Santa Rosa, CA: Last week, I was in Santa Rosa visiting family. We were going back over there on Christmas Day as well, but on this occasion we were having a full family photo in a place at the Mall. I had a full beard for the occasion; all of the other grown up men did too so I wasn't alone, though mine was the result of not shaving for five weeks, I'm not normally a beard person, it was an experiment. The beard however keeps my face warm, which is nice when out sketching. It's not really been cold though, except in the mornings, it's not like I'm out in wind and ice - this is California after all. It's been rather sunny. While in Santa Rosa I did get out to do some sketching, and this is one of the most iconic buildings in town, the Empire Building in the Old Courthouse Square. When I first visited here over a decade ago this building confirmed my belief that I was really in Hill Valley, and that I would one day be zipping around town on a hoverboard (seriously it is nearly 2014, people, where are our hoverboards?). I stood in the square as Christmas shoppers ambled between the downtown shops and the Mall looking for last-minute stocking stuffers, and sketched awkwardly while there was still afternoon light.
I shaved off the beard on Christmas Eve, the first present I unwrapped being my nice smooth chin. Now, it's nearly the end of 2013, and so I'll wish you all a Happy New Year 2014, full of productive creativity and visual documentation. Cheers!