First, a page about Sonora. I sketched mostly from photos I took, as it was BLAZING hot and humid.
Next day was Columbia, the restored gold mining village. My sister and I sat and painted on site, on a bench in the shade. So this was wholly done en plein air, as they say. We had the stage coach going by regularly (wonderful to hear the clip-clop of horses' hooves as we sketched) and we were near a musician playing the banjo and harmonica and singing period songs. Perfect!
In Columbia we had lunch at the tea house there. While waiting for our food (gulping iced tea thirstily, it was so hot!) we started sketching and then food arrived. So this was fast, colors aren't to my liking (too pale, no contrast) but I did it fast and left it as is.
Next day was Yosemite, and I sketched two of these bits while there, and two at home.
We spent an hour at the fancy old lodge-style hotel in Yosemite, the Ahwahnee Hotel, and did a bit of sketching in the lounge while we rested and cooled off. What a gorgeous hotel with lots of accessible public areas. I drew this on site and then I added color from photos the next day at home.
We were staying at a very charming rental cottage (you can rent it yourself here) and there was a totally adorable pink victorian farmhouse across the street. So one day I sat and sketched that:
Then we took a day to explore the little gold rush towns of Murphy's and Angels Camp. Angels Camp is the setting of "The Jumping Frog of Calavaras County" by Mark Twain, so there's a lot of frog stuff there. They still have a frog jumping contest every May, and all down the sidewalk there were brass plaques for each year's winner.
I remembered Murphys as tiny and sleepy, but it's become a big wine-tasting town, with many of the old storefronts turned into tasting rooms. Still, it was quite charming and I loved the hotel in the center of town.
There you have it! I have more I want to do from the bazillion photos I took, too.