco tourist because I didn't bring a jacket, and it was cold! One woman described San Francisco as comaprable to being on a boat in the middle of the ocean because it's almost completely surrounded by water. The first day in San Francisco, I set up my easel at Dolores Park. It was suggested to me because there are generally a lot of people hanging out there. It wasn't necessarily my demographic, but we enjoyed the time to relax in the park. I found out later that there's another part of Dolores Park where people bring their dogs (oops!).
We stayed with a friend in Oakland, which as we learned is quickly becoming a haven for young people escaping the high rents in downtown San Francisco. Our friend is training to be an herboligist, which I find incredibly interesting! She and her classmates often go on "field trips" into California's national parks to forage for herbs, and there are what seems like hundreds of bottles of tinctures and herbs around her apartment. When she described her classes it reminded me of Harry Potter's potions and herbology classes at Hogwarts. So cool! She also has an adorable pit bull named, Seqouia, who was the biggest sweetheart.
On my second day in San Francisco, I set up my easel for a few hours in the front window of an awesome pet boutique in Pacific Heights called, "George." This store was incredibly cute! I don't even own a pet but I wanted to buy everything in the store! They also make their own dog beds (check out their website to see). They had a stage in their front window... it was almost as if it was made for me! I handed out a bunch of cards and talked to some very interested potential customers.
A passerby's view of me painting in the front window.
My "stage" within George's storefront
Part of Geroge's adorable display!
Samir and I both really loved San Francisco and we know we'll be back!