Tomorrow I take another step forward with today’s technology.

Pete's Measuring Spoons

Pete’s Measuring Spoons

I’m in Asheville, NC with my friend Pete.  He will create my first painting demos to post online.  I’m excited to add this additional reference for my students.  I’ll spend the day today preparing drawings for tomorrow’s shoot.

Sketchbook drawing:  drawn first in ink with fountain pen followed by watercolor.  I was testing how pushing the puddle works on the surface of a recycled file folder.  It is smooth and not as absorbent as the Rives BFK paper.  However, it behaves well and I like it.

I spend Thursdays with my father.  He suffers from dementia of one sort or another, most likely Alzheimer’s though the official diagnosis has not been given.

Dad writing at The Great Swamp, Boondocks Boardwalk Observation Deck

The day was beautiful and Dad seemed to have bounced back from the world of fog and forgetfulness, at least temporarily.  Though his balance was still shaky, his stamina was incredible.  We made it all the way to Boondocks Boardwalk and back.  I couldn’t resist sketching him as he attempted to write another poem.  We were sitting in the observation deck above the swampy waters and lush water plants, taking a nice long rest before the long hike back to the car.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn with fountain pen filled with green ink.

I’ve just returned from a visit to the Blue Cliff Monastery where a friend and I spent a few days with the Buddhist monks, mostly Vietnamese.

Waiting outside the door

On the other side of the door, the brothers and sisters, were giggling and laughing during their English lesson.

I am sure I will be sharing more of my extraordinary visit over the coming months.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn with fountain pen filled with mystery brown ink.

Late at night before I drop into bed I enjoy ending the day with a contour drawing.  Ciao Copic Markers are great for quickly adding values to the contour drawing.

Rotary European Style Telephone

This phone has lived beside my bed for the last sixteen years.  It was one of those things I always wanted.  Okay… I’ve had enough of it now.  For the last five years it has been a nuisance and I am now done with it.

Drawing: Drawn first with Noodler’s Flex Fountain Pen filled with a mix of green and black inks, followed by Ciao Copic Markers

Six decades ago my father fought forest fires in Idaho.

My father's boots

He and his lab partner, Merle Bunker, hitchhiked to Idaho from Indiana, stopping along the way to invest in a good pair of boots.  We found my father’s boots in the attic in Martinsville when we cleaned out the house in September.  Why did he keep these boots long after he stopped wearing them?  Why do I still have my Super Guides hanging from a nail in my own attic three decades after I stopped mountaineering and ice climbing? Hmmmmmmmm.  Maybe I should draw those, too, so that I can let go of them.

Sketch: Contour drawing drawn first with Waterman Phileas fountain pen filled with black ink followed by Ciao Copic Markers.

Maybe tonight I’ll add some color to the line drawing of the monster aloe that threatens to attack me while I sit peacefully at my desk.

Monster Aloe Plant in Pot

Keeping track of where I am, even when drawing contour and looking only at the plant (not at my paper), is a challenge when drawing this giant aloe.  I’m grateful that it isn’t an Euphorbia plant.  When I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an elderly potter whose studio was a street level storefront, had a thirty year old Euphorbia plant in the window.  It spanned at least six feet in diameter.

Sketch: drawn with Waterman Phileas fountain pen filled with black ink.

Staying late tonight to carve pumpkins and play cards.  A great way to end the work week.

Extra carving tools and playing cards

Drawn first with flex fountain pen followed by washes using Peerless Water Color papers and Kuretake Water Brush.  I used reagular tube watercolors for the green wash.  I find the Peerless doesn’t work well for covering larger areas.

Being so focused on color these days I almost missed the strength of this contour drawing.  It stands on its own without color.

Trumpet Part in Contour Line

An interesting feathering of line happens due to the pulp of the paper.  Though I complain about the pulpy paper in this red sketchbook, I will miss working on it.  I have only a few pages left before this sketchbook is complete.  Last week I completed three more of the unfinished sketchbooks.

When I feel I’m treading water, I look at the progress I am making fulfilling my commitment to completing sketchbooks and the series of 100 trumpet part drawings and paintings.

Contour Drawing: Flex Roller Tip Fountain Pen.

Passageways fascinate me whether they are for breath to pass through to create sound or vehicles to drive through to get from one adventure to another. The interweaving of overpasses outside of New York City and Hartford, Connecticut intrigue me.

Trumpet Parts, sketch 11 of 100

I’ve been asking myself why I bought a box filled with broken trumpet parts and why I decided to do a series of 100 drawings or paintings of the broken pieces.  What was so irresistible?

When I think back on my elementary school, the first image that pops into my mind is the exposed pipes that ran along the ceiling of the first floor where I attended kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade.  Each time I walked down the hallway my eyes traced the path of the pipes.

A French Horn is a ridiculous mass of brass tubing bent this way and that.  What kind of a person would take the time to figure out that bending piping in such a peculiar fashion would produce such a magnificent sound?

One of my favorite pastimes as a child was drawing mazes.  The trumpet parts and the expressway interweaving of roads are, for me, three dimensional mazes that capture and hold my attention.

Trumpet Parts, sketch 10 of 100

I doubt that I will become bored with this series of 100 drawings and paintings.  When I start my day with one of these ten minute sketches my day is better because of it.

Drawing 11 of 100: Drawn with Flex fountain pen filled with North African Violet Noodler’s Ink

Drawing 10 of 100: Drawn with Flex fountain pen filled with North African Violet Noodler’s Ink and Ciao Copic Markers

After making my color test swatches of this month’s Goulet Pens Ink Sampler shipment I filled a fountain pen with Noodler’s North African Violet Ink.

Trumpet Parts, Sketch 9 in Series of 100

The lovely purple ink is extremely permanent and works beautifully with the Ciao Copic Markers for a quick rendering.  I plan on using it next time I go to The Grisly Pear.

Sketch: drawn first with ink in Flex Fountain Pen followed by Ciao Copic Markers