A Million Miler designation with Alaska Airlines is proof that I have spent a lot of time on planes. At the moment I am at 30,000 miles above the earth, somewhere between Seattle and Philadelphia. Retired as I am i don’t fly much these days, this trip reminds me of what I miss about my years of travel.
Many flight attendants have my mini-sketches, it has been my joy to bring them a bit of joy over the years, another thingI miss. We got to chatting with Jaci, while she was pouring my wine. She loves France so I did a sketch for her, when I gave it to her she told me she had another sketch of mine framed on her wall at home – wow.
As is the norm, Alaska is the best. Jaci, Paula, and Jennifer gave us the best of service, and pleasant conversation – and they had smiles that could light a room, or plane. So I did what I do and painted a couple for Paula and Jennifer as well.
People often discuss why people paint. The esoterical-philosophical answers have always evaded me. Art, for me, is about capturing a moment and connecting with people and places. It has opened doors, built bridges, and made friends. What is my art worth? When measured in people and memories, it is priceless.
Here are two that I did on the plane. Thanks for the memories.
For well over a year we have talked about moving to France, today we take a giant step in that direction. As I write this, I am nibbling on a chocolate chip cookie at the Doubletree Hotel near SeaTac airport. We have a 07h25 flight in the morning for Philadelphia, then on to Heathrow in London, we will take the Eurostar to Paris, ultimately ending up in Normandy. Our primary objective is to visit La Thebauderie to confirm that it is where we want to spend our first year living in France.
One of my objectives is to sketch and journal, with all of the text in French. I am a long way from fluent so know there will be many errors. Some of you are fluent in French, I beg your patience and forgiveness. Here are sketches so far.
Looking forward to a workshop this afternoon, Yes! You can travelsketch and more! Some old friends and a few new sketchers, it should be a good time. We will working on using boxes and straightening lines for drawing curved objects, painting in three layers, and why some croissants are straight and some are curved, it actually is a law in France.
For those that missed this workshop, as a few have expressed regrets, I will try to get one in at the end of March or April. Let me know of your interest.
And then there is France. We will be heading to France for the first two weeks of March to check out a place we want to live, in Normandy. I will post sketches and updates.
Then of course I have been sketching and painting over the last few days:
The last couple of weeks have been busy, a weekend birthday party for Tricia, a weekend of friends and food, planning for France, and yes, a bit of sketching and painting along the way. Here are a few samples
A few Travelsketch style
An Acrylic, 9×14 on panel – it is for sale.
And of course a few Sumi-e style paintings to express the emotions of the day.
Time to start off the 2020 with a workshop. A few sketchers have requested, so I will gladly respond.
There is a chance that this may be the only workshop for 2020. As many of you know, there is a good chance we will be moving to France sometime in the first half of the year. We are spending the first two weeks of March in France checking out some details, and then we will be busy getting things ready to make the move, so I can not guarantee that I will be able to have more workshops.
Of course we could hold the next one in France, that would be fun.
Date: February 8, 2020 Time: 12.30-3.30pm Location: Mukilteo area, details after registration.
We will be reviewing the basics of course, adding some new tips, and most importantly addressing your particular challenges.
To register go to the Workshop page. We have a limit of 10, and I already have three who have said they are coming so better to register early.
Actually this is for the last TWO weeks, thanks to Christmas and New Years. The holidays were enjoyable but as usual I am glad to move on into the new year.
An inquiry from Instagram reminded me that I don’t always make it clear that most everything I paint or sketch is available for sale. He wanted to buy an original that I did of him and friends sitting at Bits Cafe. So, yes, most everything is available.
For as long as I can remember I have been an early riser, mornings are my time to sip tea, get depressed by the news, then refresh and renew with meditation and prayer. Interpreting those thoughts in Sumi-e style paintings makes them much more meaningful. Adding a few words of French is good language practice as well.
Then of course a couple of quick sketches at family gatherings
Thinking of travel and other adventures for the coming year
Finished off the week with an acrylic on 5x7board, dreaming of rugged coastlines.
I hope one of your resolutions is to keep sketching your travels, be they near or far. Happy sketching,
The allure of Sumi-e style painting has not worn off. I like the delicate colors and scenes, as well as often finding the inspiration internally rather than painting from what is in front of me. The old Sumi-e painters said there were infinite shades of gray in the ink, they did, and many still do, use those shades to great effect. Yet using color is also a delightful part of the tradition.
Thinking ahead to the new year inspired this sketch of a road in Scotland. My Dad, stepmom and I drove down this over 10 years a go so it was easy to think of how many roads and turns the last decade has held, and then to ponder where the roads of life will take me in 2020.
A gray day in Mukilteo, wishing for a peaceful hideaway from the words turmoi, reflecting on Solstice and Advent, then a few flowers to remind of the renewal of spring rounded out the week.
Making a statement with art has never been my goal as it is for many, yet art can reflect the times and thoughts of life, an expression that is often simpler than words.
Keep sketching, and share them with us on Instagram, FB, or feel free to email me your most recent works, I enjoy seeing them