Tag Archives: Ink and watercolor

All aboard! Here’s my newest adventure.

Ok, I’m spilling the beans.  I’m headed to Morocco.
I’m going with artists who take other artists to beautiful locations around the world.
While they are making art, and possibly trying to tutor me, I’ll be doing my usual scribbles, then adding color to them.
For those who have forgotten their geography lessons

For those who have forgotten their geography lessons – here’s where Morocco is.  I’ll first get to Madrid, then head over to Marrakesh, then a car ride to Essaouira.

The reason I’m blabbing is because I just saw something that makes me believe that
I’m going on a journey to an apparently magical place.
Why magical? Well, one of the trip coordinators told me to google “goats in argan trees.”
I mean, here, our goats just chill on the ground. Where I’m going, they hang out in trees!
Morocco goat in argan tree

Seen on google maps!

Really?  So, obviously, I then wondered about the so-called Marrakesh express and was it a real train, or was it “magical” (or smoke induced) taking you to see magical things like goats in trees.
But apparently, this song is a straightforward description of an actual train ride Graham Nash took in North Africa.
In the beginning, as a wealthy Englishman, he was travelling first class in a luxurious private suite. But after a while, he decided it would be more interesting to move to another car, where ordinary Arabs and poorer tourists ride.
In the back cars, the ordinary Arabs really do travel with their livestock. Nash found that he had a lot more fun travelling among the working class Arabs and lower class tourists than with other rich people. Disclaimer: This may or may not be true. I found it on the World Wide Web. 😉
Morocco Marrakesh express

All aboard that tra-a-ain.

Just know that when I return, and I’m sharing sketches of goats in trees, and magic carpets and purple camels (I just made that up), it’s probably not drug induced, or from those worms that crawl in your ears and slowly eat your brain, although now that I’ve thought about that I might wear earplugs at night. Just in case.

“Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.” – W. C. Fields

So I scooted to Ithaca…

My first huge solo scooter trip was to Ithaca. Yep, less than 50 miles each way.  But still, a pretty big step for me.

Scoot wash

Well, you need a clean start, right?

I had some kind of mental block about what was needed and how it worked for the GPS mount.  So, I sketched it!  The best way to understand something!
I also have a charger wire connected to the battery for it.

GPS mount for scoot

What could have been a nice relaxing sketch trip, ended up with only one sketch!  Alas, somehow I felt the need to get there and back as quickly as possible.  What’s that about smelling the roses?  Not this time!

Enroute to Ithaca

Oh right, I promised another clue about my upcoming trip:
It’s on the other side of the Atlantic.

Let’s go!

Way back in July, I had the honor of hosting Stephanie Yue, aka Quezzie.
She has an entertaining ride report on Adventure riders, as well as a blog: 250superhero.blogspot.com. She recently completed a more than 30,000 mile solo ride to travel the four corners of the continental US. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, she did it all on her 250cc Vespa! (Did you notice the “solo” part?)

Stephanie Yue

Hi Steph!

Her overnight visit began in Ithaca, NY, where my friend Jim and I scooted to the Scooter Shop to meet her.  We then stopped at some falls (of course, it’s Ithaca!) and then the Blind Tiger for a cold one (of course, no reason not to!) before ending at my house for dinner.
She is great company, and an amazing person, I’m so glad I have the chance to meet her!
She also inspired me to try more long-distance rides, but the only place I’ve gotten so far is a solo trip back to Ithaca. Oh well, I have put nearly 3,000 local miles on the scoot this year, and that is an accomplishment for me!
Here’s a few sketches (finally scanned, I’m still behind!) from that visit:

2006 Vespa

My prep (easy!)

Stephanie's prep - not easy!

Stephanie’s prep – not easy!

A colorful stop in Boiceville, NY

A colorful stop in Boiceville, NY

Positano 2014…and 2015 trip clues for you

Back in March 2014, I was in Positano, you may have seen my post before.
But, I just went through my sketchbook and found several sketches that weren’t scanned in.

On a different subject and a different trip:
A little clue about an upcoming trip I’ll be taking – it is titled “Blue boats beneath golden ramparts.”
And, surprise – one of my Italy sketches last year was of their blue boats! Coincidence?
Clue #2 – the trip won’t be in Europe! Hehe, more clues will follow!

Meanwhile, enjoy these from Positano…

Positano At the bar

View from the bar

Positano view from the beach

Positano view from the beach

Positano - charming street view

Positano – charming street view

Positano - mountain profile

Positano – mountain profile

Positano laundry

Positano laundry

Positano blue boats

Positano blue boats

Wildest India

A very relaxed Saturday, I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I sat around and watched “Wildest India” episodes. I have to say, that was an amazing show! The photography was superb, I learned so much about India that now I want to visit there, and every episode made me want to pause it and grab my sketchbook. Finally, when they started about the elephants, I went and got my pens and paper, and did this quick sketch.

image Aren’t elephants the most beautiful and fascinating creatures?

 

Les timbres/ Stamps

 

This sketch, way more detailed than my previous skull (skull sketch, not my real skull!), is inspired by an upcoming visit and “Paris Letters” by Janice MacLeod.
A French friend and I have been pen pals for a long time. How long?  I dug out the box of saved letters and see that he received my first letter December 19, 1992! Twenty-three years!

Stamps Les timbres

And what a collection of stamps on those letters, from France, Mayotte and other places.  So many beautiful ones.
Here are a few, maybe I’ll get ambitious and do some more, but no promises, as I ended up being very detailed with these, and they are so small!
We have visited a few times over the years, but this will be only his second visit to the USA. I’m looking forward to taking him on tours and places that are familiar to me, but new to him.  #feelingexcited

PS – Yes, we know how to email, but don’t you just love getting a real letter?

 

Skull practice

I’ve had this plastic skull for a while, waiting for the right time to sketch it.

Skull I’m technically not “snow-bound”, but with a hill on my way home, I prefer to stay home and not risk having to walk the last leg of my return.
Staying home has led to much more art getting done, which makes me very happy!
I plan to do more sketches of it/him, but I was pleasantly distracted by my next post…

Ink and watercolor in a moleskine.

About ashes…

I quit smoking in August of 2000.  I think anyone with a lick of common sense would not understand why it took me over eight years to quit after my mom passed from heart disease, most likely from smoking many years.  But any smoker would certainly know why.
Quitting is tough. I know, I’ve done it many times!

2015 01 About ashes

I remember my final quit date because the last carton I went to buy in Hallstead, PA (to avoid NY taxes) was on a sunny summer day in July of that year. I had a nice surprise when I ran into a dear old friend.
I went for acupuncture the next month, and after massaging the little pins he left in my ear lobes, soon found the idea of smoking repulsive, it even made me physically a little nauseous.

Soon it will have been 15 years since quitting. Do I miss it? Rarely. But when I do get that urge, oh man, it’s very strong.  But short, it’s short.  So if I get through the urge (and I have for 15 years) I can breathe easy (pun intended) until the next one comes along.