The K-car, in preparation for the upcoming road trip, received two new tires, a strut from the junkyard, spark plugs, windshield wipers and an oil change.  I had three hours to kill.

Behind Gibson’s Gym

It’s a short walk from Tony’s Auto to Gibson’s Gym.  An unusual headache made my workout too challenging, forcing me to retreat to the shade of a huge tree along the creek behind the gym.  I set up my fisherman’s stool and distracted myself from the pain by drawing.  It works almost every time.

sketchbook drawing: drawn first with fountain pen followed by Peerless Watercolor applied with waterbrush.

Tom and I took a test run yesterday, preparing for our upcoming road trip.

First Stop … Old Turnpike Road

It’s amazing that there are still roads near home that we have not explored.  Tom sat in the passenger seat and acted as timer.  I drove. I attempted, and succeeded, to find roads we have not traveled before.  After driving for fifteen minutes I searched for a safe place to pull over, park the car and pull out the two chairs from the trunk.  For the next fifteen minutes I worked in my sketchbook as Tom wrote a quick horror story.  Then we moved on.

Second Stop … Jane Chapel Road

The second stop was a wide spot in the road beside the ruins of a curved-roof barn and a silo buried in vines and hidden by trees and brambles.

City Street …. Hackettstown

Our last stop found us on the Main Street of Hackettstown.  I think the timer was hungry and thirsty.  It appeared to me that it was a very short fifteen minutes of sketchbook time.

We ended the trip with a stop on the other side of the mountain at the Long Valley Brewery Pub with a pint and a platter of food…. a successful trial run for the road trip.

Sketchbook drawings – drawn with a fountain pen in a sketchbook made from rejected watercolor paintings.  I applied watercolor using a waterbrush and my half pans stored in the Altoid tin.  Not enough time to apply color to the last sketch.



The weather was perfect for me to sit at an outdoor cafe table in front of Lincoln Center and sketch while Kathleen and her parents enjoyed the symphony …. or so I thought.

64th and Columbus Avenue, ink drawing

The timing had been perfect.  We planned to meet at the chowder house after the concert.  Not sure of the restaurant’s location I asked a man pushing a hand truck stacked with cases of wine.  His response was “Follow me.  That’s where I’m taking this wine.”

64th and Columbus Avenue, ink drawing

A small island of cafe tables was located adjacent to the restaurant and in front of Lincoln Center.  The buildings didn’t block the sun from warming my body as I sat and sketched, thinking of Kathleen and her parents enjoying the music together ….. or so I thought.

Waiting in Line for Ice Cream, ink sketch

Kathleen sat alone in the concert hall at the insistence of her mother after her father slipped and fell on the steps in front of Lincoln Center.  Kathleen’s parents were three blocks away at the hospital while the music played and I happily sketched.

The event threatened to spoil the remainder of our plans.  Fortunately, after a several hour delay, some stitches and a few pain killers, the four of us walked slowly back to the Chowder House and had a lovely luncheon.  Kathleen and I then headed north toward 110 street after sending her parents back to their hotel, waving goodbye as their taxi drove off.

And so our adventure began.  We laughed, we talked, we ate, we drank espresso, we drank wine.

The Cathedral Peacock

We explored the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and found the peacock in the Biblical Garden.

Following the evening light in NYC

We followed the patterns of the sun upon the buildings. We shopped.

Trying on lounge wear

We didn’t get to the Picasso Guitars exhibit.  We didn’t get to the Harlem Gospel Singing.  We didn’t get to a late night jazz club.  We didn’t visit the Museum of Natural History or even step foot in a gallery.  We laughed and talked and stayed up late, enjoying the weather and the little shops within a three block radius of the cozy little Pied a Terre on loan to us for our weekend together.  Mostly, we enjoyed the company of one another.  My last little sketch was done in the guest book of the Pied a Terre along with a note of thanks.  The ink sketch was of the black leather couch, the black and white toss pillows, puzzle block coffee table and the large black and white photograph of a street scene with a red bicycle.  I forgot to snap a photo of the drawing.

The drawings were all done with a fountain pen.  I began with my Pelikan, fine point fountain pen.  It ran out of ink halfway through the first drawing.  I switched to my Waterman Phileas fountain pen.