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The blog serves as a collection space for a variety of musings and observations of the world around us...through the use of sketches, drawings, photos, images and videos...intended to be shared and to stimulate thoughts, ideas and inspirations...douglas wittnebel

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Tamalpais Path, Berkeley Hills

 
The Tamalpais Path
 

...the steps begin in the redwood-shaded corner of Berkeley's Codornices Park, you cross a wooden bridge over Codornices Creek. As you begin to ascend concrete steps, you pass by another bridge that leads to a residence.  You can continue to rise a total of 183 steep steps, through a wildish mini- canyon thick with ivy and blackberry bushes and a wild cherry tree under a canopy of bays, redwoods, and oaks...
 
 
 

 
 
At the top of the steps at 149 Tamalpais, stands an impressive residence from the early 20th century, three levels, clad in stucco plaster and redwood shingles...sketched view below...
 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Dry State of California, 2014 - 2015 -?


After the rains last year in March of 2014, many of the state residents, farmers, landowners, felt a little more confident about the amount of moisture in the soil and the levels of water in the reservoirs.
 
But after this recent dry winter, with very few rainstorms, and spotty occasions of Sierra thunderstorms, the state of California is now back in the extreme mode of water conservation.
 
We need to save water, we must conserve.
 
Here are my paintings from last year...


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Michael Kimmelman and Allison Arieff in a dialogue at SPUR Urban Center, San Francisco, CA

Kicking off the traditionally foggy month of June in San Francisco with a Visual Notes piece about the dialogue and coversation that was noted and illustrated at the SPUR Urban Center.  I have captured most of the topics and issues here, and only missed one item and the spelling of Zaatari, the instant refugee city in Syria... 
 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Koi pond in the courtyard of the Marriott hotel





 
 
"Interestingly, Koi, when put in a fish bowl, will only grow up to three inches. When this same fish is placed in a large tank, it will grow to about nine inches long. In a pond koi can reach lengths of eighteen inches. Amazingly, when placed in a lake, koi can grow to three feet long. The metaphor is obvious. You are limited by how you see the world."

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Plumeria, the flower of the isles of Hawaii

The first plumeria plant was introduced into Hawaii in 1860. It was delivered by Wilhelm Hillebrand, a German physician and botanist who lived in Hawaii from 1851 to 1871.
 
 
 
 
An interesting tidbit, Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers have no nectar, however, and really trick their moth pollinators. The moths  pollinate them by transferring pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar. 
 
 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Water spouting turtles, lions and griffons...




Dragon turtles, lions, griffons and other marble creatures spout water into the pool at the Marriott...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kalapaki Flora

 
 
  A digital plein aire painted view of some of the flora on the garden edge of the beach at Kalapaki...Kauai...
 
 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Soursop, a fruit from the Pacific Ocean islands...



I saw a collection of soursops sitting on a farmers table in Poipu,
And I thought of all the strange fruit I have seen in my travels,
I asked the farmer about the taste and preparation, 
She nodded and replied, simply slice and take a bite with a spoon...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Kalapaki Beach, Ninja, Lauren and the sand...



On this beach, we met Ninja, the black dog of speed and agility, and his caretaker, Lauren...
We learned that Lauren will be publishing a book in September and look forward to its premiere...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Kalapaki Beach painted...


The beach scene at Kalapaki next to Nawiliwili beach on the green and brown isle of Kaua'i...painted with the Adobe Sketch app on the iPad...

Shave Ice Hawaii, Kauai

A refreshingly cool way to make your tastiest taste buds happy in the Hawaiian breeze...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sketch illustrations for HR email bulletin at Gensler



A selection of colorful illustrations created for several topics in the HR news email bulletin at Gensler, all created with a rough draft freehand sketch and an overlay final with Adobe apps.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Working again on stretched canvas



Some weekend open times have allowed me to test and try the canvas once again, with a series of layered and striped attitudes in colors of day and night...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Lost and Re-Found Art of Blacksmithing, a post from GenslerOn

 
The first time I put on the heavy leather apron and thick, fireproof insulated gloves worn as protection by all blacksmiths, I felt invincible from heat. The sheer amount of wide, cushiony layers these items contain made me feel like I could walk through fire and not feel a thing. It was like becoming a puffy but updated version of a Ghostbuster. I felt more than ready to partake in my very first blacksmithing class.
Much to my surprise all the protective gear I was wearing was not enough to guard against burns. I learned this the hard way when I let one of my glove encased forearms linger near the heat. In a matter of nanoseconds, the heat singed my forearm hair, and the smell of burnt hair hung in the air.
A blacksmith's tools. Image © Douglas Wittnebel
The sheer amount of heat it takes to mold and shape metal is one of the most incredible things about blacksmithing. I recently took my first blacksmithing class with the Crucible team in West Oakland, Calif. As someone who paints, builds furniture, and even tinkers with robots, I consider myself to have a strong understanding of both the challenges and wonders intrinsic to DIY activities. But blacksmithing left me with a more profound appreciation of the sheer amount of energy it takes to transform raw steel into something useable. The intense heat and look of the massive and heavy gas powered forge, that glowing reddish orange light reminiscent of the sun, imbues a sense of respect into the novice student. Part of this respect stems from fear of getting burned, while the rest arises from the awe you feel standing so close to the source of energy that makes working with steel possible.
Blacksmithing challenged me by forcing me to think and design what it is I wanted to make while I was simultaneously heating the metal and hammering into shape. It’s akin to drawing or sculpting in space, except rather than working with relatively benign brushes and pencils you’re relying on the heat from a 2,000F + degree forge to turn one of the hardest substances on earth into a malleable, shapeable material...

http://www.gensleron.com/lifestyle/2015/4/3/the-lost-and-re-found-art-of-blacksmithing.html

Friday, April 3, 2015

...a Post about the illustrations and the book by Art Gensler

...a page from the digital file drawings from the process of book illustrations...
Here is a set of the developed color versions for the illustrations created for the chapter headings and section headers of the newly released book by Art Gensler. [ Art's Principles ]

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cityscape 9


Another version of the cityscape series, a set of paintings that explore the landscape of cities and urban environments ...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A corner of the wall drawing at Gensler Oakland


Another view of the inside corner from the drawing wall at Gensler Oakland, hand-drawn by the talented staff in moments of true inspiration...

Grand Canyon Sketches 2009

Grand Canyon Sketches 2009
a selection of sketches from the Grand Canyon