A Sea of Orange

It started as a trickle. One by one, Giants fans dotted the Embarcadero. Then as the afternoon progressed, a constant flow of orange and black dressed fans moved towards AT&T park. There was a game going on that night so I grabbed my sketchbook after work and headed over to the stadium. I’m not really into baseball but I will say that AT&T park is spectacular, even from the outside.

 

I think my favorite bit of Giants paraphernalia were the striped socks this woman had. 

A thumbnail study of the stadium as fans approach the gate.

The fun thing about drawing on location is that random people come up out of curiosity and strike up conversations. Sometimes they even extend kind gestures. I was offered a free extra ticket by a random fan but couldn't take it since I had my bike with me and no lock. I wish I could have gone in and seen the game. Note to self, don't bring bike next time. 

There was a bottleneck getting in due to all the security. The crowd looked like a sea of orange and made for good drawing material. More than the sport itself, I enjoy watching all the people as they turn out for their favorite team!

Laguna Honda Hospital

Laguna Honda is a nursing facility in SF dedicated to therapeutic care for seniors and adults with disabilities. Last summer I went to watch a choir group perform to entertain the residents.

I sketched the residents as they attended the event. 

Much of this generation lived through World War II, the cold war, man’s journey to the moon, the civil rights movement and the advent of the information age. 

They’re faces told so many stories, I wondered where they had been and what they had seen in life.

Unlikely Vessels

Flora Grubb is an urban oasis in Bayview-Hunter's Point, SF. A cross between gardening center, gallery and coffee shop, it's space and curated selection of plants is awe inspiring. 

Vegetation grows from the most unlikely places. Succulents grow out of letter shaped planter boxes. Air plants sprout from rusty bikes which are suspended from rafters. Anyone with a green thumb and/or appreciation of design can geek out for hours here.

My favorite piece is an Edsel that they've used as a planter box. Greenery blooms out of the engine, trunk, and interior of this relic.

What would otherwise be left for scrap becomes a vessel from which new life can take root and flourish. 

Stow Away

I took an afternoon to admire the Chinese Pavilion at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. This structure had been a gift from the city of Taipei to SF. The surrouding area is a great refuge for humans and animals alike! I often come here to get some quiet time away from the busyness of the city. 

Quiet Time

 

I recently dug out some sketches from my time in the Canary Islands while in dry dock with Mercy Ships. Living in shipyard is such a fascinating experience. But being in an industrial setting 24/7 needs to be balanced out the with a change of scenery every day or so. I took a bus to the old town in Gran Canaria and rested in this square at the Santa Ana Cathedral. 

 

 

I hit up the Plaza de España to be surrounded by a bit of nature.

 

 

Evening gelato runs with my fellow crew led us past a beautiful park, Plaza Príncipe de Asturias in Tenerife. I returned with my sketch book the next day. Away from the busyness of repairs and construction it was nice to be in an area of complete quietness. Sometimes I'm most active when still.

 

D-Ward

 

D-Ward is where all the maxillofacial and cleft lip patients stay while recovering aboard the Africa Mercy. During an off day I was able to spend some time in D-Ward sketching. It was fun chatting and playing connect four with some patients. When I started sketching they gathered around and watched. It was such a great way to connect and share art with them. Being present without an agenda is the best time you can spend.

 

Saving Authority

 

Beginning in April, I will be embarking on a journey to Togo, West Africa, as a photojournalist with Mercy Ships. Through photography, I will document the daily efforts of the medical staff and crew for three months with the hope of raising more awareness and donor support for this amazing global non-profit that has operated hospital ships since 1978. In short, Mercy Ships provides free medical care to the world's forgotten poor. Healing brings hope and life to those who would normally be marginalized and neglected. 

I'm excited to be able to use my gifts to support this operation but I can't do this on my own. I need to raise $6,000 by March 20th in order to serve for three months. To learn more and/or make a tax deductible contribution, simply click here.

Video Credits:
Footage: Eric Ryan Anderson
Editing, Animation, Post: Ryan Chen
Music: "Not for the Faint" by Zach Williams and the Ramparts
Special Thanks to Kristen Ball and the TGC community

 

Be Still

 

Union Square, SF

As Chistmas approaches its easy to get wrapped up in a flurry of deadlines, social events and holiday shopping. The hardest thing to do is just be still. With only a few hours of day light I was rushing to get to China Town to do some sketching. On the way, I couldn't help but notice the brightness and energy emenating from Union Square. I scratched my plans and decided to sit for a couple hours and enjoy this Christmas Tree. 

Be still and reflect on the hope that this advent season brings.

 

After the Dust Settles

 

Bomb Squad trucks and sirens roared down Broadway for over half an hour. I peered out the window of my Midtown apartment to see crowds of people fleeing uptown. I sensed that something was terribly wrong. We all remember where we were on Sept 11, 2001. It is a day that has left an indelible mark in the memories of most Americans. Ten years later, I wanted to commemorate those who lost their lives that day—as well as those who work tirelessly to ensure that an attack of this magnitude never occurs again.

Two days after the original towers fell, I recall seeing firefighters riding in a flatbed pickup truck from ground zero covered head to toe in dust. At the sight, every pedestrian on the street immediately stopped what they were doing to applaud the passing heros. For weeks, the smell of asbestos filled the air of Manhattan; it was difficult to stay outdoors without our eyes and lungs burning.

 

Not only are the structures impressive but so too is the energy that surrounds them. Tourists from every nation come to see this impressive architectural feat. As the wounds are still healing in the American heart, these new towers have become a symbol of restoration. Regardless of your stance on America's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the WTC reconstruction is a testament to the resilience and determination of the American people. Our story has always been one of conviction and hope. This case is no exception.  

In an age of anti-American skepticism, it's trendy to believe that fear of radical ideology derives solely from the West. But the problem is much deeper than this. Individuals from all religions, cultures, and beliefs have been victims of cowardly acts of terror.

As I began thinking globally about those who have experienced extreme grief as a result of terrorism, I came across an organization called The Global Survivors Network. GSN's mission is to give a voice to these victims; encouraging them to channel their grief in order to confront hatred. By sharing their stories and experiences, they are able to educate others about the consequences of violence stemming from extreme ideology. I was very moved by GSN's trailer for their upcoming new documentary, "Killing In The Name," which sheds light on issues that aren't often given attention.  

 

As I was sketching at Ground Zero earlier this week, a passing journalist asked me if the sight of the new towers brought about sadness as a remembrance of that day. I explained that 9/11 was a tragic event—which I hope never happens again—but life is filled with unfortunate, unexplainable circumstances. What matters is how we respond and rebuild after the dust settles.

 

CURRENT HISTORY

Often times we discard our old possessions when they are no longer fashionable. The National Park at Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco does quite the opposite as they take tremendous time and care in the historical preservation of boats. During a recent trip to Bay area, I had been sketching along the pier and had to take shelter from the rain in the Small Boat Shop. I discovered a beautiful vessel surrounded by scrap wood and tools. An park employee named Karnell came out of his workshop and shared with me the background of this boat, the Eva B.

One day a man walking along Hyde Street Pier immediately recognized the Eva B. It had belonged to his family (the Batchelders) between 1936-1950 and was now undergoing restoration by the park. Delighted that part of his family's past was being preserved, the man later returned with photos of the Eva B to show the park's boat makers. These images proved to be invaluable to the restoration process as they gave clues to the boat's original construction and appearance.

Karnell shared an album of these photos. Nearly every picture was filled with laughs and smiles. Clearly the Batchelders had many fond memories and adventures on the Eva B. Built in 1936 by Manotti Pasquinucci in Sausalito, it had been used by the Batchelder family of six for summer vacations and fishing trips in the San Francisco Bay and Delta for fourteen years. Between two full time boat makers and thirty volunteers the restoration will take two years to complete.

Rather than be swept away by the currents of modernization, this historic vessel is being preserved for all to enjoy.