There are subjects that I keep coming back to, touchstones.
One definition of a touchstone is:
a black siliceous stone formerly used to test the purity of gold and silver by the color of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal.
These subjects become the stone which I test my own purity to see if I can extract gold or silver out of my sketch.
One subject that I keep coming back to is the odd roadside attraction just north of the “Flintstones” house and Crystal Springs bridge on Highway 280. This is that odd Father Junipero Serra statue that is pointing towards an unknown object or, perhaps, looks like he has just released a ball at the bowling alley.
This statue has always been a landmark on my Saturday morning journeys to my grandmother’s house in the West Portal neighborhood in San Francisco. I would first look for the “Flintstones” house that my dad told me was earthquake proof and then I knew the odd roadside statue would be appearing shortly, on the top of the rise, pointing to something on the other side of the highway which I could not see. I would crane my neck to watch the cartoonish padre recede from sight. Of course we never stopped to take a closer look.
Perhaps that is one reason this statue remains a touchstone for me, not because it is a work of incredible artistry or it is something that is fun to sketch, but because it is that one permanent feature from my childhood in the ever charging world of California. A touchstone that takes me back to those pleasant journeys north, to visitmy grandmother.
A bit of whimsy from 2013. Godzilla is about to meet his match when he faces off with Father Serra.