Salt & Fog

The Art of Veronica Casson

Pen & Paper

Two places to find my work this month

Pen & PaperVeronica CassonComment

A quick note to let you all know that this month I am twice having the honor of  being the Artist-in-Residence in very cool locations.

The First

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The first is Rusty's Electric Dream. A super fun weekly "inbox zine" that is one of the best things I receive in my inbox. It arrives each Wednesday morning and is a "one-of-a-kind sampling of pop culture, quirky events and offbeat stuff is worth keeping up with!" 

Each week I will be sharing and discussing a new piece of work. The first one I am featured in went out last week. You can find it archived here. And you can go to Rusty's site and sign up for future editions of her weekly dispatch.


 

The Second

SALADA CAFE
in Pacifica CA

A sketch of Salada cafe when I first moved to Pacifica

A sketch of Salada cafe when I first moved to Pacifica

From now until September 10th I am the featured artist at Salada Cafe. Which means I have pretty much taken over the entire place, which make it the largest showing of my work I have ever done. Currently there are 13 pieces up. please check them out if you are in the area.

Prepping for the show at Salada

Prepping for the show at Salada

The show is up (and Luke enjoying it!)

The show is up (and Luke enjoying it!)

California Zephyr Sketchbook & Journal

Adventures & Parenting, Pen & PaperVeronica Casson1 Comment
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Last week we took the full three-day ride, from California to Chicago on the famous California Zephyr. And for you, dear reader, I documented the heck out of it.

Day One

Julie and I at the emeryville station.

Julie and I at the emeryville station.

Train arriving in SF/Emeryville early Friday Morning  

Train arriving in SF/Emeryville early Friday Morning  

The train was 30 minutes late and we were very eager to get on board when it arrived. After checking our bag, we raced down the corridor to our cabin.

Quick sketch of train hallway. 

Quick sketch of train hallway. 

Our cozy cabin. 

Our cozy cabin. 

The cabins were way smaller then we expected. Still, I liked  them and was impressed with their economic use of space.

Room features: 

 

Antiquated Control panel above my seat. 

Antiquated Control panel above my seat. 

Control above Julie's seat. 

Control above Julie's seat. 

The rooms temp control, which only kind of sort of worked. And the cabin's only outlet which red "120 volts- Razors Only." We went ahead and charged our phones anyhow.

We were very excited to see the view out the lounge so we quickly deposited are bags then headed to the "Sight Seer lounge" car.

The sightseer lounge, Julie on the right. 

The sightseer lounge, Julie on the right. 

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Well the train moved along California and sketching the scenery. I have never had to draw so fast and it was an interesting unique challenge that I came to really enjoy. 

 

Martinez & Vacaville  

Martinez & Vacaville  

Julie and I in the sihtseer lounge
Colfax, Donnor Summit, Trucker and Lovelock

Colfax, Donnor Summit, Trucker and Lovelock

After watching the view for awhile it was time to head to the dining car to get lunch.

Dining car

Dining car

An odd thing about eating on the train is the communal tables. Each one is a four-top and they fill every seat in order of arrival. Every meal we were placed with two strangers. Often, but not always, another couple.

The first time we got Lucky  

Our first lunch table mate. 

Our first lunch table mate. 

Her daughter  

Her daughter  

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The staff was generally super awesome. Most hailed from Chicago. This is Al who was our attendant. 

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Then back to the dining car for dinner. 

 

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That was followed by cards in the lounge and then we went back to the room. To try and sleep. It did not go well.

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I slept on the top bunk. It was very cramped, and the bed was above the window so there was no view (except of the ceiling). Large straps came down from the top and latched on the bottom to keep you from falling out. The bed was sturdy but as hard as a floor. I slept not at all. 

DAY TWO

Tired of trying to sleep I got up at 5:30 AM. I climbed out of bed and walked down the hall to the coffee machine (which was also usually stocked with orange juice and bottled water) .

 

The always on coffee maker at the end of the hall. 

The always on coffee maker at the end of the hall. 

Breakfast is served early so we headed to the dining car around 6;30. We were not so lucky with table mates this morning....

 

Breakfast day 2. 

Breakfast day 2. 

The first man was polite enough, though not interested in talking. The second we had seen the night before passed out on the table in the lounge. He had a gray hood covering his face and never looked up. He would alternately be shaking and start falling asleep- leaning against me. He smelled very sour. 

I shoveled my food in as fast as I could and  gave Julie the sign to hurry out into the lounge. 

 

Good day 2

Good day 2

More painting as the world brushed by. Having all of the sketching time throughout would be my favorite part of the train trip. 

 

Sketching Utah

Sketching Utah

A quick moment of fresh air as the train had a brief stop.

A quick moment of fresh air as the train had a brief stop.

Then it was back to the room where we tried to nap.  

 

Julie train napping

Julie train napping

I wasn't quite able too, but Julie was. Instead I did some more window sketching. 

 

Colorado at night & Nebraska

Colorado at night & Nebraska

It was about this time that the landscape started to settle into a similar pattern for the rest of the trip. Cornfields mostly. 

 

Then our last dinner in the dining car. 

 

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This night, knowing it was going to be a long one we set up our laptop and watched Darjeeling Limited in our cabin (we wanted to watch a "train movie while onboard."

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DAY 3   

 

It is possible for me to fake being social for a bit, but after a while my introvert tendencies take over and I crave solitude. 

That, coupled with the uncomfortable breakfast the day before, we decided to eat breakfast in our room the last day. 

Day 3 food. 

Day 3 food. 

The train had been running late since the beginning of the trip. At every stop it seemed to get a little further behind. One of the consequences of this was at big stops we were not allowed to walk around the town for 30 or so minutes, like we had been told.

instead, we were allowed to stand out on the platform near the train for two or three minutes to get a breath of "fresh air"."

Julie on one of the many station platforms we hoped out at.

Julie on one of the many station platforms we hoped out at.

 

During consecutive stops I did this drawing of the coupler/passageway between each car.

 

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Later I drew the same area from the inside. 

 

Passageway between trains. 

Passageway between trains. 

At this point of the journey it was extremely rocky for the rest of the third day. Which ended up making reading tricky and my sketches to get even more jittery than normal.

 

 

Farm house. 

Farm house. 

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That was the last sketch I drew, at one of the stations before our final destination in Chicago. 

There were still a few hours left to go, but the train was rocking at such a capacity that we were no longer able to do anything except watch out the windows. All of the delays added up to the train arriving at our final stop in Chicago five hours late. We pulled in at 8:00 instead of 2:00 a very big difference when you have been on a train for three days. 

The tragic part of that is the extra time really soured us on the trip towards the end. A pity, the first two days felt like such a fun grand adventure. I would still recommend anyone interested to go ahead and book passage– But maybe only for two days/one night, not three.

 

 

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Petaluma trip

Adventures & Parenting, Pen & PaperVeronica CassonComment
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We have been traveling a bunch this year and we have more to come so I thought I would start sharing my journals here. This is the first, a recent long weekend trip to Petaluma.  I broke it into days to make it more accessible. Enjoy!

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We arrived at our little yellow rental house at in the late afternoon. The small yard in the front and back was entirely fenced in, one of the reasons we picked this location. It allowed Luke to play in the yard while we unpacked and later while we relaxed.

Once we were settled in the house Luke read some books the owners had left on the shelf of the kids room (his favorite was the Star Wars "I am A Pilot" Golden Book.   Julie did some work and we researched the best local spots to go.

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We had a truly amazing dinner of celery soup,  spinach salad (with prosciutto shaved Parmesan, blue cheese and pear), and artisanal pizza ( pine nuts, olive oil, butter nut squash and pancetta) at a place called the Wild Goat.

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After we got home, Julie made us hot chocolate.  We went out back and stargazed with our cocoauntil it was Luke's bed time. Julie and I read comic books and sketched in the living room.

Petaluma Trip. day 3

Adventures & Parenting, Pen & PaperVeronica Casson2 Comments

We started our third day in Petaluma similar to the second. Up at 7 o'clock reading and puzzles together in the living room. We had saved a morning bun from bovine bakery yesterday and it was an extra treat when I remembered that we had it.

luke and treat

For breakfast we went out to a really cute 50s themed diner called Sax's joint.

 

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Then we went on a tour of Tara Firma Farms ranch. There we were able to pet some fuzzy black piggies, met some cows, calfs and chickens. 

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Julie even held one of the chicken. We also learn n awful lot about sustainable farming.

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For lunch we had planned on going to the log Lagunitas  brewery but they were very full so instead we tried a local deli barbecue joint called Lombardy's. Excellent try tip sandwich and pork ribs.

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Back at our AirBnB we both took baths and did some reading (<--Heaven). We were still full from our barbecue lunch so we just had a snack for dinner.

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Sketchbook, Jan 2016

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A few pages from last month's sketchbook.

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Many of my sketchbook pages are filled with drawings of the things I am seeing from day-to-day, but a few our more like diary entries that highlight a particular moment.

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Our medicine cabinet. Don't Judge.

ramen sketch

A bowl of exceptional tonkatsu Ramen from our favorite local ramen shop, Momiji.

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A quick sketch I did during Satchmo at the Waldorf performance (which I talked about here) and finished once I was home (and in better lighting). 

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Sunday morning. Drawing my wife over our morning coffee while Luke plays nearby. It's a pretty great life.