This group of drawings was made over the course of one year (2009). I started the year with the simple challenge that I wanted to focus on improving my drawing skill. As an added challenge, many of the works are depicting watery environments with the very dry media of graphite and colored pencil. This series laid the foundation for my mixed media works (which also include colored pencil) and taught me patience. Looking back at these drawings, I realize I was still looking at my California surroundings with a sense of novelty. In 2009, I had already been living in Oakland for five years, but I felt a sense of awe and curiosity about everything around me. From construction sites, to the marine life on display at the California Academy of Sciences, these drawings are a creative exercise in meticulous observation.