So, my wife, children and I have all returned from California.  It was a whirlwind of a trip, from the Los Altos Outdoor Fair, to the portrait demonstration, to a large series of sketches I did during a sermon at Union Presbyterian, to a bout of the flu that knocked me and my family down flat.

Adobe Photoshop PDFHere is a short progression of the portrait demonstration which I did at the Union Presbyterian Church in Los Altos.  The sitter for the painting was a wonderful fellow by the name of Art, whose wife Margaret Sloan is an excellent artist (visit  Having found out through this blog about my trip to the Los Altos area, Maggie came to my booth to say hello.  She and her husband Art are both very talented musicians, and they invited me to a nearby pub for an Irish music session.  Irish music sessions are basically events in which a mixed bag of friends and strangers all meet, and share tunes, and others join in as they identify the tune, or as they learn it.  Art is a great fiddler, Maggie is brilliant on the tin whistle, and I, well umm, I umm paint fiddles and manage to squeak out a tune now and again.  If you listen to this video, you will see me fiddling to the right, and then Maggie jumps in on the tin whistle and rescues me from what had reluctantly become a solo.


There is much more to write, bout my trip to California. I really, really liked it there.  It seemed every bit as productive as New York, but it had a uniquely creative spirit nurtured by a willed, slower pace.  So much happened in my visit.  An hour and a half long visit with the generous and encouraging gallery owner, John Pence.  A couple dozen conversations with individuals interested in portrait commissions.  Learning of San Francisco’s taste in aesthetics, and how strikingly it can contrast with New York City’s.  I hope to write again soon about Los Altos Land, a land of Google, Apple, and Yahoo catrillionaires, a land flowing with milk and honey, with zero humidity, Tesla cars abundant, and charming, little, freestanding bookhouses, like small birdhouses on posts, bookhouses which proliferate free literature throughout the town, as the herds of bicycles silently go zipping by, and ‘neath the towering redwoods and eucalyptus there is borne aloft from bungalow windows the melodic strain of juicer machines, their vitamin rich songs gently wafting down silent cedar avenues.  Aye, indeed, were I to sell my home in New York, I’m certain that in Los Altos I could afford a spacious, charming, slate shingled mailbox.


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