Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Saturday 29th July: The best breakfast of the trip - at the Big Sky Cafe!

Saturday Morning at the Big Sky Cafe, San Luis Obispo
Pen and sepia ink and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
10" x 8"

I left Morro Bay under a cloud - you think I jest? Take a look at the photo! I know they do things bigger in the USA - but I wasn't quite expecting this to apply to the clouds.

I should be able to see a great big rock sticking up out of the ocean instead of which all I could see was a bit of rock and an awful lot of cloud. The marine inversion was obviously going to persist for a bit!

I drove down to San Luis Obispo for breakfast. Nice small town with a proper main street and proper traditional shops and trees on the side walks. It had a really nice human scale to it. I looked around for somewhere to have breakfast and ended up heading for the place where people were congregating outside. Turns out they were queuing to get in - but seating 1 person is easier than seating 3-4! ;)

I had the best breakfast of the whole trip at the Big Sky Cafe - highly recommended by me for anybody who's ever in the area (are you listening Ed?). Apparently the LA Times agrees - check out the Big Sky Cafe website (and the sound track!). The menus were great - with good healthy food with leanings towards organic. In fact it was so good that I got them to make me up a lunch as a take-away! I've only now discovered while finding the website and the reviews that they were voted the Best San Luis Obispo Restaurant in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005! I can't say I'm surprised.

This sketch of the cafe was one of those weird ones where it almost draws itself - it went amazingly fast considering the detail and the fact that I was eating breakfast. I cheated on the backboard as they had two columns - but I don't write that small. I loved their stars on the blue ceiling.

There's also a great photography shop/suppliers on the main street - with friendly staff.

I continued down Highway 1 but it swung inland away from the coast. The weather improved as a result and I began to see some of the Californian countryside of the sort I associate with Californian landscape paintings. As I drove along, I began to realise that each day of the trip down Highway 1 had to contain a fair degree of slog in the car to get to the next place - and it was getting tiring.

I stopped the night in Ventura - and had this view from the balcony of my room.

Ventura palm trees
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
8" x 10"

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  1. all of these sketches are so fantastic Katherine! I'm so in love with your colors, they make these pages just pop! I have a trip coming up at the end of the month, I'm so glad to have these to study, wonderful work!

  2. Oh, yes, I know Big Sky Cafe! It's the best place in town. I guess I should add restaraunts to my plein air painting guide :-) Very glad to hear you found it.

    I'm spending the first week in October painting in San Luis Obispo for their 2006 plein air competition. Looking forward to it.

    You're right, with the heavy marine layer, the best course of action is to drive just a few miles inland, where you'll often get abundant sun.

  3. I think the paper in the Moleskine really helps a lot Cin - it loves good quality CP pencils.

  4. Hi Katherine, I ate at Big Sky Cafe today and thought about this post. I'm here all week for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air 2006 show. We've had nothing but fog the past two days, but the weather man has promised sun tomorrow. I did a sketch in the cafe too...I'll try and post this week.

  5. I was updating this blog at the weekend and remembered you were out in San Luis Obispo this week and wondered what the weather was like.........and what you were having for breakfast! Sorry to hear about the fog - go just a little ways inland maybe?


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