We did a few touristy things, and had some amazing meals... but with my wife often busy with lectures and other programming at the conference she was there to attend, I found myself with a lot of two- to three-hour blocks of down-time. It was a really nice change of pace to have options when finding things to keep myself busy.
One evening, as she attended the conference's opening keynote, I considered seeing a movie...maybe Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel... at the theater right next door. However, I'd picked up a few new supplies at the Utrecht Art Store a few blocks from the hotel, and was itching to try them out. So, I skipped the movie and set out to find a place to sit and draw.
It was at that precise moment, riding the elevator, that I noticed a sign for The View Lounge, the bar atop our hotel on the 39th floor. I went on up, ordered a local IPA, and sat down to draw. The view was as advertised, simply amazing, even on a cloudy evening.
I chose to work on a drawing commissioned by my friend Patrick of former Penguins forward and current radio team member Phil Bourque, the Ol' Two-Niner. Originally meant as a sketch card, I started over from scratch on a larger 6x6" sheet of Bristol and completed the entire drawing, pencils to inks to color, in that beautiful spot as night fell over San Francisco. While it may not be the best drawing I've ever created, it's without a doubt one of the most enjoyable and memorable times I've ever had participating in the act of drawing!
POSTSCRIPT: The next day, I hiked a few miles to Japantown with my pal The Tot and bought more fantastic art supplies at Maido, an amazing Japanese stationery shop I first visited in 2006 and have thought of often since then. Imagine if JetPens.com was a physical shop rather than a website, and that's pretty much what you've got inMaido. I realized they have a web presence, and are well worth checking out!