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Celebrating being back on the road playing Drive and Draw

travel sketching Mar 29, 2021

Participating in the #OneWeek10People challenge was such a welcome reminder of the pleasure I experience when sketching people ... as well as an acknowledgement of how much I have missed traveling this past year, sketching the people I see in airports, train stations, walking and talking on the streets of cities and villages in places I've never been before.

The other challenge, one that has now passed the halfway mark is #the100daychallenge in which I have committed to created something inspired by my black walnut husks.  I expected to be pulling my hair out at by day thirty.  It took until I approached the halfway mark to really break free of my habitual ways of observing and making marks.  I began ripping up paper to create collages based on the underlying impressions of the husks that are now embedded somewhere in my consciousness.  I attempted to convey a feeling rather than a representation of the husks using the shapes as either an obvious foundation for the sketch or a hidden structure upon which a design freely evolved.  

I was still in the collage mode when it became time to pack my bags, get behind the steering wheel and finally, after a year of confinement, head north to Maine! I didn't want to pack my glue and a bag full of paper scraps so I opted to draw or paint from memory while away from my husks.


Naturally, I had to play my sketching road trip game that I refer to as Drive and Draw ... no because I'm drawing while I drive but because I drive either a designated time period or a designated distance, find a safe place to park and do a quick sketch spending mo more than ten or fifteen minutes on the sketch.  


If i were to drive directly to South Portland, Maine stopping only for gas and a quick stretch, it would take me approximately six hours.  On this trip, I was stopping to sketch every fifty miles. The next stop after Shakespeare's Garden Center was a parking lot beside an expansive strip mall of sorts.  I opted to drive around back near for a view of the tree-covered hill that the store complex was back up against.  Prior to starting my sketch I decide it might be a good idea to see how much further I had to go to reach my destination.  I had headed due north rather than angle to the east and I was aware that by driving the two legs of the triangle rather than the hypotenuse would add time to the trip in addition to the sketching time.  Much to my surprise, I was less than halfway and I had already been on the road for more than six hours! This parking lot stop would be my last sketch Drive and Draw sketch for the day or I would arrive at Kathleen's well after dark.  This last sketch would have to be a speedy one. Forced to work in a rush can really push me out of the box and break through to delightfully new territory.

One of the other restrictions I made for myself on this trip is to use only my fountain pen and the Viviva Colorsheets that I am testing out for Viviva.  This variation on the tree-covered hillside was painted using their soon-to-be-released metallic colorsheets.  Though you can't see it in this photo, in addition to colors being lively and vivid, they dry with a subtle sparkle that is quite lovely.  I look forward to letting loose with more of these colorful expressions of landscape inspired psychedelia.  

During the last twenty minutes of my drive, the rains poured, the fog set in and I saw a total of six rainbows the likes of which I hadn't seen before in terms as shapes, illumination and surrounding weather conditions.

Kathleen greeted me with a glass of red wine and my choice of dark chocolate.

Next evening, a delicious dinner of roasted fennel, Brussel sprouts, rice and black beans.

Morning sketches from my pillow ...

And this morning ... the view through my window as the sun was about to rise was spectacular.

My plan ... Is to head south early tomorrow morning and continue my game of Drive and Draw as I head back to New Jersey.

I feel more like myself after being back on the road and experiencing different parts of the country as we deal with being masked.  Watching young children board a school bus wearing masks was something I never dreamed I would witness.

As life changes, some things remain dependable such as the beauty of the sun rising, the sun setting and the beauty of awakening to light flickering on the rising and ebbing of the waters of Egan Cove.





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