Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What I did on my Summer(ish) Vacation

I returned yesterday from a mother/daughter adventure.  Mom missed the September trip, so the two of us flew to California and spent several days with my sister & brother-in-law.  Traveling with an "older" short lady with one bum knee slows you down - in a good way.  I drew quickly when out and about.  However, plenty of recovery time at my sister's house let me slow down and fill more sketchbook pages.

California plants, California cats, California seagulls and a Colorado mother were added.  Plants are less interesting, but better models.  They don't reposition endlessly or flit away in the wind.

Four busy cats would not sit still for the artist - until Dr. Macaroni finally dozed off in just the right spot at just the right time.  The quirky karate dude above him is a small bookend... that never moves and was a delight to sketch in indigo blue pencil.

I'm currently enrolled in Sketchbook Skool "Stretching" and one assignment is blind contours.  This page happened as Mom chatted with my sister, oblivious to my attempts.  Of course she looks nothing like this.  Blind contours are just plain hilarious.

The tiny gesture sketch below is in my tiny Pentalic journal (no bigger than a deck of cards).  I had finished drawing a nearby statue and then caught up with these two.  I stopped for a minute to swiftly sketch the tall sunshine-loving daughter and her short doting mother.  I looked at this afterwards and wanted so badly to fix & refine, but resisted.  These few inaccurate lines capture the moment just fine I think.

I managed to add at least a few pages every day, including departure day.  Airports are jam packed with people looking down - phones, laptops, books, knitting, sleeping.  Most are obliviously willing subjects.  The man below sat directly opposite of me.  He looked up as a fellow traveler brushed by him and seemed grumpy to us.  Then he was engrossed in his book.  He had a deliciously bushy face and I had to pull out my pen & paper.  He never looked up as I sketched.  As I finished, Mom quietly asked "Are you going to show him?"  "Um, no, he seems grumpy."  I whispered back to her.  Minutes later the woman next to me addressed the hairy, grumpy man as her husband.  I don't know if she noticed or appreciated my artistic rendering or if he was actually grumpy.  Regardless, I appreciate his perfect posing.  It nudged the pen into my hand one more time.  I added a few more down-turned faces before our flight was called.  Then it was homeward bound for me, Mom & my sketchbook mementos.

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