San Francisco Bay Area | September, 2017

I was actually in town for the entire month of September! And I have the photos to show for it in this very packed post! Continuing previous themes, I went on a bunch of Oakland walking tours, held a craft day, attended a beautiful wedding ceremony, and checked out a bunch of museums and gardens. Let’s jump right into it!

From my walking tour of Preservation Park in Oakland.

Craft day with Do-Hee and Stephanie!

Here are my two Craft Day paintings, of beautiful things I found in the studio.

My friend Yifan was visiting from Portland, so we went to check out the Munch exhibit at SFMOMA.


On Tuesdays in September, the landscape architecture firm Arterra hosted “Sketchy Tuesdays” in hidden corners of San Francisco. The first one I attended was at the SF Art Institute, with this adorable courtyard and a rooftop deck with city views.

My two sketches from the roof.

On a separate day, meeting up with Apurna in Berkeley, I popped in to the Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive for a sketch session from the cafe.

Another Oakland walking tour! This one “Uptown to the Lake.” With lots of pretty art deco, terra cotta-clad buildings.

Another sketching event I discovered: John Muir Laws’ Nature Drawing workshops, which he offers all around the Bay each month, including here at Lake Merritt. This month’s theme was drawing bird details.

My friend Stephanie joined! Learned so much.

Another day, another art museum. This time, catching the florals exhibit at the Asian Art Museum.

In case you can’t read my tiny handwriting, this exhibit in the lobby area is designed to hold fresh flower stems, that the museumgoers are then asked to take and gift to a stranger upon leaving the museum. I took a long yellow stem and eventually offered it to an old lady at Golden Gate Park who was clad in a full floral jacket and walking her big fluffy dog. She was surprised and delighted, and so was I.

Cousins dinner! This took some doing, and my brother didn’t make it, but these are my cousins Theresa and Walter! I grew up with them in Michigan, back in the day, and we’ve all now reunited in the Bay. I’m hoping to make this more of a regular occurrence.

Another edition of Sketchy Tuesdays! This time at the redwood grove at the base of the Transamerica Building. (Did you even know there were redwoods there? I didn’t!)

I headed to Do-Hee and Cassie’s studio to work afterwards, and that turned into an impromptu dinner at Cassie’s!

Paint date with Pam. I got to visit her new studio in Temescal, and we headed to Julie’s for lunch and a paint session.

I always love seeing Pam’s little creations! And I spy my paint subjects behind Pam’s head. :)

Perhaps the best thing about Pam’s studio location? It’s proximity to Crimson Horticulture, which is the most adorable little plant-filled shop. Pam has already bought out half their store, and I’m just getting started…

And then, on a Friday afternoon, a few of us gathered in our finest floor-length florals to attend our friends Courtney and Jackson’s seaside ceremony!


Such a joy to be able to witness their love for each other. <3

And then we grabbed some post-ceremony hot pot!

Meeting up with Ming, who was in town for his sister’s wedding!

Sketchy Tuesday, third and last edition! Here’s what I sketched on site, which included this nice man named Dominic!


All these Sketchy Tuesday locations are Privately Owned Public Open Spaces (POPOS), a.k.a. well hidden gems that you should go check out. This one was the rooftop of 150 California.

After I got home, I went back and inked my sketch and added more detail. Here’s its final iteration:

And after my sketch session, I headed back to Courtney’s house for another work session! With Gary the pool swan, of course.

Oh yeah, I also took up running around Lake Merritt this month! I’ve never been a runner, and I’ve never even run a mile consecutively in my life, until now! I just followed the Couch to 5k app, which starts you off with 60 seconds of jogging at a time, and am currently at the 5k/jogging 30 minutes at a time mark! Anything is possible, friends.

One more SFMOMA visit! This time for the members-only preview of the Walker Evans gallery. This exhibit is extensive! It spans almost the whole third floor of the museum. My friends Tiffany and Do-Hee accompanied my visit.

Favorite current exhibit: from the Soundscapes series on floor seven.

Playing telephone with tin cans and string.

One more paint date with Pam! At the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens.

My orchid painting.

And finally, another Oakland walking tour! This one of Civic Center.


Well, that was a wonderfully art- and friend-filled month! Thanks to everyone who was a part of my September. And if we missed each other, here’s to reuniting soon!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco but often traveling and working around the world. See more of her museum, opera, and symphony exploits under #awculturetime on instagram and view more of her professional work at