I found another incomplete sketchbook.  In it is a postcard from Adolf Konrad, my mentor, posted August 23, 1975 from Srinagar, Kashmir.
“Dear Cris: (It was during a period of time when I omitted the “h” from the spelling of my name)

Living on a house boat close to Shan-gri-la. It’s so beautiful that it’s maddening! A feast for the eye and a balm for the soul.  Went camping high into the Himalayas for two days.  Getting lots of drawing done.

Love,

Konrad”

How could I have forgotten?

It seemed fitting that I should continue the sketchbook with a careful study of the Eucalyptus Gunnii.  My first attempt at it was a relatively unsuccessful watercolor that I had to start splattering at to  breathe life back into it.

Eucalytus Gunnii, Watercolor sketch

I took my time to draw a carefully rendered pencil sketch of a section of the Eucalyptus.  I then added to the page, inspired by Cathy Johnson’s book Artist’s Journal Workshop, creating your life in words and pictures.

Sketchbook page

Adolf would be pleased.  It took thirty years for him to say “So, when did you learn to draw?”  I felt I had died and gone to heaven.  Konrad had more faith in me than I had in myself.  He was a difficult task master.  I loved him.  I love him still.  Adolf passed in 2003.  I still feel his presence, keeping my standards high and encouraging me to learn more, strive for a higher level of excellence and to awake early each morning so as not to waste the day.

Image one: sketched first with pencil, followed by watercolor

Image two: mixed media… graphite pencil, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, ink and Lumocolor marker.

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