How lucky we werePosted: April 28, 2022
If I asked both groups of students from my recent workshops in Santa Barbara to pick a favourite day, I’m sure the answer would be unanimous: the day we sketched the architecture of Jeff Shelton. If you’ve never heard of Jeff, have a look at his work. I’ll let you do the research and come to your own conclusions about why his buildings are so much fun to draw.
The plan the first group was to draw Cota Street Studios for the morning, and then move to another location for the afternoon, but everyone loved the building so much that we decided to stay for the full day. And as an added bonus, some residents of the studios saw us drawing outside and invited us into the private courtyard to draw from there too. Such kindness and generosity!
Thanks to our brilliant organizer Jackie from French Escapade, on the last day of the workshop Jeff Shelton and his daughter Mattie dropped by to see our sketches and autograph his book The Fig District for us. He’s the man in the centre of the photo of the baseball cap and yardstick. As you can imagine, it was a huge treat for us to meet him and hear the stories of some of the buildings that we had seen during the week.
The following week, the second group of students had an equally amazing day. After spending the morning drawing vignettes at Cota Street Studios, we were invited to sketch around the corner, inside El Zapato — another very unique residence, with an incredible courtyard and a stunning rooftop view.
This group of students also had a wonderful surprise to end the week: an invitation to visit Jeff’s studio. Who doesn’t love a studio visit?
I have to say how touched I was by the kindness and generosity of Jeff, Mattie, Thomas & Kevin (who invited us into their private courtyard) and Carla who hosted us at El Zapato. I’ll add them to my LONG list of amazing people I have met while sketching on location.
In the midst of all of that excitement I did manage to get a few sketches done. One full page of vignettes at Cota Street Studios…
… one partial page at El Zapato…
… and one thank you card for Carla that we all signed.