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From the driver's seat

travel sketching watercolor Jul 16, 2019

On the road trip from new Jersey to The Outer Banks of North Carolina, Tom and I stopped along the way for a bit of WRITE AND DRAW, a variation of the game Drive and Draw that I play when on a solo road trip.  At one of our stops, Tom wrote a couple of paragraphs describing his experience of driving the car while I'm sketching next to him in the passenger seat.

"Chris put some blues on her phone and started digging her watercolor stuff out of two canvas bags sitting comfortably at her feet like obedient dogs.

We were going through a section of road in Virginia that had purple grape trees [crepe myrtle] on both sides in small groves.

Crepe Myrtle

I concentrated on the straight open roadway which changed speed limits from 55 down to 35 when we went through a small valley consisting of only a gas station, a convenience store and a half dozen small houses that were way too close to the road to have any privacy from the traffic noise.

Crepe Myrtle and Chesapeake Bay Bridge

I enjoy glancing over occasionally to catch her wiping her brush on the color-stained rag wrapped around her left wrist [the upper part of a sock].  She, occasionally, also looks up to snatch a few seconds of the trees in her memory and then quickly returns her eyes and brush to the small sketchbook on her lap.  I cannot see the finished painting, having to keep my thoughts and sight focused on driving.  I’ll catch up with her later when the ride is over."

Indian River Inlet Bridge, Maryland

Top of Tom's sock that I cut off and slip over my wrist to clean the waterbrush as I paint.

Indian River Inlet Bridge, Maryland


Painting in the passenger seat was awkward this time.  My fomecore board with the magnet attached to hold the business card palette in place was packed away in the truck.  Keeping the palette from slipping off my lap was a challenge.

Even when the road is smooth and straight, with my palette securely attached, painting in a moving car generally doesn't result in great sketches. I still love doing it.



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