It was fun to meet the South Bay members of our Urban Sketchers SF Bay Area group Suhita and John, and to meet some of the members of Sketchcrawl Silicon Valley at the Stanford sketchcrawl on Saturday. Cathy and I made the hour plus drive down there and met at noon. We started with lunch at the outdoor cafe with a view of the Rodin Sculpture Garden (sketched above at the end of the day after everyone left and it is my favorite because I love those funny, imperfectly groomed trees).
My first sketch was the one above, of a statue called “Faith” in front of the Cantor Center for Visual Arts. Starting with “Faith” seemed good, since it helps to have a little faith that the sketching will go well. By 1:00 there were about 10 of us and everyone went off to follow their muses with a plan to regroup around 3:00. I followed Cathy who knew her way around, since my muse, like me, has no sense of direction.
The sign on the building said “Memorial Arch and Court Erected by His Mother, 1898 in Memory of Leland Stanford Jr. Born to mortality May 14, 1868…” I ran out of room to record his year of death but he only lived until age 16 so his mother donated the land Stanford was built on to create a memorial for her son.
From a distance the front of the chapel appears to be glowing gold but when you get closer you can see it’s covered with a stunning mural made entirely in mosaic. Coming from an urban environment where things are crowded, noisy and grungy, Stanford was amazing. The Stanford campus is tremendously spread out (over 8,000 acres), with most buildings only one or two stories, but massive nonetheless. Everything is immaculately clean, with amazing gardens, gazillions of trees (well, officially 43,000), and quiet. At $51,000 a year for tuition, room and board I suppose one should expect a lovely environment!